how to make caramel sauce without cream or milk | Family Cuisine

Caramel sauce is a delicious treat that many people enjoy in desserts and drinks. However, most recipes call for heavy cream or milk to make it. This recipe will show you how to make caramel sauce without either of those ingredients.

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How to make caramel sauce without cream or milk
side view of salted vegan caramel sauce in a mason jar next to a bowl of apples

Why I love this dairy free caramel

I’ve been dying to make over my salted caramel recipe since we went dairy free, and just in time for apple season. I can’t wait to drizzle this stuff over my favorite apple crisp.

I’m even plotting ways to serve it for breakfast. I’m thinking either a salted caramel sticky bun version of my vegan cinnamon rolls, but we’ll see.

Reading: how to make caramel sauce without cream or milk

Compared to traditional caramel sauce, this recipe is actually more of a dulche de leche, but I’ve never had success making vegan caramel any other method, so this is the one I’ll be sticking to from now on.

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The results are nothing short of amazing. The caramel is smooth and silky with a perfectly sweet – and salty if you want it – flavor. It’s the vegan caramel of your dreams, I promise.

overhead view of vegan caramel sauce in a mason jar sprinkled with salt next to a bowl full of apples

Here’s what you’ll need to make it


  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Wire whisk
  • Mason jar


  • Sweetened condensed coconut milk – There are several companies that make this, and I normally find it in the organic section at my grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can always make your own. This recipe would be option.
  • Coconut milk – I’ve also used a can of regular coconut milk. You don’t want to swap this out for light coconut milk or the stuff you find in the refrigerated section. You want the full-fat canned kind. My favorite brand is Aroy-D, but any brand should work.
overhead view of a mason jar full of vegan caramel sauce being stirred with a spoon

How to make vegan caramel sauce

Mix the ingredients. Start by combining your ingredients in a large saucepan. Whisk them to combine and heat the pan to medium. Continue whisking until the sugar dissolves and the vegan butter melts.

Simmer the caramel. Let the caramel simmer on the stove over medium heat for about 20 minutes. This will slowly thicken the sauce and allow the water content to evaporate.

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Let it cool. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the burner and stir in the vanilla extract. Then transfer the caramel sauce to a heat safe container, like a mason jar or glass container, to cool.

This will take some time, and the caramel – particularly the oils from the coconut milk – needs that time to thicken. Coconut is super temperature sensitive and takes a while to re-solidify after being heated, so if it seems too thin, don’t panic. It will get there.

close up view of a spoon full of caramel sauce drizzling into a mason jar

FAQS and tips for making salted caramel sauce

side view of a spoon full of vegan caramel sauce drizzling into a mason jar with apples in the background

This recipe would be great with:

  • Skillet brownie sundae
  • Turtle sundae
  • Stovetop popcorn
  • Whole wheat pancakes
  • Vegan cinnamon rolls

More sauce recipes you’ll love:

  • Hot fudge sauce
  • Vegan Nutella
  • Easy marinara sauce
  • Vegan alfredo sauce
  • Balsamic reduction
overhead close up of apple slice being dipped in a jar of caramel


Last Updated on September 30, 2020 by Melissa Belanger

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