Paleo Vegan Coconut Caramel Syrup made with only a handful of ingredients and in just a few minutes? And a taste so good it will skyrocket your mind to a euphoric, faraway place every time you swirl it around your mouth? That’s right, keep on reading.
This coconut caramel sauce is vegan, paleo, flourless, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free and so easy to make, but don’t let that fool you! It’s devilishly good. Possibly one of the most addictive things I have ever made. I just can’t keep from sampling the delicious amber-colored syrup as it’s cooking… even when one spoonful turns into two that turns into too many to count and soon half the batch is already gone, disappeared, vanished. It evaporated, I swear! 😉
I love a consistent recipe. You know, one that turns out perfectly each and every time you make it. This one of those.
It tasted amazing the first time I made it. And the second. And the third. Even when I don’t measure the ingredients exactly, somehow it always turns out like heaven. Dependable and easy, it’s the perfect recipe to whip up in a blink if I need a caramel sauce/syrup to top off a waiting dessert.
The taste is so good it’s almost sinful. It hits all the right places in my mouth.
Maple syrup + coconut sugar = how could you possibly go wrong?
Really though, it’s really hard to mess up this recipe. I’ve cooked it for different lengths of time, stirred constantly, popped it on the stovetop while absentmindedly scrolling through emails, and tried many substitutions. It has yet to turn out bad and I don’t think it ever could! With such delicious ingredients, how could it?
I’ve also tried modifying the recipe quite a few times and it holds up great (see below for substitutions).
I have made this with both honey and maple syrup. Though it tasted great both times, I do prefer the maple syrup. Guess you could say I’m a maple syrup girl – I really think it adds to the flavor of this caramel sauce though! (I’m being totally unbiased, promise.) I do love honey. But maple syrup… There’s no comparison for me. *insert lovey dovey eyes here* If you do use honey, maybe use a little less. I found it to be too strong/sweet when I substituted it 1:1 for the maple syrup.
The coconut sugar really gives it that caramely taste. I suppose you could use brown sugar if you’re not paleo and I encourage any other healthy granulated sugar alternatives, although I can’t guarantee the taste will be the same.
The coconut oil is added to thicken this sauce up a bit. I’ve omitted it and it tastes just fine.
All you *really* need is the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and sweetener (maple syrup or honey) but the salt and vanilla do enhance the flavor and I recommend them if you have some on hand. The coconut oil doesn’t really affect the taste as much as the texture (it helps thicken it and make it creamier).
The takeaway: this recipe is easily substituted to accommodate the ingredients you have on hand, but definitely try it with maple syrup and coconut sugar and all the optional additions; the ingredients work synergistically to provide you with the most intense caramely flavor ever known to man (okay, maybe I’m going a bit overboard here but seriously: make the damn syrup).
I use full-fat organic coconut milk. It is thicker and creamier than fat-reduced coconut milk (which is basically just watered down coconut milk anyway) and I really love it. I’ve used canned coconut milk in this recipe as well as homemade coconut milk and even almond milk (although it turns out less creamy). Yum, yum, and… yum!
This is the brand of coconut milk that I LOVE and highly recommend. It’s the only brand of coconut milk I use. It’s so much better quality than other canned coconut milks I’ve tried; when it chills in the fridge, so much coconut creams up! And it isn’t laced with a million preservatives; there are only three ingredients. It’s also organic 🙂 They sell it at my local grocery store and the price, although a little higher than other brands, is well worth it.
How to use:
- Banana Ice Cream Sundaes: Drizzle on banana ice cream (add in homemade chocolate sauce and throw on some nuts, too, of course). The cold banana ice cream will solidify simple chocolate sauce made with coconut oil, hardening it in a thin layer like the coating on one of those Dairy Queen chocolate dipped ice creams. It’s seriously perfect. My family was floored when I presented them with homemade (and healthy!) ice cream sundaes (recipe coming soon).
- Drizzled over pancakes (I eat them with silver-dollar sized two-ingredient banana pancakes).
- Drizzled over fruit (apples slices + caramel = you’re golden). Fruit salads with sliced apples, bananas, blueberries & orange wedges drizzled with this caramel sauce? PERFECTION.
- Make caramel cookies or cupcakes: Mix the caramel syrup into cupcake batter, cookie batter or pancake batter (or any batter for that matter) to make caramel flavored baked goods.
- Dip cookies in it and freeze them.
