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This Silky 3-Ingredient Caramel Sauce Makes Everyday Desserts More Delectable! See the Easy Recipe

It preps in five minutes and is yummy poured over ice cream and other sweet treats

Although everyone has their die-hard favorite dessert topping, nothing tops caramel sauce if you ask us. Sweet and gooey caramel makes every bite of ice cream, brownies and other treats more delicious. Plus, it’s easier than ever to make at home thanks to a viral 3-ingredient caramel sauce recipe! It combines pantry staples like olive oil and maple syrup to make this sauce in just five minutes — no cooking needed. Keep reading to get the scoop on this speedy caramel sauce, which is sure to delight your sweet tooth!

The basics of caramel sauce

Making this sauce typically involves heating sugar on its own or with water. Once the sugar is dissolved into a liquid, butter or heavy cream is added before the mixture is cooled. And voilà! The caramel sauce is ready to spoon over your dessert. While this method produces a buttery topping, you have to keep a close eye on the pan to avoid a burnt caramel sauce. The easy alternative: Use a no-cook method to whip up rich caramel sauce with less hassle.

Chef’s shortcut method for caramel sauce

Rather than simmering the caramel sauce, Maya Leinenbach, blogger and author of Ooh, that’s vegan?, simply combines maple syrup, extra-virgin olive oil and salt in a bowl instead. It may sound odd, but emulsifying these ingredients surprisingly creates a thick caramel sauce. You won’t miss out on flavor because the syrup acts as a sweetener; the olive oil adds a subtle fruitiness; and the salt enhances the mixture’s taste. So easy and yummy!

Since the sauce doesn’t contain butter or cream, it’s also great if you’re looking to limit your intake of those unhealthy fats — or need a vegan-friendly caramel. It’s best to use equal parts of syrup and oil so the mixture is perfectly sweet and reaches a spoonable consistency. Before you know it, you’ll have a delectable sauce to dress up your frozen treat.

How to make 3-ingredient caramel sauce

Here, you’ll find Leinenbach’s simple recipe for Olive Oil Caramel Sauce. To ensure the mixture forms a velvety caramel, she suggests using cold maple syrup as it’s slightly thicker than at room temperature. Additionally, you can use agave in place of pure maple syrup if you don’t have it on hand. Drizzle the sauce over this Homemade Gelato or Pistachio Ice Cream for a dessert you and any guests will crave seconds of!

Olive Oil Caramel Sauce


  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup cold maple syrup or agave
  • Pinch of salt


  • Yield: 6 servings
  1. In small bowl, vigorously mix all ingredients with whisk or fork until thick brown sauce forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. Pour desired amount over scoops of ice cream and enjoy!
  3. Note: Any leftover caramel sauce can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Other ways to enjoy 3-ingredient caramel sauce

Beyond ice cream, this caramel sauce is tasty poured over desserts like Honey Butter Toast, Healthy Brownies or Banana Split on a Stick. Also, try mixing it into hot or iced coffee to add a rich butterscotch flavor to your daily brew. (Try these dulce de leche recipes for other caramel-infused desserts.)

Read on for more easy and delicious sauce recipes!

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