37 Sweet and Salty Caramel Dessert Recipes
Whether you pronounce it “car-mul” or “car-a-mel,” we can all agree on the fact that this sweet-and-salty sauce is irresistible. Caramel is a key component of some of our favorite fall desserts, but this versatile sauce can be used all year round. In the fall months, caramel pairs beautifully with seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, pecans, and cinnamon apples; a Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting is guaranteed to impress your guests. In the winter, we’re serving caramel alongside the warm holiday flavors of pear and gingerbread in a twist on the classic Upside-Down Cake. You can even incorporate caramel into refreshing summer desserts, like Tenntucky Cobbler, Salted Caramel-Pecan Milkshakes, or Peach Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel. These decadent caramel recipes combine salty and sweet to add new dimensions to your favorite desserts. The sauce brings richness and warmth to moist cakes, delightfully sticky bread puddings, fruity or nutty pies, and smooth, creamy tarts.
Delight Your Senses With These Luscious Caramel Desserts
Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
Recipe: Caramel Apple Blondie Pie
Buttery rich layers of tender cake and caramelized apples add up to one sweet combo. The secret to the crisp, flaky crust? Baking in a cast-iron skillet on a lower oven rack.
Cornbread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel
This cornbread pudding can be served in individually-portioned ramekins for an easy, yet impressive dinner party dessert.
Roasted Banana Milkshake
Recipe: Roasted Banana Milkshake
Mix the caramel right into the milkshake for a delectably sweet banana treat. Be sure to save some caramel to drizzle on top!
Tenntucky Blackberry Cobbler Sundaes
Imagine your favorite blackberry cobbler, bites spooned into a glass, layered with vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, and pecans. Yep, that sounds like a very sweet dream.
Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
Recipe: Brown Butter-Caramel Blondies
The brownie’s blonde cousin gets a serious upgrade with walnuts, brown butter, and a salted caramel swirl.
Crème Brûlée French Toast
Recipe: Crème Brûlée French Toast
Baked in a layer of caramel, this indulgent French toast will be a stunning sweet addition to your brunch spread.
Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
Recipe: Spiced Pecan Pie Bars
In our humble opinion, no pecan pie is complete without a drizzle of caramel.
Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Cups
Recipe: Chocolate-Caramel Cookie Cups
A caramel-cream cheese frosting and toasted pecans adorn these adorable, party-ready Chocolate Cookie Cups.
Recipe: Buttermilk-Pecan Pralines
These pralines are robed in a luxurious coating of caramel, complementing the nutty flavor of the pecans and the bite of bourbon.
Classic Peanut Brittle
Recipe: Classic Peanut Brittle
Caramel is the vehicle for salty peanuts in this gift-worthy nut brittle.
Gingerbread-and-Pear Upside-Down Cake
The upside-down cake gets a festive makeover in this pear and gingerbread version, invoking all your favorite holiday flavors in a tender, moist cake.
Salted Caramel Popcorn
Recipe: Salted Caramel Popcorn
Do you like your popcorn salty or sweet? Luckily you can have the best of both worlds with this Salted Caramel Popcorn.
Caramel Apple Cake
Recipe: Caramel Apple Cake
With the golden apple slices arranged in a stunning flower atop the cake, this dish is a guaranteed show-stopper.
Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake
Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Magic Cake
This pumpkin spice cake is anything but ordinary. It’s cooked in a Bundt pan and features a layer of pumpkin-spiced sponge, a smooth, gelatinous layer of flan, and a drizzle of cajeta, a Mexican caramel sauce.
Upside-Down Caramelized Apple Cake
An upside-down cake involves a cake batter poured over a layer of caramelized fruit. We already love the combination of caramel and apple, so this cake is a no-brainer.
Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
Recipe: Caramel Apple Coffee Cake
A traditional coffee cake base is topped with fresh crisp apples, gooey caramel and the signature streusel topping for an autumnal version of the classic dish.
Salted Caramel Banana Pudding
Recipe: Salted Caramel Banana Pudding
Jarred dulce de leche is our favorite shortcut to achieve smooth, thick caramel.
