The recipe for simple soft caramel filling I am about to share is one that I use over and over.
Once I find a good solution for a recipe, I never stop using it.
For this particular simple soft caramel filling, fewer ingredients lead to a much better taste.
Therefore this 4-ingredient simple soft caramel filling is the ultimate in easy prep!
The craft of caramel can be hard, but it does not have to be if you use this simple recipe.
What I’ve done with this simple soft caramel filling is make it easy so you will use it in cookies, layered cakes, bar cookies, etc.
Read the recipe through a few times.
Consider the steps, and if you have 20 minutes to yourself without distraction.
While the recipe is easy, you do want to pay attention to make the premium soft caramel filling.
Simple soft caramel filling is my signature recipe and after using it at least 300+ times for my most-requested bars and cookies, it’s time to share it with you.
Traditions, Holidays, and a Good Simple Soft Caramel Filling
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This post contains affiliate links that may earn me commission if you click through them and take certain actions. Read more on my full disclosure here.
It all started one evening when our slated dessert was to be ice cream.
Actually, ice cream sundae bar.
However, somehow I forgot to purchase caramel sauce and the feature flavor that evening was ‘caramel sauce’.
I had the sprinkles, whipped topping, 3 flavors of ice cream, cones, cone bowls, cherries, and anything else you could imagine, but no caramel.
Ugh! What had I done, how did I forget the single most important part of the sundae bar?
Since we had owned a restaurant, and I am a self-trained chef, I’ve been in pinches before that were far worse.
I grabbed some butter, brown sugar, and condensed milk and went to work at the stove.
Success Comes In Small Stages with only a few ingredients!
Let’s just say while the first attempt was not my best, it was delectable and fresh.
Fresh is a big deal when it comes to sundaes as it makes a difference in the taste overall.
Overall, the caramel was soft, drizzle-like, and sweet.
In other words, it passed the taste test, but I knew I could do better.
For days to come, I tinkered with the recipe, and I pulled out my kitchen food thermometer.
Why? I wanted to get this just right.
I did not want to create toffee and I did not want a more solid-like caramel.
You see, in my mind, I wanted a go-to recipe that afforded me the chance to use it in all my recipes requiring a caramel-like filling, not just ice cream!
Signature Style Simple Soft Caramel Filling
Through all my trials and errors, I crafted a simple recipe, that turns out right every time.
Even if I don’t use a thermometer, I know it will be perfect, since I know what to watch for as it cooks on the stove.
I do suggest a candy thermometer for temping the sugary bliss as if you go over the temperature it won’t yield your wanted results.
For reference, I use a candy thermometer that can be clipped on the side of the pot when I am unaccustomed to a recipe.
A one to one ratio of brown sugar to condensed milk is the starting point.
Pure, salted butter is imperative to the taste.
Make sure your butter is fresh and solid not soft before starting.
Thoughts on Crafting Signature Style Simple Soft Caramel Filling
Never do I leave the pot unattended.
Yes, I stir the ingredients nonstop.
I don’t want any of the ingredients to stick or burn.
Once you make this simple soft caramel filling a few times, you will not need the thermometer.
Expect success with your first try and every time thereafter.
Always use the freshest ingredients, I find it yields a far better product.
Keep your brown sugar in an airtight container, always.
Butter should always be firm, and refrigerated as well as salted. ( I guess you could use unsalted, but I never have?)
You should know that the caramel is great for spreading on cakes, and cookies.
In order to stay ‘firmer’ it has to be refrigerated once you make it.
For those of you who want to drizzle it on ice cream, you will need to do that after you initially make it or heat it.
Use a gravy boat to reheat for drizzling.
The caramel filling does ‘smear’, but I suggest also making sure the utensil you are using to smear is coated with some nonstick spray or coconut oil.
Refrigerate this for up to a week.
Overall you end up with a cup of product or somewhere thereabout.
⇓4 Ingredient Simple Soft Caramel Filling Recipe ⇓
- 1/2 C of Salted refrigerated butter.
- 1 C of Brown Sugar lightly packed
- 14 oz can of Condensed Milk
- 1/4 C of Whole Milk (don't cheat the recipe here use WHOLE Milk)
- Prepare all ingredients so they are ready to enter the pot.
- Add butter, sugar, condensed milk, and milk.
- Cook on medium heat and allow the butter to thoroughly melt.
- Once melted, increase heat to medium-high and bring to a light boil.
- Boil for 5 minutes.
- You want the melted mixed ingredients to be blended and stirred constantly.
- Do not stop stirring or it might stick or burn.
- The color will start more yellow and turn more golden.
- The caramel will pull from the sides are you are mixing it and become thicker.
- IF you are temping this, you will want 245° F do not let go beyond this as it will change the consistency of your caramel and the pliability.
- Once it sets for about a minute it will also thicken.
- Remove from heat.
- Allow cooling slightly if you are using it on ice cream or it will melt it.
- IF you are using the soft caramel in a bar cookie, or cake, use immediately or reheat to soften.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 14 days.
The first time you make this, I suggest using a thermometer to see what the consistency SHOULD look like.
You do NOT have to use a thermometer, it is just a suggestion.
Always use salted butter as I believe the taste is best, You can experiment if you dare!
The caramel can be made and stored ahead in an airtight jar up to 14 days.
The allergen in this is dairy, but there are NO NUTS, which is what I was going for.
Add this to cakes, ice cream cookies, berries, etc. Anything you would put caramel on, use this!
Dress up a jar of caramel and gift it.