How to Use Leftover Caramel

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It’s not uncommon for people to have leftover caramel after making a homemade batch. If you are left with hardened, dark caramel, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to use the rest up. For example, you can use the leftover caramel as a topping on cupcakes. If you want something that’s a little more creamy, try using it as a dip instead! No matter what your craving is, there is sure to be an option here that will satisfy your taste buds and help reduce waste at the same time.

5 Ways to Use Leftover Caramel

  1. Melt down to use as a dip
  2. Topping for cupcakes
  3. Sweetener for coffee and tea
  4. Make salted caramel sauce
  5. Drizzle over some sliced apples

1. Melt Down Caramel to Use as a Dip

When the caramel is melted down, it makes a tasty dip that can be used for dipping fruits or pretzels into!

What are the best foods to dip in caramel?

  1. French Toast
  2. Bananas
  3. Apples
  4. Nuts (walnuts, almonds)
  5. Cookies
  6. Pretzels

Use a Microwave

To make a caramel dip, you can put soft caramel in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave the caramel on high power for two minutes, then slightly stir until smooth. If your caramel is not fully melted after another minute of microwaving, continue heating for 30-second intervals until right before it is about to melt.

Be sure not to overcook it or else you’ll end up with burnt caramel instead!

2. Topping for Desserts

Once the caramel has hardened, it is hard to use as a dip or sauce right away. A good idea is to smash hardened caramel into bits. This caramel dust can be used to top cupcakes and other pastries. It even goes great with ice cream!

Pretzel chocolate cupcakes with drizzled caramel

For those who prefer a lighter taste, leftover caramel can be added to a cupcake or pastry as a filling instead of drizzling on top. Either use a small amount or make a lighter filling by using more water.

3. Sweetener for Coffee and Tea

Using caramel as a sweetener for coffee is an absolute game-changer.

If caramel is too sweet for your liking, start out by adding a teaspoon at a time. If your caramel is on the harder side, make sure to add the caramel when your beverage is still piping hot.

You can also use caramel to sweeten tea. Just add caramel powder (or melt) directly into your hot tea and stir until it dissolves completely! Though as a sweetener, I prefer to use caramel in milk teas instead of straight herbal teas. Caramel and creaminess just go hand-in-hand.

Caramel milk foam mocha

4. Make Salted Caramel Sauce

If you have some heavy whipping cream (or milk), butter, and sea salt, then you have everything needed to make a salted caramel sauce. For taste, after bringing the ingredients to a boil, adding vanilla extract could heighten the flavors of the caramel sauce.

Salted caramel sauce can be added to any dessert for an added layer of dark, rich sweetness. The caramel sauce can be drizzled over some popcorn or added to a cup of coffee for brunch or an afternoon snack.

Salted caramel with popcorn

For a quick version, all you have to do is melt (soft) caramel in the microwave with a little bit of milk until it’s to the point that you could stir it, and then sprinkle salt at the end so that there are small chunks throughout. Use bigger granules for a saltier bite.

5. Drizzle Over Sliced Apples

Sliced apples with peanut butter are a healthy snack and taste good. However, have you ever tried caramel dripped over some sliced apples? The caramel-apple combo is a sweet and (almost) savory combination that will surely satisfy your need for something tasty.

Again, caramel sauce can be made thinner with more water or thicker with more cream or milk. You can also add some ginger to the caramel if you want that extra snap!

Just remember to use firm apples so the drizzled caramel won’t turn a soft apple into mush.

Also, caramelized apples can be used in an apple pie. Just add the caramel-drizzled apple to your pastry dough and bake it for 20-40 minutes at 350°F.

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