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This coconut caramel sauce is a caramel-loving, dairy-free person’s dream come true!
This canned coconut milk caramel comes together quickly, and the ingredients are wholesome and simple. It’s truly a magical thing!
What Is Coconut Caramel?
It’s caramel sauce, similar to dulce de leche, but made with all-natural ingredients. Namely, coconut milk and coconut sugar. It’s a dream come true for a caramel-loving dairy-free person!
This coconut caramel sauce has a deep, rich flavor and satisfyingly thick texture that’s still pourable.
It is completely refined sugar-free, thanks to the use of coconut sugar. In a pinch, you could even use date paste!
Why This Caramel Sauce Is Better
Regular caramel sauce recipes often include not-so-great ingredients. Things like brown sugar, heavy cream, or even high fructose corn syrup. All things that contribute to an unhealthy diet and body. (Although, really heavy cream is not bad unless you’re following a low-fat diet).
This recipe simply does better. It uses coconut milk, unprocessed sugar (coconut sugar), and best of all, there is no corn syrup in sight!
The only thing you can’t do with this recipe is make caramel candies. Sorry, I can’t work miracles. But I keep trying… But at least you won’t have to mess with a candy thermometer!
Vegan Caramel Sauce
This recipe is “accidentally” vegan. No butter involved!
How To Use Coconut Caramel
There are so many uses for this type of sweet caramel. It’s no different than using traditional caramel sauce you can buy at the grocery store. You can drizzle caramel over so many things! It’s a great substitute for maple syrup on some recipes! Here are some ideas for what to pour this over:
- Ice Cream
- Oreo cookies or Samoa cookies – You can make some homemade oreos and then use this sauce as a dipping sauce! Yum!
- Homemade cake – Drizzle this over the top of a cake, such as a bundt cake.
- Dip fruit – Such as apples.
- Dessert parfaits – With a caramel layer!
- Sweet breads – Use it as a drizzle or topping over the loaf.
- Coffee – You could even take this into a coffee shop with you to stir into your coffee in place of sweetener.
- Care packages – Don’t forget to send some goodie jars to those you love!
About Coconut Caramel Ingredients
Coconut milk – This is the stuff in a can. Not in a carton. Do not use the stuff in a carton. You do NOT want light coconut milk or coconut cream. Just regular, full-fat coconut milk.
Coconut sugar – I used xylitol because that’s what works best for my blood sugar. But you can really use any granular sweetener you prefer, such as Sucanat or monk fruit.
Baking soda – This does double duty so you won’t have to add salt to this recipe. But if you want it to be saltier, you can certainly add a little sea salt, or whatever salt you have on hand.
Pure vanilla extract – Use the real stuff. Don’t use flavoring.
Coconut extract – optional if you want a true coconut flavor. Otherwise, don’t bother.
How To Make Coconut Caramel Sauce
Put all ingredients in a medium to large saucepan.
Whisk to combine in the pot, and then turn on the stove to low heat or medium heat (not high heat!). Never leave this at a full boil. You want a nice, slow simmer. Skim any foam off the top, if there is any.
Cook for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring every 10 minutes or so and skimming the foam off the top if needed.
After about an hour or so, you will notice that the mixture has greatly reduced and gotten considerably darker (depending on the sweetener used) and thicker. At this point, you can turn it off.
Allow to cool for a bit and then transfer to a glass jar. Chill overnight in the fridge (It will thicken as it cools). Serve chilled or at room temperature.
The photos shown above show a light-colored caramel sauce. This is because of the sweetener I used. If you use coconut sugar or any other dark-colored, unprocessed sweetener, the color of your caramel will be much darker like the one shown here below.
When my mom, myself, and Mini Chef traveled to Ireland together in 2013, I started looking at Irish food blogs. I came across this one called, Farmette (no longer a live blog). It’s a delightful blog and has some incredible-looking recipes. My recipe here is an adaptation of a recipe that was on her site. I figured the recipe would be approximately the same using coconut. And while there were some very minor adjustments needed, this caramel sauce with coconut milk worked up beautifully with this dairy-free milk and unprocessed sweetener!
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Coconut Caramel Recipe Card recipes + Video
Coconut Caramel Sauce Recipe
CLICK TO WATCH THIS RECIPE IN ACTION!
- 15 oz. full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cups coconut sugar
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Put all ingredients in a medium to large saucepan.
- Whisk to combine in the pot, and then turn on the stove to low heat or medium heat (not high heat!). Never leave this at a full boil. You want a nice, slow simmer. Skim any foam off the top, if there is any.Cook for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, stirring every 10 minutes or so and skimming the foam off the top if needed.After about an hour or so, you will notice that the mixture has greatly reduced and gotten considerably darker (depending on sweetener used) and thicker. At this point, you can turn it off.
- Allow to cool for a bit and then transfer to a glass jar. Chill overnight in the fridge (It will thicken as it cools). Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Recipe from the Gracious Pantry® archives, originally posted 5/13/2013.