No Cream {Vegan} Caramel Sauce

Sometimes it’s all just too…too. The neighbor’s dog barks too early. Traffic moves too slowly, inboxes grow too full, and there are way WAY too many choices for sofas available. Grab a jar of No Cream Vegan Caramel Sauce and a spoon, and let’s deal.

Skinny Vegan Caramel Sauce made with vanilla soymilk and maple syrup. Even non-vegans will love this caramel recipe!

I’m not sure at what point in history we transitioned from a sofa being a bench with cushions to a sofa being an endless maze of firmness and arm length and fabric to analyze and debate, but we have arrived at couch overload. After three, 15-hour days spent furniture shopping Labor Day sales, I’m confident that—at least when it comes to couches—we have too many options.

Last week, Ben and I moved from a 500-square-foot apartment to a full-sized home, and—minus a bed and a few college-era plastic drawers—that home is devoid of furniture. It’s ideal for an open-floor dance party but not so ideal for activities such as eating, reading, or generally any enterprise best accomplished while sitting. Fortunately for us, No Cream Vegan Caramel Sauce tastes as heavenly eaten standing in front of an open refrigerator as it does seated at the finest of tables. Grab a spoon, open the lid, and dive right into this sweet nectar.

Clean Eating Caramel Sauce. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and made with vanilla soy or almond milk instead of heavy cream!

No Cream Caramel Sauce. Made with vanilla soymilk and maple syrup! Vegan and much healthier than classic caramel.

Making homemade caramel has to be one of my all-time favorite life activities. I love watching the sugar melt, the mixture bubble ferociously as I stir in the cream, and the transformation of color from a thin, pale gold to a deep, rich copper. Another all-time favorite activity of mine: pouring homemade caramel sauce over absolutely everything.

While I’m overwhelmed by furniture options at the moment, caramel (and dessert in general) is one area where I believe we deserve choices. Although I adore a butter-bursting, heavy cream-laced caramel sauce as much as the next sane individual, I also eat dessert after every meal, including lunch. I’ve found that keeping a few lighter dessert options around allows me to satisfy my sweet craving, while living a healthy lifestyle. I became intrigued by the idea of making a caramel sauce without heavy cream, and this No Cream Vegan Caramel Sauce is the result.

Whether you follow a vegan diet, are looking for lower-guilt dessert choices, or run into an emergency shortage of heavy cream, this No Cream Vegan Caramel Sauce will not disappoint. I made it using plant protein power-packed Silk Vanilla Soymilk, maple syrup, and vegan margarine. If you are not following a vegan diet, regular unsalted butter is a fine substitute.

Vegan Caramel Sauce with Soymilk and Maple Syrup. Even non-vegans will love this recipe!

The sauce comes together easily on the stove, and although it won’t thicken quite as much as regular, full-fat caramel, it’s still rich, decadent, and absolutely fabulous. Plus, you can enjoy the full benefit of feeling like a magical sugar wizard as the soymilk froths and bubbles.

Vegan Caramel Sauce made with Soymilk and Maple Syrup

Try Vegan Caramel Sauce drizzled on ice cream, dunked with apple slices, poured over waffles, or eaten directly from the jar. After all, this healthy-living dessert is all about options!

Vegan Caramel Sauce. Made with vanilla soymilk and maple syrup.

Personally, I’ll be eating my Vegan Caramel Sauce while cozied up to one of our many (still) unpacked moving boxes on our empty living room floor, for the next eight weeks. Our sofa—chosen in a moment of desperation as the furniture store was closing—isn’t due to be delivered until Thanksgiving.

Standing, caramel-eating dance party anyone?

Once again, thank you all so much for your kind moving wishes! We still don’t have internet (*sigh*), so please be patient with me, as I will be slow to respond to comments and emails. In a few weeks once things are unpacked, I plan to share photos of our (still empty) abode, along with the wild story behind our move and first home purchase too. Stay tuned!

Vegan Caramel Sauce

A lightened-up recipe for caramel sauce that is completely vegan! Made with soymilk and maple syrup, even non-vegans will love this sweet, low-fat alternative to regular caramel. Drizzle over ice cream, pancakes, or simply eat it directly with a spoon!

Yield: About 1 cup

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 3/4 cup vanilla or regular soymilk (do not use light)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot flour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free soy margarine, such as Earth Balance
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the soymilk, sugar and maple syrup over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes, whisking often. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water, then add to the saucepan. Cook caramel an additional 5 minutes. The mixture will bubble, foam, and thicken somewhat. Remove from heat and whisk in the soy margarine, vanilla extract, and kosher salt. Transfer to a heat-proof container and leave the lid ajar until the caramel comes to room temperature. The caramel will continue to thicken as it cools.

Refrigerate leftover vegan caramel in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Stir before using.

