Learn how to make Vegan Caramel Sauce with coconut cream. It is perfect for drizzling on desserts, adding to drinks, or for dipping. This awesome recipe is not only dairy free but can also be made without refined sugar; suitable for a clean eating diet and paleo friendly.
This amazing easy vegan caramel sauce recipe is made with just 2 ingredients (plus 2 optional ingredients). It produce a delicious, creamy and sweet condiment that is dairy free, vegan, clean eating and paleo friendly.
I first got inspired to make this vegan caramel when we lived in Thailand where coconut palm sugar and coconut cream were readily available. But it can be made with a variety of granulated sugars or liquid sweeteners.
Ingredients (& Substitutions)
- sugar - palm sugar paste, granulated coconut sugar, or white/brown cane sugar
- coconut cream - from a can; or scoop the cream off the top of cans of chilled full fat coconut milk
- sea salt
- vanilla extract - or vanilla bean paste
See recipe card for quantities.
Add the sugar, coconut cream, and salt to a small saucepan.
Heat on medium while stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Reduce to a simmer; continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened.
Take off heat and stir in vanilla extract. Fill sauce in an airtight container or glass jar and store it in the fridge until ready to use.
Hint: When ready to use you can warm the firmed caramel in a water bath or the microwave to return it to a pourable caramel consistency.
While you may want to eat this vegan caramel sauce by the spoonful, there are several other ways you can eat it. Here are some ideas.
- Drizzle it over ice cream - You can drizzle this luscious sauce over your favourite vegan ice cream or even vegan frozen yogurt.
- Serve it as a dip - You can dip fresh berries and various sliced fruit into this caramel, such as bananas, melons, grapes, and pineapple.
- Use it as a garnish - Drizzle it over an apple galette or even on top of warm brownies before serving.
- Add it to hot chocolate - Whisk some into a mug of hot chocolate for some extra sweetness and a caramel undertone.
- Make your oatmeal extra decadent - Make a caramel apple oatmeal for breakfast with diced apple, cinnamon, caramel, and toasted walnuts on top.
While this dairy-free caramel sauce is quite a simple combination of ingredients, you can definitely change things up if you would like a different colour or flavour.
- Use different types of sugar - I like to use soft palm sugar paste in this recipe, but if you would like a darker caramel, feel free to use coconut sugar instead. You can also use white or brown sugar, although this will no longer be paleo. An equal amount (by weight not volume) of maple syrup can also be used.
- Add some cinnamon - Adding a cinnamon stick to the sauce as it thickens will infuse it with a light cinnamon fragrance that will make it pair well with apple and fall desserts.
- Add some citrus zest - Stir this in at the end for a brightening flavor. Orange zest works particularly well here.
- Make a salted caramel sauce - If you love the taste of salted caramel, simply increase the salt so that it is more to your liking.
To store the vegan caramel, you can pour it into an airtight container and let it cool before refrigerating it. It should stay fresh in the fridge for at least 2 weeks.
Alternatively, if you would like to store it for a little longer, you can freeze it for around 3 months.
- Keep a watchful eye on the caramel to ensure it doesn't boil over. Simply bring it to a boil briefly and then reduce the heat so it gently simmers until thickened.
- If you aren't sure if the sauce is thick enough, place a spoonful on a saucer or small plate, and place it in the freezer for a couple of minutes to see if it thickens. If it doesn't seem thick enough, you can simmer the sauce for a little longer.
I always bought Aroy-d coconut cream in Thailand when I was first developing this coconut cream caramel recipe. It contains nothing but coconut and water – no preservatives or thickeners - which is wonderful. However, feel free to use whatever coconut cream you can find.
Yes, if you can't find coconut cream in your local grocery store, you can use coconut milk as well. However, you will want to use two cans of coconut milk, chill them for at least 1 day, and then scoop out the thickened cream from the top of each can to use in the recipe instead.
If you can't find Aroy-d coconut cream in your local grocery store, you can purchase it on Amazon! However, your grocery store will likely have other brands that would work and be just as good!
During storage, your vegan caramel sauce will harden and will no longer be pourable. However, to return it to a pourable consistency, you can simply place it into a bowl and set it over a pot of simmering water to gently loosen it. Alternatively, you can place it in a microwave-safe container and heat it at 20 to 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until it is the right consistency.
Looking for other vegan recipes like this? Try these:
Vegan Caramel Sauce Recipe
- 1 cup sugar see notes*
- 1 cup coconut cream
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place sugar, coconut cream, and salt in a small sauce pan. Heat slowly while stirring to dissolve the coconut sugar.1 cup sugar, 1 cup coconut cream, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Once mixture is boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. The sauce will thicken further as it cools.
- To test the consistency, I take the saucepan off the heat, spread a little sauce on a saucer (or similar) and place in the freezer for a few minutes. If the caramel doesn’t thicken (enough), I simmer the sauce for a little longer.
- Stir vanilla extract into finished caramel sauce. Fill into an airtight container.1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- The caramel sauce may harden as it cools. To make it pourable or dippable again, warm it a little in a water bath or in the microwave.