Buttermilk Caramel Sauce

Well, it’s official. I am, 100%, without a doubt, absolutely NOT allowed to make anything like this again until mid-June, AFTER our wedding. I’m trying to lose weight, not tempt myself into gaining 5 pounds in one sitting.
Because this stuff? This Buttermilk Caramel Sauce? This is tasty stuff. It’s also known as Buttermilk Syrup, but really it’s a caramel sauce in my book. Folks do serve it over pancakes and french toast for breakfast, but I think it’s going to remain a dessert-only ice cream sauce for me.

It’s rich, sweet, buttery, and has the teeniest hint of tanginess… and served warm over a couple scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream? I need some plain celery and four hours on the elliptical machine, stat.

But you – I’m sure you have more self control than I do. So go ahead, make this for your friends, your family, yourself. And enjoy.

I’ll just be here on the elliptical gnawing on a stalk of celery.

(My guy awards this recipe TWO Grunts Up. “It was tasty, and I wanted more!”)

Print Recipe

Buttermilk Caramel Sauce

Rich. Sweet. Buttery. Buttermilk Caramel Sauce is a caramel sauce recipe like no other. I prefer it as an ice cream topping, but many call this stuff "buttermilk syrup" and have it over waffles and pancakes for breakfast. Caramel for breakfast?! I'm totally in.

Yield: 2 cups

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Mix together the sugar, buttermilk, butter, corn syrup, baking soda and salt in a medium to large saucepan (a larger saucepan is important, as the mixture will foam up).
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to simmer.
  3. As soon as the mixture starts simmering, set the timer for 7 minutes.
  4. Continue cooking (it'll start boiling soon), stirring frequently. The mixture will gradually become a light amber color as the sugar caramelizes.
  5. When the timer goes off, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  6. Let cool slightly, then serve over ice cream (or if you really want to go the breakfast route: Pancakes, waffles, french toast, fruit, you name it.)
  7. The sauce thickens as it cools, but it should still be pourable. If it gets too thick, just set the container in some warm water or microwave for a few seconds to thin it.

Slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com.

Originally published on The Hazel Bloom April 8, 2010. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty November 6, 2012. More about this

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12 Responses to “Buttermilk Caramel Sauce”

  1. Jessica @ How Sweet posted on April 28, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    That is a sin.

  2. Mama JJ posted on April 28, 2010 at 1:38 pm

    Oh my. I need some buttermilk. And ice cream.

  3. Crazy Lady posted on April 28, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Why on earth did you buy that ice cream machine? Now I want one! Ice Cream with your sauce. Sounds like another 3 mile walk. Soon as my nap is over and it quits raining.

  4. chocolate shavings posted on April 29, 2010 at 8:07 am

    Looks amazing!

  5. Memoria posted on April 29, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    Yum. This sauce looks divine. I’ve seen something similar somewhere else and have been meaning to make this. Great photos.

  6. Ashley posted on April 30, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    looks Amazing!! how long does it keep??

  7. Mama JJ posted on May 1, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I just made this. And I am never, ever reading this blog again. I am ruined.
    (I gave my ten-year-old son a taste and he said. “MM. It’s good.” A second later, “Mm. It’s GOOD.” A couple seconds later, “Mm! It’s REALLY good!”)

  8. Adrienne posted on May 1, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    So good! I made this earlier in the week to go with waffles, and then again as a dipping sauce for apples. Can’t wait to try it with ice cream. Thanks!

  9. Kare posted on May 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Ashley,
    Not long in this house! ;) We don’t keep it around long enough for it to go bad, but I think it’s safe to say it would last at least 4 days in the fridge.

  10. Kare posted on May 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Adrienne, so glad you like it! I’m trying *so hard* not to make it again. :)

  11. Kare posted on May 1, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    Mama JJ, your son sounds too cute. :) Glad he enjoyed it!

  12. wendyb964 posted on November 29, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    omgosh, this sounds to die for! Each year I make a homemade hot fudge sauce with chocolate I’ve brought back from Spain (ostensibly to make their hot chocolate–basically melted choc with a dab of milk, serve in espresso cups.) This caramel sauce will be a perfect accompaniment: small basket with decorative straw/whatever, a small jar of each with warning to refrig or freeze, and a nice holiday cellophane wrapping. Thanks!

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