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This is a Caramel Pumpkin Sauce recipe that takes a delicious caramel sauce recipe, but adds pumpkin. This recipe is perfect for the fall and is the best topping for any ice cream or pie recipe!
Table of Contents
Caramel Pumpkin Sauce for fall
In the fall, I feel that pumpkin should be put in everything. This sauce is no exception. Pumpkin caramel is soft, gooey, and great anytime you need to put a sweet sauce on anything. The incredible pumpkin flavor is accomplished simply with pumpkin puree!
Making caramel can be daunting because it is a tedious process, but I promise with following all the instructions; this recipe will go smoothly!
- Granulated Sugar: This is the base of the caramel – no substitutions
- Unsalted Butter: Sliced into tablespoons so it melts easier
- Heavy Whipping Cream: No substitutions!
- Pumpkin puree: Not pumpkin pie mix!
- Pumpkin pie spice: To give those warm flavors for fall
- Salt: Put a little extra salt aside if you want to have “salted” pumpkin caramel.
How to make Pumpkin Sauce
- Place sugar in a sauce pan over medium low heat.
- As the sugar warms it will clump. Do not walk away from the stove!
- The clumped sugar will continue to heat, melting into a liquid that is amber in color.
- Continue melting until all the sugar has melted into liquid, stirring occasionally but being careful not to splash sugar up the sides of the pan.
- Once the sugar is all amber in color, add the butter and cream and stir until smooth.
- Remove from heat and stir in spices, pumpkin, vanilla, and salt.
- Pour the caramel carefully into a jar and let cool to room temperature.
- Make sure you are free of distraction before starting this recipe. Caramel can burn easily so to avoid that–pumpkin sauce needs to be watched and stirred consistently.
- Once it turns a medium-amber color it is done. If you want your caramel darker you can let it go a little longer, but be careful because it can burn quickly.
- Storing Caramel: Cover and store in the refrigerator.
- Reheating Caramel: When ready to use, remove the lid and heat in 30 second increments until the caramel is melted and smooth and the desired consistency (about 60-90 seconds for the just-made texture). Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
In an airtight container, such as a jar.
Sauces thicken when they’re not consistently on heat. To fix this, put the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving.
Sugar is most likely the culprit. When you put the sugar in, don’t spread the sugar all over the sides of the pan. If things start to clump, keep stirring then and you’ll notice the clumps start to melt and everything starts to turn an amber color.
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter sliced into tablespoons
- ⅔ cup (158ml) heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup (81g) pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie mix
- ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt (or up to 1 teaspoon if you want a “salted” pumpkin caramel)
- Note: making caramel is something that needs your undivided attention. Make sure you have all your ingredients gathered before starting and that you are not distracted. Leaving the caramel alone at any point can cause it to burn. Read the entire recipe before continuing.
- Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium sauce pot. Make sure the sides of the pot come up a little bit (that it’s not a shallow pan) because it will boil up when you add the cream later.
- Place the pan over medium-low heat. Cook stirring often, but being careful not to spread the sugar up the sides of the pan too much. The sugar will become a little bit liquidy, form clumps, then finally melt into a light amber liquid. Keep stirring until the liquid is amber in color. This will take about 7-12 minutes, depending on your pot and the heat of your stove. DO NOT LEAVE THE SUGAR ALONE, it will burn fast.
- Once the liquid turns amber and all the sugar crystals have melted, add the butter and stir until it’s melted. Add half of the heavy whipping cream, stir, then add the rest. It will bubble up as you add it to the mixture. Turn off the heat and then stir in the pumpkin, spice, vanilla, and salt, if using. Stir until smooth. You may need to whisk it to get out all the clumps.
- Pour the caramel carefully into a jar and let cool to room temperature. Cover and store in the refrigerator. When ready to use, remove the lid and heat in 30 second increments until the caramel is melted and smooth and the desired consistency (about 60-90 seconds for the just-made texture). Will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Store in the refrigerator; heat to thin.
- Be careful not to let the sugar hit the sides of the pan too much during cooking. If it gets too high on the side of the pan, use a wet pastry to wipe the sides down. Any crystalized sugar on the sides of the pan can cause crystalized caramel.
Last Updated on September 11, 2023