This versatile recipe serves a dual purpose. Once fully cooled, it transforms into a delightful dip, perfect for accompanying apples, pretzels, cookies, or various fruits. Alternatively, when enjoyed warm, it doubles as a spectacular caramel sauce, ideal for drizzling over ice cream, cake, or pie, enhancing any dessert with its rich flavor.

What goes well with caramel dip?

The possibilities for enjoying your caramel are virtually endless, whether you choose to dip into it or drizzle it while hot. Here’s a list of popular options:

  • Apples and strawberries for a fruit-filled treat
  • Marshmallows, pretzels, and crackers for a mix of sweet and salty
  • Cookies, ice cream, and brownies for classic dessert pairings
  • Popcorn and cupcakes for fun and unique treats
  • Cake, sweet bread, angel food cake, and cobbler for a comforting dessert experience

And that’s just the beginning. The versatility of caramel allows for countless combinations and creations.

Cooking caramel dip

Is caramel just melted sugar?

At the heart of caramel creation is the process of melting sugar, which forms its base. However, to achieve that signature soft and buttery texture, additional ingredients must be incorporated. certainly though, the essence of caramel cannot be realized without the foundational step of melting sugar.

What makes caramel harden?

Caramel hardens as a result of being cooked either too rapidly or for too long. The key to perfect candy making is a gentle and slow cooking process. Moreover, reaching a firm ball stage, which is around 245 degrees Fahrenheit, will result in caramel that sets hard upon cooling. To accurately monitor and achieve the desired temperature, using a candy thermometer is essential.

Caramel dip while it is warm and can be used as a drizzle

Should you keep caramel dip in the fridge?

Storing your caramel dip in the refrigerator is a smart move to extend its shelf life, allowing it to remain fresh for up to two weeks. If you opt to keep it at room temperature, it will still be fine, but only for a few days due to the dairy content which can spoil more quickly without refrigeration.

What is caramel dip made of?

Unsalted butter

It is always important to use unsalted butter when baking. If you use salted butter, you have no way of knowing how much salt you are adding to your dough and it will result in an over salted treat.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar is granulated sugar with a little molasses mixed in. Molasses is a more bitter natural sweetener which actually makes the sugar a bit sweeter than plain granulated sugar. Brown sugar draws more moister into your treat and is more acidic.

You can make caramel with either brown sugar or granulated sugar. Brown sugar adds a deeper color and flavor into this caramel dip.

Heavy whipping cream

Heavy whipping cream will loosen the caramel dip and make it softer to dip in or saucy when warmed up to drizzle.

Fine sea salt

Enhances flavor, adds balance, masks any bitter flavors. Salt is the most powerful and oldest preservative. Always make sure to use fine sea salt so that it melts down at the right speed in the heat of the stove. If you use larger granule salt it will not melt down fully when cooked and will leave salt crystals throughout caramel.

Salt also helps bind your caramel, if you do not use salt then it is more likely that your butter will separate.

Vanilla extract

When using pure vanilla extract, it will add the deep rich flavor everybody wants in a caramel.

Caramel dip with green apples dipping

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Caramel Dip

5 from 1 vote
Author: Madison Reid
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
This salted caramel dip doubles as two. It can be cooled and used as a fruit, pretzel or cookie dip at room temperature OR drizzled over ice cream while warm.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups brown sugar
  • 4 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract


  • Place a large pot or sauce pan over medium heat on a stove top
  • Melt butter in the pot
  • Add brown sugar, heavy cream, salt & vanilla to pot
  • Stir ingredients with a wooden spoon until sugar is melted
  • Place a candy thermometer in caramel and cook until 220 degrees
  • Pour into a mason jar to cool (this recipe will fill a few jars)
  • If using as a dip, let caramel cool completely
  • If using as a sauce, drizzle over dessert while it is still warm


Calories: 413kcal Carbohydrates: 45g Protein: 2g Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 17g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0.4g Cholesterol: 78mg Sodium: 143mg Potassium: 108mg Sugar: 44g Vitamin A: 983IU Vitamin C: 0.3mg Calcium: 71mg Iron: 0.4mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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caramel dip titled