Vegan Caramel Recipe – Homemade Sweet And Smooth Treat

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Indulge in the sweet sensation of homemade vegan caramel recipe, a luscious treat that’s dairy-free and delightful. This recipe combines the rich flavors of coconut milk, brown sugar, and vanilla, simmered to perfection for a luxuriously smooth texture.

Drizzle it over desserts, stir it into coffee, or simply enjoy it by the spoonful. It’s a guilt-free pleasure that satisfies every sweet craving.


  • Utilizes coconut milk and brown sugar staples in a vegan pantry, creating a rich, creamy base without dairy.
  • Incorporates a touch of sea salt, enhancing the sweet caramel flavor, making it a sought-after homemade treat.
  • Perfect for solving the problem of finding a dairy-free, delicious topping for desserts.
  • Its simplicity and quick preparation time make it a top pick for any occasion, proving vegan options can be both delightful and easy recipe.

Searching for the perfect vegan caramel recipe can often be daunting. Many recipes need more flavor or have complicated steps that take the joy out of cooking. I remember my frustrations, balancing health-conscious choices and indulging my sweet tooth. 

That’s when I decided to take matters into my own hands. I discovered a foolproof way to create a rich, indulgent vegan caramel by experimenting with different ingredients and methods.

This recipe satisfies those sugary cravings in a simple, straightforward manner. It’s a homemade solution that combines the best of both worlds: deliciousness and health-conscious eating.

Vegan Caramel Recipe

What Is Vegan Caramel?

Vegan caramel is a delightful alternative to traditional caramel, made without animal products. Instead of using plant butter and cream, this version relies on plant-based ingredients like coconut milk, almond butter, and maple syrup to achieve its rich, creamy texture and deep, golden brown color.

Frequently sought after for its ability to cater to dairy-free and vegan diets, vegan caramel is great for drizzling over desserts, stirring into coffee, or simply enjoying it as a sweet treat. It offers a guilt-free solution for those looking to enjoy the indulgent taste of caramel while adhering to a vegan lifestyle.

Quick Fact – Vegan caramel, made from coconut cream and brown sugar, offers a dairy-free, indulgent treat that perfectly mimics traditional caramel’s rich buttery flavor without any animal products.

Vegan Caramel Recipe

Recipe Directions

  • Combine Simple Ingredients: In a small saucepan or medium pot, combine the coconut cream, brown sugar, and cornstarch. It’s better to mix the cornstarch with a small amount of coconut cream first to avoid lumps.
  • Heat Mixture: Place the pan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to ensure the cornstarch is fully dissolved and the coconut cream melts smoothly.
  • Simmer: As the mixture bubbles and almost foam, reduce the heat to a simmer. This step is crucial for achieving the right thickness and flavor. Continue to stir frequently for about 5 minutes. If you’re opting for salted caramel, this is the time to add a pinch of salt.
  • Cooling: Remove the pan from the heat. If you prefer the caramel runny, you can use it immediately. Let it cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes for a thicker consistency. It will thicken considerably as it cools.
  • Storage: For later use, store the caramel in a covered glass container in the refrigerator. Knowing that the caramel will continue to thicken when cooled is helpful. Please stir it each time before use. The caramel will be kept for about a week.

Vegan Caramel Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, & Toppings


  • Coconut Milk Caramel: Use full-fat coconut milk for a rich, creamy texture.
  • Date Caramel: Blend dates with water and vanilla for a whole-food version.
  • Almond Butter Caramel: Mix almond butter with maple syrup for a nutty twist.


  • Sea Salt: A sprinkle of sea salt enhances the sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds depth and aroma to the caramel.
  • Lemon Juice: A few drops can balance the sweetness with a slight tanginess.

Vegan Caramel Recipe


  • Chopped Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, or almonds add crunch.
  • Vegan Chocolate Chips: Mix or sprinkle on top for a decadent treat.
  • Coconut Flakes: Toasted coconut flakes offer a delightful texture and flavor contrast.

Vegan Caramel Recipe

Vegetable Substitutions 

  • Mushrooms: Great for replacing meat due to their umami flavor and meaty texture. Portobello mushrooms are perfect for burgers, while shiitake or cremini work well in stir-fries and stews.
  • Cauliflower: A versatile substitute for meats, rice, and even pizza crusts. Roasted cauliflower can mimic chicken or beef in curries.
  • Lentils: Ideal for ground meat replacements in tacos, bolognese, or meatloaf. They’re protein-rich and offer a satisfying texture.
  • Jackfruit: Its texture resembles shredded meat, making it a sought-after choice for vegan pulled pork and chicken recipes.
  • Eggplant: With its meaty texture, eggplant is great for lasagna, moussaka, or as a meat substitute in Asian dishes.
  • Chickpeas: Excellent for adding protein to salads, making meat-free patties, or as a tuna salad alternative.
  • Sweet Potatoes: Their versatility makes them ideal for burgers, toast toppings, or even as a base in vegan baking.

