Dark Rum Caramel Sauce


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I love caramel anything.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

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

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

Add a little dark rum to it?  Even better.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

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

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce



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

Dark Rum Caramel SauceBarely browned on the left side of the pot

This is 30 seconds later.  Much more browned.

Dark Rum Caramel SauceYou should be swirling the pot right about now.  Not taking pictures!

And this is 1 minute after that.

Dark Rum Caramel SauceBrowned 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.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce


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.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

Really, it will work with anything.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

And everything does taste better emerging from a caramel bath.

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

Hungry yet?


Or shall I say thirsty?


Drink up Spoon Up and enjoy!

Dark Rum Caramel Sauce

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

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

Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

In caramel macchiatos (vegan)

Overhead of caramel macchiato in mug

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

raw vegan caramel

and Raw Vegan Caramel Nut Butter Bites are always a hit

Raw Vegan Caramel Nut Butter Bites

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

Vegan Bananas Foster in panCombining 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.

Broken jar of Caramel Sauce on floorWhat 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.

Close up of Rum Cake BallsNothing 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!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. 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!

  2. 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!

    1. I have a caramel recipe and a hot fudge recipe

      And while I haven’t canned them, the hot fudge will last for months in the fridge and the caramel for at least a month at room temp. However, there are no preservatives and so you have to use common sense. I haven’t experimented with actually canning them though.

  3. 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)

  4. 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?

    1. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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 :)

    1. About 12, give or take…just a guesstimate. It’s what you’d get in probably 2 small/average jars of storebought sauce.

  7. 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!

    1. oh I LOVE comments like this! SO GLAD it was a hit! Keep me posted if there are any more fun stories :)

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

  9. Know what would go great with this recipe? A frozen margarita! LOL Seriously! There are many other terrific cocktails, to be sure. But when you’ve got an excellent frozen margarita recipe, nothing beats it! My perennial favorite is still the ORIGINAL Jimmy Buffett Margarita – not all the time easy to find as of late, since Mr. Buffett now promotes his own mix and tequila. But it’s out there. I actually have a copy of the recipe (and quite a few more) on my site! Give it a try!

  10. Caramel is a wonderful thing! I love making it from scratch, adding roasted pecans and serving it over cheesecake. Then I mix the leftover sauce (with pecans) into Cool Whip and freeze it. That gets scooped out like ice cream onto cones. DROOL!!!!! Not healthy by any means, but we all deserve some junk food here and there. right?? LOL

  11. Umm speaking of caramel, my friends said those Salted Caramel popsicles at the Viva Pop stand were AMAZING. I had the Strawberry Basil which was so good, I went in & bought a regular size one at the end of the event! :-)

    1. By the time we got to Viva Pops, they were out of everything except key lime. Scott said the key lime pop was probably the best thing he ate all day. And he likes cheese, salty, savory, etc…not a key lime guy..at all. But he loved it!

  12. LOL I totally believe that this stuff could make even a dirty sock taste good. ;) I love caramel but I never bake with it for some reason! But my mom makes an amazing oat, chocolate and caramel bar recipe that I’m dying to try out.

  13. I still want to make those cookies, but I cannot find peanut flower in my city at all :-(

  14. i wish there were a way to make vegan caramel sauce. its just not the same. at all. i used to adore caramel with apple slices. mmmm…

    1. You could try almond milk or homemade cashew or hemp seed milk + margarine but really, it’s gonna be tricky.

      The best bet is to use brown sugar and Karo syrup and go about that methodology IMO.

  15. Caramel is one of my faves too! Vanilla is number 1 though! :D YUMMY!
    When i look at that broken jar of caramel sauce I want to cry…
    Best thing I did this weekend is turn 30! Woooo! Big party, lots of family and friends, great food and music = Perfect! PLUS the sun came out and it was singlet weather… We’re in the middle of winter over here! So it was gorgeous!
    Oh oh oh and I have a recipe for YOU!
    Best thing I made/ate this weekend was White Tim Tam Balls. White Tim Tams, condensed milk and coconut. Whats not to love?! :D

  16. If I hadn’t just inhaled way too many meringue cookies, I’d be all over this right now. As it is, the thought of sugar is enough to make me….well, you know. The photos however, made me drool, and in the sugar-shocked state I am in that is saying A LOT. Normally in this condition, pictures like this wouldn’t be remotely appealing, but theses….you’ve got the goods, friend.

    1. well my photos ALL got rejected.

      I resubmitted to FG but yeah, nothing like spending tons of time on…rejection. GrrR!

      Thanks for saying you liked them; I truly needed that right now :)

  17. ow! What a great treat! I love caramel flavor with apples- SO good! Best thing I did this weekend? See the outcome of Josh’s sister painting our baby room! Pictures to come tomorrow

  18. This looks and sounds quite delicious! Around the holidays and for gifts in general we make a lot of rum cakes in my house. Sometimes we’ll switch it up and use a different kind of liquor but I think rum is the best!

  19. Yum…that sauce looks amazing! I had fun teaching yoga outside yesterday at a campground. Loved the breeze and eating lunch afterwards out by the lake.

  20. Oh Wow! YUM YUM YUM!!!!!

    I love caramel. Especially a good, deep, dark caramel like this.

    Was I mistaken when I thought that you were vegan? I am a little confused, I think.

