Bourbon Salted Caramel Recipe

When people talk about bourbon salted caramel, they are referring to either a sauce or candy.

Bourbon salted caramel sauce is great for drizzling over pies, cakes and even coffee.

Bourbon salted caramel candy is a great adult snack for home parties and family reunions. You can also gift the candy to friends and family.

I’m feeling particularly generous, so I’ve included both recipes. The sauce and candy are super easy to make and you probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen already.

What You’ll Need

a. For the Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (1/4 teaspoon if using pure vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon (or more if you want a boozier sauce)
  • Flaked sea salt, about 1 teaspoon

b. For the Candy

  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • 1 can (about 400g) sweet condensed milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (or more depending on how boozy you want the candy to be)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Flaked sea salt

You’ll also need a candy thermometer.


a. Bourbon Salted Caramel Sauce

  1. Pour sugar into a thick saucepan. Add the water.
  2. Let the water and sugar come to a simmer under medium heat. Do not stir the mixture, either using a spatula or by shaking or tilting the pan. Stirring the mixture will introduce air, which hardens the caramel. We are making a sauce, not candy.
  3. Carefully watch the mixture as it changes colour. It’ll turn golden and then a deep amber. Remove the saucepan from the fire before the mixture turns dark. If it turns dark, your caramel will taste bitter.
  4. Immediately after taking the pan off the hob, add heavy cream and butter. Whisk until the butter melts and the mixture is blended.
  5. Add bourbon and vanilla extract and whisk some more.
  6. Let the caramel cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer it to a heat-safe jug or container. Stir occasionally as it continues to cool. Your bourbon salted caramel sauce is ready.

b. Bourbon Salted Caramel Candy

  1. Add sugar, corn syrup and water to a sauce over medium heat. Bring to a boil as you gently stir to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Keep stirring occasionally until the mixture turns into a deep amber colour. Do not let it become dark.
  3. Take the pan off the hob and immediately add butter and sweet condensed milk. For best results, both ingredients should be at room temperature. Watch out for bubbling when you add them into the pan.
  4. Return pan to the hob and attach the candy thermometer. Set the heat at medium.
  5. Whisk the mixture continuously to keep it from sticking and keep an eye on the thermometer. When it reaches 115C, remove the pan from heat.
  6. Whisk in bourbon and kosher salt.
  7. Pour the mixture into an 8 x 8 inch baking tin with a coating of non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper (make sure the paper hangs out a bit outside the pan to make it easy to remove the candy).
  8. Let the mixture cool in the baking tin until it hardens.
  9. Lay the hardened caramel on a board and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. Cut into neat ¾” or 1” candy pieces depending on how big you want them.

To keep the candy in good condition for long, wrap the pieces in individual plastic wraps and store them in an airtight container. You do not need to refrigerate unless you plan to store them for more than 3 weeks.

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