Caramel Color Recipe – Gluten Free – Browning Syrup – Burnt Sugar Syrup

Have you ever wondered what you can use to substitute molasses in my Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe or how to add color to gravies? Or maybe you have wondered what you can use to replace caramel color in a commercial product when trying to duplicate their recipe. Wonder no more! This super easy caramel color recipe will add not only color to your recipes but flavor as well.

There’s no need to purchased caramel color. Caramel color is basically watered down burnt sugar or burnt corn syrup. That’s right. It’s smells burnt too. Chefs use this mixture more than you may think. Using sugar instead of corn syrup, this recipe is inexpensive and of course, corn-free.


Pumpernickel Bread:

Add color without adding sweetness. Use up to 2 tablespoons in my Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread Recipe to replace some of the molasses. It will tone down the sweetness. You can do the same thing to the Sourdough Pumpernickel Recipe (Mix or By Hand).

Other Bread Recipes:

You can a little caramel color to bread dough when making brown bread. However, you can also baste the crust with caramel color for a deeper brown color. The sugar will also help make the crust crunchier.


Besides adding to pumpernickel bread and gravies, you can also add this caramel to color along with beef broth base to replace gravy colorants and flavorants such as Kitchen Bouquet and Gravy Master.


Add a little color to soups whether they are pureed or not.

This recipe is available to everyone.

Homemade Caramel Color

When you’re making pumpernickel bread and you don’t want it super sweet or you need a little color and flavor in a gravy, make this caramel color recipe.

Course Ingredient
Cuisine Savory
Ingredient Keyword gravy master, kitchen bouquet
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup hot water


  1. To a small saucepan, add the sugar and 1-1/2 tablespoons water. Do not stir. Cover and simmer of over medium heat until the sugar melts completely. Increase heat to medium-high and boil for 3 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream of tartar until it is thoroughly distributed. Return to the heat and continue to boil until the sugar “almost” turns black. You’re wanting a very dark brown. It will continue to cook and darken when removed from the heat. Remove from the heat and stir until all foam dissolves and you’re left with only a dark liquid.
  3. Return to the heat and add the hot water, stirring to dissolve any hardened sugar on the spoon and the sides of the saucepan. For harder to remove sugar on the sides of the saucepan, simply spoon a little of the liquid onto the sides of the pan.
  4. Allow to cool and use in recipes like Gluten Free Pumpernickel Bread in small amounts to replace some or all and of the molasses as well as in Golden Mushroom Soup.

  5. Store in a glass container and allow to reach room temperature. Then, refrigerate for up to 3 months.

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