I spent the last few weeks developing recipes that utilize my recipe for The Best Homemade Spiced Apple Cider. Of course, the recipe works beautifully as a warm beverage for a chilly night. I have used the recipe in a savory capacity: Chicken Thighs With Apple Cider Sauce. Now, I am going to use the apple cider in an easy and delicious sweet recipe: caramel sauce.
Not Your Run-Of-The-Mill Caramel Sauce
First off, caramel sauce is one of my favorite things to have on hand year-round. It is delicious served with cakes, cupcakes, ice cream, brownies - pretty much any dessert treat! It pairs perfectly with my "Hot Toddy" Spice Cake. I love to drizzle a slice of hot toddy cake with the caramel sauce. When I'm feeling extra fancy, I serve the cake with caramel sauce drizzled over a dollop of cinnamon whipped cream (¼ cup heavy cream whipped with 1 tsp. cinnamon).
I love making homemade caramel sauce so much that I thought, "Why not make an apple cider caramel sauce?" And let me tell you - IT IS SOOOO GOOD! Whether you eat it on cake, ice cream, or even out of the jar with a spoon (What? Just me?), this is a caramel sauce like no other. Sometimes, caramel sauce can be a little over-the-top with sweetness. The acidity and brightness from the apple cider help to balance the caramel and the result is luxurious, creamy, and gooey and not too cloyingly sweet.
Variations on this Recipe
When I can, I try to include variations on my recipes to inspire my readers to get creative in the kitchen!
If you would prefer a more "adult" version of this recipe, make the recipe as it is stated below. Then, whisk 1-2 tbsp. of bourbon into the caramel at the very end, after you turn the heat off. The addition of bourbon takes the sauce over the edge! Be careful not to serve this to kids, though! The alcohol does not cook out!
If you are looking for a standard caramel sauce recipe, make the recipe below but omit the apple cider.
Wanna try something new and different? Try omitting the apple cider and instead, mix in one of these ingredients:
- the juice and zest of an orange
- 1-2 tbsp. of chocolate-hazelnut spread (I would melt this in after the caramel is done cooking)
- ¼ cup of coffee, strongly brewed and then cooled
- ⅛ cup toasted and chopped almonds
What are your caramel sauce ideas? Leave me your comments below! I hope you enjoy getting creative in the kitchen with my apple cider caramel sauce!
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All of my posts contain my recommendations for essential tools. I have researched these tools. Many of them are already in my kitchen. The ones that are not come highly rated. I do the research so you don’t have to and I only recommend high-quality tools.
If you are just starting to furnish your kitchen with tools or if you are looking to expand your kitchen toolkit, be sure to reference Expert Guide: Equip Your Kitchen for Less Than $200. This guide contains links to all of the equipment items I recommend for a basic kitchen set up.
My essential tools when making this caramel recipe include the following:
- Cuisinart 619-14 Chef's Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 1-Quart Saucepan with Cover
- OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Balloon Whisk
Easy and Delicious Gooey Apple Cider Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp. butter unsalted
- 1 pinch salt
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup apple cider
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt light brown sugar, butter, and salt - stir constantly until fully melted, about 3-4 minutes.
- Once the butter mixture is melted, add cream. Be very careful - the cream will cause the sugar mixture to bubble up. Continue whisking for 3 minutes.
- Add apple cider and whisk another 3 minutes. Turn off heat and let the caramel cool. It will thicken as it cools. Drizzle over a sweet treat and enjoy!