Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce
I almost forgot to share the vanilla bourbon caramel sauce recipe that I mentioned in the pumpkin Greek yogurt banana bread the other day! This vanilla bourbon caramel sauce is a pretty standard caramel sauce with the seeds from a vanilla bean and a splash of bourbon added to add a depth of flavour and to give it an even more amazing aroma. Caramel sauce can be a bit tricky to make at first but once you get the hang of it, it is really easy! In fact the hardest thing about it is that it requires you to watch it the whole time because if you take yours eyes of of it for a few seconds it can burn really quickly. So other than having to dedicate 20-30 minutes of time to making it, it as simple as melting some sugar, bringing it to a boil and cooking it until it turns a nice amber colour. All that remains is to carefully add the cream followed by the butter and any flavourings that you want, in this case the vanilla and the bourbon.

Just look at all of those amazing flecks of vanilla bean seeds in there!

Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce

Vanilla Bourbon Caramel Sauce

A creamy vanilla caramel sauce with a hint of bourbon.

Servings: makes 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Printable Recipe
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 1 vanilla bean, cut in half and seeds scraped
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  1. Mix the sugar and water in a small sauce pan and let simmer over medium heat until a medium amber colour, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, carefully pour in the heavy cream and stir until smooth.
  3. Mix in the butter, vanilla bean seeds and bourbon and stir until the butter has melted and combined.

Use with:
Pumpkin Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Pumpkin Pie Pancakes
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal

Similar Recipes:
Caramel Sauce
Blueberry Caramel Sauce
Dulce de Leche


Erik R. said...

You DO know that Jack Daniels is not bourbon, I hope.

Jolene said...

I have to echo the previous comment...Jack Daniels is not bourbon. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

wordchef said...

This looks so delish... and I'll bet it smells awesome. Wait right there - I'm getting a big spoon! :)

Squeaky said...

I saw the picture and came only to find 2 people had already pointed out my concern. Jack Daniels is a sour mash whiskey, bourbon has to be made from at least 51% corn.

Vimitha Anand said...

Thats would be a perfect topping for some fluffy pancakes... yum

The Mistress of Spices said...


Jada said...


Anonymous said...

Perfect poured over ice cream!

Anonymous said...

Not to get into a semantic debate about nothing, but Jack Daniel's is Tennessee Whiskey. Legal definition of Tennessee Whiskey: "a straight Bourbon Whiskey authorized to be produced only in the State of Tennessee".

So yes, all Bourbon is Whiskey, and all Tennessee Whiskey is Bourbon.

Anonymous said...

Does the alcohol cook out of this? Safe for preggos or no?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: You cna simmer the caramel sauce for a few extra minutes after adding the bourbn to make sure that the alcohol is cooked off. Enjoy!

Allison Day said...

Now I know what to give my sister for Christmas... I know she would LOVE a jar (or two or three) of this.

Squeaky said...

Nope, not all Tennessee whiskey is bourbon. This isn't a semantic argument, it is defined legally by the U.S. Gov't.(Which definition also holds in Canada per agreements about imports and labeling).

The Federal Standards of Identity for Distilled Spirits (27 C.F.R. 5) state that bourbon made for U.S. consumption[2] must be:
made from a grain mixture that is at least 51% corn;[3]
aged in new, charred-oak barrels;[3]
distilled to no more than 160 (U.S.) proof (80% alcohol by volume);[3]
entered into the barrel for aging at no more than 125 proof (62.5% alcohol by volume);[3] and be
bottled (like other whiskeys) at 80 proof or more (40% alcohol by volume).[4]

MommyTanya said...

Could I substitute vanilla bean paste for the actual vanilla bean scrapped? If so do I need to alter anything else?

Culinary Collage said...

This looks amazing! I've been on this kick of making homemade ice cream and this would send it over the top....yum.

Anonymous said...

Wow negative nellies, get a life! The recipe isn't about a cocktail, its a sauce and the alcohol cooks out. So use whatever you have, bourbon or whiskey. I've made a similar sauce and its amazing with chocolate cake too.

Kevin said...

MommyTanya: Vanilla bean paste will also work in the same way as the vanilla bean seeds. Enjoy!

Shanna said...

Do you know how long this will keep in the fridge in a closed container?

Kevin said...

Shanna: This will keep in the fridge for several months.

Julie said...

Anonymous: No one is being negative...people are posting informative comments. I, for one, am learning something.
Sauce looks amazing Kevin..will definitely try it, using an immitation extract (boo hiss) because booze is illegal in the country I'm living in but I'm sure I can make it almost as tasty ;-)

Anonymous said...

does this sauce harden in the fridge?

Kevin said...

Anonymous: This caramel sauce will thicken in the fridge but not harden. If I want to drizzle it on something, I like to bring it up to room temperature first and if I want it more syrup-y I give it 20 seconds in the microwave.

Elodierose said...

Ooh I might try this with dark rum tonight as see how it turns out. Good way to use up the last of the bottle I bought back from fiji

Anonymous said...

Kevin--does the sauce have to be stored in a glass jar or can it be any other plastic air tight container? Thanks

Anonymous said...

how does simple syrup turn amber? mine never did.

Kevin said...

Anonymous: After simmering for the 15-20 minutes the water should have completely cooked off and the melted sugar should turn a nice amber colour. Really the water is just there to help the sugar melt uniformly and you can omit it completely and speed things up.

Anonymous said...

I have been on a kick lately... all things vanilla. I am making vanilla extract, vanilla paste, vanilla sugar, vanilla bath salts, vanilla syrup and vanilla sugar scrub. And oh my now vanilla bourbon caramel sauce. Yum

Anonymous said...

does someone know how long this would hold if I put it in a jar?

Kevin Lynch said...

Anonymous: This will keep for months in a jar in the fridge.

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