How to Make Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce from Scratch (JUST Like the Classic!)
Follow these easy instructions to make deliciously thick vegan caramel sauce at home. Made with just 5 simple ingredients (no coconut milk!), you can make a salted version or omit the salt for classic caramel sauce. This vegan caramel honestly tastes just like the classic- you won’t miss the dairy!
If you’re in need of a creamy, sweet, easy and downright delicious caramel sauce recipe that’s not only vegan, but also dairy free, look no further my friends!
This caramel sauce recipe is truly all you’ll need. Made entirely allergy friendly (including nut free), this dairy free caramel sauce is the perfect topping to any vegan dessert recipe: ice cream, brownies, cookies, heck, even cake (and if you really have a sweet tooth, you’ll want to check out 110+ more vegan dessert recipes in my cookbook that this will work great with!)!
Or you can even use this delicious topping in any of these vegan dessert recipes with caramel!
Unlike date caramel (which does have its place!), this caramel is really and truly undetectably vegan.
Plus, there are no funky ingredients like you’d find in store-bought caramel sauce. I wanted this caramel sauce to be the ultimate celebration of some of sweetest and creamiest plant-based ingredients 🙂
You’ll have no problem dripping, drizzling, and smearing this vegan caramel sauce recipe on just about any treat (or spoon, let’s be honest, I’ll just eat it straight up!).
What is vegan caramel made of?
I wanted this healthy caramel sauce recipe to be super simple. It’s entirely vegan, dairy free, Paleo, and refined sugar free.
For this vegan caramel, you’ll need:
- Vegan butter: I recommend Miyoko’s vegan butter for the best tasting results! You can also swap in coconut oil. If you don’t want a coconut flavor, you can use refined coconut oil.
- Granulated sugar: Use organic granulated sugar so that it’s vegan! I recommend using Florida Crystals sugar. You can also swap in half of the amount with brown sugar or with coconut sugar. If you use all brown sugar, then you achieve more of a vegan toffee sauce. Still delicious! I
- Heavy vegan cream: I really like Plant Crock or Silk! You can also substitute in soy milk or oat milk. If you’d really like to, you can use coconut milk or coconut cream!
- Vanilla and Sea Salt (flavor enhancers!) These are optional but highly recommended!
If you don’t want to make a salted caramel sauce, you can easily omit the sea salt!
A quick note about why I recommend sea salt, personally, because it definitely has a different taste. Studies aren’t that conclusive whether or not sea salt is better than table salt, but if I had to go with one, I’d go with sea salt!
Overview: How to make vegan caramel sauce from scratch
Making vegan caramel sauce is actually quite similar to making a regular caramel sauce recipe.
How long does this caramel sauce recipe last?
I’ve tested this several times, and it will last just about 2 weeks in the fridge within an airtight container. That being said, it will last longer in the freezer.
You don’t need to reheat the sauce either to use. It will still be moveable and drizzle-able (I just made up a word and we’re rolling with it haha!), but it will be thick.
If yours is too thick to move, just let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before using. Additionally, you can reheat this vegan caramel sauce in the microwave for 15-20 seconds on high.
How to use caramel sauce:
Of course, I have a few recipes that already use this sauce, which I’ll mention in the next section, but you certainly don’t need a recipe to enjoy this vegan caramel recipe as a delicious topping! Here are some yummy topping ideas for your dairy free caramel:
- Vegan vanilla ice cream
- Easy chocolate ice cream
- Dip apples in it for vegan caramel apples.
- Swirl a spoonful into some dairy free yogurt for a healthier dessert.
- Dip frozen banana slices into and then into chocolate
- Toss some homemade popcorn in it for vegan salted caramel popcorn!
- Honestly, just eat it with a spoon!
Recipes that use this vegan caramel recipe:
I already have a few recipes on the blog that use this caramel sauce recipe!
Caramel Molten Lava Cakes (Vegan, Paleo)
Vegan Harry Potter’s Birthday Cake
Gooey vegan caramel cookie skillet
You’re just going to absolutely love this easy vegan caramel as much as I do! If you give it a go, be sure to let me know down below in the comments section.