Caramelized Banana Pudding
Recipe: Caramelized Banana Pudding
All Southerners know the beauty of a good banana pudding, and this dressed-up version of the simple dish features layers of caramelized bananas and meringue topping alongside the signature vanilla wafers.
Blackberry Jam Cake
Recipe: Blackberry Jam Cake
This berry-filled cake with extra creamy cream-cheese frosting is certainly our jam.
Caramel-Stuffed Ginger Cookies
Recipe: Caramel-Stuffed Ginger Cookies
With a molten caramel center, these cookies are best served warm or right out of the oven. The spicy ginger balances out the sweetness of the caramel filling for an all-star homemade cookie.
Triple-Layer Chocolate-Caramel Cake
Happy birthday to you! We love combining slightly-bitter dark chocolate and rich caramel for a truly indulgent cake. This cake is meant for celebrating.
Peach Bread Pudding with Bourbon Caramel
This summertime take on bread pudding incorporates fresh peaches to make a lighter version of the classic holiday dish.
Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
Recipe: Salted Caramel-Pecan Milk Shake
We firmly believe that all milkshakes should be decadent, and this Salted Caramel-Pecan combination certainly fits the bill.
Caramel Tart with Brandy Whipped Cream
A thick caramel filling and crumbly pastry crust combine to make a super-indulgent (and impressive!) tart. With all the richness of this dish, don’t skimp on the Brandy Whipped Cream.
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
Recipe: Crème Brûlée Cheesecake
We’ve combined two stunning desserts, cheesecake and crème brulee, to create a silky-smooth cheesecake with a golden, crystallized, crackling top.
Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
Recipe: Skillet Caramel Apple Pie
We’ve discovered yet another use for your favorite cast iron skillet, and it’s pretty sweet. This double-crust Skillet Caramel Apple Pie will be a new rustic dessert favorite.
Apple Fritters with Salted Caramel Sauce
With a thin vanilla glaze and a thick dousing of caramel sauce, these fried apple bites are perfectly balanced. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
Recipe: Sea Salt-Caramel Cake
This tall layer cake is the perfect recipe to whip out for special occasions when you really want to impress. Garnish with flaky sea salt to draw out that sweet-salty combination and prevent the rich caramel from becoming overly sweet.
Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce
Cut up a loaf of that super-moist Pumpkin-Honey-Beer Bread, soak it in a pudding mixture, and pour on the Apple Brandy-Caramel Sauce for an unbeatable fall dessert.
Caramel Cake Pancakes
Recipe: Caramel Cake Pancakes
A last-minute holiday brunch idea to keep in your back pocket. Your kids will go crazy for these special pancakes.
Pecan Pancakes with Caramel Apple Topping
This sheet-pan pancake is the perfect quick, festive solution to holiday breakfast. Just pop it in the oven and spend time with your family by the fire.
Pumpkin Layer Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting
If you're looking for a stand-out cake for your fall tablescape, this hyper-seasonal layer cake is sure to stun.
Arkansas Black Apple Pie with Caramel Sauce
What really makes this pie special are the heirloom Arkansas black apples, but if you aren’t lucky enough to find those at your local market, granny smiths will do just fine.
The Jam Cake
Recipe: The Jam Cake
The origins of jam cake lie deep in Appalachia where store-bought sugar was once scarce. Cakes were often sweetened with homemade jams, filled with wild berries and mountain fruits. The payoff for the genius swap? Rich, dense cake layers with a depth of flavor sugar alone can't deliver.
Oatmeal-Caramel Cream Pies
Recipe: Oatmeal-Caramel Cream Pies
Oatmeal cookies sandwich a rich caramel cream filling for a melt-free combination that will rival the ice cream sandwiches of your childhood.
Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
You’d never guess that these indulgent chocolate cupcakes are gluten-free. No need for frosting: top these cupcakes with a scoop of your favorite ice cream and a caramel drizzle.
Butterscotch Pie with Whiskey Caramel Sauce
This butterscotch pie was one of our most popular desserts of 2017, and for good reason. A splash of whiskey adds a savory flavor to the caramel sauce.