This simple vegan caramel sauce recipe has three ingredients! It’s so easy to make and takes about 5 minutes start to finish! It’s a creamy, sweet, caramel-y topping for all your favorite desserts!
I was making ice cream sundaes for my boys the other night, when they asked for an extra special ice cream topping.
My husband and I are crazy for salted caramel, and so I thought, why not try to recreate a vegan version of caramel sauce using pantry ingredients!
I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store! My boys already love my vegan chocolate sauce, and this caramel topping is the perfect compliment. It makes for a super delicious drizzle on top of all of your favorite plant-based desserts!
There are so many ways to use this delicious caramel sauce recipe!
This recipe is super easy! I can hardly believe it! All you need are three ingredients, plus a pinch of salt if you like that salted caramel flavor!
It comes together in just minutes, and doesn’t require any fancy kitchen equipment.
It’s smooth, creamy, and has that decadent caramel flavor!
Why you’ll love this vegan caramel sauce recipe…
- Uses whole food plant-based ingredients
- Naturally sweetened with maple syrup
- Thickened with nut butter
- Creamy and smooth
- Only three ingredients
- Takes 5 minutes to make start to finish!
- Use right away, or store in the fridge!
Recipe Ingredients and Notes
Coconut Cream: Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk. You want to use coconut cream. When measuring out your coconut cream, scoop the thick cream that has risen to the top of the can. You don’t want to mix the cream with the water that has separated at the bottom of the can.
Maple Syrup: This adds natural sweetness to the caramel and also gives it that golden brown color that’s so distinctive to this sauce.
Creamy Nut Butter: You’ll need something to thicken the sauce. Creamy nut butter works perfectly! I recommend using almond butter. It has less of a distinct flavor than peanut butter, and doesn’t overpower the caramel-y flavor. Cashew butter is another great option. However, if all you have is peanut butter, that’s okay too! It will just have a peanut butter caramel-y flavor!
Salt (optional): I like adding a pinch of salt to my caramel. This is optional, so leave it out if you prefer.
Tools and Equipment
Small saucepan: You’ll need a small saucepan to heat the ingredients over medium-high heat.
Whisk: A good whisk helps to blend all of the ingredients together to make this sauce smooth and creamy.
Spatula: I find it’s helpful to have a spatula on hand to scoop out the coconut cream, and nut butter.
How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce – Step by Step
Step 1: Melt coconut cream in small saucepan on medium-high heat.
Step 2: Add maple syrup. Whisk together until combined. Add nut butter and salt. Whisk continuously until sauce comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.
Step 3: Sauce will thicken as it cools. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator to use for up to a week.
Top Tips for Making Vegan Caramel Sauce
- Use coconut cream if you have it! If you can’t find coconut cream, you can sub for coconut milk, but only use the thick cream at the top.
- Tastes great both cool or warm. However, be aware that the sauce will thicken as it cools. If you store it in the refrigerator, and want it to be warm and gooey, stir, and then heat it in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds, and whisk together with a fork.
- If you don’t have maple syrup, you can sub it for coconut sugar.
No, caramel is not vegan. Caramel is made with butter and sugar. It begins by melting sugar in a saucepan, and then adding butter, whisking over heat until it becomes bubbly and thick.
No, most store bought caramel is not vegan. It is made with sugar and butter. There are a few vegan caramel brands out there. However, I’d review the ingredient label before purchasing.
A lot of vegan caramel is made from coconut milk, coconut cream, or coconut oil instead of butter. It may be sweetened with sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or even dates! There are numerous recipes available, all with their own twist.
I don’t recommend using oil instead of butter. There are different types of oils out there and some have more flavor than others that can alter the taste of the caramel. I also try to limit the amount of oil I use as much as possible in my recipes, and you would need quite a lot of oil for this recipe, half a cup. However, you could try using coconut oil instead of coconut cream, but I find that the coconut cream provides a nice creamy texture.
Store this sauce in an air tight glass container. I prefer using a small mason jar. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Remove your caramel sauce from the refrigerator. Give it a good stir. You can use it as is, or warm it if you prefer. Place the sauce in the microwave without the metal top, and heat for 10-15 seconds. Remove, stir, and enjoy!
Check out these other vegan dessert recipes!
- Strawberry Ice Cream (Vegan and Dairy-Free)
- Vegan Red Velvet Cake
- Rice Krispie Treats (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Baked Apples
If you’ve tried this recipe, please leave a comment and star rating it below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for more plant-based family recipes your whole family will enjoy!
Vegan Caramel Sauce
- ½ cup coconut cream use the thick cream at the top of the can
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp almond butter or other creamy nut butter
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Melt coconut cream in small saucepan on medium-high heat.
- Add maple syrup. Whisk together until combined. Add nut butter and salt. Whisk continuously until sauce comes to a simmer. Remove from heat.
- Sauce will thicken as it cools. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator to use later for up one week.
- Sub coconut milk if you don’t have coconut cream.
- Use coconut sugar if you don’t have maple syrup.
- Store in the refrigerator in a glass container.
- Stir together before using again.
- Warm in the microwave for a few seconds if you prefer a warm sauce.