This quick and easy vegan caramel sauce is rich, decadent, and perfectly thick! It’s great for drizzling on top of ice cream, apples, cookies, or warm beverages. Because this recipe for vegan caramel sauce is made with four simple ingredients, it’s a dairy free and paleo caramel sauce, too!
You are in for a sweet and slightly salty treat because this homemade vegan caramel sauce is LEGIT. It’s silky, rich, and decadent, and drizzles oh-so-perfectly on top of ice cream and treats.
Caramel is essentially melted sugar. It’s been made for centuries simply because the recipe is easy to make and a great addition to baked goods and other sweet treats. This recipe is what is known as a wet caramel recipe, meaning that you dissolve sugar into a liquid, and then boil it until it caramelizes. It’s the most popular way to make caramel sauce because it’s hard to screw up.
In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new or experience baker, you’re going to nail this recipe. No thermometer is needed! Just bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stir a few times, and you’ve got the most amazing homemade caramel sauce for desserts and treats!
While I love that this homemade caramel sauce is vegan and paleo, that’s just a nice bonus. This caramel sauce recipe uses coconut milk to get a nice thick texture, and organic coconut sugar because it gives the sauce a dark and rich caramel flavor. No, this caramel sauce tastes nothing like coconut, and no one will have any clue it’s made with more nourishing ingredients!
How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce
Making vegan caramel sauce couldn’t be easier! Start by placing the coconut milk and coconut sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and stir frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 25-30 minutes. The sauce will become a dark brown caramel color.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. If you want a true vegan salted caramel sauce, add 1 teaspoon of sea salt instead of 1/2 a teaspoon. It will taste salty right after you add it and stir, but once it cools down it has the perfect salted caramel flavor.
Pour the caramel into a sealable glass container and let it cool completely in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before using. As it cools, the vegan caramel sauce will thicken. Store the caramel in the refrigerator and use it within two weeks.
Paleo Caramel Sauce
Because this caramel sauce is dairy-free, it’s an incredible paleo caramel sauce! You can use any type of canned full-fat coconut milk when making this caramel sauce and it will be paleo. I recommend using 365 organic coconut milk or Native Forest Simple Organic Coconut Milk, which has no gums or preservatives.
Can I Make Substitutions?
Absolutely! In testing this recipe, I tried some different variations.
For the coconut milk, I do not recommend using a different type of milk other than a can of full-fat coconut milk. Why? Because it’s what makes this vegan caramel sauce thick, rich, and decadent. If you use a different type of dairy-free milk, your caramel will be thin and runny.
For the coconut sugar, you can substitute it for brown sugar. Want to use less sugar? I’ve made this recipe with 1/2 cup coconut sugar and it turned out just fine. Note, it will be less sweet and slightly less thick when you use 1/2 cup, but still a very good paleo caramel sauce.
Storage + Serving for Vegan Caramel Sauce
After making your vegan caramel sauce, you can store it in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For best results, I recommend using it within a week.
If you get a little bit of separation in the refrigerator, don’t worry—it’s normal! Just reheat the vegan caramel sauce in the microwave in 10-second intervals until heated, stirring in between intervals.
Why I Love This Recipe for Vegan Caramel Sauce
- This recipe makes incredibly decadent and thick vegan caramel sauce!
- The caramel has a buttery texture that melts in your mouth.
- This caramel sauce is a great paleo caramel sauce for paleo cookies and brownies!
- The recipe is easy to follow and perfect for special occasions.
- You’ll get about 1 cup of caramel sauce from this recipe.
- This recipe is completely gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo!
Stocking the Pantry
I personally use Thrive Market for most of my pantry needs because it saves me some cash—especially when it comes to commonly used items like coconut sugar and organic coconut milk. For a complete list of my recommend pantry items and what I use in my home, check out my Baking and Cooking Resources Page.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting (Paleo, Dairy Free)
- Sweet Potato Casserole (Grain-Free, Paleo, Vegan)
- Baked Apple Crisp (Paleo, Vegan, Grain-Free)
- Paleo Chocolate Cake
- Fudgy Paleo Brownies (Crackly Top, Gluten-Free)
- Paleo Chocolate Donuts (Baked, Gluten-Free)
- 1 (13.5 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Place the coconut milk and coconut sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and stir frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 25-30 minutes. The sauce will become a dark brown caramel color.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt. Taste and add a little more salt if desired.
- Pour the caramel into a sealable glass container and let it cool completely in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before using. As it cools, the caramel will thicken. Store the caramel in the refrigerator and use it within 2 weeks.
What did you think about this homemade vegan caramel sauce recipe? Let me know if the comments below!