3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

3-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

Do you know that I actually had no idea what was in caramel until shortly after making the switch from vegetarian to vegan and getting serious about reading ingredient labels? Vegan caramel sauce was not something I had ever made at home, since chocolate almost always trumps every other kind of candy in my book. Of course, once I decided not to eat dairy anymore, salted caramel became very trendy. And then I wanted caramel too.

I’ve experimented with different vegan caramel recipes over the years—some from medjool dates, others from brown sugar and full-fat coconut milk—and for sure there have been a couple that mimic a similar caramel-like flavor, but when I eat caramel, I want the chew factor, you know? The messy, hard-not-to-have-caramel-on-your-chin sort of deal.

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

A while back, I was making a recipe that called for coconut nectar as a caramel substitute and I thought it was so completely genius. What makes it even better though, is combining coconut nectar with a little neutral-flavored nut butter. Seriously! Cashew butter is my current top pick, and I bet a rich macadamia butter would be really delicious too. I also add a generous pinch of sea salt to mine because I’m still riding the salted caramel trend.

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

The chew that was previously missing from vegan caramel? Not anymore. The texture and flavor  in this recipe are so spot-on, and you only need 3 ingredients (two if you don’t count salt)! There are so many potential uses, and it’s low-glycemic too! Lately, I’ve been eating vegan caramel as my afternoon snack with apple or pear slices for dipping. Highly, highly recommended.

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

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3-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

3-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: about 1 cup


Prep Time: 5 mins

Finally, a vegan caramel recipe that isn't missing the chew! Just 3 ingredients, 1 bowl, less than 5 minutes, and so many uses. Oh, and it's low-glycemic too!

3-Ingredient CHEWY Vegan Caramel Sauce! Ready in 5 minutes and low-glycemic too! | picklesnhoney.com #vegan #caramel #sauce #dessert #recipe

3-Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce

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Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons creamy cashew butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (less if you use salted cashew butter)

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: about 1 cup

Prep Time: 5 mins

Finally, a vegan caramel recipe that isn't missing the chew! Just 3 ingredients, 1 bowl, less than 5 minutes, and so many uses. Oh, and it's low-glycemic too!

Instructions

  • Mix together the coconut nectar, cashew butter, and salt in a small bowl until well combined. That's it!

Notes [2]

The caramel will be thinner at room temperature (perfect for topping sweet breads, cupcakes and cakes) and thicker once refrigerated (ideal for dipping sliced fruit or slathering on toast).

I’ve tried this with a few nut and seed butters. For a more neutral flavor, cashew butter is the way to go. If you’re a peanut butter lover, definitely give my peanut butter caramel a try!

Copyright © 2019 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. Just look at that stringiness! Genius! Thanks for going through all the experimentation just to share this with the world.

    1. Amanda says

      So much stringiness! Love it.

  2. Charlie says

    I love caramel but it is true that delicious vegan caramel can be hard to find. I’ve made a really good one before but it has way more ingredients than yours… Love the simplicity! Cashew butter is perfect for creaminess and coconut nectar has a delicious caramelly taste, so I am sure your caramel is perfect 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks, Charlie! Do you have a link to the vegan caramel recipe you like? I’m always interested in how other people craft their recipes. 🙂

      1. Charlie says

        Hi Amanda! It is the caramel in those oat squares: http://sweetsaltyspicy.net/2010/11/caramel-pear-oat-squares.html
        Searching for it I realized it doesn’t have as many ingredients as I thought, but still more than yours ;). It is a little salty so it was perfect with the oats.

  3. Mary says

    What is coconut nectar?

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Mary, here’s a link to the coconut nectar I use.

  4. Shonalika says

    My word! Look at the stretch on that thing! Well done for coming up with it – I’d never have thought of using nut butter:D

  5. Lori says

    Oh my gosh- caramel is my favorite sweet in the world! Thanks for this amazing recipe- I’ll be trying it this week!

    1. Amanda says

      Awesome! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  6. Rosanna says

    Amanda,
    How clever is that?? I can’t wait to make it and eat it!!! I would eat it straight out of the container! Thanks for sharing with the world!

  7. I cannot wait to pour an excessive amount of this over some Coconut Bliss ice cream! Looks delicious and I love how quickly it comes together (perfect for quick breaks for a sweet treat during a movie night!)

    1. Amanda says

      It would be amazing over Coconut Bliss ice cream!!

  8. Lauren says

    This looks delicious! The more I cook, the more I appreciate and love easy recipes that become kitchen staples, and this looks like one of those. Hope all is well with you Amanda! xo

    1. Amanda says
  9. Heidi says

    Have you ever used agave nectar instead of coconut nectar?

    1. Amanda says

      I haven’t tried agave nectar in this recipe. The flavor might work, but it doesn’t have the quintessential stringiness of coconut nectar and I think it might be too thin.

  10. Shana says

    Do you think this would work with another sweetener like agave or maple syrup?

    1. Amanda says

      I just responded to another comment about this. 🙂 I think the coconut nectar is the key here. It creates a really awesome caramel-like texture.