      1. Oh ok! Thanks for clarifying! I love your blog…it got me addicted to homemade iced coffee.

  21. mmm that looks RICH! i make a grand marnier sauce to drizzle over pcakes sometimes for brunch.just got rid of nate’s fam who has been staying with us since fri so unfortunately my sunday leisure is a mad scramble to clean up, and restart the week. lots of cooking this afternoon to get me ready for work lunches etc. oh adulthood ha.

    1. “a grand marnier sauce to drizzle over pcakes sometimes for brunch.”— swoon!!!

  22. Best thing I did this weekend was go to a motorcycle course (which I’m at right now!) and watch my boy-friend do what they love haha.

  23. That’s so funny, I made a pineapple upside-down cake with rum caramel this weekend! You’ve shown me the light… I should’ve just made a bowl of caramel and shoved my face in it. There’s totally still time to make that happen.

  24. That looks like an ice cream topping to me!!! YUMMMM

    I would have nightmares about that caramel shattering. I hate breaking glass, and with 16 little feline walking around, makes me extra stressed.

    Haven’t talked all weekend. Miss you <3

  25. This looks great! I love caramel. I would definitely drizzle this over a spice cake. Holy Yum!

  26. Yummy! I do love to incorporate alcohol into recipes :) It gives it that extra special kick!

  27. dip kale or a dirty sock… haa, that’s awesome.

    I’m not a big rum fan, but in this? yes please!

    Happy Sunday!

  28. Oh my! This looks amazing! I olove love love caramel, and I bet this goes great with the apples! And over icecream, or pancakes..

  29. My goodness I think I put weight on just looking at your blog! :D Everything always looks so good! And I love cooking stews with red wines… yum! Apart from that I’m not so adventurous with alcohol… aside from when drinking it! ;)

  30. omg, the picture are absolutely stunning!!! I bet it took quite a while to decorate everything to make it look that great!
    best thing I did over the weekend: I took part in a spinning-marathon (3 hours). One of the most amazing things I have ever done!

  31. Mmmm caramel! Awesome food photography as always.
    I’ve been wanting to make your rum cake balls for a while now and since this post has sparked some serious caramel cravings, and I always love to bake on Sundays, I just might have to give them a try!

  32. Yum, the caramel sauce looks great. My hemp fudge balls actually tasted a little like rum balls, not sure how. :-P But I adore chewy, date-based raw vegan caramels with nuts – yum! So great recipes in this post! :-)

    1. Yes!
    2. I add wine to cooked vegan dishes a lot and the occasional fruit cocktail in the Vita-Mix.
    3. Went out to eat last night and got a lot done in the house.

    1. “My hemp fudge balls actually tasted a little like rum balls”–well i need to make them then :)

  33. I’m sitting here munching on an apple and wishing I had that caramel sauce! Man, and here I thought this delicious juicy apple was good, but that sauce would make it GREAT! I love, love, love caramel! I have made a caramel sauce before and I have actually burned the crap out of a caramel sauce before, lol. But I don’t think I’ve ever made anything or cooked with alcohol before.

  34. oh. my…. this looks heavenly. Honestly butter and cream make any recipe ten fold better. I would never be able to live without those two! Your pictures!!!! I know a lot of people compliment you on them lately, but I just have to say you really have improved so much on the composition especially. Love it!

  35. Double YUM! I could see it being amazing on top of oatmeal. Holy yum!
    Quick question, if one was interested in buying a purse online… where would she go? Any ideas?

  36. I love caramel!
    I’ve never made anything sweet with alcohol but I’ve made savory wine sauces before. Yum!!

  37. Caramel is right up there with my most favourite things! I don’t really bake with alcohol, but I am with you on the vanilla, love it!

  38. This looks delicious! Apples are a great choice for dipping. Some nuts would be yummy too, maybe almonds or brazil nuts?

  39. Haha…I love caramel anything AND I love rum anything, so this is perfection for me :-)

  40. OH. MY. GOD. I am going to MAKE this. Caramel is awesome.
    Yesterday I went to an art festival, which was cool. I picked up some artisan chive and onion dip mix and put it in some greek yogurt. So good.

  41. Girl, this caramel sauce looks amazing! Love the apple dunkers too. Just submitted to StumbleUpon :)

    1. thanks for the Stumble submit, I heart you.

      FG and TS both…rejected. But I resubmitted to FG. I dont get them! lol

  42. That caramel sauce with the apples looks unbelievable. Such amazing photos, I can almost taste it just by looking at them. I love caramel, but I hardly ever eat it. And cooking with alcohol – even though I don’t drink, I do think a bit of booze in desserts can be a really nice addition.

  43. …but all of this talk of caramel begs the question: is it ‘care-uh-mel’ or ‘car-muhl’? ;)
    i can just imagine those crisp apples covered with this stuff. looks, sounds and reads to be amazing!!
    cooking with alcohol…i have been lately (i mean, once you buy a bottle, you’ve got a whole bottle!) and like you said, i enjoy the extra layer of flavor. and besides. kahlua is just plain good. i’ve also done glazes with red wine and that was fun – although i can’t say i’ll be making vodka brownies anytime soon ;)

  44. I am sooo with you on vanilla. I really don’t make many sauces with alcohol, other than maybe using some wine in them.

  45. I looooove caramel! It is one of my VERY favorite things. But I don’t drink alcohol, and even when I did, rum was my least favorite drink. You know what though? This looks irresistible. Only you could make me want to drink rum again, Averie! You are a genius!

  46. I totally see why you would want to drink this. My question is how do you contain yourself because i don’t think I could!