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While planning on my Steampunk Hat Birthday Cake I was thinking about the flavors I was going to use. My favorite cake of all time is a yellow cake with chocolate buttercream. So I originally set off to make this old school flavor. But while mixing up the cakes and buttercream, I realized I wanted an extra flavor as a nod to the Steampunk theme. Steampunk tends to nod toward old fashioned liquors and cocktails like rum and whiskey. Thus, this creamy whiskey caramel sauce came about.
I have never made caramel before. Partly because I’ve never wanted to and partly because any kind of candy making scares me. Like pastry, it’s easy to go wrong with candy. So this was definitely an exercise in patience.
I started out by just throwing things in a saucepan. And I thought it was going to work at first. Everything looked good. Then… well, then it turned into this grainy, cloudy mess. The flavor was good, but otherwise it was just awful.
I almost scrapped the idea after a disastrous first attempt. But I am so glad I didn’t!
This time I started with a typical caramel. And then I added the butter, cream, and whiskey. I paid more attention and whisked a whole lot more. And this time, it worked.
When I spread this between the layers of yellow cake, it spread so easily on the cakes. It was a perfect flavor addition, cutting some of the sweetness of the chocolate buttercream. Not only that, it’s just a luscious creamy sauce!
I used it recently on my Perfect Oatmeal Cookies and couldn’t believe how perfectly they paired together. On the cookie you get more of the whiskey flavor and scent, followed by the creamy sweetness of the caramel.
What would you drizzle this sauce on? Tell me in the comments below!
Creamy Whiskey Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup whiskey of your choice
- 2 Tbsp heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp salted butter
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar over medium heat. Do not stir.
- After several minutes, you'll start to see caramel developing. If the heat is not even in the pan, try gently pushing the sugar around the pan to get it all evenly heated.
- In a separate small saucepan, melt the butter. Once butter is melted, whisk in cream and whiskey.
- When all the sugar has turned into caramel, carefully pour the whiskey mix into the caramel, whisking the whole time.
- Turn down the heat to medium low, and continue to whisk for a few minutes. Remove from heat and continue to whisk for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to a drizzle-able sauce.
- Pour into a jar or glass container to cool.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several months – even though it won't last that long!