This Easy Pecan Praline Sauce recipe is ridiculously simple to make in less than 10 minutes with 4 ingredients! Made with whipping cream, butter, brown sugar, lots of toasty pecans, this caramel pecan sauce doesn't even need corn syrup to make it smooth and creamy.
It's the ultimate pecan sauce for topping cheesecake, bread pudding, waffles and ice cream!
Thank you to my friends at Whaley Pecan Company for sponsoring this post.
This pecan sauce tastes just like a warm pecan praline-but creamier!
It's easy to see why because they use almost the same ingredients!
Trust me, no matter what your baking or candy making skill level, this will be your go-to dessert topping recipe to impress everyone you know.
It's that easy. It's that good.
My favorite way to serve this super easy dessert sauce is pouring it, warm, over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the summer as a quick praline ice cream topping.
In the fall and during the holidays, I like to "gild the lily" by slathering this decadent pecan sauce on my Honey Bread Pudding.
It's also indulgent straight from a spoon. Seriously.
What is praline sauce?
Praline sauce looks and tastes very similar to caramel sauce. It is made smooth and creamy by using whipping cream and cooking it just until slightly thickened, then stir in pecans.
Pecan pralines are a sugary homemade candy typically made with evaporated milk so you can cook it to a higher temperature to make the candy that looks like puddles of brown sugar and pecan goodness.
Why is this the BEST recipe for praline sauce?
- It's the smoothest, creamiest of all the pecan sauce recipes I've ever made. And I've made A LOT of them in my past 20 years in the test kitchen.
- Only 4 ingredients.
- Made in less than 10 minutes.
- The most versatile recipe because it works with either heavy whipping cream, whipping cream, half and half, or evaporated milk.
Directions for using evaporated milk and half and half are listed below the step by step pictures for this recipe below.
- It works with what you have! I've tested this recipe using heavy whipping cream, whipping cream, half and half, and evaporated milk.
- Pecan pieces are already the perfect size. No chopping needed.
- Ready in 10 minutes.
- Salted butter saves an ingredient (salt).
If you love candied pecans, try my 3 Ingredient Cinnamon Sugar Toasted Pecans.
Praline Sauce Ingredients
What you will need to make this pecan praline sauce recipe.
Scroll down to printable recipe for exact ingredient quantities.
- Brown sugar- I used light brown sugar in this recipe because I love the caramel undertones it gives but dark brown sugar is good, too. Dark brown sugar will give it a rich, depth of flavor with the extra molasses it brings.
- Whipping cream - Heavy whipping cream (not whipped) or regular whipping cream both work beautifully. I also tested it with half and half (half whipping cream, half whole milk) and it also worked with just cooking it one additional minute to thicken up.
- Butter - I used salted butter. If using unsalted butter, add 1/8 teaspoon table salt.
- Pecans - Use toasted pecan pieces or chopped pecans, or try making your own roasted pecans halves. Of course, I love to use Alabama products so I'm using Whaley's Pecan Company pecans from Troy, Alabama.
Tip: See directions below on how to make this pecan praline sauce with evaporated milk or half and half.
How to make pecan praline sauce
Since this easy homemade praline sauce recipe only takes 10 minutes, you can make it in front of your guests right before serving! (See notes below on how to reheat it later.)
Scroll down to the bottom for the printable recipe with detailed instructions.
- Combine brown sugar, whipping cream and butter in a small to medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes to a boil.
- Let mixture boil, only stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. (See printable recipe below for more details.)
- Stir in toasted pecans. (See how to toast pecans below)
The praline sauce will thicken even more as it cools. Serve warm or room temperature. See details below for reheating.
This brown sugar pecan sauce is incredibly rich, smooth and creamy.
Just hand me a spoon! Please and thank you.
How to make praline sauce with evaporated milk
Follow the recipe directions for my Easy Pecan Praline Sauce recipe with these changes. 1. Use 3/4 cup evaporated milk to replace 1 cup whipping cream. 2. Increase butter to 7 tablespoons (almost 1/2 cup). 3. Let mixture boil an additional 2 to 3 minutes until slightly thickened.
How to make praline sauce with half and half
Follow the recipe directions for my Easy Pecan Praline Sauce recipe with these changes. 1. Use 1 cup evaporated milk to replace 1 cup whipping cream. 2. Increase butter to 1/3 cup (5 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons). 3. Let mixture boil an additional 1 to 2 minutes until slightly thickened.
Pro tip: Using whole milk. I tested this recipe using whole milk but the fat content just isn't high enough to prevent the sugar from crystalizing and becoming grainy. If you add 1 tablespoon corn syrup and use 1/2 cup butter, it will work fine but not be quite as rich.
Substitutions & Variations
Trade "this" for "that" in this praline pecan sauce recipe to use what you have or change up the flavors and textures.
- Maple Praline Sauce - Simply stir in 2 tablespoons real maple syrup or pancake syrup into the sauce when you stir in the pecans.
- Bourbon Praline Sauce - Stir in 2 tablespoons bourbon into the sauce 1 minute before stirring in the pecans.
- To gild the lily and add another layer of rich flavor, stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
Where to buy pecans
For fresh pecans, you can order online from Whaley Pecan Company or purchase them in their gift shop in Troy, Alabama. Pecan pieces are sold in 8 ounce and one pound bags in 4 different sizes of pieces.
Check your hometown grocery store, too. I often buy my Whaley's pecans at my local FoodLand.
Give praline sauce as a gift!
Need last minute Christmas, birthday, or "welcome to the neighborhood" gifts?
This easy pecan praline sauce makes excellent homemade food gifts in a jar.
How to toast pecans
Toasting pecan pieces or coarsely chopped pecans three ways:
- Skillet: Cook pecan pieces in a skillet over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, stirring or shaking skillet often, until toasted.
- Oven. Bake at 375F degrees on a baking sheet for 5 to 6 minutes or until toasted.
- Air Fryer. Line the rack with parchment paper or foil so the pieces will not fall through to the bottom. Air fry at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes or until toasted.
Two ways to reheat leftover praline sauce. STOVETOP: Heat in a saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until warm. MICROWAVE: Microwave on high in a microwave safe dish for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave at 15 second increments until warm.
A pecan praline is a candy made with pecans that resemble patties or "puddles" of brown sugar mixture and pecan halves or pieces. Praline pecans are roasted pecan halves that have a sugary coating baked on them or poured over them.
How to serve Southern praline sauce
You gotta try this decadent praline topping on everything! Serve sauce warm over:
- French Toast
- Cake, pound cake
- Ice Cream
- To Store. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator, covered or in an air tight container up to one week.
- To Freeze. I don't recommend freezing this recipe for praline sauce.
If you make this recipe I'd love to see it! Tag me on social media with #gritsandgouda or @gritsandgouda. Leave a comment below the printable recipe if you have questions or tell me how you liked the recipe. Don't forget to rate it 5 stars if you love it!
Easy Pecan Praline Sauce
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream or whipping cream (See notes to make pecan sauce with evaporated milk.)
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1 cup toasted pecan pieces or coarsely chopped pecans
- Combine brown sugar, whipping cream, and butter in a small to medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until it comes to a boil. Let mixture boil, only stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Stir in toasted pecans. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutrition analysis on GritsAndGouda.com recipes are mostly calculated on an online nutrition calculator. I am not a dietitian and nutritional information is an estimate and can vary based on products used.