Vegan Caramel

This easy vegan caramel recipe is made with only 6 ingredients and is a perfect caramel topping to drizzle over your favorite vegan ice cream and desserts. This sweet simple caramel sauce  tastes so much better than anything at the store!

A small mason jar is full of vegan caramel sauce. A blue striped kitchen towel is behind it.
Vegan caramel recipes don’t have to be complicated — this one shows easy to follow steps!

I love to drizzle. Whether it’s adding cheese sauce over a baked potato, chocolate sauce over cakes, or yes, caramel sauce over ice cream. I love the look, the taste, and the act of drizzling! What can I say!

That’s why I was so happy for the chance to make for you some of my easy vegan caramel sauce. Let me just preface everything by saying this — there are a lot of unnecessarily complicated caramel sauce recipes out there. It doesn’t have to be that hard, and I’m about to show you why.

What is caramel sauce?

A caramel sauce is a thick, sweet sauce made from caramelized sugar thickened with some kind of cream.

Is caramel vegan?

Most store-bought caramel is not vegan. That’s because it’s typically made with butter and cream sourced from animal dairy. However, it is possible to make caramel sauce without cream or milk from a cow. In addition, there are more vegan caramels available for purchase every day and there are homemade recipes to make your own vegan caramel using nut-based or other non-dairy creams.

Non Dairy Caramel Sauce

Does it seem impossible to make caramel sauce without dairy? If so, this recipe will surprise you in so many ways. First, you’ll see that not only is it entirely possible, the resulting sauce is simple and easy, and fall-down-on-the-floor good!

Look, just because the sauce is thickened with cream doesn’t mean that cream has to come from a cow. These days there are so many different thick cream sauces to choose from, such as coconut cream, nut-based creams, and even a number of non dairy creamers!

Caramel sauce is being drizzled over ice cream atop baked apple slices. There is an apple and a blue kitchen towel behind it.

Caramel Sauce Ingredients

To better understand this dairy free caramel sauce recipe, I think it helps to first talk about its ingredients.

  • vegan half & half — I used Ripple which makes a vegan half & half, however, you can also use any thick vegan creamer, such as Silk, etc. You can also use the cream from a can of coconut milk to make coconut milk caramel.
  • cornstarch — We’re adding cornstarch, just a little, to help thicken the sauce
  • coconut sugar — I love using coconut sugar because it has a natural caramel flavor. Of course, you can use regular sugar as well and it will work too.
  • maple syrup  — Feel free to use either maple syrup or agave nectar
  • vanilla extract — this adds flavoring to the sauce
  • sea salt — interestingly enough, salt helps to intensify other flavors in a recipe which is one reason it’s so good in caramel. As much as we may say we have a sweet tooth, the truth is complex flavors are more interesting and salt adds complexity of flavors in baked goods, cookies and even caramel sauce.

How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

Now, let’s go over the steps to make this caramel sauce a reality in your kitchen. It takes only 6 ingredients and basically two simple steps.

Step One: Simmer Ingredients in a Saucepan

Stir together the vegan cream, cornstarch, coconut sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring this to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Vegan cream and sugar has been added to a saucepan. It is a light golden color.

Step Two: Add Vanilla & Salt

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Allow the caramel to cool for at least 30 minutes. The sauce is very hot at this point so cooling it is important. Also, it will thicken as it cools.

A saucepan has caramel sauce in it.

Storage

Transfer the caramel sauce to a glass container like a lidded mason jar. Then cover and keep refrigerated between uses. This sauce will keep in the fridge up to 10 – 15 days.

I refer to this as a meal prep recipe because you can make a batch of it and it lasts for so long in the fridge! In fact, if you have a big event, like a holiday dinner, you can make this sauce several days in advance to have it ready to set out on your dessert table.

Serving

To serve, remove the jar from the fridge and drizzle over your favorite vegan desserts, like vegan nice cream.

Here are some other recipes just begging for a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce:

For a vegan salted caramel sauce, be sure to add a sprinkle of salted caramel over the sauce immediately before serving!

If you’re looking for a healthier sweet sauce, be sure to try my date caramel sauce made with all natural ingredients!

Slices of cookie bars are stacked on top of each other and topped with ice cream and sauce.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

A small mason jar is full of vegan caramel sauce. A blue striped kitchen towel is behind it.

Vegan Caramel Sauce

This tasty vegan caramel sauce can be added to your favorite vegan desserts, like vegan apple crisp, and more!
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vegan Caramel, Vegan Caramel Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 85kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan half & half (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions

  • Combine the cream, cornstarch, coconut sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Allow the caramel to cool for at least 30 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.
  • Transfer caramel sauce to a glass container and keep refrigerated between uses. This will keep up to 10 days in the fridge.

Notes

I used Ripple Half & Half creamer which I have found at Target, Sprouts, and my local grocery store. Alternatively, you can use a vegan creamer.
I used coconut sugar because it has a natural caramel flavor, however, you can use granulated sugar as a substitution.
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Caramel Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 85 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Sodium 4mg0%
Potassium 41mg1%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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