How to Make Vegan Caramel: Sweet and Dairy-Free Delights

There are two types of caramel: creamy and clear. Clear caramel contains only heated sugar. However, the more velvety forms of caramel are typically not vegan because they have dairy, either milk or heavy cream. That means that vegans don’t consume it.

Vegans love caramel just as much as the next person, but is it possible to buy or make vegan caramel? There are several brands of vegan caramel available that contain no animal products. It’s also effortless to make it at home. Here’s how to make vegan caramel in several ways. The recipe variations below yield delicious vegan caramel, which you can serve with ice creams, French toast, desserts, etc.

Easy Vegan Caramel Recipe

Some vegan caramel recipes require more than three ingredients and a longer prep time. However, here’s a recipe for a three-ingredient vegan caramel sauce developed by Nora Cooks that takes five minutes to prepare.


  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt – optional


  1. Heat the coconut cream, brown sugar, and cornstarch over medium-high heat in a small saucepan. Stir all the time until the sugar dissolves and the coconut cream softens. You will notice the mixture will get bubbly and look almost like foam.
  2. At this point, lower the heat and allow the caramel to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. If you want it salted, it’s time to add a pinch of salt.
  3. Remove the vegan caramel from the heat and serve it immediately, or let it cool and thicken.
  4. The vegan caramel keeps well for a week in the refrigerator. Before using, stir well.


  • You can also use the thick white part of full-fat coconut milk if you can’t find coconut cream.
  • You can use coconut sugar if you don’t want to use brown sugar.
  • You can also substitute arrowroot powder for the cornstarch.

Irresistible Plant-Based Caramel Sauce

If you want to learn how to make a vegan caramel that adheres to your vegan principles, here’s how to make an irresistible plant-based caramel sauce from Minimalist Baker.

Coconut cream gives it a creamy flavor, while dates provide some natural sweetness. The remaining ingredients include arrowroot powder, coconut sugar, sea salt, and pure vanilla extract.

You start the process in a small blender to mash the dates with the rest of the ingredients, and then you continue to boil the caramel until set. The whole process, from prep time to completion, takes 15 minutes.

Quick and Delicious Vegan Caramel

Here’s a quick and delicious vegan caramel recipe that you can prepare using one ingredient: coconut condensed milk. If you want to prepare the caramel in a slow cooker or on your stovetop, you will need several hours. But use a microwave, and it takes just a few minutes,

Here’s how to make vegan caramel with coconut condensed milk:


  • Place a closed can of coconut condensed milk in a small saucepan and cover with warm water. The water must cover the can and be about 2 inches above the can.
  • Put the saucepan on the stove on medium heat and allow to reach a slow simmer before reducing the heat to low.
  • Simmer in the covered pan for 2-3 hours. The time depends on how dark you prefer the caramel. Always ensure the water level does not drop below an inch.
  • When ready to remove the can, take the saucepan off the stove, remove the can with tongs, and submerge it in a bowl of cold water. Only open the can when it has cooled and open carefully.
  • Stir the caramel and transfer to a jar to serve.

Slow cooker

  • Place the canned condensed milk in a slow cooker. Cover with water up to about 2 inches above the can. The water should not drop below one inch above the can at any stage during the cooking process.
  • Cook the condensed milk on slow for 8 hours. For a thicker caramel, leave it for 10 hours.
  • Turn off the slow cooker and remove the can from the hot water with tongs. Place in cold water and carefully open the can once cooled.


  • Spoon the contents of a can of coconut condensed milk into a large, microwave-safe bowl.
  • Cover the bowl.
  • Heat the condensed milk for 5 minutes on 50% power. You use a large bowl to prevent spillages, but keep an eye open to ensure none happens.
  • Remove the bowl from the microwave. Whisk the condensed milk, re-cover, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes at 20-30% power.
  • Continue to cook at 2-3 minute increments until it reaches the desired consistency, but always ensure it doesn’t spill over. 

Dairy-Free Caramel in a Snap

raw vegan caramel, candy of dates and cashew, healthy sweet

Okay, so you want to know how to make vegan caramel but aren’t sure if you can get it right. Don’t worry; here’s a rich vegan caramel sauce that requires no cooking, and you can have it ready in a snap.

Created by Nicolette from Home-Cooked Roots, you’ll be happy to know that you only need four ingredients and a high-speed blender for this Vegan Caramel Sauce Recipe.

The recipe calls for fresh Medjool dates for their caramel-like taste, coconut cream, maple syrup, and sea salt. If you can’t find fresh dates, soak them in boiling water for a few minutes to make them easier to blend. Blend the ingredients, and you are ready to serve the caramel sauce, either warm or cold, depending on the consistency required.

