This vegan caramel sauce is made with just 3 ingredients in a high-speed blender! No candy thermometer, corn syrup, brown sugar, or vegan butter required to make an indulgent, rich caramel sauce. Enjoy with vegan ice cream, cheesecakes, apple pie, coffee, and more!
If you’ve ever made regular caramel, you’ll know the process can be quite finicky. It requires heating sugar in a medium pot until the sugar melts into an amber colored liquid, then slowly whisked 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’re not exactly level one dessert-making.
Surprisingly, after much recipe testing, I landed on this more unconventional caramel sauce. It’s an easy recipe that actually tastes better to me than traditional caramel sauce. It’s also made with minimal ingredients without any heat at all!
A 3-ingredient vegan caramel sauce that’s quick, easy and healthy?! 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 combination of flavors that include toffee, caramel, and a hint of vanilla, medjool dates are often described as nature’s natural caramel. When they are perfectly 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 dairy butter or oil. Don’t worry – the coconut flavor is minimal!
- It’s made in a high-speed blender. No risk of burning, separating, overcooking, or worry about crystallization. It’s truly the easiest thick caramel recipe ever.
- medjool dates: For best results, use fresh dates. The caramel-like taste of Medjool dates is most prominent when they are fresh and at their peak ripeness.
- 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 works well, too.
- maple syrup: I’ve tested this caramel sauce without added sugar, but found it was missing depth of flavor. By adding a bit of maple syrup, it enhances the caramel flavor in the dates and makes it perfectly sweet.
- salt – A small pinch of sea salt or kosher salt is essential to balance the sweetness and fat in the coconut cream.
How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce
- Soak the medjool dates. Place the dates in a medium-sized mixing bowl, then cover with boiling hot water. Allow the dates to soak for 3-5 minutes until soft and gooey.
The goal is to get them very squishy so the blender doesn’t have a hard time blending them into a smooth paste texture. If your dates are super fresh and soft, you may be able to skip this step all together!
- Remove the pits from the medjool dates. If you accidentally leave them in, you can greatly damage the blade in your blender!
- Blend until smooth and creamy. Add 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.
- Serve. Enjoy the date caramel immediately, or transfer to a storage container and chill in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This simple caramel sauce can be used in any recipe you’d use classic caramel sauce. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use it (hint: it’s the perfect topping on just about everything!):
- Drizzle it on vegan dessert recipes: Try it drizzled on top of ice cream, brownies, cookie bars, pumpkin chia pudding, cakes, or apple pie.
- Use it as a dipping sauce: Perfect for a sweet fondue-style treat with fruit skewers, apple slices, pretzels, strawberries, or vegan marshmallows. It could even work as a sauce to coat caramel apples!
- Add to coffee or hot chocolate: Simply add a spoonful to a cup of joe, or use it to make a Homemade Caramel Latte or an Iced Caramel Latte. I even like to drizzle it on this Paleo Blender Hot Chocolate.
- Add it to breakfast foods: It is amazingly delicious in this Coffee Overnight Oats recipe, these Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats, Banana Smoothie Bowls, and this Crockpot French Toast Casserole.
- Use it in vegan baking: Any recipe that calls for a caramel sauce could benefit from this homemade caramel sauce!
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 (this is great for freezing individual servings).
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, allow the caramel sauce to thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then warm in the microwave or a small saucepan, as desired.
Tips for Success
- Use a good high speed blender with blades on the bottom. Blenders with blades up the stem such as the Ninja will not work.
- Purchase medjool dates in bulk from Costco. Medjool dates can be pricy, but they are by far the cheapest by weight at Costco. Dates can last for several months in the fridge or freezer, so no worries about the excess going to waste!
- Serve warm or cold, as desired. This caramel sauce is delicious both ways. However, chilled vegan caramel has a much thicker consistency. If you’d like your caramel to have a pourable consistency, it is best to heat until warmed through and saucy again!
More Vegan Dessert Recipes to Try
Vegan Caramel Sauce Recipe
- Soak the medjool dates in boiling hot water for 3-5 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 pits.
- Add all ingredients to a high powered blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Store caramel in refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- If your medjool dates are older and dried out, a longer soak time may be required.
- You can substitute full fat coconut milk instead of coconut cream and agave nectar for the maple syrup.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
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