Homemade Caramel Sauce (In Your Crock-Pot)

Homemade Caramel Sauce

Although I love cooking, I am far from a professional chef. I’ve never taken a culinary class, never worked in a restaurant, never written a cookbook (I’d love to though!), never have I done anything to even come close to being anything more than a girl that loves to cook. I have no knowledge of how to fillet a fish, cut a chicken, decorate a cake, or make tofu edible (the last two are a work in progress). I’m not fancy in the kitchen and I often skip steps (is it really always necessary to mix the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl?….I think not!). I also insist on changing up almost every¬† recipe I try and have burnt my fare share of cookies.My point is, my culinary skills are somewhat…ah hem….lacking. Because of this, I often find myself intimidated in the kitchen. And, while I do enjoy taking risk (A fat free, egg free cupcake…risky and delicious!), some risk I’m just too scared to take just yet. Homemade caramel on the stove was one of them.

This version of homemade caramel is perfect for a caramel making beginner. It involves virtually zero effort and yields amazing results!¬† Sweetened condensed milk, a mason jar, water, a crock-pot, and time is all you need to make a delicious, thick, creamy caramel that is perfect for topping, dipping, filling, or eating with a spoon (…oops). Who knew it could be so easy or taste so good?!Homemade Caramel Sauce.....

Homemade Caramel (In Your Crock-Pot)

Adapted from Stephanie O’Dea

Yields 14 Ounces


1 (14 Ounce) Can Sweetened Condensed Milk *(Full Fat, Low Fat, or Fat Free)

Mason Jar (14 Ounces or Larger)

Water (Lots!)

Open the condensed milk can and pour contents into a mason jar.
Homemade Caramel Sauce.
Place the lid on the jar and then set the jar in your crock-pot. Fill the crock-pot with enough water to cover about 1-2 inches above where the condensed milk sits in the jar. (If you put too much water in, the jar will bobble around. If this happens, just remove a little water at a time until the jar stays in place.)
Homemade Caramel Sauce..
Once the jar is settled, place the lid on your crock pot…if it fits. If the lid does not fit because the jars are too tall, just cover the top of your crock-pot with aluminum foil.Homemade Caramel Sauce...

Turn the pot on low heat and cook for 6-8 hours. Carefully remove the lid from your crock-pot and turn heat off. Allow jars to sit until they are cool enough to handle then, remove them from the pot and carefully take the lid off the jar. Yay! Caramel! Serve as desired. Keep any unused caramel refrigerated. Enjoy!



* I tried this will the full fat, low fat, and fat free versions of condensed milk. All produced equally tasty results but, the full fat version produced the most creamy caramel. The low fat version was still creamy but, thicker and it would be a bit difficult to drizzle over anything but, not impossible. The fat free version, while it tasted good, the texture was pretty weird. It looked a bit like mousse but was rich and caramely. The full fat version is what is pictured in this post.Homemade Caramel Sauce....

You can do this with more than one mason jar at a time if your crock-pot is large enough. Follow the same rules as above. Just be sure all jars sit flat on the bottom of the pot.

Homemade Caramel Sauce.......I would also like to give a quick thank you to the people who commented on Stephanie O’Dae’s crock-pot caramel sauce post and suggested the use of a mason jar. Traditionally, caramel made from sweetened condensed milk is heated in the can it comes in as Stephanie showed in her post. I was all set to make it this way until I read the comments on her site stating that heating a can releases the BPA thus causing it to leech into the caramel. So, “Thank you!” to Stephanie’s readers for the mason jar idea and “Thank you!” to Stephanie for introducing me to the amazingness that is crock-pot caramel!

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Homemade Caramel Sauce (In Your Crock-Pot) — 25 Comments

    • I love that you added sea salt and vanilla! That sounds yummy! This method of making caramel doesn’t produce a gourmet quality caramel, so if you are used to the fancy stuff, I’m sure this isn’t quite on par. It is however much better than the jarred stuff they sell in the stores so, depending on what you’re looking for, this recipe (as you demonstrated), can be changed up a bit to suit individual taste. I’ll have to give the sea salt and vanilla a try next time I make this. Thanks for the suggestion!

  1. How do you keep the caramel warm & “dippable”? We’d like to use this for caramel apples at the kids fall fest…any thoughts/suggestions?
    Can you dump it in the crockpot on low?

    • I think dumping it in the crock-pot would work! I would however keep it on warm and not low to avoid it burning and also to make sure the kids don’t burn their hand if they accidentally touch it. Have fun at the fall fest!

    • I don’t know if it is necessary, but I did just in case. I then warmed what I needed in the microwave. That part definitely isn’t necessary, but I like mine warm :) I would use it up within 5-7 days. It may last longer, but I really can’t say for sure, so I don’t want to advise you to keep it any longer. It’s so good though, I doubt it will last that long anyways!

  2. Omg I am trying this tomorrow!!! I use my crock pot for absolutely everything, including making yogurt and feta cheese, so this is just one more fabulous recipe for the crock. Thanks a bunch. Love caramel. xoxoxoxoxo

    • Yogurt and feta cheese?! I didn’t know you could make them in the crock pot. I’m definitely going to look into that! Thanks for letting me know! I hope the caramel turns out great for you. I’m craving some now!!

  3. Really don’t need the mason jar. Just peel off the label, put the can on a saucer ( to avoid a rust ring ), cover the can with water, set the heat ( 4 hours High, 8 hours Low ).
    After cooking, take the can out of the water and allow to cool to warm.
    The longer it cooks, the darker it will get – though it CAN get overcooked if you completely forget about it.
    Try the basic times first, then experiment an extra hour at a time.
    No extra flavorings are needed.

    • Hi Robert. Thanks for taking the time to comment! While the caramel can be cooked in the can, the mason jar is used because heating the can causes any BPA that the can is lined with to leach into the condensed milk. If that is not a concern to you though, you certainly can skip the mason jar though!

  4. If you use the full fat version and serve it warm, it should pour or at least drizzle fairly easily on it’s own. If you did want the consistency a bit thinner though, I’m sure adding in some cream would do the trick! I haven’t personally tried it though, so to be safe, I’d take out just a little of the caramel and mix it to make sure it will work. That way, you don’t ruin the whole jar of caramel if by chance it doesn’t work. I hope it turns out great for you!

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