      1. Shana says

        Thanks for responding! I ended up making a variation of this using brown sugar and cashew butter and it turned out so good! Like, couldn’t keep the spoon out of it good. I’ve tried caramel using Earth Balance and always felt the taste was just “off.” Genius idea using the cashew butter! Also, I used salted cashew butter in case inquiring minds want to know.

  11. Courtney says

    Wow! That looks amazing!! I was wondering though, how might it hold up when heated? My husband grew up in Minnesota, where Caramel Rolls is their thing. The recipe they taught me is quite decadent, like… Wickedly good. But… I’m looking for ways to vegan-ize and health-ify his childhood favorite. What do you think? If I baked it with rolls for about 20 minutes, would it retain its caramel-like texture and flavor?

    1. Amanda says

      The only time I’ve heated the caramel in the oven was when I made my vegan caramel popcorn, and that recipe turned out SO well (it’s one of my favorite recipes to date). I think it’s worth a try in the caramel rolls. Definitely report back on how that works out if you give it a try!

  12. Daya says

    This looks delicious!
    Can I use sugar instead of coconut nectar though? I don’t get coconut nectar where I live.

    1. Amanda says

      The coconut nectar is pretty critical to this recipe. It’s what gives it the caramel strnginess/chew!

  13. This is a GENIUS recipe, Amanda! I had this recipe with granny smith apples (my favorite) and it was amazing. 🙂

    1. Amanda says

      So glad you loved the caramel, Sarah! I bet it’s so good with the tartness of granny smith apples.

  14. Kim says

    Sweet Mother Mary! I made this today for Xmas gift giving. I literally had to make a batch for myself. This is so good. The only variation I made was to add a splash of vanilla extract, otherwise I used it just as you wrote. Simple, fast and tasty – what more can you ask for?

    1. What a brilliant Christmas gift idea! I love your vanilla extract addition. I bet that makes the caramel even more wonderful.

  15. Bunny says

    I really wanted this to work for me, but sadly it didn’t 🙁 I’m sure others will love it but I found the cashew butter was such a strong flavor that the end result just really didn’t taste like caramel, it was too nutty. Texture-wise it was creamy but not stretchy. I tried making turtle candy with this recipe and they were tasty enough but not truly caramel-y. I had a lot of (expensive) cashew butter and coconut nectar left over that I didn’t know what to do with partly because I didn’t find them very yummy by themselves. Not trying to be negative, just conveying my experience. I appreciate your effort to make easy and delicious vegan recipes, it can be a tough gig.

    1. Sorry to hear you didn’t love the caramel, Bunny. It sounds like cashew butter and coconut nectar might not be your cup of tea–totally fine. We each have different taste preferences! It does seem odd though that you didn’t find it to be stretchy because it’s suuuper stretchy when I make it. That can happen when the coconut nectar is warm and thinner in consistency, whereas in the fridge it becomes very thick and stringy. The other thing that occurred to me is the cashew butter being raw versus roasted. Raw cashew butter tends to have a milder flavor, so perhaps that contributed… Regardless, I hope you’ll find a vegan caramel that’s more your style. 🙂

  16. Emily says

    Soo yum!! Just used this as the center of a vegan sugar free chocolate bar. Oh my oh my. Such tastiness!! Thanks for this awesome recipe & inspiration!

    1. That sounds incredible, Emily! Such a great idea!

  17. Teresa says

    What could be added to this recipe to make it a bit thicker? I want to use it on top of a pretzel but don’t want it runny as it sits out for the evening.

    1. Hmmm. I’m not sure, Teresa. The coconut nectar needs to stay cold to remain thick and chewy (like traditional caramel). It may not be ideal if you want to set it out for the evening.

  18. Myra says

    I love your site.Thank you for what you do!

  19. Shon says

    Oh My Goodness! Yum! Thank you for this recipe. I am making it this afternoon!

    1. Awesome! I hope you love the caramel, Shon!

  20. Myra says

    Amanda – I love your site and these vegan carmel.

  21. So so so good ! This is a dream come true. Thanks for sharing this simple but wonderful recipe! It’s only a few months I did change my nutrition and such recipe do help a lot !

    1. That’s wonderful to hear! I’m really happy you enjoyed the caramel!

  22. allie says

    I love this blog! The vegan community is so great because we all have one thing in common: WE ALL LOVE FOOD! 🙂

  23. Wow!! Until I read this article I had no idea making caramel would be so easy… This really looks great and I will give it a try.

    1. This vegan caramel is SO easy, Amit! Hope you enjoy!

  24. Oh wow! There really is a plant-based alternative for EVERYTHING. It’s so easy to go vegan. <3

    1. The vegan options are definitely pretty awesome! (especially compared to what they used to be even a handful of years ago 🙂 )

  25. Kamila says

    I agree that combination of cashew butter and coconut sweetener is the best. I said sweetener because I was using coconut sugar with extra water just to combine ingredients and it turned out amazing. I have problem with popular caramel sauce with coconot milk because I can taste luck of protein in it, it is tasty, but have no richness.

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