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This Date Caramel is the perfect topping or dip for all of your favorite snacks and desserts. All you need is a high speed blender with just 3 healthy, natural ingredients.
Our classic vegan caramel sauce recipe is one of our favorites, but sometimes we’re in the mood for a healthy caramel sauce made with whole food plant-based ingredients. Thankfully, this refined-sugar free caramel can not only satisfy a sweet tooth, but tastes so much like the real thing!
If interested in another healthy treat you might love this easy recipe: Vegan Mango Caramel. It’s sweetened with fresh mango and coconut sugar.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Medjool dates: This sticky, gooey fruit is truly nature’s candy. It’s the perfect ingredient to use when making healthy vegan caramel because it is naturally very sweet and caramel-like. We recommend using Medjool dates instead of another type of dates such as Deglet Noor because Deglet Noor are not as sweet or reminiscent of caramel.
- Almond milk: We always use our homemade almond milk, but you can also use any unsweetened dairy-free milk of choice. Creamy oat milk, soy milk, and lite coconut milk are all good choices.
- Vanilla: A dash of vanilla extract is optional, but it helps add depth of flavor and additional sweetness. You can also use vanilla paste, if you have it on hand.
- Salt: A small pinch of salt helps balance the sweet flavor and makes this caramel addicting.
How to Make Date Caramel
- Soak the dates. Place the pitted dates in a medium bowl and pour hot water over top until completely covered. Soak for about 10 minutes, or until the dates are softened.
- Blend ingredients smooth. Add the drained, softened pits to a high-speed blender along with non-dairy milk, vanilla extract, and flaky sea salt. Blend on high until completely smooth, about 60 seconds. Taste and add extra salt or sweetness to taste. If you find your date caramel isn’t sweet enough, add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup or date syrup to taste.
- Serve. Serve the homemade date caramel room temperature or refrigerate until chilled and enjoy!
Date caramel is a delicious afternoon snack or healthy dessert. Use it as a traditional caramel dip for fruits like apple slices, blueberries, banana, blackberries, even celery sticks!
Or, take it to the next level and use it in any recipe that you’d typically use regular caramel for. Try it drizzled on a scoop of ice cream or nice cream, vegan brownies, vegan apple pie, mini chocolate cake, vegan apple galette and filipino steamed rice cakes!
Store leftover vegan date caramel sauce in a glass jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. If your caramel becomes thick after refrigeration, add additional almond milk or lightly warm in the microwave until loosens up again.
We have tested this easy date caramel recipe using a food processor, and it does work, but it is not nearly as smooth. If using a food processor, make sure your dates are as soft as possible so they will blend as smoothly as possible.
Medjool dates can be stored in a tightly sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for several months. After refrigeration, they will become hard, but soaking them in hot water helps soften them up again.
This vegan caramel recipe has only been tested with Medjool dates and we cannot recommend another fruit in it’s place. Sticky dates are very unique in texture and flavor and would be difficult to substitute in this recipe.
Tips for Success
- Remove the date pits. Date pits are incredibly hard and can damage your blender if accidentally left in the blender cup. Double-check that you have removed all of the pits before placing the dates.
- Use unsweetened plant milk. Flavored milk will alter the flavor of your date caramel and make it less neutral in flavor. For best results, use plain milk or, at the very least, homemade milk lightly sweetened with dates so it won’t compete with the flavor profile.
More Date-Sweetened Recipes You May Enjoy:
- Vegan Baklava – made with flaky Phyllo dough, nuts, and both Medjool dates and date syrup!
- Date-Sweetened Horchata – swap the granulated sugar for sweet dates.
- Edible Date-Sweetened Brown Rice Cookie – made with a full cup of dates and gluten-free ingredients.
- Date-Sweetened Vegan Pumpkin Pie – a healthier twist on our classic pumpkin pie.
- Date-Sweetened Banana Bread – one of our most popular recipes for a reason! This one’s a must try.
- Homemade Chai Latte (Date-Sweetened) – an easy, homemade chai latte that’s sweetened with natural fruits.
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!