Miso Caramel Sauce

Transform your sweet treats with this Miso Caramel Sauce, contrasting the rich, savory notes of miso paste with the comforting sweetness of this classic dessert topping.
This recipe is created by Marc Matsumoto (No Recipes®)
Miso Caramel Sauce

What is Miso Caramel

This Miso Caramel sauce recipe is a delicious twist on the traditional dessert topping, blending the familiar sweetness of caramel with the rich umami of a hint of miso. The satisfying salty contrast prevents this sweet condiment from becoming cloying, and the versatile sauce can be drizzled over sweets like ice cream, brownies, or fruit, adding a unique flavor and depth to all kinds of desserts. It’s another example of why this fermented bean paste isn’t just for miso soup.

Why this Recipe Works

  • Red miso paste adds a bold, nutty flavor and satisfying salty contrast to the sweetness of the caramel sauce.
  • Dissolving the miso through a sieve into the cream evenly distributes it while ensuring your caramel sauce is silky smooth.
  • By adding water to the sugar and covering it with a lid, the steam generated prevents it from crystallizing.

Ingredients for Miso Caramel Sauce

  • Sugar – Sugar forms the basis for any caramel, providing the sweetness, and when it’s caramelized, the flavor becomes rich and earthy. I like using granulated cane sugar, but white granulated sugar or caster sugar will work fine. I don’t recommend using brown sugar as the molasses it contains tends to burn and get bitter.
  • Water – Water helps to dissolve the sugar crystals, preventing crystallization.
  • Heavy cream – The liquid in the cream turns the caramelized sugar into a smooth sauce while the fat and milk solids add a luxurious richness. If heavy cream (over 36% milk fat) is not available, try adding one tablespoon of unsalted butter (cultured European butter is a good choice) to the cream. For a plant-based, dairy-free version, you can substitute full-fat coconut milk.
  • Miso – Darker miso pastes have generally been fermented longer than white miso. This gives red miso a rich, nutty flavor and savory umami that’s the perfect contrast to the decadent caramel. White miso paste will also work for this recipe if you can’t find a darker one.

How to make Miso Caramel Sauce

Start by adding the sugar to the center of a frying pan and pouring the water around it. Cover this with a lid and bring the mixture to a boil. The water generates steam, creating a moist environment that dissolves the sugar evenly and wards off any sugar crystals, which are the nemesis of a smooth caramel.

While the sugar is melting, dissolve the red miso paste with cream through a tea strainer. This evenly distributes the flavor of the miso while removing any solids.

Once the sugar has melted, remove the lid and continue boiling until it starts to brown. As it boils, the hot sugar undergoes a series of complex chemical reactions, developing the rich, deep flavor and caramel color we’re looking for.

At this point, the sugar can go from caramelized to burnt quickly, so reduce the heat to slow the reaction down and continue cooking the caramel mixture while swirling it around the pan until it reaches 360°F (180°C) on a thermometer.

Turn off the heat and carefully add the cream mixture to the caramel sugar, stirring until the sauce is smooth. Stir swiftly but carefully, as the mixture will bubble and steam vigorously; this ensures the cream and caramel sugar meld together into a smooth, homogenous sauce.

Serve it On

The balance of savory and sweet tastes makes this homemade Miso Caramel Sauce a versatile condiment that can take desserts to the next level. Drizzle it over ice cream, brownies, cheesecake, or apple pie to add a decadent caramel flavor. The savory miso adds a savory contrast to sweets and lends an earthy depth that amplifies the umami from ingredients such as butter, chocolate, and cream. The golden brown sauce also makes for a delightful dipping sauce, fruit such as apples and bananas, as well as pastries such as churros or croissants.

How to Store and Reheat Miso Caramel Sauce

Store this miso caramel sauce in an airtight container, such as a glass jar or storage container. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. When you’re ready to use it, transfer the amount you plan to eat to a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 10-20 seconds or until the caramel has melted into a pourable state.

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Servings 8


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup cream
  • 1 tablespoon Organic Miso Red


  • Add 3/4 cup sugar to the center of a frying pan and then pour ¼ cup water around the outside. Cover the pan with a lid and turn the stove to medium-high heat. Boil the mixture covered until the sugar completely dissolves.
    Miso Caramel Sauce
  • While you wait for the sugar to dissolve, put the miso into a tea strainer over a bowl and pour ½ cup cream in. Use a spoon or small spatula to dissolve 1 tablespoon Organic Miso Red and press it through the strainer.
    Miso Caramel Sauce
  • When the sugar has fully melted, remove the lid, turn the stove down to medium heat, and continue boiling while swirling around the pan until the melted sugar has started to brown.
    Miso Caramel Sauce
  • Reduce the heat to low and continue swirling and cooking the caramel until it reaches 360°F (180°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
    Miso Caramel Sauce
  • Turn off the heat, add the miso cream mixture, and stir until the sauce has a smooth, creamy texture (it will bubble and steam, so be careful).
    Miso Caramel Sauce

Product used in this recipe


Organic Miso Red
17.6 oz (500 g)

Our Organic Miso Red is made from organic rice and soybeans, with bright red in color. Long fermentation process creates it distinct, deep, and rich taste, with strong miso aroma.

Contains: Soybeans

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