How to Make Caramel Sauce Thicker

Caramel sauces come in different textures depending on how thick or thin you want them to be. You can make them really thick for confections, thin for beverages, or vice versa, or maybe even somewhere in between. For a caramel lover like me, there’s no ultimate rule – it’s just a matter of preference.

Having made caramel sauce for years, I’ve found my preferences. I know my ratio well and can play around with the consistency however I want to. Some days I want it thin, other days thick.

I put it on my pies, cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, scones, brownies, turnovers, cookies, cinnamon rolls, pudding, tarts, pretzels, ice cream, waffles, coffee, and even lick it on a spoon! There’s so much you can do with caramel sauce and knowing how to change its’ consistency can do wonders.

Since I started this blog, I’ve added several caramel recipes, each having different consistencies and richness. This includes some recipes using different techniques and ingredients such as making caramel sauce using brown sugar, then there’s another one without cream or butter, and you can also make one using evaporated milk

If any of these recipes sound interesting to you, feel free to browse and look around. These recipes are sure to work so there’s no trial and error here. There are also plenty of other caramel recipes here for caramel lovers along with recipes for so many more confections that are great for sweet tooths like us. 

On the other hand, if you have your own caramel sauce recipe, but find it too thin for some of your confections, you don’t need to whip up a thicker batch. Keep that jar. 

I’ll show you how to make caramel sauce thicker. There are actually several ways to do it and they work really well regardless if your caramel sauce is homemade or store-bought.

Ways to Thicken Caramel Sauce

If you made your own caramel sauce at home and need it to be thicker for whatever reason, or you bought a jar that you find too thin for your liking, or if you have a recipe that always gives you thin and runny caramel sauce, don’t fret. 


The thing with caramel sauce is that its’ consistency is easy to adjust. That means you can have thicker sauce without making a new batch or buying another jar.

Here are some ways to thicken your good ol’ caramel sauce.

1. Make Alterations in Your Recipe

If you’re making your own caramel sauce from scratch and it turned out too thin, here are things you can do to make your next batch thicker.

  • Reduce the amount of milk

The more milk you add, the thinner your caramel sauce will be. Take a look at your recipe and consider cutting the milk quantity in half. It will result in a thicker caramel sauce while also reducing the cooking time.

If it turns out too thick, add a splash of milk at a time until you get the desired consistency.

  • Use cream instead of milk

If your recipe uses milk and you find the result too thin, use cream instead. I had this recipe that doesn’t uses cream or butter, but that was because I needed a caramel sauce that’s thin enough for me to drizzle over my coffee.

Milk makes the caramel sauce a little bit runny and cream does the exact opposite. Replacing milk with cream will resolve your problems. 

Heavy whipped cream works best and will yield thicker results without changing the taste. All it does is alter the consistency in the manner that you want.

  • Add more sugar

If you don’t happen to have cream handy and can’t substitute milk with cream, add more sugar to the recipe instead. More sugar will make the caramel sauce thicker. Try adding another third of the amount of surge called for in the recipe.

Thick caramel sauce dripping from a spoon.

2. Use Thickeners

The next thing you can do to make your caramel sauce thicker is adding thickeners. There are three ingredients you can use: flour, cornstarch or tapioca flour.

  • Flour – dissolve 2 teaspoons of flour in ¼ cup of cold water for every cup (240 ml) of caramel sauce. Add it to the caramel sauce, stirring constantly.

    Heat the caramel over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Cornstarch – dissolve a teaspoon of cornstarch in a tablespoon of cold water for every cup of caramel sauce. Stir the caramel sauce continuously upon pouring the thickener to get the right consistency.

    Heat the caramel over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  • Tapioca flour – this is the best thickener you can use because it doesn’t change the color of the caramel. Add a teaspoon of tapioca flour into the caramel sauce and whisk until dissolved.

    Heat the caramel over low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

    Add more tapioca flour, if desired, and repeat the process if you need an even thicker caramel sauce.

3. Thickening Your Caramel Sauce Without Added Ingredients

If for some reason you have no thickeners available or are looking for methods to thicken the caramel sauce without adding flour or cornstarch, here are some things you can do.

  • Cook the caramel sauce some more

    Caramel sauce thickens if simmered over low heat. Cooking it for 10 extra minutes will make it thicker than its’ current state. This is because it will make the liquid evaporate and will make the sauce thicker.

    Make sure not to overdo it though to prevent your caramel from burning.
  • Let the caramel sit for a long period

    After cooking the caramel sauce, leaving it to sit for a longer period will make it thicken. Cooling it down for some time makes it thicker than it is when it’s still hot or warm.
  • Reheat the caramel on the stove

    This works on both homemade and store-bought caramel sauce that has been kept in the fridge. Simmer the sauce in a pan over medium heat until it becomes thicker. The same concept is applied here as with the freshly cooked caramel sauce. Reheating it helps the liquid components evaporate which leads to a thicker caramel sauce.

Any of these methods will help you make a thicker caramel sauce. So don’t think about whipping up a fresh batch. Keep that jar of thin caramel sauce and use any of the above tricks, they all work great!



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