Date Caramel Sauce

3-Ingredient Date Caramel Sauce Recipe is a creamy, gooey sauce perfect for a vegan dessert topping! This dairy-free caramel sauce is a delicious, creamy, refined sugar–free sauce. Drizzle this creamy date sauce over sliced bananas, dairy-free ice cream, popcorn, sliced apples, and so many other desserts!

For a more traditional recipe, try this vegan caramel sauce.

A couple of scoops of ice cream are drizzled with vegan date caramel sauce. More sauce is in the background.
This date caramel recipe is great served over vegan ice cream!

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • The use of dates means there are no refined sugars, making this a very healthy caramel option
  • Adding peanut butter gives the caramel a creamy texture and consistency
  • Minimal ingredients mean you can make this quickly any time you’re ready for a sweet, healthy treat!

What You Need

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Medjool Dates
  • Water
  • Nut butter of your choice (I used peanut butter)

How to Make Raw Date Caramel Sauce

It’s easy to make this creamy caramel date sauce recipe.

You don’t even have to use peanut butter in this recipe, but I like the extra dash of flavor and creaminess that it adds.

Date paste in a food processor with a spoon beside it.

Simply combine these ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth!

Marly’s Tips

  • When blending dates, be sure to use soft dates. If your dates have firmed up from being stored too long or being refrigerated, soak them in hot water for 10 minutes first or microwave them for a few seconds (be sure and use that sweet date water in some other recipe like a smoothie)
  • Add more water to the caramel paste if necessary to get the desired thickness and spreadability of your sauce. If you want to use this as a dip for apple slices, a thicker sauce is preferred. If you want to drizzle this over vegan ice cream, a thinner sauce might be best.
  • You can use almond butter, peanut butter, or even a seed butter to add even more caramel flavor, however, this is an optional ingredient as the date puree tastes great too!
  • You can change up the flavors in this Vegan Date Recipe by adding some chopped chocolate chips.

Frequently-Asked Questions

What to do with dates?

Use dates to make your favorite desserts refined-sugar free! Because dates are naturally sweet and have a natural “caramel” flavor, they make great additions to many of your favorite desserts, like these Chocolate Brownie Energy Bites!

Why do Dates taste like caramel?

Dates are dried fruit and when you bite into one, you’ll notice a sticky, sweet flesh and a distinct caramel flavor. The wrinkled skin might cause you to think that the dates are dried, like a raisin, but that is simply the texture of the fruit’s skin. Therefore, the caramel flavor is simply the flavor of the natural fruit shining through.

Are Dates Healthy?

Dates are a healthy alternative to refined sugars found in so many recipes like the standard caramel sauces. However, dates have many phytonutrients like fiber and more. For example, dates boast the following nutritional elements:
-Protein (yes, even dates have some protein!)
…and more!
Even though dates are high in natural sugars (they’re 80% sugar), that dates may be an “ideal food” providing lots of nutritional phytonutrients.

Non-Dairy Healthy Caramel Sauce

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that all caramel sauce must be dairy-based. In fact, there are plenty of ways to make a non-dairy caramel sauce. For example, I use plant-based milk in my Vegan Caramel Dessert Bars. It works!

This recipe uses Medjool dates, which have a sort of caramel flavor in and of themselves. You can simply combine dates with water or add a little bit of peanut butter to create even more caramel flavor.

More Date Recipes

I love experimenting with using dates in place of refined sugar in my recipes. For example, here are some of my favorites:

A close-up of sauce drizzled over ice cream.

Raw Date Caramel

This is a raw caramel date sauce. If your dates are firm, you may need to heat them up a bit to make them soft and tender. But otherwise, all you need is a food processor to make this recipe work.

Also, this Medjool date caramel recipe is versatile. You can make it thicker and it’s almost like fudge. I like a nice, thick caramel sauce as you can see from the photos. You can add more water to make a thinner sauce. That can be nice served over ice cream, or even as the topping for a slice of cake!

This is basically a date paste caramel infused! Who knew it could be so easy and delicious!

If you love simple, sweet recipes, try this Vegan Fudge. It’s made with minimal ingredients, but lots of flavor!

Healthy, Naturally-Sweetened Desserts

Do you love naturally sweetened desserts? Check out my Healthy Fruit Crisp recipe! It has a granola-type crust that’s so delicious! There’s also this simple Vegan Banana Ice Cream made with minimal, all-natural ingredients!

You can drizzle some of this caramel sauce over the top. Perfection!

Vegan date caramel sauce drizzled over ice cream.
Vegan Date Caramel that can be used as a sauce over ice cream or made thicker and served with chocolate.

Vegan Date Caramel Sauce

A Vegan Date Caramel that can be used as a sauce over ice cream or made thicker and served with chocolate.
5 from 2 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 140kcal


  • 1 ½ cups Medjool dates pitted
  • cup almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coffee extract (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons water (add more water for a sauce consistency)


  • Place pitted dates and water in a small pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and set it aside.
  • Dates should be soft at this point. Place them in a food processor with the water, add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (optional) pulse until smooth. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Take a taste. If you'd like more peanut butter flavor, add another tablespoon here and pulse to combine.
  • Place in a lidded container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
  • Serve over vegan ice cream, oatmeal, bananas, you name it!

Recommended Equipment

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Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 60mg | Potassium: 239mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 33IU | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

If you’re into caramel sauce desserts, then you’ll love these:

Whatever vegan caramel sauce you’re drooling over, enjoy!

6 Responses to Date Caramel Sauce

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBecky Reply

    I make a vegan caramel sauce very similar to this one. It freezes beautifully and lasts for quite awhile. The best part is that it doesn’t get hard so you can scoop out what you want and it is ready to use very quickly.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Becky. Thanks for this comment. I love the idea of freezing it!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTeri W Reply

    5 stars
    Can this be frozen? Ty.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Teri, good question. I have never tried freezing this recipe myself, but I would definitely try it. I don’t see any reason it wouldn’t hold up. Just stir it up once it comes to room temperature (or warmer).

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLyndsay Reply

    5 stars
    This looks like a great topping for my banana in the morning!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Lyndsay! It is perfect on a banana! 🙂

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