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Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Bourbon Caramel Sauce takes traditional caramel sauce up a notch. With the addition of bourbon you can drizzle this sauce on all your favorite cakes, breakfasts, ice cream and more! 
Cook Time18 mins
Total Time18 mins
Course: Dessert, Sauces
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 cup
Calories: 1634kcal


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon salted butter


  • In a medium saucepan, add the sugar and hot water and stir over high heat until sugar dissolves.
  • After the sugar has dissolved and starts to boil, quit stirring. For 5 minutes, cook on high while carefully swirling the pan on occasion, do not stir.
  • After its cooked for 5 minutes the mixture will turn a light golden color, you can stop now for a lighter caramel and it will be delicious. You can also choose to continue for about 30 seconds longer until it becomes a slightly deeper golden brown. It doesn't take long and will happen very quickly. Carefully watch it and smell the mixture for any faint smell of burning sugar. It only takes a quick second to go from dark to burnt. If it burns, you should start over.
  • Once it reaches the desired color, remove the sauce from the heat immediately and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. The sauce will start to bubble up as soon as the cream hits the hot liquid, so pour it in slowly.
  • Return the pan to medium heat and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly and the color deepens even more. This takes about 5 minutes.
  • Then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the bourbon, vanilla, and butter. If the sauce seems runny, don't worry, it will thicken as it cools
  • Once it's cooled, store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.


  1. If you are new to making caramel or this is your first time making this recipe, it may be smart to stop when the sugar and water mixture is a light golden color. Your sauce will still be incredible! Once you get the hang of it, you can start experimenting with making the caramel color darker and richer.
  2. Use extreme caution and be very careful when adding the cream to the hot sugar and water mixture in your saucepan. It will bubble up like crazy and double in size for a brief moment, be sure your saucepan is large enough to allow for this expansion without creating a huge mess.
  3. You can omit the bourbon if you’d like to and you'll wind up with a tasty basic caramel sauce.
  4. You can substitute the bourbon for light or dark rum.
  5. This can be doubled or tripled.
  6. We do not recommend freezing.


Calories: 1634kcal | Carbohydrates: 157g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 109g | Saturated Fat: 69g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 329mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 242mg | Sugar: 157g | Vitamin A: 4198IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 1mg