Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

I love caramel anything.

Right up there with vanilla flavored or vanilla scented anything, caramel makes me do the happy dance.

Add a little dark rum to it?  Even better.

Try not to just drink this caramel sauce.  Because I totally wanted to.



Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

1 c sugar

1/4 c water

1/2 c butter (1 stick)

1/2 c heavy cream (I used half-and-half)

1 tsp vanilla extract (I used TJ’s bourbon vanilla)

2 tbsp dark rum (or bourbon, whiskey, other rum, or other liquor such as Gran Marnier, Cointreau, etc. – adding alcohol is entirely optional and if you omit, you’ll still have amazing caramel sauce)


Place sugar in a heavy sauce pan or medium-sized pot and add the water.  Turn stove to medium-high heat and stir  until sugar has dissolved (avoid letting sugar burn)

Cover pot, turn heat to high, and boil for 2 minutes.

Remove lid and continue to boil on high heat until syrup turns brown around the edges of the pan.  Swirl the pan occasionally until mixture turns a deep amber and begins to smoke.

Remove pan from heat.

Add butter (the mixture will really bubble) and gently stir until all butter is mixed in.

Stir in cream (more bubbling)

Add vanilla extract and rum (or liquor of choice).

Stir until bubbling stops.  (If sauce become lumpy, set pan over low heat and stir until smooth then remove from heat)

Pour into glass (or heat-safe) container. 

And immediately put your pot and any utensils used into some soapy water so that cleanup is not an exercise in elbow-grease-Hades.


I admit that it’s a bit scary working with boiling sugar and any time one makes candy, caramels, or sauces that involve boiling sugar, this is a time to be 100% focused on what you’re doing because in 4-5 minutes, it’s all over.

In those 5 minutes, pay attention to what you’re doing so you don’t burn yourself, burn the house down, or worse, waste all that good sugar, butter, and cream.

This is what the sugar + water looks like after it’s dissolved and boiling for 30-45 seconds

Barely browned on the left side of the pot

This is 30 seconds later.  Much more browned.

You should be swirling the pot right about now.  Not taking pictures!

And this is 1 minute after that.

Browned and ready.

And, it has just created the most luscious scent in your house that will linger and waft for the next 18 hours making sure you remember you have caramel sauce on hand.

Now remove it from the heat and start adding the butter, cream, vanilla, and rum as directed.

Stir and get ready to dig into your caramel sauce which literally only takes 5-10 minutes to make.

I used apples because I had them on hand, but you could dip peaches, nectarines, bread, crackers, cucumbers or kale leaves or a dirty sock in this stuff.

Really, it will work with anything.

And everything does taste better emerging from a caramel bath.

Hungry yet?

Or shall I say thirsty?

Drink up Spoon Up and enjoy!

I thought I’d show you just how much I adore caramel:

In cookies: Vegan GF Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan, GF)

In caramel macchiatos (vegan)

In raw vegan caramel form (3 ingredients! and vegan, GF)

and Raw Vegan Caramel Nut Butter Bites are always a hit

And if you want a sweet dessert to get drunk off with a lovely touch of rum in it, try my Vegan Bananas Foster recipe

Combining a caramel-ey finish, flaming bananas, lots of sugar, and lots of rum.  Perfect.

From my last post, Cookie Monster, it was fun hearing what your favorite types of cookies are!


1. Do you like Caramel?  Fave ways to eat it?

One of my least favorite ways to use caramel was when a jar of caramel sauce fell out of my cupboard and shattered all over my floor.

What a sticky, glassey, nightmare that went on for hours.  Days if you count the miniscule glass fragments that I kept finding.  Shudder.

2. Do you ever make any sauces, dips, or recipes with alcohol in them?

Not that I am a boozehound these days, but I do think cooking with a little something-something every now and then can add a nice layer of flavor to a recipe.

All the actual alcohol gets burned off anyway, and what remains is the flavor layer and depth it imparted, which is usually pretty subtle, anyway.  Unless we’re talking bananas foster.  Not subtle, and I love that.

My Rum Cake Balls (no-bake, vegan, GF)  are really tasty and are middle-of-the-road in terms of how much alcohol you can taste.

Nothing like the cake from story I told from our time in the Caribbean that inspired the recipe in terms of alcohol content!


And to each her own.  If you don’t drink, aren’t old enough to drink, don’t drink for health or other reasons, rock on.  All of my recipes that call for alcohol will still “work” or “turn out” just fine if you don’t add it.

3. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

I slurped down some Dark Rum Caramel Sauce, but of course.

And I have plans for Sunday still!

Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

97 comments on “Dark Rum Caramel Sauce”

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  2. Hi there! Just made this sauce and even after it has cooled all the way, the viscosity seems very thin. Any ideas on how to salvage it? Thanks!

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  4. Hi! I’m wondering about canning caramel & hot fudge. Do you ever make big batches and then can them for longer term storage? Any tips / tricks you can offer? Thanks, everything looks amazing!

  5. I’m working in a kitchen so I burned myself a few times with caramel,it’s the worst burn oif all and the marks stays on the skin,so be really careful and don’t use the highest heat,it’s not neccessary and you’ll easily burn it. Try the different heat levels on your stove,it takes time to make the perfect caramel,but it’s worth it :)
    (i’m using less butter,I think it’s a bit too much in the recipe)

  6. Just made this….it seemed like too much butter when I looked at the recipe and then it separated when I added it to the syrup and is all gloppy and a pool of butter floats on top. I tried boiling it more and it got a bunch of the clumps out but i had to strain it To get the rest out. I’ve had to make another batch of syrup to add in hopes that it will work :( I don’t remember ever having this issue before…any thoughts on how to salvage?

    • I would just simmer it over a low heat, barely boiling, so you don’t burn it…eventually the water will cook out and it will reduce. There’s so many variables involved in making sauces like this that it’s impossible to say what went awry and where, but I would just simmer it to reduce it. When you say clumps…that would indicate you have undissolved sugar and you didn’t stir it well enough and it’s crystallizing on you…so hard to say. Hope the 2nd batch goes better for you!

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  13. Can I can this stuff? I am looking for yummy holiday gifts and would love to include this in the gift baskets, but I need to be able to can it.

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  15. I was wondering how many oz this makes cuz im thinking of trying it in another recipe. Of course I wont be making it for another month or so cuz im 3 weeks from my due date w my lil girl :)

  16. I brought some with me to the park with my friends and they literally drank it, poured it on chips, and dipped carrot sticks in it! It really does go with everything. I plan to make more tonight!

  17. All I have to say is YUM! I just poured it over a whipping cream pound cake. It is soo good!

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  19. As much as I’d love to stick my face in this, how long do you think the sauce would keep if I stored it in a jar?

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  21. Yeah, I’m not sure about dipping dirty socks but I would put caramel sauce on just about anything else!

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