This Vegan Caramel Sauce is made with just 3 healthy, all-natural ingredients! Homemade caramel sauce goes perfectly with ice cream, cheesecakes, apple crisp, and more.

Caramel sauce with sea salt on top.

Easy, creamy, thick, and dreamy. That’s the catchphrase for today’s recipe, which is Vegan Caramel Sauce! If you can’t tell through the screen, I’m very excited about this post.

Caramel sauce is one of those things that everybody needs in their life. You can put it in pretty much anything. Of course, vegan ice cream is the most common culprit, but coffee is a close second. Short of a slice of rich chocolate cake, can you think of a better (halfway healthy) thing to wake up with in the morning than caramel-infused caffeine?

Though I could rave forever about the addictive nature of this easy caramel sauce, it has other good qualities too. For starters, this recipe uses all-natural ingredients, is way healthier than store-bought caramel, and is so incredibly easy to make. I’d venture to say you’ll definitely make it more than once after you try a taste!

All I can think to say to wrap this up is that salted caramel really is the best. So, make a batch, grab a spoon, and treat yourself!

Ingredients for vegan caramel sauce.

Notes on Ingredients

I wanted to keep my vegan caramel sauce somewhat neutral so that you could alter it to your liking – feel free to experiment with add-ins if you feel inspired. For now, though, here are the 3 main ingredients that you’ll need:

  • Sugar: Use the all-natural sugar of your choice. That can be coconut sugar, cane sugar, organic brown sugar, sucanat, date sugar, etc.
  • Coconut Milk: This helps to get the caramel thick and creamy, while keeping it vegan. There are a million amazing things to say about coconut milk but I’ll stick to one for right now: perfect heavy cream substitute.
  • Sea Salt: A pinch of this helps to elevate the sweet effect of the first two ingredients.

How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

Making vegan caramel sauce requires a lot of stirring… and (im)patient waiting… but it’s not difficult at all. It takes about 25 minutes total, and then you can put it in the fridge to set. That is, after you try some, just to see if it’s up to your standards. 😉

Here’s the step-by-step guide:

Heat a Pot Over Medium-High Heat: Add the sugar and stir it around the pot for about 1 minute to heat it through. Add the coconut milk and and sea salt stir to combine.

Bring to a Boil: Reduce your mixture to a simmer at low-medium heat, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes (until caramel has thickened), stirring occasionally. It should be sticking to the back of your spatula or spoon.

Caramel sauce cooking in a saucepan.

Remove the Pot From Heat: Allow it to cool slightly for 10 minutes then transfer the caramel sauce to a jar with a lid. Cover the jar and place it in fridge to cool further for at least two hours.

A jar of vegan caramel sauce on a plate.

To Use: Simply remove it from the fridge, and pour it over anything you want. I use this for holiday pancakes, and over ice cream and cakes. Enjoy!!

Tips for Success

Caramel sauce is almost too simply made for its own good. Once you start making it, it tends to become a household staple because it can be incorporated into so many things!

Here are some tips that will help you prepare some of the best caramel sauce you’ve ever tasted:

  • For Salted Caramel: You can stir in up to ¾ teaspoon extra sea salt before you remove the pot from the stove if you want salted caramel.
  • Should My Caramel Sauce Look Thin? It’s okay if it does. The sauce WILL thicken up much more upon cooling, and also upon placing it in the fridge, even if it doesn’t look very thick after removing it from the stove.
  • Wash Your Pots/Utensils: The sugar/caramel can stick to the pan if you let it sit there for too long, so I recommend washing it pretty soon after you finish cooking, or filling it with water to sit in the sink.
  • Can I Halve this Recipe? You can easily half this recipe, or even double it!
  • Coconut Milk vs Coconut Water: Ensure that you’re using all coconut milk and not coconut water, or else the sauce will not thicken up as much, and it will separate while cooling.
  • Possible Add-Ins: You could add vanilla extract, or scrape a vanilla bean for heightened flavor. You could also add ground lavender, or even use fleur de sel instead of sea salt. That last one sounds divine!
Homemade caramel sauce in a glass jar.

Serving Suggestions

There are about a million ways to enjoy caramel sauce, and they’re all delicious. It can be used as fruit dip, or drizzled over pancakes or vegan ice cream… you can even stir it into your coffee or oatmeal!

I also like to add it to the batter in this Pumpkin Muffin recipe and this Banana Bread recipe, for a swirl of sweetness. Oh! And you can also use it in this Salted Pretzel Caramel Bark, too. The possibilities are truly endless!

Vegan caramel sauce in a jar, with some caramel dripping down the side.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerate your caramel in a jar – or some other kind of airtight container – for 7 days. Mine always disappears long before then, and I imagine yours will too!

Can I Freeze Caramel Sauce?

Yes. You can freeze this caramel sauce for a month or so in a tightly-sealed jar, or airtight container.

Caramel sauce drizzling into a jar.

Enjoy friends! If you make this 3 Ingredient Vegan Caramel Sauce, please snap a photo and tag #jessicainthekitchen on Instagram! We’d also love it if you would leave a comment below, and give the recipe a rating! Thanks so much! 

Homemade caramel sauce in a glass jar.

Vegan Caramel Sauce

This Vegan Caramel Sauce is made with just 3 healthy, all-natural ingredients! Homemade caramel sauce goes perfectly with ice cream, cheesecakes, apple crisp, and more.
4.97 (from 28 ratings)

Ingredients

Vegan Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup coconut or cane or brown sugar
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk, from the can – the thick white part
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Instructions 

Vegan Caramel Sauce

  • Heat a pot over medium high heat.
  • Add the sugar and stir around the pot for about 1 minute to heat through.
  • Add the coconut milk and and sea salt stir to combine.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer at low medium heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until caramel has thickened, stirring occasionally. It should be sticking to the back of your spatula or spoon.
  • You can stir in up to ¾ teaspoon extra sea salt at this point if you want salted caramel.
  • Remove pan from heat. Allow to cool slightly for 10 minutes then transfer to a jar with a lid.
  • Cover jar, and place in fridge to cool further for at least two hours. The sauce WILL thicken up much more upon cooling and also upon placing in the fridge, even if it doesn’t look very thick after removing from the stove.
  • To use, simply remove from fridge and pour over anything you want. I use this for holiday pancakes, Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark and over ice cream and cakes. Enjoy!!

Notes

Notes:
  • For Salted Caramel: You can stir in up to ¾ teaspoon extra sea salt before you remove the pot from the stove if you want salted caramel.
  • Should My Caramel Sauce Look Thin? It’s okay if it does. The sauce WILL thicken up much more upon cooling, and also upon placing it in the fridge, even if it doesn’t look very thick after removing it from the stove.
  • Wash Your Pots/Utensils: The sugar/caramel can stick to the pan if you let it sit there for too long, so I recommend washing it pretty soon after you finish cooking, or filling it with water to sit in the sink.
  • Can I Halve this Recipe? You can easily half this recipe, or even double it!
  • Coconut Milk vs Coconut Water: Ensure that you’re using all coconut milk and not coconut water, or else the sauce will not thicken up as much, and it will separate while cooling.
  • Possible Add-Ins: You could add vanilla extract, or scrape a vanilla bean for heightened flavor. You could also add ground lavender, or even use fleur de sel instead of sea salt. That last one sounds divine!
  • Storage: Refrigerate your caramel in a jar – or some other kind of airtight container – for 7 days. You can also freeze this caramel sauce for a month or so.
Serving: 1Tbs, Calories: 52kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 53mg, Potassium: 31mg, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

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