This date caramel recipe is quite possibly the easiest caramel sauce you'll ever make. It comes together with just 4 ingredients in a few easy steps.
This quick date caramel is made using slightly more wholesome ingredients than regular vegan caramel sauce, so it's great as a healthy snack or caramel dipping sauce. You can also use it as a sweetener for porridge, smoothies, and shakes.
🍯 Ingredients Needed
You might also enjoy this vegan sticky toffee pudding, which uses dates to make a moist sponge cake!
Notes about the ingredients
- Medjool dates are best for making homemade vegan caramel with dates. They are fresh, plump, juicy, and taste like caramel! Although you could use dried dates they won't taste as good and will make a tougher job for your blender! You can find Medjool dates in the produce section of supermarkets or in Asian specialty stores.
- You can use any non-dairy milk of your choice. Soy milk and oat milk are great if you're looking to keep your date caramel nut-free. You can also use almond milk, or cashew milk if you don't mind the recipe containing nuts.
- Vanilla extract is also included in the recipe to help intensify the flavor and sweetness. You can skip it if you want to simplify the recipe even further.
- You can add more or less salt depending on whether you want a regular or salted date caramel. I would add up to a teaspoon for a more intense salted caramel flavor. Don't forget we'll be adding additional sea salt flakes for garnish as well!
🥣 How To Make Date Caramel
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions are in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Start off by soaking the dates to get them nice and soft. This makes it easier for your blender to create a smooth date paste. Some dried dates especially are tougher to blend unless they're first soaked.
Place the dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them soak for 30 minutes, then drain off the water. Remove the pits from the dates using a knife by slicing down the middle and taking out the seed.
Next, add the pitted dates, dairy-free milk, sea salt, and vanilla extract to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy. You can also use a food processor if you don't have a blender.
Make sure you scrape down the sides of the blender jug every minute or so to blend the ingredients evenly. This entire process will take up to 10 minutes, depending on how good your blender is!
Lastly, transfer the healthy caramel sauce into a serving bowl and sprinkle with some more flaky sea salt before digging in!
🍏 Ways To Use This Recipe
- As a healthy caramel dip for apples or other fruit such as pears.
- Use it in vegan caramel desserts such as caramel brownies, or as a dip for vegan cookies.
- As a topping for vegan pancakes, waffles, and crêpes or smothered on toast.
- As a healthier refined sugar-free sweetener that you can add to smoothies, shakes, or porridge.
- Make a salted caramel smoothie by blending it with frozen bananas and non-dairy milk.
👩🍳 Recipe Success Tips
- Use good quality dates. They're the main ingredient and flavor of the vegan date caramel sauce and the taste really will shine through. Make sure you use plump and juicy dates, rather than dried dates for the best caramel flavor and texture. Find out more on how to select the best quality dates in my stuffed dates recipe.
- Store dates in the fridge, not at room temperature. Although dates are usually sold from the ambient section of the supermarket, they actually hold their freshness much better in the fridge. So do yourself a favor and keep them stored chilled in an airtight container for maximum freshness.
💬 Frequently Asked Questions
Medjool dates naturally have a deep caramel flavor that is perfect for homemade healthy caramel sauce.
Dalia Sukkary dates are soft, fresh, and taste just like toffee, According to The Kitchen, Barhi dates taste just like butterscotch toffee! Both are also great for making caramel as long as they are fresh and not dried.
It's a good idea to soak dates before blending as this makes the process much easier on your blender. If your dates are on the drier side, you'll need to add more liquid to the recipe during the blending process.
Yes, due to its high water content, it needs to be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. It will last for up to 2 weeks if stored properly.
Absolutely, you can freeze it for up to a couple of months in an airtight container or in an ice cube tray for individual servings. Defrost it in the fridge overnight and give it a good whisk before serving.
➕ More vegan basics
If you love dates then don't miss this round-up of 20 delicious vegan date desserts.
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- 20 medjool dates, (approx 200g weight without pits)
- 200 ml (⅘ cup) non-dairy milk, soy, oat, or almond milk work well
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place all of the dates in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
- Once the water is cool enough, remove the pits and place the dates into a high-speed blender. You can also use a food processor.
- Add the non-dairy milk, sea salt, and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. Every minute or so, turn off the blender and scrape down the sides of the jug using a spatula. It can take up to 10 minutes to get the perfect consistency depending on the quality of your blender.
Storage and serving
- Once completely smooth, transfer the date caramel to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- You can freeze it for up to a couple of months in an airtight container or in an ice cube tray for individual servings. Defrost it in the fridge overnight and give it a good whisk before serving.
- Serve as a healthy caramel dip for apples or cookies, use it in vegan desserts, or as a refined sugar-free sweetener for porridge, smoothies, shakes, or pancakes.
- Use good quality dates. They're the main ingredient and flavor of the date caramel sauce and the taste really will shine through. Make sure you use plump and juicy dates, rather than dried dates for the best caramel flavor and texture.
- Store dates in the fridge, not at room temperature. Although dates are usually sold from the ambient section of the supermarket, they actually hold their freshness much better in the fridge.
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