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This dairy-free caramel sauce uses just a few simple ingredients and takes less 10 minutes to make. Made with fewer ingredients than my condensed milk caramel, this version is made using the wet method for that classic caramel taste!

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📖 Recipe Overview

  • Easy To Make - You don't need any fancy kitchen equipment to make homemade caramel sauce from scratch. What's more, it uses easy-to-find, kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Thick, Smooth, And Silky - This caramel sauce becomes nice and thick once it comes to room temperature while maintaining a drizzleable consistency.
  • Versatile - There are endless ways to serve it - from drizzling over ice cream, flavoring drinks, topping pancakes, cheesecake, or filling cakes and cupcakes. And this is just scratching the surface.

🧾 Ingredients Needed

As promised, you only need a few staple ingredients to make this homemade caramel sauce, plus some optional additions if you fancy:

ingredients for vegan caramel sauce measured out in bowls on a wooden table with text overlay.Pin

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegan Heavy Cream - You need double cream (a.k.a. “whipping cream” in the US) which is designed for whipping. I like dairy-free Schlagfix in Spain or Emlea in Ireland and the UK.
  • Vegan Butter - Make sure you reach for block-style and not spreadable margarine or tub-style butter. My favorites are Violife Block, Flora Plant Butter, or Naturli Block.
  • Sugar - My favorite is granulated or caster sugar (superfine sugar in the US). But you can also swap in soft brown sugar for half of it for a deep flavor, just note it's sometimes tricky to tell when the sugar has caramelized when using darker sugar.
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🥣 How To Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

sugar and water in a saucepan caramelized using wet caramel method.Pin

Step 1: Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep caramel color.

whisking vegan butter into caramel in a saucepan.Pin

Step 2: Whisk in the butter in two parts - it will bubble up so be careful. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.

whisking vegan heavy cream into caramel mixture.Pin

Step 3: Slowly drizzle the cream into the caramel whilst whisking until combined. Then mix in the salt and vanilla extract.

thick caramel sauce after whisking in vegan butter and cream.Pin

Step 4: Simmer the caramel for 2 minutes to thicken it.

🍎 Variations

While I don't recommend altering the ingredients or quantities, this easy vegan caramel sauce is pretty customizable when adding your flavor variations. Here are some ideas:

  • Bourbon Caramel Sauce - Stir a shot of bourbon, brandy, or scotch whisky after the cream is added for a boozy kick.
  • Espresso Caramel - Swap 40ml of vegan cream for a shot of freshly brewed espresso for a wonderful coffee flavor kick.
  • Vegan Salted Caramel - If you love salty-sweet desserts, up the salt to 1 teaspoon. Make sure you use sea salt or flaky salt as table salt can be sickly and overpowering.
  • Orange Caramel - Swap out 50ml of vegan cream for 50ml of freshly squeezed orange juice. Simply mix the cream and juice together before adding to the caramel. You can also grate in some orange zest.
  • Brown Sugar Caramel - Swap out half of the sugar for soft brown sugar for a deep flavor, like the topping for my caramel pecan cheesecake.
  • Vanilla Caramel Sauce - Scrape the seeds from a vanilla pod and add them to the caramel along with the scraped-out pod. You can store the caramel with the pod inside the sauce to maximize the flavor.
  • Coconut Caramel Sauce - I purposely skipped the coconut for this recipe as I know some people don't like the flavor. But if you love coconut, simply swap out the heavy cream for coconut cream.

💬 FAQs

How to store vegan caramel sauce?

Transfer the caramel to a clean, sealed jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Why did my sugar crystalize?

It sounds like the mixture was disturbed before it caramelized. Another reason can be that the pot had residue or the sugar has impurities in it. Therefore, I recommend you always make sure your pan is completely clean and dry, and you use fresh sugar (not sugar from the coffee jar!).

Can I make this caramel sugar-free?

I'm afraid not, sugar is 100% vital for the caramelization process. If you're looking for a less refined caramel sauce, I'd recommend my easy date caramel instead.

thick golden caramel sauce in a weck jar with a spoon drizzling caramel showing the silky consistency.Pin

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📖 Recipe

Easy Vegan Caramel Sauce

5 from 2 votes
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 (1 cup)
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Description

This quick and easy vegan caramel sauce will be your new go-to for vegan desserts. With just 5 core ingredients, no need for a candy thermometer and it's made without coconut!

Ingredients

  • 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar, *see note 1
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) water
  • 80 g (2.82 oz) vegan butter, cubed, *see note 2
  • 100 ml ( cup) vegan heavy cream, *see note 3
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt , optional

Instructions

  • Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep caramel color.
  • Whisk in the butter in two parts - it will bubble up so be careful. Continue whisking until the mixture is smooth.
  • Slowly drizzle the cream into the caramel whilst whisking until combined. Then whisk in the salt and vanilla extract. 
  • Let the caramel simmer gently for 2 minutes.
  • Allow it to room temperature before serving. It will thicken as it cools down.
  • Storage: Transfer the caramel to an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. For a runnier consistency, let the caramel sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Notes

  1. Sugar - You can swap in soft brown sugar for half of it for a deep flavor, just note it's sometimes tricky to tell when the sugar has caramelized when using darker sugar.
  2. Vegan Butter - Reach for block-style such as Violife block, Flora plant butter, or Naturli block. 
  3. Vegan Heavy Cream - You need double cream such as dairy-free Schlagfix or Emlea which are designed for whipping. Alternatively, use full-fat coconut milk or coconut whipping cream.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 87kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 109mg | Potassium: 14mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.01mg
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