This vegan caramel sauce is made by blending together medjool dates, coconut cream, maple syrup and kosher salt! No butter, oil or heating cane sugar slowly over the stovetop required, yet this version is just as silky and gooey. Perfect for drizzling overtop ice cream, brownies and more! All you need is about 5 minutes.
Before going vegan I absolutely loved caramel. I always went for the chocolates filled with caramel, caramel apples, caramel drizzled coffee frappuccinos. All the things.
When recipe testing, I made a more classic version of caramel with cane sugar, butter, and vegan condensed cream. Surprisingly I preferred the taste and texture of this easier version and I know you will too!
A caramel that’s quick, easy and pretty healthy?! Yes, please!
Why This Recipe Works
- Medjool dates are a very sweet, gooey fruit that naturally have a caramel undertone.
- Coconut cream makes this caramel rich and creamy without the need of dairy butter or oil.
- Soaked medjool dates are very easy to blend into a smooth paste!
- This caramel is completely fuss free and fool proof. All you need is a high powered blender!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- medjool dates – Gives these dates the perfect caramel flavor without the need for refined sugar.
- coconut cream – Makes this caramel taste so rich and indulgent! Can substitute full fat coconut milk.
- maple syrup – Adds additional sweetness with more caramel undertone! Can substitute with agave nectar.
- kosher salt – Very important to balance the sweetness.
Step by Step Instructions
- Soak the medjool dates in boiling hot water for 3-5 minutes until soft and gooey. If you’re dates aren’t as fresh and are harder to squish together with your fingers, you may need to soak them for a bit longer.
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 very fresh, 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!
- 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.
- Store vegan caramel in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Not usually. Traditional caramel is made with dairy butter and heavy cream. I personally have a difficult time finding any store bought vegan caramel.
No, a food processor is not going to be able to blend this completely smooth. I also do not recommend using the Ninja blender with the blade up the stem because that is going to have the same problem. It will be gritty.
I buy them at Costco, but I have seen them in smaller packages at most grocery stores. They are usually found in the produce section.
The caramel syrup at Starbucks is vegan, but the caramel drizzle they put on top of drinks is not. If you want a true caramel Frapp experience, you’ll have to bring your own drizzle sauce (like this one!) and vegan whipped cream.
- Really make sure it’s super silky smooth. Over blending this really isn’t a concern so err on the side of caution here and blend more than you think you need.
- Enjoy this caramel hot and cold. It’s really good both ways!
- Use fresh dates. I find they have the best, strongest caramel flavor and are the easiest to blend.
What to Eat this With
Vegan Caramel Sauce
- 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 for best freshness.
- 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.
General note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.