Quick Tip – For a creamier vegan sauce or soup, blend soaked cashews with water. This trick creates a rich, smooth base that is perfect for dairy-free recipes.

Best Side Dishes

  1. Apple Slices Fresh or baked, apples and caramel are a classic combination.
  2. Vegan Ice Cream Drizzle caramel over your favorite vegan ice cream for a decadent treat.
  3. Banana Bread A slice of homemade banana bread topped with vegan caramel sauce recipe is irresistible.
  4. Popcorn Toss popcorn with vegan caramel for a sweet and salty snack.
  5. Vegan Brownies Elevate vegan brownies by swirling in or topping them with caramel.
  6. Pancakes And Waffles A morning delight when served with a generous drizzle of vegan caramel.
  7. Fruit Salad A drizzle of caramel over a mixed fruit salad can add a surprising twist.
  8. Roasted Nuts Caramel-coated nuts make for a crunchy, sweet snack.
  9. Vegan Cheesecake Adding caramel sauce to vegan cheesecake enhances its flavor and presentation.
  10. Baked Pears Or Peaches Serve these fruits warm with vegan caramel for a comforting dessert.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • As a Topping: Drizzle over vegan ice cream, pancakes, waffles, or French toast for a sweet finish.
  • With Fruit: Dip apple slices, bananas, or strawberries in caramel for a healthy, indulgent snack.
  • In Desserts: Swirl into brownies cheesecakes, or add as a layer in parfaits.
  • As a Sauce: Serve alongside vegan desserts like cakes or puddings for extra moisture and flavor.
  • In Beverages: Mix into hot or iced coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for a caramel twist.
  • On Popcorn: Toss popcorn with caramel and a pinch of salt for a homemade, sweet, and salty treat.
  • In Sandwich Cookies: Use as a filling between two vegan cookies for a delightful treat.
  • As a Dip: Combine with a bit of sea salt and serve as a dip for pretzels or vegan pastry sticks.
  • In Breakfast Bowls: Drizzle over oatmeal, yogurt bowls, or smoothie bowls for added sweetness.
  • In Baking: Incorporate into vegan frosting or glazes for cakes and doughnuts.

Quick Tip – Add a splash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of sea salt for a quick and flavorful vegan caramel. These simple additions can significantly enhance the taste.

caramel recipe

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Once prepared, store vegan caramel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Ensure it’s cooled completely before sealing to maintain freshness and consistency.
  • Make Ahead: To streamline preparation, make vegan caramel ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for future use. When needed, gently reheat the caramel in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave in short intervals, stirring occasionally until it reaches desired consistency. This allows for easy incorporation into desserts or as a topping without the need for last-minute preparation.

Recipe Fact: Vegan caramel, effortlessly stored in the fridge or freezer, shines in versatility, ready to transform desserts and drinks with its rich, plant-based sweetness.

recipe card

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Pre-measure Ingredients: Measure out all your ingredients before you start. This minimizes the time spent looking for items and measuring them while cooking.
  2. Use a Heavy-Bottomed Pan: A heavy-bottomed pan distributes heat more evenly, reducing the risk of burning the caramel. This means you spend less time fixing mistakes or starting over.
  3. Medium-High Heat: Start cooking the caramel over medium-high heat to bring it to a simmer quickly, then reduce to medium or low to prevent burning. This speeds up the initial heating process while allowing you control over the caramelization.
  4. Stirring Tool Ready: Have a heat-resistant spatula or whisk at hand for continuous stirring. This ensures the mixture cooks evenly, preventing lumps and burns, and saves time by avoiding extra cleanup.
  5. Prepare Storage Containers: While the caramel is cooling, prepare your storage containers. Having containers at hand makes the transition smoother and quicker if you plan to cool or refrigerate the caramel.
  6. Double the Recipe: Consider doubling the recipe if you frequently use homemade vegan caramel sauce. It doesn’t take much more time to make a larger batch, and you’ll have it ready for future use, saving time in the long run.
  7. Clean as You Go: To avoid a pile-up of dishes, clean your utensils and work area as you wait for the caramel to cook or cool. This multitasking can significantly cut down on overall cleanup time.
  8. Microwave Softening: If your caramel has thickened in the fridge, briefly microwave it for a few seconds instead of reheating it on the stove. This quick method brings it back to a drizzle-ready consistency without the wait.

