This easy vegan caramel recipe is made with only six ingredients and is a perfect topping to drizzle over your favorite vegan ice cream and desserts. This sweet gooey sauce tastes so much better than anything at the store!
I love to drizzle. Whether it’s adding cheese sauce over a baked potato, chocolate sauce over cakes, or yes, caramel sauce over nice cream. I love the look, the taste, and the act of drizzling. What can I say!
I’m so happy to share my easy vegan caramel sauce with you. Let me just preface everything by saying this — there are a lot of unnecessarily complicated caramel sauce recipes out there. It doesn’t have to be that hard, and I’m about to show you why.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- Using a rich vegan cream as a foundation creates a smooth caramel with rich flavors
- Adding a bit of cornstarch thickens the sauce, giving it a perfect drizzling consistency
- Adding salt helps to intensify the other flavors, which is why it’s so good in caramel. As much as we may say we have a sweet tooth, the truth is complex flavors are more exciting, and salt adds complexity to flavors in baked goods, cookies, and sauces.
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.
- Vegan half & half — I used Ripple, which makes a vegan half & half. You can use any thick vegan creamer, such as Silk, etc. You can also use the cream from a can of full-fat coconut milk.
- Cornstarch — I used cornstarch as a thickener, but you can substitute arrowroot powder.
- Coconut sugar — This has a natural caramel flavor. You can substitute regular sugar.
- Maple syrup — Feel free to use either maple syrup or agave nectar.
- Vanilla extract — this adds flavoring to the sauce.
- Salt — I prefer using flaky sea salt, but a smidge of table salt works, too.
Transfer the finished sauce to a glass container like a lidded mason jar. Then cover and keep refrigerated between uses. This sauce will keep in the fridge for up to 15 days or more.
For a vegan salted caramel sauce, add a sprinkle of salt over the sauce immediately before serving.
What is caramel sauce?
A caramel sauce is a thick, sweet sauce made from caramelized sugar thickened with some kind of cream.
Is caramel vegan?
Most store-bought caramel is not vegan. That’s because it’s made with butter and cream sourced from animal dairy. However, it is possible to make caramel sauce without cream from a cow. There are more vegan caramel products for purchase every day, and you can make homemade vegan caramel.
More Vegan Desserts
Here are some other recipes just begging for a drizzle of vegan caramel sauce:
If you’re looking for a healthier sweet sauce, try my date caramel sauce made with all-natural ingredients.
- 1 cup vegan half & half (see note)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup (or agave nectar)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Combine the cream, cornstarch, coconut sugar, and maple syrup in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Allow the caramel to cool for at least 30 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.
- Transfer the sauce to a glass container and keep refrigerated between uses. This will keep up to 10 to 15 days in the fridge.
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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.
This post was originally published in 2020 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.