How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce (3 Ingredients!)


This vegan caramel sauce is made with just 3 ingredients in a high speed blender! No candy thermometers, corn syrup, brown sugar, or vegan butter are required to make a rich, indulgent caramel sauce. Enjoy with vegan ice cream, cheesecakes, apple pie, coffee and more!

If you’ve ever made regular caramel, you’ll know that the process can be quite finicky. Heat sugar in a medium saucepan until sugar melts into an amber-colored liquid, then slowly whisk with butter and cream until rich and creamy. The technique is actually quite similar to making homemade marshmallows. And while these caramel recipes are certainly delicious, they don’t exactly qualify as a top-tier dessert.

Surprisingly, after lots of recipe testing, I landed on this less conventional caramel sauce. This is an easy recipe that I think tastes better than traditional caramel sauce. It’s also made with minimal ingredients, without any heat!

A quick, easy and healthy 3-ingredient vegan caramel sauce?! Yes please!

Why You’ll Love This Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce Recipe

  • Medjool dates are nature’s candy. ​Due to their high natural sugar content and flavor combination including butterscotch, caramel and a hint of vanilla, Medjool dates are often described as nature’s natural caramel. When fully ripe, they are exceptionally sweet, rich, and have a complex taste that resembles caramel.
  • Coconut cream makes this caramel sauce rich and creamy without the need for butter or dairy oil. Don’t worry, the coconut flavor is minimal!
  • It is prepared in a high speed blender. No risk of burning, separation, overcooking or worry about crystallization. This really is the simplest thick caramel recipe ever.

Notes on ingredients

Ingredients needed for vegan caramel sauce recipe measured and labeled.Ingredients needed for vegan caramel sauce recipe measured and labeled.
  • medjool dates: For best results, use fresh dates. The caramel taste of Medjool dates is most pronounced when they are fresh and fully ripe.
  • coconut cream: A naturally dairy-free substitute for heavy cream. It helps blend the dates into a creamy, rich caramel sauce. Full fat coconut milk also works well.
  • Maple syrup: I tested this no-sugar-added caramel sauce, but found it lacked depth of flavor. Adding a little maple syrup enhances the caramel flavor of the dates and makes them perfectly sweet.
  • salt – A small pinch of sea salt or kosher salt is essential to balance the sweetness and fat of the coconut cream.

How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

  1. Soak the Medjool dates. Place the dates in a medium sized mixing bowl, then cover with boiling water. Let the dates soak for 3 to 5 minutes until soft and gooey.

    The goal is to make them very spongy so that the mixer has no trouble blending them into a smooth dough texture. If your dates are super fresh and soft, you may be able to skip this step at all!

Medjool dates soaked in hot water.Medjool dates soaked in hot water.
  1. Remove the pits from Medjool dates. If you accidentally leave them in, you can seriously damage your blender blade!
Pitted dates.Pitted dates.
  1. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the pitted dates, coconut cream, maple syrup, and kosher salt to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth. This will take about 2 minutes depending on your blender.
Vegan caramel ingredients in a blender before mixing.Vegan caramel ingredients in a blender before mixing.
  1. Serve. Enjoy the date caramel immediately or transfer it to a storage container and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Presentation suggestions

This simple caramel sauce can be used in any recipe in which you would use a regular caramel sauce. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it (hint: it’s the perfect topping on just about everything!):

  • Drizzle it over vegan dessert recipes: Try it drizzled over ice cream, brownies, cookie bars, pumpkin chia pudding, cake, or apple pie.
  • Use it as a dip: Perfect for a sweet fondue-style treat with fruit skewers, apple slices, pretzels, strawberries or vegan marshmallows. This could even be used as a sauce to coat caramel apples!
  • Add to coffee or hot chocolate: Simply add a spoonful to a cup of coffee or use it to make a homemade caramel latte or iced caramel latte. I even like to drizzle it over this Paleo Blender hot chocolate.
  • Add it to breakfast foods: It’s incredibly delicious in this Coffee Oatmeal Recipe, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal, Banana Smoothie Bowls, and Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole.
  • Use it in vegan baking: Any recipe that calls for caramel sauce could benefit from this homemade caramel sauce!

Storage Instructions

Leftover dairy-free caramel sauce can be stored in an airtight container such as a Mason jar for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. For longer term storage, this vegan caramel recipe can also be frozen.

How to Freeze Caramel Sauce

​For best results, freeze this caramel sauce in an airtight glass jar, such as a Mason jar, or in silicone freezer cubes (ideal for freezing individual servings).

Silicone cubes

My favorite way to freeze individual portions and meals. Use code HOMECOOKEDROOTS10 for 10% off.

Freeze, tightly covered, for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, let the caramel sauce thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat it in the microwave or in a small saucepan, as desired.

tips for success

  • Use a good high-speed blender with blades on the bottom. Blenders with blades on the shaft, like the Ninja, will not work.
  • Buy Medjool dates in bulk from Costco. Medjool dates can be expensive, but they are by far the least expensive by weight at Costco. Dates can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for several months, so don’t worry about wasting the excess!
  • Serve warm or cold, as desired. This caramel sauce is delicious both ways. However, refrigerated vegan caramel has a much thicker consistency. If you want your caramel to have a pourable consistency, it’s best to heat it until it’s nice and hot again!
Bowl of vegan caramel sauce with golden spoon.Bowl of vegan caramel sauce with golden spoon.

More Vegan Dessert Recipes to Try

Vegan caramel bowl.Vegan caramel bowl.

Vegan Caramel Sauce Recipe

This vegan caramel sauce is made with just 3 ingredients in a high speed blender! No candy thermometers, corn syrup, brown sugar, or vegan butter are required to make a rich, indulgent caramel sauce. Enjoy with vegan ice cream, cheesecakes, apple pie, coffee and more!

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 2 minutes

Total time: 7 minutes

Servings: 16 servings

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Instructions

  • Soak Medjool dates in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. If your dates are super fresh and gooey, you may be able to skip this step.

  • Drain the Medjool dates and remove the stones.

  • Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth.

Recipe Notes

  • If your Medjool dates are older and dried out, a longer soaking time may be necessary.
  • You can replace the maple syrup with full fat coconut milk, instead of the coconut cream and agave nectar.

Nutrition

Portion: 2tablespoon | Calories: 138kilocalories | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated fat: 5g | Sodium: 74mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 40UI | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided for this recipe is an estimate only. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.

Course: Desserts, sauces and dips

Kitchen: American

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