Homemade Vegan Caramel: A Sweet Delight

It is possible if you were wondering how to make vegan caramel without coconut cream. Use vegan butter and vegan milk to add creaminess to this sweet delight.

Homemade Vegan Caramel


  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup corn syrup
  • ¼ cup each vegan butter and  milk
  • 1 . vanilla


  1. Place all the ingredients except the vanilla in a small saucepan.
  2. With the pot on the stovetop on high heat, start stirring the ingredients until the butter melts.
  3. Stop stirring and bring the pot to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and cook the caramel for 8 minutes without stirring.
  4. Remove the pot of vegan caramel from the heat, add the vanilla extract, and stir. At this point, you can also add ½ teaspoon of sea salt if you want slated vegan caramel.
  5. Cool the caramel slightly and then place in a glass container. Once it cools completely in the container, store it in the fridge. You can reheat the caramel for a few seconds if it thickens too much to drizzle.

Vegan Caramel: Simple and Scrumptious

You can make a simple and scrumptious vegan caramel to serve with desserts by combining vegan butter and coconut cream. Here’s how to make vegan caramel that tastes just like the real thing from Full of Plants.

The recipe calls for white sugar; its creator says this works best. You can use homemade or store-bought vegan butter to enhance the creaminess of the coconut cream. Use pure vanilla extract, which you can also make at home. Finally, the addition of salt is optional.

Indulge in Vegan Caramel Goodness

Vegan caramel does not lack any goodness. There are several ways to indulge in this tasty treat once you learn how to make vegan caramel.

You can serve it with baked desserts like cakes and pies or use it as a topping for vegan ice cream. Additionally, use vegan caramel as a dipping sauce for fruit skewers or marshmallows. Use it to caramelize fruits like apples or bananas. Add it to overnight oats, smoothie bowls, or French toast for breakfast. Finally, use it in your beverages; it’s delicious in coffee or hot chocolate. Dilute it with some warm water if using it in cold drinks.

Master the Art of Vegan Caramel Making

There’s no shortage of recipes online, making it easier for you to master the art of vegan caramel making. However, there are several tips to remember when making vegan caramel. These ensure you get it right every time and don’t place yourself at risk of burning since the sugars reach high temperatures during the cooking process:

  • Using a light-colored saucepan makes it easier to see the color of the caramel so that you don’t burn it.
  • Never get tempted to turn the heat too high when making caramel on the stove because sugar burns quickly at higher temperatures.
  • When a recipe calls for blending, use a high-speed blender with blades on the bottom for the best results.
  • Caramel is ready when it has an amber color.
  • Always take care when adding vegan butter or coconut cream to hot sugar because they tend to splatter. 
  • When making vegan caramel by boiling a can of condensed milk, always let it cool before carefully opening.
  • Chilled vegan caramel is not pourable, but you can heat it until warm to get it to the desired consistency.
  • Store vegan caramel in the fridge in a glass mason jar and consume it within a week. You can freeze caramel for up to two months. When ready to serve, thaw the caramel overnight (always in the refrigerator) and heat on the stovetop or in a microwave before using.

Vegan Caramel: Beyond the Recipe – Tips, Tricks, and Creative Uses

As we wrap up our exploration of vegan caramel, it’s clear that the journey doesn’t end with the last stir of the spoon. This final section is dedicated to taking your vegan caramel from delicious to extraordinary. Whether you’re drizzling it over your morning pancakes or gifting it to a friend, these insights will ensure your vegan caramel is not just a treat but a statement of your culinary creativity. Here’s what we have in store:

  • Storing Vegan Caramel: Keeping your caramel at its best is crucial. We’ll dive into the dos and don’ts of caramel storage, ensuring your next sweet craving can be satisfied instantly.

  • Creative Pairings: The versatility of vegan caramel is boundless. We’ll explore some of the most mouth-watering combinations that can elevate any dessert or snack. Think beyond the spoon and let your imagination lead the way.

  • Vegan Caramel as a Gift: Who wouldn’t love a jar of homemade caramel? We’ll show you how to package your caramel creations beautifully, making them the perfect thoughtful gift for any occasion.

  • Decorating with Caramel: A drizzle of caramel can transform any dessert into a work of art. Learn how to use caramel to add that wow factor to your baking, with tips on creating patterns and designs that will impress you.

  • Healthier Alternatives: For those looking to enjoy the sweetness without the guilt, we’ll explore alternatives to traditional ingredients. Discover how to make your vegan caramel lighter without sacrificing flavor.

Embarking on the vegan caramel journey opens up a world of culinary possibilities. With these tips and tricks, you’re not just making caramel; you’re crafting experiences, memories, and delights beyond the kitchen. So, let your creativity soar, and let vegan caramel’s sweet, indulgent taste be your guide to new adventures in cooking and baking.

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