More healthy-living dessert deliciousness:

Today’s conversation is sponsored by Silk. All opinions are my own. As always, thanks for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to provide high-quality content for you! Please note that comments submitted on this post may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand. 

About Erin Clarke

I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, lover of bourbon, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN...


  1. I love how the house smells of caramel when making a homemade sauce. It even beats a caramel candle because you get to actually eat it.

  2. The house will be full before you know it and you have this heavenly caramel sauce to make the time pass quickly!

  3. Wow, this is super impressive. I’m always terrified of having epic caramel fails, but it’s so cool that you find it relaxing! And even cooler that you have dessert after each meal. With caramel like this, how could you not?

  4. Vegan caramel? Made with only natural sugars?! This is detox friendly! Yay!

  5. Love love this! I was actually going to make caramel this weekend and I realized I had no heavy cream..womp womp. This recipe would’ve been perfect!! Can’t wait to read about/see your new home!

  6. I couldn’t imagine any other way to enjoy caramel!

  7. so excited to see your new home…and this vegan sauce sounds pretty good esp my boyfriend who is majorly obsessed with everything caramel.

  8. Love homemade caramel sauce. I must make this.

  9. It’s interesting to read about someone wanting dessert after lunch as well as dinner. I’ve actually gotten to a point where I don’t like a lot of sugar and am only tempted to eat desserts when I’m on a cruise ship and they are very difficult to escape from. When I eat them, it’s an old habit coming out, not a craving (sounds weird, but it’s true – it’s old childhood issues coming back to haunt). That said, this recipe sounds very good. Definitely worth keeping for the day I might need it… :-)

    • I think it’s both a habit and a craving for me! No meal feels complete without a little chocolate, at least at this point in my life. I think I get it from my sweet-loving grandmother, but my grandpa also gave me his love of veggies, so I like to think it all balances out ;-)

  10. Mmmmm I love homemade caramel sauce! I do a vegan caramel sauce using coconut milk, brown sugar and maple syrup. Our caramel sauces should have a play date!

  11. Sounds lovely! And I understand your no couch until Thanksgiving issue. Though I didn’t know my bed would be delayed 3 months. I disassembled my old bed, and the delivery company called to say they only had delivery for half of a bed and is that correct? *#&%^@% NO! It’s not correct!! 4 months after ordering the first bed we canceled the order and went to a different store. 2 days later I had the best sleep. Keep your chins up!

  12. I love that you advocate eating this directly from the jar! My one attempt at making caramel wasn’t very successful, so I think it’s about time I tried again. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. I am lactose intolerant – so this caramel sauce is PUUURFECT!!!
    Good luck unpacking lady! GAH – that furniture store must be busy to not be able to deliver yalls sofa till Thanksgiving – guess it will be another something to be thankful for :)

  14. Oh, this sounds absolutely wonderful. Definitely on the list for this weekend! Good luck with the sofa hunt – it’s overwhelming! Looking forward to your move story and pictures of the new abode!

  15. Yes, caramel sauce is the perfect fix to lots of little life struggles! Love that you made a vegan version. Looks delicious. I definitely want to lick that spoon!

  16. I’ve tried to make caramel sauce a few times and failed miserably! I think I’ve been too emotionally tramatized to try again for a while, but this sounds awesome. I think we could all use a guilt-free container to eat with a spoon, especially coming back to reality after the 3 day weekend!

  17. So many great ways to enjoy this caramel sauce, though straight from the jar sounds the best at this moment!

  18. Too many choices is the very reason Squirrel and I got married on a beach. Deciding was just too hard. I feel you on the furniture front. We’re in search of a bed, and so far I’ve come up with several likes. Again, why so many? Love this vegan caramel.

  19. I adore making (and eating!) caramel… I can’t wait to try this version so that I can eat it with a spoon without any guilt;-)

  20. Congratulations on your new home. Furniture shopping is definitely fun and stressful all at the same time. This caramel sauce sounds like the perfect solution :D It looks so delicious

  21. Did someone say dance floor parties?? With caramel sauce present? Yes!! I’m in!! Hope you find a couch soon. I’m a firm believer we have WAY too many choices in things and it hinders progress at some point lol!

  22. I too, love pouring homemade caramel over everything, in fact, I just did it the other day! Loveeee this vegan version, a MUST try for me!

  23. Girl, I don’t think I could agree with you more…sometime things are just ‘too’!!! Like this vegan caramel sauce… it is just ‘too gorgeous’ lol….but seriously, I need this!!

  24. I’m running into an emergency cream shortage RIGHT NOW. So glad I found this! I can’t wait to see your new place and your Labor Day shopping spoils. How exciting!

