Recipe: Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce

There is possibly nothing more divine than salted caramel. I love it on ice cream, brownies, and even on pancakes. I use it to make amazing Salted Carmelita Bars. I have a recipe for Salted Caramel Sauce already, and it's fabulous. It requires butter and heavy cream. I have nothing against butter and heavy cream; in fact I'm a big proponent of raw, grass-fed dairy for their healthy fats. The only problem is that I sometimes have trouble getting a hold of raw dairy (especially the heavy cream). I needed a caramel sauce recipe that I could make anytime, even when I didn't have my precious raw cream on hand. I scoured the internet looking for a dairy-free caramel. I found a lot of recipes that called for margarines or butter substitutes (NOT happening in this house!). I found some that were real food approved but required full-fat canned coconut milk. I love coconut milk, but I never buy it. I make it for two reasons. The first is homemade coconut milk is vastly cheaper, and the second is that I don't buy canned goods because of the BPA content (even BPA-free cans contain other chemicals; aluminum cans should just be avoided, period). The one downside to homemade coconut milk is that it doesn't get quite the fatty content (again, these are healthy fats!) that is often found in the canned stuff. The dairy-free recipes that I saw online made it clear that the full-fat milk was required to make the caramel. That just wouldn't do. I decided to just experiment myself with my homemade coconut milk, and I finally got a recipe down. So please note, although you can use canned coconut milk in my recipe, homemade coconut milk will work just fine!

Ingredients:
2 c. coconut milk (homemade recipe here)
2/3 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. salt (optional)


Whisk the coconut milk and sugar in a small saucepan. Turn the heat on high and bring it to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. It will reduce by about half. The sauce will still look thin, but it will thicken up later in the refrigerator.


Turn the heat off and stir in the vanilla and optional salt. Pour the sauce carefully in a mason jar and refrigerate for several hours. This recipe makes about one cup.


Even after the caramel sauce has thickened, keep it stored in the fridge.

Printable: Vegan Salted Caramel Sauce




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14 comments:

  1. Yummm! Delicious vegan food is one reason why the number of vegans has doubled in less than 3 years. Here's a video to help everyone understand why so many people are making this life affirming choice: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKr4HZ7ukSE

    Join the revolution! 21-Day Vegan Kickstart http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs

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  2. Looks really good and kudos to you for making uber healthy! How do you think homemade almond milk would do?

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    1. Thank you! I think it would work with homemade almond milk as well!

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  3. I'm going to try this! My daughter is allergic to dairy, so she's never been able to have caramel. She will love this.

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  4. How long would this stay fresh ?

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    1. It depends on which milk you used (store-bought or homemade). I used homemade and kept it for about 3 weeks. As always, check for alterations in appearance or smell before each use.

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  5. This is excellent and such a good alternative to my high sugar terribly fattening Caramel Sauce. It thickens nicely when chilled. I pair it with my Gluten Free, Dairy Free Apple Crisp.

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  6. What is the reason you cook the sugar and coconut milk together? Usually you cook the sugar first and add milk and butter, correct? Just wondering, because this steps take shorter time.

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    1. In non-vegan Salted Caramel Recipes, you cook the sugar with a little water, then add the milk and butter. We're replacing the water with coconut milk to give it flavor, since we're not adding milk or butter. It needs liquid at the beginning otherwise sugar burns very easily.

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    2. Thank you for replying! I just made my vegan caramel yesterday. I cooked the sugar first, then added coconut cream(the creamy top part of coconut milk) and coconut oil. Took only about five minutes. It turned out great.
      However, even though I love coconut so much, I thought coconut-y flavor in caramel is something you have to get used to. It is a little off taste to me especially when I eat them side by side. I agree salted caramel is so divine. And so easy to make!

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  7. Has anyone tried or think would work to make caramel popcorn?

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  8. You can just make popcorn in a stove-top popcorn maker. Put in oil of your choice and three kernels of corn. After they pop, put in 1/4 c. of sugar and 1/2 cup of corn kernels. Keep spinning the handle to keep everything inside mixed up. The sugar melts and distributes pretty evenly over the popcorn. I salt it and let it cool down for a while because melted sugar can be really, really hot! It's more kettle corn - but you could probably increase the amount of sugar (and even throw in some nuts to make your own cracker jacks).

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  9. I just tried making this and messed up somewhere and I'm not sure what I did wrong. I used canned coconut milk and sugar, got to a boil and let simmer, but it never turned caramel color? It tastes yummy, but more like sugared coconut milk than caramel :( Any ideas?

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