Vegan Caramel Sauce


This Vegan Caramel Sauce recipe is incredibly decadent and also easy to make. All it requires is 4 ingredients and 15 minutes of your time. Made with coconut milk, coconut sugar, coconut nectar, and vegan shortening, your friends will be so busy gobbling it up that they won’t ever guess it’s made with healthy ingredients.

My Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream is incredible smothered in this Vegan Caramel Sauce. This pairing is the perfect dairy-free dessert. I developed this rich caramel sauce recipe, as well as my vegan Chocolate Ganache for my world famous Paleo Caramel Brownies recipe.

Both of these toppings are also delicious when drizzled on the dairy-free ice cream recipes in my third book, Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry. Those ice cream recipes include Coffee, “Peanut” Butter, Cookie Dough, and more, and are amazing topped with dairy-free Caramel Sauce.

Print Recipe
  1. Place coconut milk fat, coconut sugar, and honey in a saucepan
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  3. Continue simmering for 10 minutes
  4. Allow caramel sauce to cool for 5 minutes
  5. Stir in shortening until completely dissolved
  6. Serve

In order to obtain coconut milk fat for this recipe, refrigerate two cans of coconut milk for 24 hours, then open the cans and scoop the rich creamy fat off of the top, measuring out 3/4 cup for this recipe. You can use the water that has separated for smoothies or discard it.

If you would like to substitute various ingredients in this Vegan Caramel Sauce recipe, feel free. Please note that unless I test a substitution I have no way of knowing how or if it will work –that’s why I tested this recipe more than 15 times. I wish I had a crystal ball that would write recipes and test substitutions for me, however, I do everything the old fashioned way by working hard and using loads of ingredients to perfect each and every recipe for you until I get it just right!

Drizzle Vegan Caramel Sauce over these dairy-free ice cream recipes:

There is no Nutrition Label for this recipe yet.


60 responses to “Vegan Caramel Sauce”

  1. I have recently noticed stomach distress from canned coconut milk and I thought it was from the guar gum so I tried a “guar free” option and still have been having issues. I did some research and found that canned coconut milk is super high in BPA so I have started making my own coconut milk, is there a way to get full coconut fat from homemade coconut milk?

    • Nan, thanks for your comment! The coconut milk I link to in my recipes comes in a can that is BPA free :-)

  2. Thank you Elana for all the hard work you do testing and testing and then sharing your recipes, I so appreciate your efforts and kindness. Looking forward to trying more in the new year.

  3. I am having a difficult time finding canned coconut milk. I found condensed coconut milk, can I use that in replacement of the coconut milk fat? Or is there another alternative to use instead of the coconut milk fat? Thanks!

    • Hi Annika, canned coconut milk is available at health food stores, and you can also get it online by clicking the green text in the ingredients portion of this recipe. I haven’t tried making this recipe with a substitute for canned coconut milk so not sure if that would work. If you do experiment please let us know how it goes.

  4. Does anyone have a great recipe for caramel with out using any of those sugars. I can only have stevia or xylitol or I get very sick. I miss not having caramel.

  5. Oh my goodness!! How DO you manage to stay so slim while making (and testing) recipes like this?!?! It’s crazy delicious and super easy! I may (or may not) have eaten a spoonful or two of this on top of homemade ice cream….

  6. I substituted butter for the vegan shortening, and it turned out well. I know it’s not vegan or dairy-free, but I find that I can use butter and full-fat non-homogenized cream. It’s the fine fat particles in homogenized milk that seem to permeate my leaky gut.

  7. this sounds amazing. Sometimes I have a craving for caramel and this sounds like it will fit the bill! One question, do you think I can use coconut oil instead of the shortening? Has anyone done that? I have never seen the shortening, will have to look for it. thanks!

    • Scroll up through the comments and you’ll see someone used coconut oil instead of shortening and liked how it turned out. I just made it using coconut oil, but am waiting for it to thicken up. I added a little bit of arrowroot powder also hoping to give it a little of the texture that’s there when you use powdered sugar. Also, I substituted maple syrup, and while it turned out delicious I’ll probably go with the other commenter and skip it next time since I think the coconut sugar makes it sweet enough.

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