As always, I love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there.
Happy caramel making!!
Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!Print
How to Make Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce From Scratch (JUST Like the Classic!)
- Prep Time: 2
- Cooling time: 60
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 1 hour 17 minutes
- Yield: 32 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
Follow these easy instructions to make deliciously thick vegan caramel sauce at home. Made with just 3 simple ingredients (no coconut milk!), you can make a salted version or omit the salt for classic caramel sauce. Once prepared, allow the caramel sauce to cool in the fridge for 1-2 hours to thicken.
- 1 cup (200 g) organic granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp (138 g) salted vegan butter or coconut oil, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) heavy vegan cream, soy milk, or oat milk, room temperature
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Optional: 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder
- Before beginning: Make sure you give yourself 1-2 hours before you need this caramel sauce for a recipe. It will take about 20 minutes to make, but if you want a thicker caramel sauce, you need to let it cool in the fridge.
- Prep: Measure out all ingredients.
- Melt the sugar: In a medium sauce pan (preferably non-stick, but it’s okay if that’s all you have- it can work), heat the sugar on medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a heat-safe silicone spatula or whisk, until melted. The sugar will begin to clump at first, and then heat into a liquid. If you notice your sugar browning quickly, reduce the heat to low. Have patience here, this step alone will take about 15 minutes.
- Add in the butter: Once the sugar is completely melted into a caramel-colored liquid, add in the ROOM TEMPERATURE vegan butter, and stir constantly until the butter is incorporated. If your butter isn’t integrating into the caramel, you can remove from heat and give it a strong whisk. Keep whisking until it’s incorporated.
- Stir in the heavy cream, and flavor enhancers: I used Silk! vegan heavy cream here, but Plant Crock also has one. Add in the heavy vegan cream, and whisk again on low heat until combined. You can also stir in the sea salt and vanilla extract if desired. Stir until integrated.
- Heat: Now bring the caramel to medium-low heat, and allow the mixture to bubble for 3-5 minutes while stirring. If you want a lighter color caramel and/or slightly thinner, you can also add in more heavy cream here.
- Cool: Once bubbling, remove the caramel from the heat and pour into a heat-safe jar, bowl, or container. Cool the caramel in the fridge for at least an hour to thicken.
- Use and enjoy! Use your caramel in the recipe desired or as a topping! Refrigerate covered for up to 1 month.
See blog post for all tips and tricks!
- Serving Size: 1 tbsp
- Calories: 47
- Sugar: 6.1 g
- Sodium: 6.4 mg
- Fat: 0.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 6 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: vegan caramel sauce, vegan caramel recipe, healthy caramel sauce, paleo caramel sauce, caramel recipe, salted caramel sauce recipe
Don’t mind me, literally eating this with a spoon… you weren’t kidding 🙂
HAHA that is awesome! So happy to hear it!
Which coconut cream do you recommend?
I am not sure, If I mean the same… is it sugared, mixed cocos flakes or a creamy consistency?
Just wanna try this recipe!
Hi Andrea!! Ah so excited!! I recommend the coconut cream found in a can! It’s full fat, no sugar added. I hope you love!
is coconut cream the same as coconut milk?
Coconut cream is a bit higher in fat, which will yield a thicker caramel!
You mention vanilla but I don’t see it in the list of ingredients. How much do we add?
Hi Steve! So sorry, you can add an optional 1 tsp vanilla extract! 🙂
I made this caramel sauce using organic raw sugar, hardened coconut cream, miyokos butter (cause it’s the best!) and added homemade vanilla extract and sea salt and it’s amazing! I’m not even a big caramel fan.
I’ve used it in both hot and cold coffee drinks, topped mini vegan cheesecakes and used it for a vegan chocolate tart recipe.
I brought some in for my co-workers to try and they all loved it, one of them exclaimed, “it’s like liquid gold”.
Thank you for yet another simple and delicious vegan recipe!
So happy you loved it!! Thank you so much for such a wonderful review- so glad everyone enjoy 🙂 And agreed on Miyokos!! 🙂