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Learn how to make the perfect vegan caramel at home with just 5 simple ingredients! Quick, easy, and will last in the refrigerator so you can add it to all of your holiday desserts!

Homemade vegan caramel sauce 5 ingredients

The holiday season is about to be upon us, so we thought now would be the perfect time to share this super easy-to-make vegan caramel! The taste and texture resemble traditional caramel, we just got rid of the butter, and boom! We’ve got your caramel cravings covered, so keep on scrollin’ for the recipe!

Homemade Vegan Caramel Ingredients

This caramel requires just 5 simple ingredients: vegan butter, light brown sugar, coconut milk, agave, and salt. We also added vanilla extract to ours but that is completely optional.

Date caramel sauces were all the rage of a while, and while we do understand and support the healthy dessert, we wanted to create a silky, decadent, real-deal caramel for the blog. We actually put this together for our vegan candy bars (take 5, snickers, and milky way) that we are releasing this week. We feel that it added the perfect authenticity to our copycat candy bars and really helped them shine!

Homemade vegan caramel sauce 5 ingredients

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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Homemade vegan caramel sauce 5 ingredients

Homemade Vegan Caramel

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings


Learn how to make the perfect vegan caramel at home with just 5 simple ingredients! Quick, easy, and will last in the refrigerator so you can add it to all of your holiday desserts!


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (we used Earth Balance)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup)
  • 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet (we used a 9-inch square pan) with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You can also grab a sealable container if you are going to use the caramel as a sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a medium pot, add the vegan butter and melt it over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the light brown sugar and whisk until incorporated and melted through.
  3. Attach candy thermometer to the pot or get one ready to hold, just be sure that the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan.
  4. Whisk in the agave syrup and full-fat coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to cook, constantly stirring, until the candy thermometer reaches 235°F, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sea salt and optional vanilla extract until uniform.
  5. Pour the caramel into the prepared cookie sheet container. Allow the caramel to cool before slicing and store covered in the refrigerator. You can serve it as squares by cutting it into smaller pieces from the baking tray, or you can melt it and use it as a caramel sauce.


  • If you don’t have a candy thermometer: Bringing the mixture to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Stir constantly as the caramel bubbles and boils for about 10-15 minutes, until it becomes a deep golden brown and starts to “pull away” from the edges of the pot.
  • Caramel can be temperamental in terms of temperature, so using a candy thermometer is recommended!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dessert, Candy
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-free

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!

Meet The Bloggers

hey there! we’re jasmine & chris.

Hi, we’re Jasmine and Chris! We share fresh and fun recipes to show you that vegan cooking is easy, approachable and delicious. When we’re not blogging, you will probably find us enjoying live music, tending to our backyard garden or playing with our dogs Berry and Louie

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    1. Yes, as it cools it should firm up 🙂 We’ve made candy bars with it and popped it out of a silicone mold with no issue.

  1. I’m excited to try this recipe!
    Thinking I’ll try using canned coconut CREAM – should work right?

  2. Great recipe!
    We didn’t have coconut milk, so we used another vegan milk instead, and it turned out really well. 👍🏼👍🏼
    Sprinkled peanuts on top while it was still warm—delicious!

  3. How firm is this going to get when cooled? I’m looking for a caramel recipe which I can use to fill cupcakes with! 😊

  4. I’ve made this a bunch without a thermometer and it’s always been perfect… today I used a thermometer and I think I overcooked it! It’s rock hard….any hope of saving or do I try again? Thx!!

  5. Hi I tried this recipe and it was fantastic I just struggled with cup measurements as I’m not familiar with them. But it turned out beautifully any I too used the type of coconut milk you put on cereal. Thank you for the recipe

  6. This turned out lovely! I really enjoyed this recipe since it had simple ingredients in it yet tasted very evil & addicting hehe. was wondering, how long can I keep it in the fridge? I just made it today (a few days before thanksgiving) & I was wondering if it’ll still be good by then?? I wanted to drizzle this on top of an apple crumble I’ll be making for thanksgiving.

    1. Yes it is able to be spread over apples but it will not harden/set like caramel on caramel apples and might be a bit messy to bite into! Haha

  7. Wondering if you tried making this with coconut oil (or some other substitute) instead of vegan butter. I don’t like using vegan “butters” for various reasons. Any suggestions are appreciated!

  8. Delicious and easy recipe – thank you! I love caramel and have missed it since going vegan. Now with this in my toolbox, I can enjoy it more often (for better or worse). 😉
    I increased the salt to 1/2 tsp to create more of a salted caramel flavor which is divine.

  9. i am an expert caramel maker (of the non-vegan variety) and its the most frequently requested treat of everything i make so was excited to try this….but i have my doubts that this will ever firm up. i cooked to the firm ball stage (242) and it’s just liquid; hopefully it firms up. i had accidentally miscalculated my butter measurement since i haven’t tried to make any treats since changing to vegan and i ended up having to double the recipe. will keep you posted

  10. Thank you for this recipe! I hate to admit it, but we did alter it since we didn’t have coconut or soy milk. We used this to make a caramel *sauce* by thinning it out. Though I know soy or a higher fat version of milk would have been best, we were adventurous with almond milk. I took it off the heat once and noticed the Earth Balance had separated out, and it got a bit harder than I wanted, so fast…so put it back to the stove, added ~1 tsp more EB butter, and more almond milk – perhaps 2 to 4 Tbsp worth. Careful – as most of you know – the mixture bubbles up and can be dangerous (best to wear long sleeves to protect your arms!). We mixed for another few minutes, and it ended up being amazing. The flavor continues to develop as it cools, or “ages.” It was a HUGE hit, entirely delicious! Wanted to note all this, because most caramel sauces are SO finicky, and I felt like this one was so “patient” with me while I worked out details! Virtually “NO FAIL” level of a recipe. Also – a tiny hit of whiskey or bourbon never hurts to add to a caramel sauce – for those who may be inclined. That is, if you try this, and feel something lacking, you may try that in a different batch… 🙂 Jasmine – THANK YOU for the great framework and making it VEGAN!!! Heaven!

  11. Brown sugar isn’t vegan….it’s white sugar (processed over bone char) with molasses.
    If you know a a vegan brown sugar, let me know!!!!!

    1. Hi Carson! It does not have a coconut taste but if you would like, you can use another plant-based milk, just be sure that it is thick or high in fat. A soy milk or homemade milk may be the best bet!