I heard a while back that you could make homemade caramel sauce just by boiling a can of sweetened condensed milk for a few hours and I finally gave it a try. I have tons of apples right now and had this strange craving for a caramel apple the other day. I just happened to already have a can of sweetened condensed milk in my kitchen, so it was meant to be. The method worked out perfectly (almost foolproof I think) and the caramel is really smooth and rich. I have heard you can make this in a crockpot as well, which may eliminate the need to keep filling the pot with water and constantly checking on it. If you have a crockpot, you can check out that particular method on one of my favorite blogs A Beautiful Mess. If you use a crockpot, you need to open the can first and empty it into a glass jar. It also takes 8 hours, whereas my method only takes 3, so if you’re having a sudden caramel craving then I would definitely go with the simple boil method!
There are so many ways to use this caramel sauce. I have already dipped apples in it and put it on my morning overnight oats. It would be great on toast or pancakes, with cheese and crackers, and as a dip for all kinds of fruit. I think for the next couple of days I’ll be dreaming about how to use it. Maybe in some baked goods or layered dessert bars. Okay, I’ll stop now. Ooh I just thought of some more- on top of cornbread or bread pudding!
The caramel does not harden quite as much as melted caramel candies do, but it does thicken a bit when left in the fridge. I cut my apple into slices and dipped each slice in the caramel, then topped each slice with a different topping. The options are endless! I came up with a list of some options that I would love to try out:
Topping Ideas: chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, sea salt, shredded unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, granola, cacao nibs, cinnamon, cocoa powder, puffed amaranth or quinoa, crushed peanuts or other nuts, melted peanut butter, sprinkles, honey, bee pollen…gosh, the list could go on and on!
Have you ever made homemade caramel? What method did you use?
Super Simple Homemade Caramel Sauce
Makes 1 can.
1 can sweetened condensed milk
For caramel apple slices:
apples, cored and sliced
toppings: chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, sea salt, shredded unsweetened coconut, chia seeds, granola, cacao nibs, cinnamon, cocoa powder, puffed amaranth or quinoa, crushed peanuts or other nuts, melted peanut butter, sprinkles, honey, bee pollen
- Place can of sweetened condensed milk in a pot and fill with enough water to cover the can with 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and let simmer for 3 hours. Constantly check on the water level and add more water when it starts to reach the top of the can. If the can is exposed it will explode.
- After three hours, turn the water off and let the can cool in the water overnight.
- Remove the can from the water, rinse the top of it off, and open with a can opener.
- Transfer caramel to another container if you are going to store it.
- Keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up for 5 days.
Nutritional Information (for caramel sauce)
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories: 65 Fat: 1.5 g Carbohydrates: 11 g Sugar: 11 g Fiber: 0 g Protein: 1.5 g