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Salted Caramel Sauce (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

Vegan caramel sauce that’s made from coconut milk and coconut sugar – so it’s also dairy-free and paleo. It’s sweet, golden, gooey and you’ll want to drizzle it on everything!

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe

I’m sitting here trying to come up with a justification of how this salted caramel sauce is secretly healthy for you. And from a nutrient-dense standpoint, I have to admit it’s with deep regret that I’m at a loss.

But I can tell you with full health coach integrity that it truly is good for you. How? Because it will make you extraordinarily happy!

Watch My Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe Video

It’s easy to make this recipe, but it always helps to watch a quick tutorial video. Then you can see the perfect texture and color of the sauce before you chill it.

A Delicious Vegan Caramel Sauce

This salted caramel sauce is not your mother’s or grandmother’s caramel recipe, made from refined sugar, butter and heavy cream. This dairy-free, paleo and vegan salted caramel sauce leverages the wonderful coconut palm tree in all it’s glory, with three coconut products: coconut milk, coconut sugar and coconut oil.

And before you ask the question – “Does it taste like coconut?” – let me assure you it doesn’t. It tastes like honest to goodness, sinfully good, caramel sauce.

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe

How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

If you’ve ever made traditional caramel sauce you probably remember watching it carefully – with one eye on the sauce (to prevent burning) and one eye on a candy thermometer (to ensure the appropriate temperature).

Well, good news. This version is far easier. Just mix the coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will have to watch it more closely towards the end, but that’s it. Then, remove from the heat, add the vanilla and coconut oil and there you have it….the most divine salted caramel sauce.

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe

Caramel Sauce Tips

  • The first time I made this caramel sauce I got a little concerned at the dark color – so take note, it will turn a dark amber. But the next day after it’s been chilled, it will lighten up a bit.
  • Another hint – judge the “doneness” of the sauce by texture, smell and taste. Cook until it coats the back of a spoon and tastes caramel-y. It will still be fairly liquid on the stove, but will thicken slightly as it cools. The cooking times will vary widely based on the brand of coconut milk used as well as stove temperature and climate. So for your first time making this recipe, just cook it slowly on a simmer and let it do it’s thing (on it’s own time). No need to rush this gorgeous sauce. The reward is worth the wait.

So what do you do with this sauce once you’re done? Oh, just drizzle it on absolutely everything. That’s what I’ve been doing.

This salted caramel sauce is also used in these other recipes: Vegan Caramel Cheesecake, Salted Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream (Vegan) and Iced Matcha and Salted Caramel Latte. Enjoy!

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe

Salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's a dairy-free, paleo and vegan caramel sauce. And it's extremely delicious! #CaramelSauce #Salted CaramelSauce #VeganCaramelSauce #CaramelSauceRecipe
4.8 from 34 votes

Salted Caramel Sauce (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Paleo)

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
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A healthier take on salted caramel sauce that's made from coconut milk and coconut sugar. It's sweet, golden, gooey and you'll never taste the difference!

Ingredients

  • 13.5 oz coconut milk, full fat
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat. 
  • Bring to a boil (keeping a close eye on it, as it can quickly boil over), then immediately lower the temperature, keeping the sauce at a light simmer.
  • Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. As the sauce reaches the last 5-8 minutes of cooking time, stir more frequently to incorporate the darker caramel bits from the bottom into the sauce.
  • Once the sauce has turned a dark amber and has thickened to coat the back of a spoon, remove from the heat and stir in the coconut oil and vanilla extract.
  • Serve the sauce warm or refrigerate in a sealed glass jar.

Lisa's Tips

  • This recipe makes approximately 1 cup caramel sauce.
  • The caramel sauce will stay good for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
  • I receive a lot of questions on the coconut milk I use. I use this brand of coconut milk for all my recipes.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcal, Carbohydrates: 25.3g, Protein: 0.6g, Fat: 9.9g, Saturated Fat: 8.6g, Sodium: 30mg, Sugar: 24.1g
Course: Dessert, sauce
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Dairy Free Caramel Sauce, Salted Caramel Sauce, Vegan Caramel Sauce
©Downshiftology. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
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 Recipe originally posted July 2015, but updated to include new photos and video. 

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122 comments on “Salted Caramel Sauce (Vegan, Dairy-Free, Paleo)”

  1. This worked SO well for me. I used Trader Joes coconut milk and brown sugar. I did end im simmering for about 1hr20 but it made an amazing caramel. I also added a bit of bourbon in to make a bourbon caramel :)

  2. This is very good however after its been in the frig, hard as a rock, due to the coconut milk I guess. Needed to be reheated a bit to use it. I also noticed that when I reheated a few seconds in the microwave it seemed oily. Also tastes a bit coconutty for me. I used date sugar in place of coconut sugar.
    It seemed the right consistency before refrigeration.

    • Hi Betty – Yes, after refrigerating you will need to re-heat it and make sure to give it a good mix before serving!

  3. Will this sauce harden for candy apples?

  4. So I used granulated sugar and lactaid whole milk and it is still yummy I cant wait to put it on my husband’s birthday cake

  5. How long would we need to cook this and what modifications are needed if we want to make caramel apples (on a stick). Thanks!

    • Hi Carla – This caramel sauce actually won’t be the best option for a caramel apple as this is more liquidy and doesn’t harden.