An easy vegan caramel sauce that takes just 15 minutes to make and tastes JUST like regular caramel! Drizzle on apples, on top of ice cream, brownies or refrigerated to make caramel candy.
A warm brownie, topped with ice cream and this caramel sauce is honestly all I want right now. I have 2 out of 3 of those things so I think I should go for it!
Like regular caramel, this vegan caramel is made from a base of sugar, cream, and butter. We’ll be using coconut cream instead of regular cream, and dairy free butter to keep it all dairy free since most caramel is not vegan. Then you’ll need some salt and vanilla for extra flavor and that’s it!
The main difference between this vegan caramel and regular caramel is the method. With regular caramel, you usually melt down the sugar first, caramelizing it slightly, then add in the butter and cream.
I’ve made it easier for you so all you need to do is add all ingredients to a pot (all at once) and boil for about 5 minutes. Easy!
Butter. You can use vegan butter, regular butter, or even almond butter here!
Sugar. I used brown sugar, but white sugar will also work. You can sub for coconut sugar if you want this vegan caramel sauce to be refined sugar free.
Coconut Cream. The coconut cream is used in place of regular cream in caramel.
Vanilla & salt. These are optional, but do add a lot of extra flavor.
Cornstarch. Cornstarch will act as a thickener for this caramel sauce. Most of the thickening will happen as it cools, so try to be patient!
Add all ingredients to a medium pot on the stove.
Turn to the heat to medium and let everything melt together, whisking constantly while the coconut cream and butter melt. The coconut cream will melt pretty quickly, but the butter may take a a few minutes.
Once everything is melted, give it a really good whisk to ensure the cornstarch is mixed throughout and no clumps form.
Bring the mixture to a boil and keep at a low boil for about 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. It will get really bubbly, this is good!
Remove from heat and let cool. It will thicken quite a bit as it cools, but you can pop it in the fridge right away if you need it to thicken faster. If you’re pouring it over ice cream or anything cold, it will also thicken up faster as well, so it’s totally fine to use it warm.
Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. You can serve it with popcorn, cookies, brownies, ice cream or make caramel apples!
Can I freeze caramel?
While I prefer using this recipe as a caramel sauce you can also pour it into an 8×8 baking dish lined with parchment paper, put it in the fridge or freezer, then slice it into caramel candies! In the freezer, it will keep for up to 3 months.
Does it keep?
Once prepared, this vegan caramel will store in the fridge for about 2 weeks. It will thicken quite a bit as it sits, so to warm it up and make it saucy again, you can put the jar in a bowl with previously boiling water until it’s liquidy again.
Frequently asked questions
Will it taste like coconut?
No! This recipe does call for coconut cream, but I promise there is no coconut flavor at all. It is just key for a rich flavor.
I usually buy coconut cream for this recipe, but you can also use full fat coconut milk with no problem. Both are from a can, and whichever you use you want to make sure you’re only using the top white part from the can. You can leave the liquid part behind and reserve it for smoothies!
What sugar should I use?
As far as the sugar goes, you can really use any kind you like. I generally use light brown sugar because it doesn’t have all of the molasses stripped away (hence the brown color) and gives a really nice rich flavor. You can also use regular granulated sugar, dark brown sugar, or even coconut sugar.
Can you make caramel without butter?
Yes! This recipe can be made with either regular butter, vegan butter, OR almond butter. The final taste is somehow really similar no matter which you go with, but if using almond butter, just be sure to use one that only has two ingredients- almonds and salt (or even just almonds).
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Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce
by: claire cary
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup coconut cream*
- ¼ cup dairy free butter
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Add all ingredients to a medium pot on the stove.
- Turn to the heat to medium and let everything melt together, whisking constantly while the coconut cream and butter melt.
- Once everything is melted, give it a really good whisk to ensure the cornstarch is mixed throughout and no clumps form.
- Bring to a boil and keep at a low boil for about 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. It will get really bubbly, this is good! The longer you let it simmer, the more flavorful it will get. Just careful not to let it burn.
- Remove from heat and let cool. It will thicken quite a bit as it cools, but you can pop it in the fridge or freezer right away if you need it to thicken faster.
- Transfer to a glass jar and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It will thicken quite a bit as it sits in the fridge, so just warm it up on the stove until it softens before serving, depending on what you're using it for!
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