Paleo Caramel Sauce

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that’s refined sugar free and vegan! It’s perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that's refined sugar free and vegan! It's perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is having a relaxing holiday weekend, soaking up the last few moments of summer that you can and enjoying the company of the people you love. As you read this, I’ll be spending the Labor Day weekend with my dad in Victoria, British Colombia to celebrate his birthday, which was on the 6th.

I’ll totally fill you all in on the trip and how beautiful that place is, but today I have something delicious to talk about: caramel sauce. But this one has NO refined sugar. Instead, I subbed one of my new favorite ingredients: coconut sugar.

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that's refined sugar free and vegan! It's perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.The more I bake with coconut sugar, the more I like it. It seriously performs so similarly to granulated sugar, but it tastes more like a strong brown sugar. I’ve found that I can usually substitute it in recipes as a substitution for both the granulated sugar and the brown sugar and it usually works out pretty darn wonderfully, if I do say so myself.

It has a caramelized flavor naturally, and it just so happens that that flavor works absolutely perfectly when you’re making caramel. This recipe is a little different than a traditional caramel sauce recipe where you first melt and caramelize the sugar and then add the heavy cream. That process usually takes less than 10 minutes.

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that's refined sugar free and vegan! It's perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.Instead, for this recipe, you combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar and cook them down together into a thick caramel sauce. This version of making caramel takes a little bit longer, about 30-35 minutes, but it’s more hands-off and way less stressful.

I also added a scraped vanilla bean to the caramel to add a hint of delicious vanilla flavor to my caramel sauce. A similar flavor could be achieved with vanilla extract, but you won’t get the gorgeous vanilla bean specks in your caramel! If you don’t want to splurge on a vanilla bean to use in this recipe, I love using vanilla bean paste to get vanilla bean flecks without having to use a whole vanilla bean. One jar will last you a while.

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that's refined sugar free and vegan! It's perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.

Whip up a batch of this caramel and eat it with some ice cream, or with some ice cream. Be sure to save some though – I have a delicious recipe using this caramel coming at you on Wednesday! I can’t wait to share it. It’s to die for! For now, enjoy the paleo caramel sauce!

This Paleo Caramel Sauce is made with coconut milk and coconut sugar for a delicious, silky smooth sauce that's refined sugar free and vegan! It's perfect as a Paleo substitute for caramel sauce in any recipe.

Paleo Caramel Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1¼ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 14-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ vanilla bean, split or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt (I recommend a flaky salt like fleur de sel)
Directions
  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the coconut milk and coconut sugar. Scrape the insides of the vanilla bean and add the seeds and pod to the mixture, if using.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently. Once boiling, turn the heat to low and let the mixture boil slowly. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom to make sure it doesn’t burn. Continue boiling until caramel has reduced and thickened to thick, syrupy texture, about 30-35 minutes. Remember that the caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in oil, salt, and vanilla extract if using. If you used the vanilla bean, remove the pod and discard.
  4. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally to keep the fat incorporated. Pour into a glass container.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Want to make something with your caramel sauce?

Try these Caramel Apple Crumb Bars!

These Caramel Apple Crumb Bars are absolutely addicting, on their own or served with a little extra caramel sauce! They are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and vegan.

Comments

  1. The flecks of vanilla in the caramel sauce are killing me.
    Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry recently posted…The Cure CocktailMy Profile

  2. I just made some salted caramel sauce too, but your version definitely beats mine! I love that there’s no refined sugar and the vanilla bean was such a great touch.
    Danielle recently posted…Caramel Apple Upside-Down CakeMy Profile

  3. This looks delicious and yay for vegan!

  4. Hi,
    Do you think it would work with almond or soy milk and brown sugar and if yes the way of doing it would be the same?

    Thanks!

  5. Yum! I totally need to try this.

    xoxoBella | http://xoxobella.com
    Bella B recently posted…Bring on Scarf Season!My Profile

  6. Oh wow, this looks amazing! I have always wanted to try making my own caramel sauce, but have never gotten around to doing it. Must try this soon!!
    Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness recently posted…Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

  7. What a photogenic caramel!! I love the little vanilla bean spots in it :) And I doubly love that it’s vegan + paleo!! :D
    Sarah | Well and Full recently posted…Two Birthday Cakes: Vanilla Bean + Spiced Chocolate CheesecakesMy Profile

  8. This is exactly what has been missing from my life! YUM! Pinning. :)
    Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet recently posted…Bánh Mì BratwurstMy Profile

