Vegan Caramel

April 3, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

From Sweet Laurel: Recipes for Whole Food, Grain-Free Desserts cookbook: "Our favorite way of serving it is on top of sliced bananas, or with a piece of dark chocolate. We won’t judge if you eat this straight out of the jar with a spoon!"

Featured in: A No-Cook Caramel You'll Eat by the Spoonful


Makes: 1/2 cup
Prep time: 10 min


  • 1/4 cup almond or cashew butter or puree, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 or 2 fresh dates, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
In This Recipe


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Transfer the caramel to a glass jar and place in the refrigerator to chill. The caramel will stiffen up in the refrigerator, so if your recipe calls for it to be spreadable, let the caramel sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, and give it a good stir before using. The caramel will keep for about 1 month, refrigerated.
  3. Notes: If you want a thinner sauce to drizzle on top of a dessert, just add another 2 tablespoons maple syrup. For a denser, caramel candy texture, add 2 more dates. For spreading on cake layers, add 2 tablespoons almond or cashew butter. Because this recipe contains fresh dates—which will ferment over time—it’s important to keep the caramel refrigerated.

More Great Recipes:
American|Cashew|Date|Maple Syrup|Vegan|Dessert|Snack

Reviews (13) Questions (0)

13 Reviews

Amy M. December 22, 2018
Can editor confirm that fresh dates are called for? They are seasonal and very hard to come by, even in Brooklyn with its wealth of middle eastern groceries. Commenters NC and Laura415 are offering sources for dried dates, not the same, but you haven't contradicted them, so I'm not sure.
NC September 3, 2018
I'm not a fan of coconut, so I used grapeseed oil. It was delicious!
MB May 3, 2018
Where do I find fresh dates?
NC September 3, 2018
Costco sells organic, pitted dates with nothing added.
Laura415 September 24, 2018
Also try your local middle eastern grocery store if you have one. They use dates in their cooking and sell them in bricks you can just cut off what you need for the recipe. No soaking or pitting necessary.
Deb A. April 9, 2018
Delicious and so so easy to make!
Ttrockwood April 8, 2018
What the what...?? This isn’t caramel. It’s sweetened nut butter! <br />Vegan caramel just needs sugar from either beets or coconuts (neither are processed with bone char). Just swap in canned coconut cream instead of heavy cream. No nut butter or maple flavors in caramel.
Wendy April 6, 2018
I have not tried this recipe yet but I offer my eternal thanks. This may not be the answer to world peace but it will go a long way to helping my family, vegan and not.
Michele K. April 5, 2018
I'm not crazy about the taste of maple syrup. Can I use agave nectar instead?
Safiyeh April 5, 2018
Why “vegan?” Last I heard, sugar isn’t an animal-based product.
witloof April 5, 2018
Most commercial sugar is bleached using the charcoal obtained from burned cow bones, so it isn’t vegan.
Dvdphile April 5, 2018
It’s normally made with condensed milk! ;)
Michele K. April 6, 2018
Can you use turbinado sugar and have it be vegan? Just wondering.<br />