Velvety smooth and luscious dairy free caramel sauce made without cream and only four ingredients! This vegan salted caramel is rich and gooey and easier than ever to whip up at home. Be prepared to want to drizzle it on EVERYTHING!
This dairy free caramel is not your average butter and cream filled caramel sauce. This recipe is made with a coconut milk 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 this vegan salted caramel on everything in site (including my dairy free macarons and gluten free turtle brownies).
Ingredients and notes
You only need four main ingredients to whip up this dairy free caramel!
- Full-fat coconut milk - Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk for this recipe - not lite coconut milk. A high-quality brand like Native Forest, Thai Kitchen, and even Trader Joe's is also best. You can substitute with coconut cream if desired.
- 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!
- Sea salt - To add a salted flavor to the caramel. Sea salt is best, not table salt.
Step by step directions
This vegan salted caramel recipe is beyond easy to make. All you need is a pot and an airtight container to store the dairy free caramel sauce.
Step 1 : Heat in a pot
First, heat the coconut milk and coconut sugar in a pot and heat it on the stove over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning.
Allow the mixture to simmer for about 10 - 15 minutes until the coconut sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture will look darker in color and be slightly thick. If you stick a spoon into the pot, the entire spoon should be coated in the caramel sauce.
Step 2 : Stir in the vanilla and sea salt and store
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. This will give the caramel sauce a little more flavor as the salt with dissolve in the warm mixture.
Pour the dairy free caramel sauce in an airtight container with a lid (I love using one of these glass jars.) Place the container in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. It will thicken up even more in the fridge.
Best ways to use your caramel
I'm not kidding when I say this vegan salted 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 a gluten free ice cream cake
- Swirled into some overnight oats in the morning to add a touch of sweetness
- Folded into gluten free turtle brownies
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.
The caramel will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
Frequently asked questions
Caramel is naturally gluten free. However, it's always a good idea to check the ingredients to make sure no additives or preservatives
are added that may contain gluten or have been made in a facility that also manufactures gluten food.
Although they sometimes do taste similar, they are actually different. Butterscotch doesn't use cream or milk like caramel. Instead it's made with butter and brown sugar. Caramel also typically has a bit of a sweeter taste from the vanilla which isn't always used in butterscotch.
Typical caramel does contain dairy from cream or milk or sweetened condensed milk. This dairy free caramel sauce recipe uses coconut milk in place of typical dairy products used to make caramel
This dairy free caramel will thicken up when cooled. If you prefer your caramel thick, I recommend not heating it back up too much. As it warms up, it will become thinner in consistency.
For more caramel recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
Dairy free & Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce without Cream
- In a skillet, heat the coconut milk and coconut sugar over medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes until the coconut sugar is fully dissolved. The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the vanilla and sea salt. Pour the caramel into an airtight container with a lid. Place the container in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. The caramel will thicken up the longer it's in the fridge.