The best caramel sauce is gooey. It’s sweet. And it’s a little bit salty. The best store bought caramel sauce is all of those things, plus you don’t have to do any work—it comes in a squeeze bottle or a jar, ready to use. I tried ten different bottled and jarred caramel sauce brands in order to find the very best one to buy and drizzle over everything like you’re a damn king.
Is there anything as classically indulgent as caramel? It’s a silky amalgamation of sugar, butter, and cream that transforms into a sauce that dreamily drizzles off a spoon and into your mouth. It even feels decadent just to say the word: caramel. Your mouth watered just a little bit, I bet.
Sometimes our taste tests are difficult. This was not one of them. Here is the best caramel sauce you can buy.
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- Kroger Caramel Dessert Topping
If you’re looking for a cheap caramel ice cream topping that is easy to drizzle and tastes like a liquid Werther’s Original, look no further. Kroger’s caramel sauce is the perfect consistency for drizzling. And it’s just salty enough to provide a nice contrast to a sweet scoop of ice cream.
Credit: Merc / Kroger
- Torani Caramel
Torani gets points for packaging. It comes in an easy squeeze bottle so you can squirt this darkly rich caramel sauce into or onto whatever you please. It has a cooked sugar flavor, which makes sense since that’s a lot of what caramel is, but it’s distinct here—not quite burnt but definitely cooked to the point of giving it a dark edge. I’d like this stirred into a latte, or I think this would be the best caramel sauce to drizzle on chocolate ice cream.
Credit: Merc / Walmart
- Ghirardelli Caramel
Ghirardelli is the best caramel sauce for coffee. It’s thick and buttery, but still thin enough to be squirtable. It tastes like it belongs in and on a Frappuccino. The flavor is light and sweet, so it won’t overtake the coffee flavor too much. You can be your own Starbucks with this caramel sauce and some canned whipped cream.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Trader Jacques’ Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
I could and did eat this jarred caramel sauce with a spoon for dessert—just on its own. It’s extremely thick and VERY caramelly. It’s like the inside of a caramel truffle. It has just a touch of salt mixed in—that good, fancy salt. It’s hands down the best caramel sauce (and you know it’s affordable because it’s coming from Trader Joe’s). It would be the star of any ice cream sundae.
Best Squirt Bottle
Best for Coffee Drinks
Best of the Best
Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!
While it isn’t store bought, I love the caramel sauce from Tastefully Simple. Maybe a taste test of some of those direct sale companies would be fun. In the Midwest at least, at every craft fair, local gift shop, etc. you see so many of these different “dip & soup” company booths or nooks.
Wooooow get a load of the COASTAL ELITES over here with this “Trader Joe’s is obviously affordable” take (sarcasm)
Ghiradelli is nice 🙂 I was unimpressed by Torani but the packaging looked good.
I would like a chocolate sauce ranking. Especially for coffee since that’s where I would use it. Thank you.