This dairy-free caramel sauce is velvety smooth with a rich, decadent flavor you’ll want to drizzle over everything!
There’s no shortage of ways to enjoy this liquid gold, it’s a treat worthy to enjoy whether stirred into hot coffee or drizzled over muffins, quick bread, or fresh strawberries.
And if making your own caramel sauce sounds like too much work, in this post, I’m showing you how easily it comes together with 5 ingredients and one saucepan.
Dairy-Free Ingredients for Caramel Sauce
True to its name, this caramel sauce uses no cream or butter, instead the creamy-smooth consistency and rich golden color come from:
- coconut cream – not to be substituted for coconut milk. The two are different.
- maple syrup – a vegan sweetener option but you can also use agave nectar.
- coconut oil – replaces butter and puts the ‘drizzle’ in this caramel sauce.
- vanilla extract – adds extra flavor.
- salt – balances out the sweet, rich flavors of maple syrup and coconut cream.
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How to Make Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce
Unlike classic caramel, a candy thermometer and constant stirring aren’t necessary. This dairy-free caramel sauce comes together far easier. Here’s how to make it:
Combine the maple syrup, coconut cream, and coconut oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk until combined and bring the mixture to a low boil.
Boil for 15 minutes, stirring periodically, until the sauce is cooked down and coats the back of the spoon. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature and thicken before serving.
As the sauce cooks, it will begin to thicken and turn a dark shade of amber- this is nothing to worry about, and you shouldn’t be alarmed unless it starts to smell burnt or turns the color of brewed coffee, but this isn’t likely to happen if kept over medium heat and checked periodically.
Is this Caramel Sauce Vegan?
This homemade caramel sauce is made with no dairy or animal products, making it a delicious vegan option. Instead of using butter and heavy cream, the rich flavor and creamy-smooth consistency are achieved with coconut cream and maple syrup.
Tips for the Best Caramel Sauce
While this caramel sauce isn’t made with milk or the usual ingredients, it shares the same cooking tips as the classic recipe.
- Use a sturdy saucepan: ideally, something that holds up to 2 quarts and is heavy on the bottom ensures even heat distribution and cooking.
- Cook for consistency: when done, caramel sauce should be smooth and easily coat the back of a spoon.
- Cook for color: cooked caramel sauce will be a dark shade of amber or medium brown. However, it will lighten up as it cools.
- Don’t turn up the heat: to prevent any burning or overcooking, make sure to keep the stove setting on medium.
- Don’t change ingredients: stick to the recipe. Replacing an ingredient changes the entire recipe, and results won’t be favorable.
How to Use Dairy-Free Caramel Sauce
So now that you have a fresh batch of homemade caramel sauce, here are a few ways to put it to use:
- Caramel Hot Cocoa
- Dairy-Free Caramel Hot Cocoa
- Stirred into this Instant Ice Coffee
- Drizzle over this Healthy Chocolate Mug Cake