Crock Pot Caramel Sauce Recipe

This is a one ingredient recipe. Don’t be such a skeptic.  Alright, I was pretty skeptical at first myself, and even well into the process. But it turns out this crock pot caramel sauce recipe is simple, affordable, and  tastes pretty amazing. I’ll definitely be making it again!

Crock Pot Caramel Sauce

I have been using my crock pot a lot during the summer months, and on my quest to find new recipes came across this on a couple of different sites like this one here. All you need is a can of Sweetened Condensed Milk. Seriously, that is all. The versions of this recipe that I saw placed the can straight into the crock pot, but I don’t feel so good about cooking it right in the can – paranoid as I am.

Instead, I emptied one can of Sweetened Condensed Milk into a glass canning jar and tightly screwed on the lid. I actually did two jars, since I was making it for a spa party that I hosted on Saturday. This stuff went fast, so next time I’ll do three and keep one for myself.

Crock Pot Caramel Sauce Recipe

Next, I placed the canning jars into my largest crock pot and filled it with water all the way to the top of the jars. Be sure that the water level is higher than the milk.

The instructions called for cooking the submerged Sweetened Condensed Milk on low for 8 hours, which I did. But mine wasn’t quite ready yet. I started to get a little nervous if it was going to work at all. So, I bumped the heat up to high and let it go for another two hours. What I ended up with was beautifully golden caramel sauce. Had I used the can method and not the jars, I would not have known that it wasn’t ready. It’s possible that the temperature of my slow cooker is running a little lower than it should, so I recommend starting out with 8 hours on low, check the color of the caramel at that point and determine if you need to continue cooking it on high a little longer.

Crock Pot Caramel Sauce

One or two jars just isn’t enough. I scraped every last bit out of those jars.

Slow Cooker Caramel Sauce

I served the caramel sauce with apple slices, but I imagine it would be pretty great over a bowl of vanilla ice cream as well. Heck, I’d eat it straight out of the jar. Oh wait, I did!

Crock Pot Caramel Sauce

Store this in the refrigerator if you are not using it right away. Take it out a couple of hours before serving to bring it to room temperature.

Side note: I mentioned on our Facebook page that we had made this, and a reader asked if a salted caramel version would work. I don’t see why not and totally wish I had thought of this myself. Next time, I’ll sprinkle a little sea salt into the jar before putting the lid on.

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  1. says

    Are you trying to kill me? I love caramel sauce, I even weakened yesterday and bought the fake stuff!
    PS I always have sugar babies in the car, you know, in case I get drowsy!

  2. Evaq24 says

    I’ve made this in the can in my crock pot. It works great :-). Alspo pretty much anything canned was boiled in that can. I’ve worked in a processing plant. It’s how it’s sealed . Also cooking it in the can doesn’t take as long because it’s under pressure. And you submerge the unopened can. Great post though.

  3. Diane Cooper says

    I have got to try this! My husband’s favorite thing is apple slices and caramel sauce. I am also a little skeptical about doing it in the can, so I will use canning jars, also.

  4. Terin says

    Evaq24 is correct. By switching to the glass jars you affected the time it takes. The can conducts better and the pressure also decreases the time needed. I have done this since somewhere around 1982 when I learned it as part of a Spanish program and we were making Dulce de Leche. I don’t make it often. By the time you factor in the cost of heating something that long and the higher cost of sweetened condensed milk, I can often find a good Dulce de Leche or carmel sauce already made for less work and $$. I do agree this one tastes better to me, maybe due to nostalgia. I do like the idea of using the crock pot. I always just boiled mine on the stove.

  5. Michelle F. says

    love that you do it in glass jars. I have my jars and condensed milk ready and will be attempting it tomorrow morning.

  6. melisa says

    When I was younger we’d do the sweetened condensed milk in the can in water for awhile, we loved it. I haven’t heard of doing it in the crock pot, nor have I heard of doing it in mason jars. What a great idea, as you said, this way you can see when it’s ready, I really like that!

  7. ANN*H says

    this is a good recipe for dipping apples in. we get caramel apples alot but we dont always want to eat the whole thing all at once , so this would allow us to eat only as much as we are hungry for. thanks for the recipe

  8. Linda says

    I tried this today. The color is more of a brown instead of caramel. The flavor is good but the texture is not like caramel at all. Just wondering if I cooked it the right amount of time. I did 8 hours on low.

  9. Vicki says

    Where have you all been? My grandma was boiling Sweetened Condensed Milk in the can more than 50 years ago. I submerge mine in the stock pot basket so it doesn’t sit on the bottom of the pan. Then simmer for three hours. We spread it on graham crackers

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