Stout Caramel Sauce

Stout Caramel Storie-5

If you love caramel sauce on your ice cream, get ready for the most outrageous Homemade Caramel Sauce ever!  Made with Irish Stout and perfect for St. Patty’s Day celebrations, this Luscious Stout Caramel Sauce made with Guinness will ruin you for anything else!

Guinness Stout in a bottle.

I’ve got a thing for caramel.  Not the wannabe stuff  that’s sold next to the ice cream cones, wet nuts and Hershey’s syrup.  

I’m mean real caramel.  Sugar melted to lava-like temperatures until it’s just on the verge of scorching and then abruptly stopped by a tidal wave of heavy cream.  That’s what I’m talking about!  

This Guinness stout caramel is a riff on the original and actually has a more complex flavor than a regular caramel.  It’s deeper and more intense.  Not overly sweet.  Perfect.  One taste of this luscious stout caramel sauce will have you swooning.

Stout?  As in Guinness?  Yes.  

You can use stout beer or extra stout — and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Guinness. Use your favorite brand.

I actually used this stout caramel sauce to swirl into a batch of homemade ice cream with chunks of pretzels for the ultimate Irish pub inspired ice cream flavor: Stout Caramel Pretzel Ice Cream.

Newsletter Signup
Join our community of food lovers!

Get my latest recipes, helpful kitchen tips and more good things each week in your inbox.

pouring stout into a  pan to reduce.

Ingredients for Guinness Stout Caramel Sauce

  • Stout Beer (I used Guinness Extra Stout)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Heavy Cream
  • Butter
  • Salt

This caramel sauce recipe starts by reducing the Irish Stout down to a more concentrated syrup.  Make sure you’re using a good quality saucepan for this caramel, because it can scorch with some flimsier cookware.

reducing the stout by half before adding other ingredients.

How to make stout caramel sauce:

  1. Pour the stout into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until it reduces by half.
  2. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and return the mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and cook for about 8-10 minutes without stirring. The bubbles will start to grow and expand, meaning that it’s thickening.
  4. Remove from heat and add the butter and cream (it will sputter furiously).
  5. When the stout caramel sauce calms down, whisk the ingredients together until well combined.
  6. Cool to room temperature, transfer to a jar and refrigerate.
adding cream and butter to the stout caramel sauce.
When adding the cream and butter, the reduced stout will hiss and bubble furiously. When it subsides, whisk until the mixture is smooth.

Pro-tips for making stout caramel sauce:

  • Ignore your natural instincts to stir the beer and brown sugar mixture. Instead, just let it cook down on its own for about 8-10 minutes.
  • It’s important to pay attention to the sauce while it’s cooking. When it smells like its just to the point where it could easily burn and the bubbles  threaten to overflow the pan, that’s when it comes off the stove.
  • Don’t put your face ANYWHERE NEAR the pan when adding the cream and butter — it will send a hot vent of scalding steam into your eyes.
whisking the caramel sauce until smooth.

Is stout caramel supposed to be thick?

Guinness caramel sauce isn’t thick and creamy immediately after you make it, so don’t think you’ve done something wrong.

The sauce needs to cool completely and be refrigerated for several hours or overnight for it to get thick and ropy.

Of course, if you’re impatient (like me) and don’t want to wait for hours, you can certainly enjoy a “tester” of hot stout caramel over a dish of ice cream. It’s delicious!

Stout Caramel Storie-5

After refrigerating this Guinness stout caramel sauce is soft and velvety right from the refrigerator.   Spoon some over a scoop of vanilla, drizzle over strawberries and pound cake — or eat it right from the spoon.  I won’t tell. 


How long will the caramel sauce last?

This stout caramel is good for 2-3 weeks, when kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Do I need to warm the caramel sauce before using it?

You don’t have to. It’s thick and creamy straight from the fridge, but if you like a warm caramel sauce, heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute. The sauce will loosen up a bit when heated.

Can I use any type of beer?

I recommend using a stout or extra stout for this recipe. It’s got a deep malty flavor that makes the caramel sauce really special.

