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Vegan caramel sauce in a small mason jar, spilling from the sides.
30 min or less, Dessert, Easy, Gluten Free, Nut free, Oil free, Sauces, Dips and Dressings, Under 400 calories, Vegan Recipes

Vegan Caramel

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This Vegan Caramel is simple to make with just 6 ingredients and only 20 minutes of your time. It’s sweet, gooey and happily dairy-free!

Gooey vegan caramel oozing out the sides of a small mason jar.

Is Caramel Vegan?

Sadly, no, most caramels are NOT vegan and usually loaded with butter and heavy cream. It’s also common to find additives and artificial ingredients with unrecognizable names that may contain dairy. It’s a sticky situation 😉 for those of us who don’t do dairy.

But the good news is, you don’t need to give up this yummy treat just because you’re dairy-free. This Vegan Caramel is so simple to make, and way healthier than traditional caramel.

The sweetness from this Vegan Caramel comes from coconut sugar and dates, and the creaminess is created by heating the sauce very slowly over low heat until it’s ready to drizzle on your favorite dessert, such as my Easy Pear Crisp.

Vegan caramel being drizzled onto pear crisp and vanilla ice cream.

How to make this homemade caramel sauce:

To begin, in a high powered blender, add the can of coconut milk (note: for even thicker caramel, you can use only the thick white part of the can, and leave out the juice). Then add the tahini, medjool dates, arrowroot starch/flour, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Blend on low speed and then increase the speed a little. Blend for roughly 1 minute until creamy (STEP 1 below).

Transfer the sauce to a saucepan. Turn the heat to low (it should not be boiling) and heat for about 15-18 minutes or until thickened to your liking, stirring occasionally with a small whisk or spatula. Remove from heat (STEP 2 below).

One photo of vegan caramel in a blender and another of the caramel in a saucepan.
1. Add ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 15-18 minutes.

Transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge. The caramel will thicken more as it cools.

This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups vegan caramel sauce (serving size= 2 tablespoons). To store, put in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

You can use this caramel as a dip for fruit, or drizzle on top of ice cream or dessert recipes, such as Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, Cherry Date Raw Bars, or Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Squares.

My (hands-down) favorite way to use this caramel sauce:

In a small bowl, combine the caramel sauce with a little peanut butter and vegan chocolate chips. Heat, stir together and use as an ice cream sauce. It’s incredible!!

Tips to making this Vegan Caramel Sauce a success:

  • For best results, make sure the dates are soft. If you find dates that are more firm, soak them in water for an hour (or at least 20 minutes) before adding to the blender. If they are not soft, or you have a dull blade in your blender, the sauce won’t be as smooth.
  • I prefer to add the entire can of coconut milk, but you can also just use the thick white part of the can (and discard the juice/use in other recipes). This will make the caramel slightly more creamy. But if the blender doesn’t spin, you may need to add a little of the juice. Also, while heating, you will need to stir more often so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  • I added salt to this recipe to give more of a “salted caramel” taste, but this can easily be omitted.
  • I love adding this Vegan Caramel to my Easy Pear Crisp.
  • Side note: if you don’t have time to make your own caramel (or you are just craving a gooey caramel-y snack), I HIGHLY recommend these Cocomel’s Coconut Milk Caramels. They are amazing and completely addicting.
Vegan Caramel is being drizzled with a spoon out of a mason jar.

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

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Vegan Caramel

Vegan Caramel Sauce in a small mason jar.

This Vegan Caramel is simple to make with just 6 ingredients and only 20 minutes of your time. It’s sweet, gooey and happily dairy-free!

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 20
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Dessert/Sauces
  • Method: Blender/Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan Sweets
Scale

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. To a high powered blender, add the can of coconut milk (note: for even thicker caramel, you can use only the thick white part of the can, and leave out the juice). Then add the tahini, medjool dates, arrowroot starch, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Start blending on low speed and increase speed slowly. Blend for roughly 1 minute until creamy.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a saucepan. Turn the heat to low (it should not be boiling) and heat for about 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until thickened to your liking. Remove from heat.
  3. Transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge. The caramel will thicken more as it cools.
  4. This recipe makes about 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce (serving size= 2 tablespoons). Use this caramel as a dip for fruit, or drizzle on top of ice cream or many dessert recipes, such as Easy Pear Crisp. Lemon Poppyseed Muffins, Cherry Date Raw Bars, or Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Squares.

Notes

  • For a truly incredible ice cream topping: in a small bowl, combine this caramel sauce with a little peanut butter and vegan chocolate chips. Heat, stir and drizzle on dairy-free vanilla ice cream. It’s mind blowing. =) 
  • For best results, make sure the dates are soft. If you find dates that are more firm, soak them in water for an hour (or at least 20 minutes) before adding to the blender. If they are not soft, or you have a dull blade in your blender, the sauce won’t be as smooth.
  • I prefer to add the entire can of coconut milk, but you can also just use the thick white part of the can (and discard the juice/use in other recipes). This will make the caramel slightly more creamy. But if the blender doesn’t spin, you may need to add a little of the juice. Also, while heating, you will need to stir more often so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.
  • I added salt to this recipe to give more of a “salted caramel” taste, but this can easily be omitted.
  • Side note: if you don’t have time to make your own caramel (or you are just craving a gooey caramel-y snack), I HIGHLY recommend these Cocomel’s Coconut Milk Caramels. They are amazing and completely addicting.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 86
  • Sugar: 9
  • Sodium: 52.2
  • Fat: 4.7
  • Carbohydrates: 12
  • Protein: .8

Keywords: vegan caramel, vegan caramel sauce, homemade caramel sauce, salted caramel sauce

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

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