  9. This looks absolutely delicious! I’ve never tried coconut sugar, but you’ve definitely inspired me. I bet this caramel sauce is a great accompaniment to the apples that are just coming into season.
    Sandra @ Heavenly Home Cooking recently posted…Tomato Soup for TwoMy Profile

  10. This is so awesome, Rachel! I’m having to learn a bit about paleo for my day job, and I’m totally referencing your blog to figure out which things I can use, haha. I’ve never used coconut sugar, but this is genius! :)
    Beth @ bethcakes recently posted…Chocolate Cherry Dr Pepper CakeMy Profile

  11. yet another reason I need to get my hands on coconut sugar! This caramel sauce looks so indulgent and rich!
    Kayle (The Cooking Actress) recently posted…Graham Cracker ToffeeMy Profile

  12. Phenomenal recipe!! Absolutely love this caramel! Just found your blog & will definitely be trying other recipes in the future. :)

  13. This looks absolutely divine! I’ve been missing caramel sauce since we went Paleo and am trying this soon!
    Savanah Fahrney-Day recently posted…Budget Tips for a Paleo Eating PlanMy Profile

  14. I am not paleo, but am refined sugar and gluten free. Can this recipe be used with heavy cream rather than coconut milk?

    I have so much success with your recipes! Thanks!!

  15. Can you use light coconut milk instead? I find that full fat coconut milk causes digestive upset sometimes.

    • Hi Linda. I haven’t tried it, and I’m a bit skeptical – similar to how milk won’t work for traditional caramel (you need heavy cream), I’m unsure if there’s enough fat in light coconut milk to thicken up. You could definitely give it a shot though. If you do, I’d love to hear if it turns out!

  16. Thanks very much for this recipe – made it and used it between two layers of chocolate cake – yum yum :-)

  17. I love the flavor of this, but having no prior experience with sauces, I was unable to achieve the desired texture. Once it started to boil on medium heat, I was afraid it would stick to the pan to immediately lowered it to low heat for the duration of cooking. This caused it not to thicken up and remain very liquidy, but still added an amazing flavor and caramelized well in the Caramel Apple Crumb Bars that I made with this!

    • Hi Jasmine! You do need to cook it on a higher heat to get it to thicken up – it won’t stick to the pan even if you do :) I’m glad you enjoyed it regardless though!

  18. Hi! Thanks for the great recipe! Just wanted to see if you could sub grass fed butter for the coconut oil?

  19. FreeTheGlutens says:

    I made this in the weekend and near lost my face in the p(l)ot!
    This recipe is exquisite and now I can enjoy my vanilla ice cream with caramel again the way I used to.

    Thank you very much from an over enthusiastic gluten head.

  20. l really want to try coconut sugar but have yet to find a brand made in a PN/TN-free facility. In the meantime, will this recipe work if I use raw sugar as a substitute for the coconut sugar?

  21. I made this yesterday, however I only had Light coconut milk in (I normally purchase full fat) but I did not realize on the day of purchase, I had picked up 4 tins of light..Anyway just to say it is amazing….absolutely….yummmy…yummmy..maybe as I used light it is not so thick but wow..all the flavor, and yes coconut sugar..used..Thank you.

    • So glad to hear that light coconut milk still did the trick! Thanks so much for sharing your experience for other’s to reference – have a great day :)

  22. Could I substitute date sugar for the coconut sugar?

    • Hi Heather – I haven’t experimented too much with date sugar so I’m not sure if it would work here. I’m not positive if it melts and caramelizes the way other sugars do. Wish I had a better answer – experiment at your own risk!

  23. Hi, do you use canned coconut milk, and both the thick and watery parts? Thanks!

  24. Elise damico says:

    Is there a different sugar you would recommend besides coconut sugar?

  25. I just made this recipe and I enjoyed it over ice cream. Looking forward to trying it in iced coffee!

  26. I made this and it is absolutely amazing! The perfect topping for brownies, ice cream, cinnamon rolls, and home-made samoas!

Trackbacks

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  3. […] served it with some vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of paleo caramel sauce. Serve it after a big bowl of this creamy butternut squash soup and you’ll be a happy camper, […]

  4. […] 18. Paleo Caramel Sauce This beautiful caramel sauce is a healthier alternative (though still a treat) to the corn syrup based ones you can buy at the store. it’s made with coconut milk, coconut sugar, vanilla bean (look at those specks!), coconut oil, and a flaky sea salt to bring out the flavors. […]

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