Post originally published 8/23/2019. Updated 9/16/2020.
Velvety smooth and luscious vegan caramel sauce made with only three (!!!) ingredients! This homemade caramel sauce is rich and gooey and easier than ever to whip up at home. Be prepared to want to drizzle it on EVERYTHING!
What is Vegan Caramel Sauce?
This is not your average butter and cream filled caramel sauce. This recipe is made with a coconut cream base infused with delicious coconut sugar making it vegan, paleo-friendly, and dairy-free. Don't worry, it doesn't taste like coconut - just straight up cozy caramel sauce! Trust me when I say you'll want to dip, dunk, and drip it on everything in site.
What You Need to Make This Recipe
As the name suggests, you truly only need three ingredients to make this vegan caramel sauce recipe:
- Coconut Cream - Make sure you use a high-quality brand like Native Forest, Thai Kitchen, and even Trader Joe's has a great coconut cream. This recipe is best made with coconut cream. You can use coconut milk in a pinch, however, your caramel sauce will have a thinner consistency.
- Coconut Sugar - This is what adds the deep caramel flavor and glorious golden brown caramel color.
- Vanilla - I know, it sounds weird to add vanilla to something that is supposed to taste like caramel. However, the vanilla extract actually elevates the caramel flavor and leads to a more robust caramel so don't skip it!
How to Make Homemade Vegan Caramel Sauce
This caramel recipe is incredibly easy to make. Almost too easy. Here's what we do:
- First, heat the coconut cream and coconut sugar together in a skillet over medium heat until it begins to really simmer.
- Then, we immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the coconut cream and coconut sugar to continue to cook for about 20 minutes - it should be somewhat thick at this point.
- Lastly, we pull the skillet off the element, stir in the vanilla extract and pour the caramel into an air-tight container (I love using one of these glass jars). The vegan caramel sauce will thicken up in the jar even more. If you're looking for a super thick caramel, put the glass jar in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and it will thicken up fairly quickly.
Best Ways to Use your Caramel
I'm not kidding when I say this homemade caramel sauce goes well with practically anything. Here are my favorite ways to use it:
- As a dip for apples (or other fruit)
- Drizzled over ice cream (my paleo vanilla ice cream to be specific)
- To top off an ice cream cake
- Swirled into some overnight oats in the morning to add a touch of sweetness
- Stuffed inside energy bites
- Folded into dark chocolate brownies
Storing Your Dairy-free Caramel
The best way to store this vegan caramel is in a glass jar. This allows you to heat it up in the microwave at a later date easily. Once made, pour the caramel in a jar and place in the fridge to thicken up a bit. When ready to eat, pop it in the microwave if you prefer a thinner consistency in 8 second intervals (be careful, it does thin out quickly). Alternatively, you can set the jar out on the counter for at least 30 minutes to allow it to thin out.