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 Vegan Caramel Sauce and a spoon, and let’s deal.

Skinny Vegan Caramel Sauce in a labeled mason jar with a spoon

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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.

After three, 15-hour days spent furniture shopping, I’m confident that—at least when it comes to couches—we have too many options.

Fortunately for us, the vegan caramel sauce recipe I’m sharing today tastes as heavenly eaten standing in front of an open refrigerator as it does sitting on the finest of sofas.

All you need to do is grab a spoon, open the lid, and dive right into this sweet nectar.

A spoon drizzling no cream caramel sauce into a filled mason jar of vegan caramel

5 Star Review

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

— Karla —

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 (like this Vegan Apple Crisp) around allows me to satisfy my sweet tooth while living a healthy lifestyle.

I became intrigued by the idea of making a no-cream caramel sauce, and this vegan caramel sauce is the result.

This 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.

How to Serve Vegan Caramel Sauce

Enjoy this dairy-free caramel sauce as you would traditional caramel sauce. Here are a few of my favorite ways to serve it:

Ingredients for making vegan Caramel Sauce such as Soymilk and Maple Syrup on a marble counter with a sauce pan and red kitchen towel

How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

Whether you follow a vegan diet, are looking for lower-guilt dessert choices, or run into an emergency shortage of heavy cream, this vegan caramel sauce will not disappoint.


The Ingredients

  • Sugar + Water. Just like traditional caramel, vegan caramel also begins with a base of sugar and water. (If you’re looking for a non-traditional caramel, try this Apple Cider Caramel Sauce.)
  • Maple Syrup. Gives the caramel a subtle maple flavor and enhances the color.
  • Cornstarch. Functions as a thickening agent for the sauce since vegan caramel contains less fat than traditional caramel sauces.
  • Vanilla Soymilk. Our vegan swap for milk. Make sure to choose regular soymilk rather than light soymilk. Even vegan caramel needs a bit of “fat” to help it thicken and come together.
  • Dairy-Free Margarine. Choose a soy-based margarine, like Earth Balance for best results.
  • Vanilla. Enhances the natural flavor of the vegan caramel.
  • Pinch of Salt. The perfect finish to balance out the sweetness of the caramel.
Vegan Caramel Sauce made with Soymilk and Maple Syrup bubbling in a sauce pan with a whisk

The Directions

  1. Combine the soymilk, sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisking often, cook for 5 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water.
  3. Add to the saucepan, then cook until the mixture bubbles, foams, and thickens slightly.
  4. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.
  5. Transfer to a heat-proof container and let the caramel cool completely. Serve as desired and ENJOY!
Vegan Caramel Sauce in a glass jar labeled no cream caramel sauce (vegan)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Coconut Milk Be Used Instead of Soymilk?

Yes. Readers have reported great results using an equal amount of full-fat canned coconut milk instead of soymilk in this vegan caramel sauce recipe.

Can Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado Sugar be used in this Recipe?

Yes. You may swap the granulated sugar for your favorite turbinado sugar. One benefit to using turbinado sugar is the caramel sauce will develop a richer, golden color.

Can Coconut Sugar be Used in Place of Granulated Sugar?

Yes. While I have not personally tested it, readers have reported swapping the granulated sugar for coconut sugar with delicious results.

Vegan Caramel Sauce

Vegan Caramel Sauce

5 from 3 votes
A decadent vegan caramel sauce made with vanilla soymilk and maple syrup. Even non-vegans love this silky no cream caramel recipe!

Prep: 2 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 12 mins

Servings: 16 (yields approx. 1 cup)

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk 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

Instructions
 

  • 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 for 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.

Notes

  • TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover vegan caramel in a sealed container for up to two weeks. Stir before using.
  • TO REHEAT: Warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until warm.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 16) tablespoonsCalories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 36mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 1gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 110IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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17 Comments

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    1. Ashley, as long as the coconut milk has some fat content, I think it could work really well! If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes, because that sounds deeeee-lish.

  1. 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!5 stars

    1. 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.

    1. Hi Karla! I’m so happy to hear that you liked it. I bet the coconut milk was delicious!! Thanks for taking time to let me know and have a great day :)

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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!

        1. 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 :-)

          1. 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!5 stars