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Caramelized Sugar Sauce

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  • Author: Maureen Haddock
  • Total Time: 22 minutes


I have many delicious sauce recipes that contain brown sugar but making a sauce by melting white sugar reminds me of my late mother-in-law. I now own the small cast iron fry pan that she once used to melt the sugar. I prefer a lighter coloured pan so I can see how dark the sugar is becoming. Sauce made this way has a toffee flavour and is worth the effort, occasionally.


Units Scale
  • 2/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • A dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla


Melt sugar on medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan. On a burner calibrated from 1 to 10, I place the saucepan on heat 4. Resist the urge to stir the sugar, but keep an eye on it because once the edges melt, the rest gets golden very quickly. This can take up to 12 minutes. Be patient.

To the now golden-brown liquid sugar, add one cup of boiling water slowly, while stirring. This can spatter, so be careful. Let this mixture simmer until it is smooth.

Mix the cornstarch and salt into the tablespoon of cold water. Gently whisk the cornstarch mixture into the caramel liquid. Cook until the cornstarch begins to bubble and thicken.

Remove from heat and stir the butter and vanilla into the sauce.

Cool the sauce and pour it into a glass jar or jug. Reheat when ready to serve. This sauce keeps for several days, refrigerated.


Try using a whole tablespoon of cornstarch for a slightly thicker sauce.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Icings & Sauces
  • Method: Stove Top

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