Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

Christmas is over!  How was it?  Too much food?  Too much family time?  Too many presents to unwrap? (Is that possible?)

Well, I hope you aren’t too sick of the sweets because I’m not done sharing them.  I was assigned Rebecca’s blog, A Dash of Thyme for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, and I have been stuck on the vanilla bean caramel sauce ever since I saw it.  I mean, I’m obviously a huge fan of caramel.  And a huge fan of ice cream.  So, when given the opportunity to whip this recipe up, it was a no brainer.  I almost made the fried pickles, too, because… well, because fried pickles are one of the most amazing creations.  Dip those puppies in some ranch dressing and you have a champion appetizer.  But I ran out of time and pickles don’t go bad.  Keep an eye out for that recipe coming up!

Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce

1 cup sugar
1¼ cups heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
¼ tsp.
coarse salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Spread the sugar in a layer over the bottom of a large saucepan.  Place over medium-low heat, and watch carefully.  When the sugar begins to liquefy around the edges, use a heatproof spoon to gently stir it towards the center.  Continue stirring gently until all the sugar is melted.

Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, immediately remove the sauce pan from the heat.

Measure out the heavy cream into a bowl and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the bowl with the cream in it.  Microwave for about 30 seconds to warm up (this is to try and keep it from seizing up the caramel when you add it).

Carefully whisk into the caramel half of the heavy cream mixture.  The mixture will steam and bubble continuously.  Stir until the cream is well incorporated, then whisk in the remaining cream.  If the caramel seizes and gets hards, stir over low heat until the hard parts melt and combine with the liquid.  Stir in the salt and the vanilla.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Reheat on low heat in a saucepan if desired.

Source: A Dash of Thyme, originally from Annie’s Eats

Print Friendly


  1. BF and I don’t do gifts for each other but our anniversary is coming up and I think I’ll have to treat him to this. He loves caramel. :-)

    I love how you can see the vanilla in there, not just some flavoring. looks amazing.

  2. Thank you for visiting my food blog and choosing this recipe! It is so good and I’m glad you loved it!! :)

  3. I bet this would be absolutely delicious over vanilla ice cream. Your pictures are beautiful, by the way! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Caramel sauce – Yum …
    Vanilla Bean – Super Yum …
    I wish I could get my hands on that jar.

  5. Um, wow… This looks (and sounds) utterly divine!!

  6. Wow!! This caramel sauce looks and sounds amazing! It immediately made my mouth water. I’ll definitely need to make this.

  7. This looks fabulous. I love the little specks of vanilla!

  8. WOW, this sounds incredible! Perfect for an ice cream sundae :) yummmmmy

  9. Such a beautiful sauce you made! I recently made a lovely chocolate sauce and would now love to make this recipe too!

  10. That sauce would make any dessert twice as tasty, cheesecake, ice cream, oh my the possibilities are endless. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I’d love it if you’d come by and link your sauce up.

  11. Stopping by from SITS…

    I could eat that with anything — by itself would be alright too! It looks SO divine!

  12. This looks absolutely divine. I haven’t cooked with vanilla beans but I really want to.

  13. L-O-V-I-N-G this recipe!!! I am a caramel lover… never used vanilla beans though but I so want to. This is perfection. I’m a new follower via email… looking forward to your posts :)

  14. This looks amazing and I bet it would be amazing over bread pudding! Maybe add a tsp of Jack Daniel’s!!! I was wondering how long this is supposed to keep?

  15. I am also wondering how long this would keep, I would like to make some for Christmas presents and don’t know if I should wait till the last minute, or if I can get a head start!?

    • Hmm, I’m not really sure! A Google search tells me that it will last for a long time in the fridge, but I wouldn’t make it too far in advance. It wouldn’t freeze well, so I would say make your cookies (which you can freeze) and hot chocolate mix, etc. early and this closer to when you are going to give the gift.

  16. I am wondering how much it makes

  17. If I want to make this for Christmas gifts, should I refrigerate it right up till the morning I give it and instruct the recipients to refrigerate it too?

    • Yes, I would keep it refrigerated. I’m sure it won’t go bad in several hours during the day (if you take it to work or something), but in general, it needs to stay cold. The beauty of not having preservatives! :)

  18. Thanks for the yummy caramel recipe! I just made it, and HOLY MOLEY it is GOOD! And I didn’t even have a vanilla bean. I can only imagine how much better it will be next time!

  19. Just wanted to say thanks for the tip about heating the cream in the microwave. I had made this exact recipe previously (from another site) but the tip about the cream resulted in no caramel chunks like last time.
    This sauces makes for a better than SB’s Iced Caramel Macchiato.

  20. Made this today for mothers day brunch tomorrow. The caramel seized (my fault) but I was able to melt it back down. I was actually surprised at how liquid-y the sauce was. I just threw it into a container and into the fridge- Im sure it will thicken up with some cooling. Look forward to tasting it.

    BTW- Couldnt believe how hard it was to find vanilla bean!!

    • Lindsay says:

      Eek, I hate when I do that! I’m glad you were able to melt it. Happy Mother’s Day!

      Also, I buy vanilla beans from They are surprisingly good and less expensive than the grocery. :)


  1. […] out the recipe for Vanilla Bean Caramel Sauce. […]

Speak Your Mind