- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- Pinch of salt (optional)
- Combine Sugar and Water: In a large microwave-safe bowl, mix together the granulated sugar and water. Make sure the bowl is big enough as the sugar mixture will bubble up when it heats.
- Microwave: Place the bowl in the microwave and heat on high power for 4-5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, as the sugar can go from caramel to burnt very quickly. The mixture should turn a golden brown color.
- Add Butter and Cream: Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave (it will be extremely hot) and quickly stir in the butter until it’s completely melted. Then, gradually add in the heavy cream, stirring constantly. The mixture will bubble and steam, so be careful to avoid burns.
- Final Touches: If using, stir in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor. Mix well until you have a smooth caramel.
- Cool Down: Let the caramel cool for a minute or two in the bowl, then pour it into a glass jar or heat-resistant container. Be careful, as the caramel will still be very hot.
- Complete the Cooling: Allow the caramel to cool completely at room temperature. It will thicken as it cools.
- Watch the sugar mixture closely while in the microwave. The exact cooking time may vary depending on your microwave’s power.
- If the caramel is too thick once cooled, you can reheat it slightly to reach the desired consistency.
- Always use caution when handling the hot sugar mixture to prevent burns.
- Drizzle the caramel over ice cream, cakes, or sliced apples.
- Use it as a sweet dip for fruit or cookies.
- Swirl it into brownies or cheesecake batter before baking.
Enjoy your quick and delicious homemade caramel!