- Caramel Popsicles: Pour the sauce directly into molds and stick in the freezer. The outcome is a bunch of really awesome frozen caramel bites that melt in your mouth. You really get the incredible taste of the caramel syrup swirling all around your mouth, and the cold enhances the sweetness… wow, really good.
- Raw frozen layer treats: I pour a layer of caramel sauce onto my frozen treats: a layer of coconut butter as the base, chocolate sauce in the middle, and topped with caramel sauce; wait until each layer has frozen solidly until adding the next one; nut butters and almonds are great additions, too.
- Mix it with your coffee or hot chocolate. I like to make a homemade hot chocolate with coconut milk, raw cacao powder, Ceylon cinnamon, vanilla extract and a dash of salt (cayenne, lucuma, maca and carob are all optional). To catapult the healthy homemade hot chocolate to the next level, swirl in some of this coconut caramel sauce. How many different ways can I say perfection?
- Caramel coconut butter: Mix with melted coconut butter. The caramel spread will have the taste of caramel syrup but the thick, creamy texture of the coconut butter. It envelops your whole mouth and transfers the god-like sweetness to all the right spots. And the coconut helps balance the sweetness (and your blood sugar levels!).
- Dip pretty much anything in this stuff.
- Eating it straight from the jar, of course.
Personally? I usually just eat it by the spoonful. I love tasting it as I’m making it – the warmth gives it a nice feel – plus, someone has to test it, right? To make sure it’s good… :). I probably end up spooning a fourth of it out along the way… If I’ve somehow managed to keep my eager paws restrained, drinking a few sips straight from the jar (freshly poured and warm, or chilled and cool; both taste wonderful) is definitely happening.
I love it warm (stealing spoonfuls as it’s cooking) but after being chilled in the fridge it’s good too, and a tad thicker because of the coconut oil solidifying.
This recipe makes 1 good size jar of caramel sauce (if you’re able to refrain from downing the majority before it’s even off the stove); I just keep it in the fridge and we use it up pretty quickly. There are six of us in my household (and four of them are boys) so food gets wolfed down around here in a blink. Our relatives used to accuse my parents of starving me and my brothers when we were younger because of the way we devoured food. And everyone loves this coconut caramel syrup, even the family members who aren’t vegan or Paleo or even healthy!
The perfect balance between sinful and sweet.
Upon seeing the caramel syrup I made, my older brother ran into the kitchen to whip up some pancakes while I was taking pictures. He doesn’t even eat healthy, but he knows all my recipes taste amazing. He came out with a plate full of pancakes that were golden and bare, just begging to be drizzled with my Paleo Vegan Coconut Caramel Syrup.
The results? The pancakes looked amazing. Alas, I barely had time to snap a couple pics before they were scarfed down by my ravenous beast of a brother. See? Even unhealthy people beg at your feet for a spoonful of this liquid gold. If this caramel sauce can satiate someone who is known to inhale Oreos by the dozens and drink sugary syrup straight from the bottle (*cringe*), it should be able to satisfy every last person on this earth, healthy or otherwise.
My brother demanded I make more after using nearly half a jar in one sitting. I love that he’s replacing his usual store-bought sugared syrup with a healthier alternative, so I obliged. I’ve been keeping a jar of this stuff in the fridge for the family’s use… and they sure do use it!
It tastes sinfully good. Beyond words. It has a flavor that I only know how to describe as fundamentally satisfying. Golden.
It really is liquid gold when it comes to taste.
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tbs coconut oil (optional - to thicken)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt (optional)
- Combine coconut milk, coconut sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil while stirring.
- After a few minutes the coconut sugar should dissolve. Reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt to the caramel syrup.
- Drink warm or chill in the fridge.
I always use the darker Grade B maple syrup.
The vanilla and salt enhance the flavor and are optional (but recommended!) and the coconut oil adds to the texture and helps thicken it a bit.
The syrup will stay good for a week or so, but it never lasts that long!
Adapted from this Salted Caramel Sauce (Paleo, Vegan, Dairy-Free) recipe.
It still blows my mind how good healthy desserts can be. Who would ever buy store-bought syrup when this Paleo Vegan Coconut Caramel Syrup tastes SO FREAKING INCREDIBLE?
Why are you still reading this? Go make some delicious, addicting, toe-curling good tasting Paleo Vegan Coconut Caramel Syrup.