Stout Caramel Storie-6
See how thick the caramel sauce gets in the refrigerator? It’s incredible.

Tried this recipe? Leave a rating and review.

Your comments and shares are invaluable to me and the thousands of readers who use this site daily. If you've made the recipe, leave a star rating and review. We want to hear how you liked it.

We'd love it if you shared the recipe with your friends on social media!

a bowl of ice cream with stout caramel sauce.
Print Pin
4 from 10 votes

Guinness Stout Caramel Sauce

Made with Guinness stout, this rich, creamy caramel sauce is perfect for St. Patrick's Day dessert or whenever you're craving a luscious, thick ice cream topping.
Author: Lisa Lotts
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword caramel
Dietary Restrictions Egg Free, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 12- ounce stout beer such as Guinness
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Pour the stout into a medium saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer and cook until the stout is reduced by half.
  • Stir in the brown sugar and vanilla. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to a rapid simmer and let the mixture cook 8-10 minutes without stirring until sauce turns a deep amber and bubbles start to grow and expand. Mixture will be hot like lava, so be careful.
  • Remove from heat and add the butter, cream and salt and stir carefully until fully combined. Transfer to a resealable glass storage jar and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Serving Suggestions:
Spoon over ice cream and/or pound cake.
Drizzle over sliced strawberries.
Irish Black Cow Float: Vanilla Ice Cream + Stout Caramel Sauce + Guinness


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 48mg | Sodium: 90mg | Potassium: 49mg | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 0.1mg

“Pin It” For Later!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Tsvetomira Kisyova says:

    How much millilitres is 1 12 oz.?

  2. Amazing! I kicked up the vanilla to tone down some of the stout and it is delicious. I made a similar version years ago but this one is far better. Thank you for sharing. We drizzled over Irish bread pudding!

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Tami. Gonna need the recipe for your Irish Bread Pudding! That sounds divine!

  3. I can’t tell if I burned the sugar a bit or if it’s just the robust flavor of the stout coming through. It doesn’t taste bad, but it has an interesting finish. Not smoky, not bitter, but kind of in that vein. Did I do something wrong?

  4. 5 stars
    Mine doesn’t seem to be thickening, is it possible I didn’t let it simmer long enough prior to adding the cream and butter? It still tastes amazing!

    1. It should thicken as it cools. Let it cool to room temperature and refrigerate it — see if that doesn’t help.

  5. Can this be cooked a second time to 245 degrees and be made into caramels?

    1. Hmmm… I’ve never tried that. I’ve never made caramels to be eaten like candy. It sounds good in theory, just haven’t tested it. If you make it, let me know!

  6. Kelly Seals says:

    Making Guinness Chocolate Cake for a dinner party tomorrow night & thought a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of guinness caramel over top would take it over the top, then I found your recipe! Just what I had in mind — thank you Lisa!

    1. Can I come to dinner too? That sounds awesome! Hope you enjoy the caramel!

  7. Julie Phalen says:

    Sounds good. I’m going to make this tomorrow. I LOVE caramel~~~~

  8. I have made whiskey salted caramel and LOVED it.. but now you have got me wanting to make this ASAP.

    1. Let me know how you like it — we couldn’t stop ourselves!

  9. I already adore caramel and you made it even better with stout. Just give me a spoon and the jar.

    1. That’s really not far from the truth! LOL!

  10. Lisa this is beyond stunning. I love the ideal of combining the bitterness of stout with caramel. The pairing is literally bittersweet…. hahaha. Great stuff. 🙂

  11. foodhuntersguide says:

    This has me drooling!

  12. 5 stars
    I don’t like drinking beer, but I do like cooking with it. This sauce is amazing on ice cream and even over chopped strawberries.

  13. Bella Bucchiotti (xoxoBella) says:

    5 stars
    Yum, this sounds totally amazing. I would love to try this with ice cream.

    1. The stout gives it a bittersweet flavor and makes it much more assertive than plain caramel.

  14. Wow…this sounds heavenly. This would be perfect on any flavor ice cream. Perfect for a grown up dessert!

    1. It’s so awesome! I’m making more this weekend!