A Pair of Sundae Sauces

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A Pair of Sundae Sauces

star rating (17) rate this recipe Ľ
Published prior to 2008

Homemade ice cream sundaes deserve rich, delicious hot fudge and caramel sauces. Do you choose 1) an inexpensive bottled topping whose taste reflects its price, or 2) a "gourmet" bottled topping whose price puts it outside your budget, or 3) a delicious, rich homemade topping whose price is "just right"? Hmmmm.... Step-by-step photos illustrating how to make these sundae sauces are available at Flourish, our King Arthur blog.

Caramel Sauce
Start with sugar, butter, salt, and cream. Add heat. Finish with vanilla or the complementary flavor of your choice (or a spoonful of rum). The result? Thick, rich caramel sauce. The directions for this sauce look a bit fussy at first glance, but follow them carefully and youíll do just fine.

1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
ľ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) cold water
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, melted
Ĺ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream or whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla; or ľ teaspoon butter-rum or butterscotch flavor; or 1 tablespoon rum

Place the sugar, salt, and water in a deep, heavy-bottom saucepan; it should be at least 2-quart capacity, as the syrup will bubble up during preparation. Stir to combine, and heat over medium-high heat, stirring to help it along, till the mixture starts to bubble.

When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and watch carefully. The syrup will begin to turn golden around the edges. Shake the pan in a swirling motion to keep the syrup moving, and to prevent the edges from burning before the center colors. Stir the edges in towards the center occasionally.

After a couple of minutes, the syrup will begin to darken. If it looks like itís getting dry on top, stir until itís syrupy again. As soon as itís a rich amber color, remove it from the heat and stir in the butter. Once the butter has been absorbed, stir in the cream. Stir till smooth; donít worry, itíll seem lumpy at first, but will smooth out. Add the vanilla or flavor of your choice; butter-rum is tasty. Or stir in a tablespoon of rum. When the sauce is smooth, let it sit in the pan for a couple of minutes before pouring it into a glass or ceramic container to cool. Cool to room temperature, and store in the refrigerator. Reheat briefly before serving.
Yield: 12 ounces, about 1 1/3 cups sauce.

Hot Fudge Sauce
This deep-dark fudge sauce is more suitable for discerning adults than kids, who probably wonít appreciate its bittersweet bent. Made with black cocoa, espresso powder, and unsweetened chocolate, itís the perfect complement to rich, creamy vanilla ice cream.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup (4 ounces) half and half or light cream
3/4 cup (5 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (1 1/8 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder*, black cocoa preferred
1 teaspoon espresso powder
dash of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

*Use Dutch-process, natural, our King Arthur All-Purpose Cocoa, or black cocoa, which makes a sauce that's ultra-dark and delicious.

In a small saucepan set over medium-low heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring till smooth. Stir in the half and half or cream. Whisk together the sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, and salt, and stir this mixture into the chocolate. (Whisking the cocoa with the other ingredients prevents it from forming lumps in the sauce.)

Stirring constantly, bring the mixture just to a boil, and remove it from the heat. Stir in the vanilla. Cool the sauce to room temperature, then store it in the refrigerator. To serve, reheat over low heat, or in the microwave.
Yield: 12 ounces, about 1 1/2 cups sauce.


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  • star rating 11/24/2014
  • Michelle from Dayton, MN
  • OMG - so good & easy! Thanks King Arthur!!
  • star rating 07/03/2014
  • Karen from Belle Plaine, MN
  • I tried the hot fudge sauce and it was fantastic! I have one question; would using heavy cream instead of half and half make any difference? I have that on hand more often.

    Hi Karen- we're glad to hear you enjoyed the fudge so much and you certainly could use cream, it just would produce a bit richer and heavier fudge in that case. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  • star rating 06/26/2014
  • Rebecca from San Jose, CA
  • Love these! I make the caramel all the time to use for salted caramel ice cream. I usually use coconut sugar, and it works fabulously!
  • star rating 06/19/2014
  • Jan from Los Angeles, CA
  • I made this recently and my family likes it very much. It is not very hard to prepare - much easier than it sounded in the recipe. We will be making it again because it is easy and more important, it doesn't have corn syrup in it.
  • star rating 04/12/2014
  • Kyla from MA
  • Decided to try the caramel sauce after having great luck with the hot fudge sauce. I made home made toffee each year and am used to making caramel. Couldn't even get this past the sugar and water melting stage. All it did was harden into a lump. I'll try again but am wondering if anyone else had this problem. Heat was not too high.
    I'm so sorry this recipe did not work well for you, Kyla. Please feel free to give us a call at the Baker's Hotline (855-371-2253) the next time you try it. We'd be happy to help you troubleshoot. Barb@kaf
  • star rating 04/12/2014
  • Kyla from MA
  • I made both recipes. Fudge sauce was phenomenal! Dark, bittersweet - even my husband liked it and he doesn't like hot fudge.
  • star rating 08/23/2013
  • Bro of the hour from KAF Community
  • This is the best chocolate sauce I have ever made or eaten. The caramel is sublime as well. Great choice for sundae night :)
  • 07/26/2013
  • Rachel from Greenfield, MA
  • Can't rate, but have a question... Anyone try to "can" or preserve these sauces. Thought they might make nice holiday gifts. Tips for canning?
    Please give our Baker's Hotline a call, one of the Bakers may be able to help!-Jon 855-371-2253
  • star rating 01/13/2013
  • vnielson14 from KAF Community
  • Both of these sauces are so good and easy to make. The hardest part is watching the caramel and taking it off the heat when it reaches the right color. I left out the espresso powder in the chocolate sauce and I didn't feel deprived at all. I will definitely give these as gifts next year.
  • star rating 11/11/2012
  • Hot momma from Pennsylvania
  • I recently tried this recipe and my first try I burnt the sugar mixture as it turned amber I watched it and was unsure as to when to take it off the heat, so I tried again and I'm so glad I did. This is it, the taste, texture it is sooo close to a caramel sauce I love and buy for special things but at $9.00 a16oz can't afford to have it with everything so I buy lesser in quality but mostly lesser in taste, now I can have this anytime on desserts, hot drinks, etc. It is really easy to make and not alot of cost either. I'm planning on putting this in Christmas baskets this year. Thank you!
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