I just made caramel sauce using 1 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup butter, and 1/2 cup milk. I was supposed to use 1/4 cup milk but i poured in extra by accident so I doubled the other ingredients. But my caramel sauce came out grainy and buttery, it also crystallizes as soon as it cools. What can I do to fix it?

  • Did you cook it to a specific temperature or did you do everything based on time? – Catija Feb 17 '18 at 0:43
  • I didn't check the temp but I cooked it for about 15 mins maybe less – Lucy Feb 17 '18 at 0:52
  • It is possible that you have stirred the caramel. Never stir a caramel. – noumenal Feb 17 '18 at 11:26

You might be able to save the sauce if you continue to heat it on low to medium heat, but I'm going out on a limb here. It will eventually turn into hard toffee, which you can let cool and eat as it is, or if you need a "sauce" you can process the toffee to a powder and mix it with whipped cream.


I don't think you can fix it because you would have to liquify the sugar to correct it. And the butter/milk would burn at those temperatures.

The only caramel sauce recipe I know is:

  1. Boil sugar with a little water until brown
  2. Pour in a splash of cream (which stops the cooking) and whisk until dissolved.

If I were you I would strain what you have, and use the liquid to make hot chocolate or something. Then start again. Maybe use my recipe, if yours is very different?

  • also for your recipe, does the caramelized sugar stay liquefied or does it harden again? – Lucy Feb 17 '18 at 2:43
  • the cream bubbles and loses a little moisture, and then the sugar dissolves into the cream. It would stay liquid while warmer than room temperature. – Douglas Held Feb 17 '18 at 2:47
  • Like this, but stop at 1:30 before they add the butter :) youtube.com/watch?v=acYlitB1LH4 – Douglas Held Feb 17 '18 at 2:56

The "grainy" look I guess would be crystallisation, which has a couple of causes when making caramel sauce. The recipe you are using is new to me (gee there are a lot of recipes for caramel sauce), the biggest difference being lack of water to sugar (or in another way, too much sugar to water ) for the dissolved sugar to stay "invert." Total cooking time is also a factor.

I suggest you could bring your "grainy" mixture to a simmer and add quarter cup of lemon juice, mix slowly by moving the saucepan around from side to side, front and back. Do this carefully — caramel can cause awful burns, and using a spoon or whisk will cause crystals to form. This should cause "invert" sugar to occur and remain stable — but not for long, perhaps a few hours.

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