Dairy-Free Corn-Free Soy-Free Vegan Caramel

Oh yes, caramel. As rich as you remember and now without soy or dairy.

This is for all the dairy allergic kids who have never had caramel. Caramel that is normally made with heavy cream and corn syrup gets a remake with coconut cream and either agave or maple syrup.

Now I do not make caramel with the intention of making it into actual caramel candies. I make it to put into candies or cookies. I believe if you cook it longer it will get stiffer and can actually be made into separate candies, but since my only goal is to make other desserts out of it, I prefer it a little soft. This is a recipe to make it a little soft.

It is an adaptation of another recipe for caramel which I have to admit I never tried because I wanted caramel for candies and cookies instead of just to eat as a candy. Also I needed something citrus free. You can find that recipe which uses coconut milk and lemon juice here.


I have made this recipe several times. You can use either agave syrup or maple syrup. If you use maple syrup you do not need vanilla. If you use agave, use the vanilla. Agave can have a slight off taste otherwise. Also do not freak out when the caramel is too dark in the pan. It will lighten several shades as it cools. It is supposed to be too brown and too clear when hot.

1 14 oz can coconut cream (You can get this at Trader Joe’s or at Whole Foods in smaller cans) Coconut Milk kinda sorta works in a pinch, but not nearly as well.
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla if using agave
1/4 tsp salt

Heavy saucepan more than large enough to hold the ingredients (they will double in volume when boiling)
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden spoon
Flexible silicone or rubber spatula

Put coconut cream brown sugar and maple or agave syrup in saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, stir constantly. turn heat to med and keep boiling. I know that this is in direct contrast to most caramel recipes but remember that you are making a caramel filling for a candy bar, not edible caramel candies.
Boil stirring pretty much constantly for about 15 minutes, until when you pull the spoon across the bottom of the pan you see a strip of pan for a moment before the now thick caramel closes over it.
Remove from heat and chill overnight. the caramel will become opaque, several shades lighter, and quite a bit thicker.

Your caramel is now ready to use in recipes. Like caramel cookie candies. If you do not just end up eating it straight out of the bowl.