  25. Vegan caramel sauce?! I didn’t know such a thing existed/could exist – my lactose intolerant self is much indebted to you! Good luck with unpacking :)

  26. I love the idea of a vegan caramel sauce! I already know I would like it since I’m a big fan of soy products.

  27. Love love love this!! Bring this over right now please?

  28. Can’t wait to douse this healthy caramel sauce on absolutely everything!

  29. Oh I would eat this with a spoon! It looks lovely!

  30. I wonder how it’d do with coconut milk! Looks tasty and like a great alternative :)

  31. This looks like genius! Will definitely be trying!

  32. Ugh I feel your pain about the furniture buying. We’ve lived in our house for 3.5 years and just put our “college couch” on the curb earlier this year!

    And total genius making caramel sauce vegan, because we all know vegan = healthy, so pass a spoon :)

  33. I want a giant spoonful of this. It looks amazing, and I can’t believe it is vegan! Also furniture shopping…ugh. it is the worst. way too many options! My husband and I always joke about what will happen when we move out of a tiny apartment and have to furnish a whole house! Good luck my friend!!! Thank God for caramel sauce

  34. Three days of furniture shopping? Wow, you do need some delicious comfort in the form of caramel! Would be amazing if there was one shop, with the one sofa you need. In the meantime, caramel will solve all problems!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

  35. Ah, the joys of moving. All good stuff though :) Soon enough, you’ll be all settled in with furniture, boxes gone, and caramel in hand :)

  36. Ahhh just hand me a spoon! Best of luck with unpacking and settling into your new home. What an exciting time! :)

  37. Erin, this made a gorgeous silky caramel sauce!! After I made a run to get new maple syrup (as opposed to the moldy stuff i found in the tan jug from Costco thank you very much :( ), I swapped the white sugar out for Sugar in the Raw turbinado. The color is stunning, it really continued to thicken up as it cooled. I did skim 1/8″ of foam off after it cooled (right onto my tongue ;) ). And it’s so easy!! Making the apple bars tomorrow. Thank you, missy! This one’s a keeper!

    • Hi Joanie!
      I’m so excited that you tried and loved this recipe! That’s a great idea to skim off the foam as well (and I love what you did with it ;-) ) Thanks so much for taking time to let me know how this turned out. It makes my day, and I hope you enjoy the bars just as much.

  38. Caramel sauce is the business. Couch trialing, not so much. Didn’t even know just how hard it was to buy a couch until a few years ago…… kind of makes the 3 bears & their beds tale relatable. Boy, you gotta get a couch that does it all…… but how hard is it to find “the one”?

  39. This is so genius! I can’t wait to try it!!
    Lauren at

  40. OOOOH! Just stumbled across this, going to try this with almond milk and Natvia! Can’t wait! Now, just to make some dairy- and sugar-free ice cream and some coconut flour waffles to go with it…

  41. I made caramel sauce with coconut milk, coconut sugar, and maple syrup and it was sooo good!

  42. Could you recommend any replacement for maple syrup? I can’t find it where I live :( Its cool that i found this blog since I’m also a law student’s wife and, he happens to be vegetarian so, he would appreciate a vegan caramel sauce.

    • Hi Eli, This is really tough, because maple syrup gives the caramel both consistency and flavor. You could experiment with honey, though the final taste of the caramel will be different than what I posted (and it won’t be vegan). If you do try it, please let me know how it goes. I’m sorry I can’t be of more help!

    • Over a year too late, but golden syrup might work.

  43. Could I use oil instead of butter or margarine?

  44. So excited to try this recipe! My niece is vegan and always seems to be left out of all the Christmas goodies at our family gatherings. One question…can I use brown sugar instead of white sugar in this recipe? My usual recipe calls for brown sugar.

    • Hi Lynn, I’m so happy that you found this recipe (and happy for your niece too :) ). I’ve never tried the recipe with brown sugar, so to be safe, I’d recommend using white. The white will caramelize as the caramel cooks, so you’ll still have a nice flavor. If you want to use brown, feel free to experiment—I’ve just never done it that way, so I can’t vouch for the results.

      • Uh oh…screwed it up I assume because I used a coconut milk creamer that is actually FAT FREE! Who knew? (Guess I should have paid more attention) Anyway, it tastes yummy, but isn’t thickening. I will make one last trip to the store for soy milk and try again. At least it is not a really time-consuming endeavor, thankfully!

        • Lynn, I’m sorry to hear that, but as you discovered fat is critical to making any kind of caramel. If you prefer to use coconut milk, the canned full fat variety would be absolutely amazing in this recipe, maybe even better than soy :-)

          • Thanks, Erin. I was actually able to “tweak” the failed try and managed to get it to turn out fairly well. Next time I will try the full fat version of coconut milk!
            Merry Christmas and A Joyous New Year to you and yours!

          • So happy it worked out Lynn! A very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too :-)

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