Vegan Caramel Recipe - Homemade Sweet And Smooth Treat

Vegan Caramel Recipe – Homemade Sweet And Smooth Treat

Recipe by Julia

This vegan caramel recipe offers a divine, guilt-free indulgence. It blends coconut cream and brown sugar into a rich, velvety sauce. Ideal for drizzling over desserts or stirring into beverages, it’s a dairy-free delight that doesn’t skimp on flavor. Simple to prepare and utterly delicious, this caramel is a must-try for anyone seeking a healthier alternative to traditional sweets.

Course: Desserts
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6 – 7

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  • 1 cup 1 Coconut Cream

  • 3/4 cup 3/4 Brown Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Cornstarch

  • Optional Pinch of Salt


  • Combine Ingredients
  • Mix coconut cream, brown sugar, and cornstarch in a small pan or pot. Blend the cornstarch with a small coconut cream before adding the rest to prevent lumps.Vegan Caramel Recipe 1
  • Heat Mixture
  • Set the pan over medium-high heat. Continuously stir to ensure the cornstarch dissolves completely and the coconut cream melts uniformly.
  • Simmer
  • Once the mixture starts to bubble and almost foam, lower the heat to maintain a simmer. This is crucial for achieving the desired thickness and rich flavor. Keep stirring often for around 5 minutes. If you desire salted caramel, add a pinch of salt during this phase.Vegan Caramel Recipe
  • Cooling
  • Take the pan off the heat. For a runnier consistency, you can use the caramel immediately. Let a thicker caramel sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes; it will significantly thicken as it cools.Vegan Caramel Recipe
  • Storage
  • If you don’t use the classic caramel sauce immediately, transfer it to a covered glass container and refrigerate. Note that the caramel will thicken further upon cooling. Stir well before each use to ensure a smooth consistency. Stored properly, the caramel should last about a week.Vegan Caramel Recipe
  • Equipments List
  • Heavy-Bottomed Medium Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Silicone Spatula
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Glass Jars
  • Airtight Containers
  • Microwave-Safe Bowl
  • Label Maker
  • Fine Mesh Strainer
  • Sauce Bottle
  • Parchment Paper


  • Cornstarch Alternative: Arrowroot powder can be a good substitute for thickening if unavailable.
  • Sweetness Adjustment: Modify the amount of brown sugar based on your preferred sweetness level.
  • Flavor Enhancements: Vanilla extract or a dash of cinnamon can add depth to the caramel’s flavor.
  • Stirring Is Key: Continuous stirring prevents the caramel from burning and ensures even cooking.
  • Cooling time Varies: Depending on room temperature, cooling times may differ.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat refrigerated caramel for a smoother texture.
  • Vegan Friendly: This recipe aligns with vegan dietary preferences, offering a delicious alternative to traditional caramel.

Nutrition Table

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Make Vegan Caramel Without Coconut Cream?

Yes, you can make vegan caramel without coconut cream by substituting it with other plant-based milk like almond milk, cashew milk, or soy milk. However, the texture might need to be more creamy. To compensate, you could add a bit more cornstarch or a plant-based vegan butter for richness.

Remember that the flavor will also be slightly different, with coconut cream offering a more distinct taste than other alternatives.

How Can I Store Vegan Caramel, And How Long Will It Last?

Vegan caramel should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When stored properly, it can last for about a week. If you notice any odd smell, taste, or mold, it’s best to discard it.

You can freeze the caramel for up to 3 months for longer storage. Thaw in the refrigerator before using, and stir well if separation occurs.


Can I Use Vegan Caramel In Baking?

Absolutely! Vegan caramel is great for baking and can be used in various recipes, including cakes, brownies, cookies, and bars. It can serve as a filling, a drizzle, or even be mixed into batter.

Be cautious with baking times, as caramel can burn at high temperatures. It’s often better to add it towards the end of the baking process or use it as a topping after baking.

Why Is My Vegan Caramel Grainy?

Graininess in vegan caramel can result from the white sugar melts. This often happens if the sugar isn’t fully dissolved before increasing the heat or if the caramel is stirred too vigorously once it boils.

To prevent this, ensure the sugar is completely dissolved at a lower heat, and avoid stirring the caramel once it starts to boil. Adding a bit of acid, like lemon juice, can also help prevent crystallization.

Is Vegan Caramel Healthier Than Regular Caramel?

Vegan caramel can be considered healthier than traditional caramel in some aspects, especially if you’re avoiding dairy products or looking for plant-based options.

It’s cholesterol-free and typically contains less saturated fat, depending on the ingredients used. However, it’s still high in sugar, so moderation is key.

Using unrefined sugars or natural sweeteners can make it a slightly healthier option, but it’s still best consumed in small quantities as part of a balanced diet.

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Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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