Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce

Bacon makes pretty much everything better, as we saw in my last post. But there are a rare few sweet treats that bacon just can’t really improve. Thankfully, we also have vanilla! I love vanilla, and rarely make any dessert that doesn’t include it somewhere. Tonight, we’re making a caramel bourbon vanilla sauce, because what also makes everything even better? Booze!

So far I’ve put this on apple cobbler, pear pie, vanilla ice cream, and even eaten it straight out of the jar. It would also be a fantastic dip for apple slices, use it to sweeten up some oatmeal in the morning, or go really decadent and pour it over a cheesecake!

This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart, and can be found here, if you want it from the source:

First, you’ll want to slice open the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds onto a spoon, and set them to the side.

Now, we start out adding 2 cups of sugar and 1/2 cup of water to a medium sized saucepan (or in my case, a dutch oven) over medium heat, whisking to combine.

Next, we cook the mixture without stirring, but instead swirling the pan carefully, until the mixture is a dark amber color.

Then reduce heat to low, and slowly add the cream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.

Now scrape the vanilla seeds into the pot, then add the lemon juice, butter, and bourbon, stirring to combine.

Once that’s all done, so is your sauce! Personally, I’ve loved it over a nice pear pie, but it would do wonderful things to a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream as well. You can store it, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. Since it becomes solid when cold, you’ll have to bring sauce to room temperature, or warm over low heat before using. Enjoy!



Caramel Bourbon Vanilla Sauce

Course Dessert
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Cooking Madly


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean split in half lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon


  1. Combine sugar and 1/2 cup water in a 2-quart saucepan set over medium heat. Without stirring, cook mixture until dark amber in color, swirling the pan carefully while cooking, about 20 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly add cream, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the pan, and add the pod. Add lemon juice, butter, and bourbon. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover, and store, refrigerated, up to 1 week. Bring sauce to room temperature, or warm over low heat, before using.


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