This Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is a tangy, slightly sweet and mildly spicy. It’s ready in minutes and is delicious served over any kind of pork—pulled pork, pork chops, you name it! It’s also wonderful spooned over grilled turkey burgers. 

Ingredients in carolina gold bbq sauce

  • prepared yellow mustard
  • apple cider vinegar
  • honey
  • molasses
  • tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce (or liquid aminos to keep it vegan)
  • Frank’s hot sauce (or Tabasco if you like it spicier)
  • cayenne pepper 
  • garlic powder

Is this bbq sauce Spicy?

Carolina gold barbecue sauce is mildly spicy. This recipe uses both Frank’s hot sauce and a dash of cayenne. But, here’s the thing with this sauce—and all barbecue sauces—you can make it as spicy or mild as you’d like. 

If you like things on the mild side, start by decreasing the cayenne or leaving it out altogether. Love it fiery? Use Tabasco instead of Frank’s and increase the cayenne a pinch.  

yellow-orange sauce being spooned fro a glass jar

What does carolina gold bbq sauce taste like?

Carolina Gold is a unique barbecue sauce that’s unlike any other. The base of the sauce is yellow mustard—you can imagine the wonderful tang it adds!

The addition of honey and tomato paste balance out the tang with just enough natural sweetness. Plus, a few tablespoons of molasses add depth without making it reminiscent of the all-too-sweet sticky brown sauce over-served here in the midwest.

All that to say, this sauce is tangy, slightly sweet, and mildly spicy. 

image of a jar filled with yellow barbecue sauce

How to make Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

Ya’ll (for all you southerners) this sauce is easy with a capital E. truly. Combine everything in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool. Done!

How long does this sauce keep?

Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, this sauce will last for about a month. 

How to make this BBQ sauce vegan

There are just a few ingredient modifications you’ll need to make in order for this sauce to be vegan.

What to serve this Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce with…

a quarter of a glass jar filled with yellow sauce

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Don’t forget, if you make this Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce, leave a comment and rating below!

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Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce

Print Recipe
4.88 from 8 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Yield 1 ⅔ cups
Category Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


Tangy, slightly sweet and mildly spicy, this Carolina Gold BBQ Sauce is perfect for any barbecue or grilled meat you’re making!


  • 1 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 teaspoon Frank’s hot sauce or Tabasco sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder


  • Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • Bring sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Store BBQ sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


MAKE IT VEGAN: use maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar in place of the honey and use liquid or coconut aminos in place of the Worcestershire sauce.


Serving: 2tablespoonsCalories: 43kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gSodium: 221mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7g
Keywords carolina gold bbq sauce, carolina gold sauce, gold bbq sauce
Did you make this recipe?Leave a comment below and tag @ZestfulKitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #zestfulkitchen!

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Wow! this sauce was so easy to whip up and it’s delicious!! We used this on pulled pork and grilled chicken this week. We will be making this regularly. thank you!

    1. Hi David! I’m so glad you enjoyed this! I’ve got to make some pulled pork—I bet it holds on to the sauce beautifully!

  2. 5 stars
    I made this sauce for chicken wings and it was incredible! I’ve been searching for a perfect gold BBQ sauce for a while and this was it. My husband and I couldn’t get enough and he’s requesting me to make more already. We were unable to find molasses at the store so I subbed about a quarter cup of dark brown sugar (started out with 2T, but adjusted for taste), which worked really well.
    Thank you for the awesome recipe!

    1. Hi Kate! I am so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Love the tip for using brown sugar—I bet it added great flavor!