In this post, I will teach you how easy it is to make a fabulous pecan praline sauce recipe. All you need is a sweet tooth, a little time, and 4 common ingredients and you’ll be well on your way to making this easy praline sauce.
What is Praline Sauce?
Praline sauce is a sweet, creamy, buttery sauce filled with chopped pecans. It’s used as a topping on a number of desserts. In fact, it’s one of my favorite Cheesecake Topping Recipes.
It’s also used as a dipping sauce for savory foods, such as fried chicken and sweet potato fries.
What’s the Difference Between Praline and Caramel Sauce?
The difference between praline sauce and caramel sauce has to do with 2 factors: the type of sugar used and the cooking method.
Praline sauce calls for brown sugar. Caramel sauce calls for regular cane sugar.
Caramel sauce is made by slowly caramelizing white sugar. You don’t need to caramelize sugar when making praline sauce since you’re using brown sugar.
Key Ingredients in This Recipe:
Pecans are a no-brainer for praline sauce. You can use whole pecans or chopped pecans, depending on what texture you want your sauce to have.
You can also substitute different nuts instead of pecans if you’d like. Try peanuts, cashews, sunflowers, macadamia nuts, etc. The sky is the limit.
I used organic, pasture-raised, unsalted butter for this recipe. Some people swear by salted butter. I can see the saltiness of the butter complimenting and highlighting the sweetness of the praline sauce.
Brown sugar is the sweetening component in this recipe. Brown sugar is what gives praline sauce its distinct flavor. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
(Somehow I forgot to take a picture of the heavy cream!) Heavy cream gives body and creaminess to the sauce.
Some folks swear by sweetened condensed milk. You can substitute this if you want but be sure to add it slowly and monitor the sauce thickness.
Pure vanilla extract, not the imitation flavor, is crucial in this recipe. Use the scrapings of a vanilla bean if you are able. Adding vanilla creates a subtle level of flavor that you won’t want to miss out on.
How To Use Pecan Praline Sauce
How to “use” or how to “serve” praline sauce is a common question. My favorite way to eat pecan praline sauce is on cheesecake. In fact, that’s the whole reason I created this recipe!
Common uses for praline sauce include:
- Pancake syrup (maple syrup or corn syrup substitution)
- French toast syrup
- Fried chicken dipping sauce
- Sweet potato fries dipping sauce
- Sweet potatoes topping
- Serve with beignets
- Serve with brie cheese
- Brownie topping
- Bread pudding topping
- Ice cream topping
- Pie topping
- Pound cake topping
Praline Sauce Troubleshooting and FAQ
How Many Calories in Praline Sauce?
Praline sauce has 80 calories per serving. Each serving size is 1 tablespoon. Full nutritional values are available at the bottom of the recipe card at the end of this blog post.
While this isn’t one of my healthy recipes, it still has fewer calories per tablespoon than a tablespoon of peanut butter :).
How do I Thicken My Praline Sauce?
The easiest way to thicken runny praline sauce is to add a tablespoon of cornstarch. Stir the cornstarch into the praline sauce and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add more cornstarch until you reach the desired consistency. Keep in mind, cornstarch needs to be cooked for a minute or it’ll leave behind a bitter flavor.
Can I Make Substitutions in My Praline Sauce?
Yes, of course. You can even make praline sauce without nuts! Pecans are a finishing touch, but they’re not necessary.
This is a praline recipe without evaporated milk. We use heavy cream instead. Feel free to use evaporated milk if your heart desires. Keep in mind, this will add an additional level of sweetness. You can also add a bit of cream cheese if you’d like.
You can add any kind of nut to the praline sauce. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts. Whatever you choose, it’s you in a nutshell!
Can You Freeze Praline Sauce?
The FoodSaver sucks any extra air out of the bag, which makes the contents last much longer when frozen.
How To Store Praline Sauce
As mentioned above, you can definitely freeze your praline sauce. You can also refrigerate it. I keep mine in a mason jar in the fridge. It lasts about 2-3 weeks.
In order to reheat your praline sauce, slowly heat it on the stove over low heat or in a small bowl in the microwave.
How To Make Pecan Praline Sauce:
Follow these 3 steps to make the most incredible pecan sauce!
Step 1: Gather Ingredients:
For this recipe you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup of butter (half stick butter)
- 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup pecans (chopped)
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
Step 2: Make the Sauce
Melt butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan or medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, using a wooden spoon or spatula (I switched halfway through for no apparent reason).
Step 3: Add Heavy Cream & Let Cool
For the last step, slowly mix in 1/2 a cup of heavy cream. You may get some instant hardening of the sauce. This is okay. Just keep stirring over moderate heat until it’s fully incorporated.
Turn off the heat and let the praline sauce come to room temperature before serving.
Easy Pecan Praline Sauce Recipe
- Melt & MixMelt butter, brown sugar, chopped pecans, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, using a wooden spoon.1/2 cup unsalted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp vanilla extract, 1 cup pecans, 1 pinch Kosher Salt
- Add Heavy Cream & Let CoolFor the last step, slowly mix in 1/2 a cup of heavy cream. You may get some instant hardening of the sauce. This is okay. Just keep stirring over moderate heat until it’s fully incorporated.Turn off the heat and let the praline sauce come to room temperature before serving.1/2 cup heavy cream
Your Own Notes
The Golden Lamb provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.Love it? Pin it! Share on Facebook
One more note: There are some recipes that ask you to use a candy thermometer to monitor the temperature of the praline sauce. There’s no need to do this since we’re not creating praline candy.
I was inspired to make this recipe after seeing similar recipes pop up in Better Homes & Gardens, Midwest Living, and Southern Living. I gave this recipe my own spin by adding more pecans and insisting on heavy cream. I hope you like it!
Thanks for stopping by! I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Did you find this to be a simple recipe? Is this your new favorite easy pecan praline sauce recipe?
Till next time, Bon Appetit!
Check out my other popular dessert recipes!