5-minute Salted Caramel Sauce (Ice Cream Social for Teens)

4.6 from 10 votes

5-Minute Salted Caramel is the perfect sauce for ice cream, cakes or pies. With just 5 ingredients it’s a fast and easy caramel sauce that is absolutely spoon-worthy.

Make this easy salted caramel recipe and serve it with at a back-to-school ice cream social for your teenagers – why should little kids have all the fun? Celebrate the coming of high school with a fun ice cream party, complete with your favorite ice creams from Albertsons.

This post is sponsored by Mirum. All opinions are my own.


salted caramel in jar

Back-to-school is here! I can’t believe that summer is coming to an end, especially because it’s still SO hot here. It’s been over 100° lately and will continue to be that hot into October. So, even though school is here, we still want all things ice cream to keep us cool.

Once we head into school season, I start thinking about fall flavors. Caramel is one of the fall flavors I look forward to every year. I love adding caramel to apple strudel and cheesecake as well as serving it over ice cream. I’ve made caramel before (cinnamon and pumpkin flavors) but those are somewhat labor intensive. That’s why I wanted to create a dual-purpose caramel recipe: one that is great for serving on pie but also for pouring over ice cream.  Then I decided on making Salted Caramel because once you have it salted it’s hard to eat plain caramel; the salt adds so much depth and flavor to the recipe.

If you’re looking for an easy caramel recipe that takes no time to make and has simple ingredients, then this is the easy caramel recipe for you. It’s perfect for pouring over ice cream and serving at an ice cream party. This past weekend we hosted a back-to-school ice cream social for some of Jordan and her friends and it was a ton of fun. See below for all of my fun printable ice cream social ideas (for teenagers!)

This 5-Minute Salted Caramel is easy and fast and has just 5 ingredients. It’s great on ice cream or eaten with a spoon!

If you want to use this on ice cream, be sure to head over to icecreamrewards.com and sign-up. You can get a $5 reward when you spend $20 on Unilever ice cream at Albertsons Companies once you sign up, so get shopping and then submit your receipt!

salted caramel on ice cream

If you’re looking for a salted caramel sauce without cream this is the one for you! It’s easy to make with just 5 ingredients:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt

Homemade Salted Caramel in 5 minutes!

That’s right, it really does only take 5 minutes to make this homemade caramel sauce. Simply melt the butter then cook it with the brown sugar and milk until it boils for a few minutes. Then you add the vanilla and salt and you have an easy caramel syrup for ice cream!

Once it’s cooked you should cool the salted caramel for about 10 minutes before using it on ice cream, so it doesn’t melt it. But you can also let it cool in a jar or bottle and store it to use over the week. It’s a creamy caramel sauce that’s thin enough to pour but thick enough that it’s not runny. And it’s made from scratch!

How much salt goes in Salted Caramel?

I recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt. You can also use table salt, but I prefer kosher or sea salt. Once the caramel has cooled a bit you can taste the salted caramel sauce and add more salt to your preference.

The beauty of this sauce is that it doesn’t harden, but if it’s been chilled or is too thick to pour, then you can reheat it for just a few seconds in the microwave or put it in a bowl of hot water to thin it.

Making homemade salted caramel is the perfect addition to an ice cream social to say good-bye to summer!

Be sure to scroll down below for all my ice cream social tips – for teens!

Unilever ice creams for an ice cream social

No matter what kind of ice cream party you’re hosting, you need to buy the star of the party: the ice cream! Be sure to grab your favorite Unilever ice cream brands from Albertsons. I stocked up on Breyers, Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s for our ice cream social. We’ve been celebrating with these ice creams all summer long (remember our summer bucket list and the 5-minute ice cream pie?)

Once you have all your ice cream you just need an amazing quick and easy Salted Caramel Sauce to complete your ice cream sundae. If the ice cream makes it to the spoon, that is!

caramel in squeeze bottle

Be sure to keep looking below the recipe – I put on an entire teenager themed ice cream social. I have all my tips and tricks and FREE printable below!

(And don’t forget: get a $5 reward at icecreamrewards.com!)

**Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!**

5-minute Salted Caramel Sauce

5-minute salted caramel sauce has just 5 ingredients and is the perfect ice cream topping or caramel sauce for cake or pie!
4.6 from 10 votes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter cubed
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt or to taste


  • Place butter in a saucepan and melt over medium-low heat.
  • Add the brown sugar and milk and turn heat to medium. Stir constantly until the mixture boils. Boil for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. (Once it cools a bit, you can add more salt to taste.)
  • Pour into jar. Let cool slightly before using. Cover.
  • If mixture separates as it cools, just stir it up or shake it. If it becomes to thick to pour as it cools you can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds and stir.

Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 109kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 23mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 191IU | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel, sauce

An ice cream social party is the perfect way to kick off back-to-school and say good-bye to summer!

If any of you have teenagers, you’ll know that throwing parties is much different now than when the kids were little. Back then they loved parties and fun signs and themes and all that. Now – not so much. In fact, when I mentioned an ice cream social to Jordan she just rolled her eyes at me. BUT! We can still do these fun parties, they just have to be toned down a little bit to account for a teenagers personality.

How to throw a back-to-school ice cream social for teenagers:

ice cream social set up

1. Make your life easy and head to Albertsons Companies for all your supplies and favorite Unilever Ice Cream. Save your receipt and sign up at icecreamrewards.com to get a $5 reward when you spend $20.

2. Keep it simple! Teenagers don’t want all sorts of theme-y party stuff (at least mine doesn’t!) so just grab some colorful bowls and cups along with your ice cream.

3. Do electronic invitations. Let’s get real: teens don’t out paper invitations anymore, they text or snapchat their friends and invite them over. If they’re willing, share this easy graphic with them to text their friends. You can also print it out. Have them edit it using one of their favorite photo apps and post it on social media (a very teenager thing to do).

free ice cream party invitation

JPEG version // PDF version

4. Decorations can still be fun, just keep them toned down. I made some simple signs and place them around the ice cream bar and Jordan didn’t complain once.

Ice Cream Social for teens sign

JPEG version // PDF version

sign saying "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream"

JPEG version // PDF version

Sign saying "Sundaes Forecast: Sweet with a side of sprinkles"

JPEG version // PDF version

4. Have lots of options for toppings, like chocolate sauce, easy salted caramel and fun sprinkles, candies and cherries. Table tents can be a fun addition, especially if your guests have food allergies.

white bowls with ice cream toppings and squeeze bottles for syrup

Table Tent PDF

5. Even if they protest, table topics are always a fun way to break the ice. Sometimes over summer kids go a few weeks without seeing each other so giving them some talking points can be a great way to get them chatting again. It can also be a great way for kids to get to know each other, especially if new friends moved into the neighborhood over the summer.

cut up teenager table topics

I created these questions geared towards teenagers. There’s nothing too childish nor to adult on the list, and they’re teenager approved.


6. Stand back and let them do their thing. That’s probably the most important tip for any teen party: watch them but not from too close. Linger while they’re making their ice cream sundaes and see what you can hear them talking about…then just let them be them.

an orange and white bowl with ice cream and a purple cup with ice cream and soda

Don’t forget to head over to Albertsons and buy your ice cream, then sign up at icecreamrewards.com!

collage of salted caramel ice cream photos

collage for teen ice cream social

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19 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Oh my gosh this is sooo good and was really easy. I have bookmarked the recipe as my go-to sauce for ice cream and for cakes like the apple spice cake I made today. Thanks!

  2. Turned out to be Amazing! I mainly drink Almond milk but had some half and half so used that….wowza This is now in my recipe box forever. Thank you so much it really was the fastest and best tasting sauce I have made and being a caramel lover I give it 5 Stars.

  3. This sounds amazing.

    Question: I have an over-abundance of 1% milk. Can that be used in this recipe, or does the milk need to have a higher fat content?

  4. This turned out great. I needed something quick to give to a friend for her birthday tomorrow. I particularly enjoyed eating the remains in the pot. Oh my!