Home » Recipes » Undefined Deliciousness » Rum caramel sauce

Rum caramel sauce

I am kicking off my Twelve Days of Christmas with this beautiful and super simple rum caramel sauce. Basically it is delicious on everything and is a slight twist on a traditional caramel sauce – enter a bit of booze.

This is third annual twelve days of Christmas here on the blog. Last year, was a drunk one, with 12 cocktail recipes. And the first year was 12 Christmas treat recipes. This year the plan was Twelve days of homemade Christmas gifts, and well…Covid, and basically any plan I had for anything in 2020 went right out the f’ing window. Including this plan.

But I still wanted to do something for twelve days of Christmas and not break tradition, so I give you…

Twelve days of whatever I want

Whatever I feel like sharing throughout this year that has culminated in a holiday recipe collection. We have some homemade gifts this year, like this rum caramel sauce that you can definitely jar, put a pretty ribbon on and gift to someone. We also have a great cheesecake recipe – which you could also box up and give to someone (what an awesome friend you would be). There’s some cookies this year, and some savory things too. Pretty much a cluster f–k of things I thought you might want to eat.

How hard is it to make caramel sauce?

It is so unbelievably simple, and the taste is so much better and more authentic, that honest to god, you will never go back to grocery store bought ice cream topping.

Making caramel requires minimal ingredients, and for this rum caramel sauce you just add rum and a little to my already tried and true recipe. I know a lot of people are scared of cooking sugar and making caramel, but now is the time to stop being afraid…it really is easy.

My biggest tip when making caramel sauce is to just make sure you have time to pay attention to it, it only take about 10-15 mins, but you need to be able to pay attention to making it the entire 10-15 minutes.

Any special tools?

Nope! You make caramel sauce WITHOUT (that’s right) a candy thermometer. I really have found that you don’t need a candy thermometer to make this, like I said above, just pay attention and watch what is happening in the pan, and smell the sugar cooking (it will smell like caramel first). I have made this at least 20x in my life and have done it every time successfully without a candy thermometer.

What kind of rum?

I like to use a dark rum, and have Meyer Rum on hand, but you can use whatever rum you like. But I do think that dark rum lends itself better to caramel.

What if I don’t consume alcohol?

No booze? No problem! Just make this exactly as is and leave out the rum. If you like salty, add an extra 2 teaspoons of salt for an amazing salted caramel recipe.


Rum caramel sauce


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 6 Tablespoons salted butter room temperature cut up into 6 pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine the sugar and hot water in a heavy saucepan, and cook over high heat until the sugar has dissolved. This takes about a minute. Keep cooking, swirling the pan a bit but DO NOT EVER STIR, EVER! If you stir the sugar it will crystallize and NEVER EVER CARAMELIZE. Just swirl the sugar/water around in the pan until sugar starts caramelize and color. The color you want is a deep amber color. It will take about 10 minutes on a medium high flame.
  2. When you achieve this color, turn the flame to medium-low and whisk in the butter CAREFULLY! It will bubble up. Continue to whisk until all the butter is incorporated. Cook without stirring for one minute.
  3. Turn your flame to low and whisk in your cream - also - CAREFULLY! It was bubble up and steam like crazy. Add the rum in last and stir to combine. Pour into a metal or glass bowl or into mason jars and let cook completely. Store in your refrigerator.



  1. Lisa Osborn

    When do u add the rum?

  2. Can this recipe be used when making caramel popcorn?

    • Katie Beck

      Hi Rose! This would not be a great recipe for caramel corn. It is too heavy and is not a recipe for caramel that hardens like you’d want for caramel corn. This is a recipe I would reccomend for caramel corn and adding maybe 3 tablespoons of meyer rum.

  3. I’m looking for a sauce to drizzle over fried banana bread & this looks very promising! Also, what are your thoughts on using it on pancakes???

Let me know whatcha think!