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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! 

caramel in a clear jar with a spoon scooping it.


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! 

ingredients in pumpkin caramel.

Ingredients Needed

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.

Uses for Pumpkin Caramel 

caramel in a clear jar with a spoon scooping it.

Expert Tips

  • 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.

FAQs

How do you store homemade pumpkin sauce?

In an airtight container, such as a jar.

Why did my sauce thicken in the refrigerator?

Sauces thicken when they’re not consistently on heat. To fix this, put the sauce in the microwave for 30 seconds before serving. 

Why do I have clumps in my caramel?

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.

caramel in a clear jar with a spoon scooping it.

Pumpkin Caramel Sauce

4.95 from 20 votes
This homemade pumpkin caramel sauce is one of the best caramels ever! Simply adding canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice to homemade caramel adds an unparalleled depth of flavor that will be perfect for ice cream or on top of pie this fall!
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Serving Size 1 serving

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (57g) unsalted butter sliced into tablespoons
  • cup (158ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 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)

Instructions

  • 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.

Recipe Notes

  • 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.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 21mg | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 1028IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Last Updated on September 11, 2023



Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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90 Comments

  1. What is the size of 1 serving. Also I read NO
    Substitutions… is that final.
    There is no way to sub in all the new sweeteners the keto people are using now for baking and cooking?
    Thanks. I’m going to try all the sauces they look luscious.

    1. One serving is how much you like for one serving; I am not a nutritionist. I also have never made caramel with sugar substitute, for that you might want to find a recipe site that extensively tests those types of recipes.

  2. Hi, Dorothy! Would you please tell me the size of 1 serving? I’d love to include this in gift baskets, so have to know how many batches I’ll need to make.

    The sum total of all ingredients does NOT always = the volume of the finished product, as I have discovered, to my detriment, on more than 1 occasion. Thanks in advance, from Alberta, Canada 🇨🇦

  3. This is one of the most magical creations that has ever come out of my kitchen. I followed the recipe word for word and it came out perfect. I used this on a bread pudding and it was life changing! Saving this recipe to use forever – it’s the best ever.

  4. I made a no bake cheesecake with an oreo crust and crumb top for our family Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to add a little pumpkin somehow to make it more festive. I came across this pumpkin caramel sauce recipe and decided to try it. WOW! So delicious and easy to make. Took less than 15 mins to all come together and i think it will be perfect to drizzle on top of the cheesecake! We planned to add 1/2tsp of salt but added a little taste as we made it (my 7 year old helped me). We ended up only using about 1/8tsp and this was the perfect amount to bring all the flavors together. Can’t wait to try it on the cheesecake tomorrow. Doubt there will be any left! Thanks for the recipe 🙂