Just 5 ingredients, a blender, and a few minutes is all it takes to create this most decadent, silky, rich Vegan Date Caramel Sauce, perfect for dipping or drizzling!
I am still questioning whether this super simple recipe justifies it’s own whole post and video. But hey, we’re here, it’s rich and dreamy, let’s do this.
I am a big fan of the classic date caramel. For dipping, for coating, for frosting–it’s awesome. But one thing it is not awesome for is drizzling. Frankly it has no drizzle game, it just plops. And unattractively I might add.
I started experimenting in hopes of finding a more silky, less plopping prone date caramel sauce to use as part of another recipe, but after posting this photo on Instagram a drizzle-worthy caramel sauce recipe seemed to be in high demand. So I tweaked and tested multiple batches yesterday until I found an ingredient mix that had the exact consistency I was after. I should note this is not the same sauce as in that photo, that was a date-less nut butter situation. But I for one like this fruit-filled version much better!
I didn’t even consider all that pesky stove-top candy thermometer business, so it had to be a no-cook blender recipe. A lot of no-cook caramel sauces are made up of a liquid sweetener + nut butter + coconut oil. For my liquid sweetener I chose coconut nectar because it is really sticky. Brown rice syrup would work too. Maple syrup is a bit thinner than you want for this recipe. I know it might seem weird to add a sweetener to already sweet dates, but that viscosity is essential for a smooth pour-able texture. The dates are the thickener here instead of nut butter, plus they add extra caramel flavor. The coconut oil I replaced with coconut milk. While still high fat, at least it’s not pure fat. You can try it with a lower fat plant milk, but it’s not going to have the same texture.
Blend it all up with a little bit of sea salt and vanilla bean powder (because yum), and you have a silky sweet vegan date caramel sauce. This sauce is by no means the healthiest caramel sauce around, good old 2-ingredient date caramel claims that title. But it is quite a topping treat on ice cream, brownies, oatmeal, spoons, almost anything!
Silky Sweet Vegan Date Caramel Sauce
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 .5 cups 1x
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar or brown rice syrup
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- Pinch of salt
- Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender.
- Blend on high until very smooth and creamy. You can adjust the consistency by adding more coconut milk if it is too thick to pour easily.
- It makes a lot, so keep the extra in an air-tight container in the fridge.
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The Vegan 8 says
You are right, this does look super silky and amazing! Date caramel is just all the craze these days, isn’t it!! I see it everywhere but don’t think I’ve ever seen it with coconut nectar, so that would definitely add a lovely flavor to it. I add coconut milk to my sweet potato caramel too, SO much better than coconut oil! I’m sure this would be great on cakes, pancakes, you name it! I will have to try it sometimes for Olivia since I am not a date fan. I’m guessing she would just love this on ice cream!! The texture looks totally perfect.
Is it trendy right now? I have been too obsessed with it always to notice when it’s in versus out lol. I tried making it with maple syrup and it just didn’t have that same pour-able consistency. I also tried a combo of maple syrup and molasses since molasses has that great consistency, but much too strong flavor. Anyways, I don’t use coconut nectar often but it was perfect here. Omg PANCAKES!! That is a great idea, I’ve never thought to use caramel sauce there. It still so crazy warm that so far all I’ve put it on is ice cream 🙂
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
UM, heck yeah this recipe deserves its own post, video and parade. Wait, there’s gonna be a parade right?? TELL me there’s a parade!! Goodness gracious, that shot in the bowl with all of those shadows–I could use two or four of those! Also, vanilla bean powder: YES. So much yes! I’ve totally been hankering for caramel sauce and this looks SO crazy good! While I dream about this, I’ll also await my invitation to the parade. Ahem. 😉
Of course there is a parade! I’m working on my float as we speak. A massive parade of toppings that ends at Ice Cream Mountain! That’s a thing right? No? We’ll build it then 😉 Your invite is in chocolate bar form Wonka style, so start unwrapping? I have been having so much fun with backlighting and shadows and stuff, I told you that was my fun weekend activity lol?
I’m a big fan of date caramel too but you’re totally right – it usually doesn’t drizzle well, I tend to add too much milk and then it loses it’s flavour but THIS looks totally perfect. Maybe the best looking date caramel I’ve seen! And now I want to eat some.
Thanks Aimee! Date caramel is still delicious, even if drizzle-challenge haha. On ice cream this stuff is heaven 🙂
Faith VanderMolen says
This is amazing! Do you think I could try it with maple syrup? I don’t have access to coconut nectar here in China, but I’m in dire need of a caramel sauce!
Hi Faith! Like I mentioned, maple syrup is not the best here since it doesn’t have that same viscosity as coconut nectar. It will still taste really good, but the consistency won’t be as smooth and pourable. What other liquid sweeteners do you have there, any?
Faith Vandermolen says
Gosh I totally didnt read the entire post/recipe so didn’t see your comment about the maple syrup! I could add extra dates or use honey, which is super thick but not vegan. Thoughts?
Oh no worries! Honey would work, it has that right consistency. I’m afraid extra dates might would just make it too hard to blend :/
This looks delish and i want to make it today! Do you think agave nectar will work just as well?
Agave is a little thinner and less viscous so your caramel sauce will be too, but yes it will work. I hope you enjoy drizzling on any and every thing 🙂
I am really excited about this recipe! So many of our followers and clients ask for a low fat sauce like this!
It seriously makes nicecream 10 times better! I hope it comes in handy for you too 🙂
Thinking ahead here, but do you have a feel for how long this sauce might last? Does it need to be refrigerated? I think this would make an awesome holiday gift! Love your creativity! ☺
Love that idea! I haven’t had time to test out how long it will keep yet, but I will add that to the recipe as soon as I know. I’m guessing 1-2 weeks. And yes it does need to be refrigerated in the long term too last as long as possible, but it could be out for a few hours no problem.
Fantastic, thank you! ☺
Oh, this definitely deserved its own video and post! It’s so perfectly pour-able!!! Isn’t it crazy how thick and sticky coconut nectar is??? It works so well for this caramel. I have a recipe in the works that would pair beautifully with this caramel and rather than trying yet another trial of my own for caramel sauce, I’ll have to recommend my readers to come here! I was trying to make a dateless sauce and it just wasn’t working. Since I haven’t been doing many sweets these days, I’ll have to try this when we grab some dates from the store! I know that this caramel sauce would go well with SO many dessert recipes….we actually just made an AIP apple crisp last night and I bet this caramel would have just taken it way over the top! This looks amazing, Natalie! <3
So sticky!! And it makes the longest strings too when you are trying to stop pouring it…strange stuff. But hey, if it makes for drizzle date sauce I’m not judging 🙂 Ha that’s so funny because I actually almost used your toffee sauce instead of making up my own sauce for the recipe I have coming with this stuff on Thursday. Sauce swapping! AIP apple crisp!?!? OMG I am jealous! I actually haven’t tested apples yet personally, but dang that sounds good! You should do a recipe for it, it might convince me to test the apple waters 🙂 P.S. Made the donuts today and I love them!! The subtle pumpkin flavor is so good and the texture is amazing. I never imagined grain free baked goods could feel so normal!
I like that! Sauce swapping ? I am SO anxious to see what this caramel sauce is being paired with!!! I know it will be delicious ? The apple crisp was really good (found it while browsing through Pinterest), but I think it was too much fruit for me – it’s crazy how sweet things don’t agree with me much these days. I’m hoping that eventually changes!! I’m still adding dates to the grocery list though! What?!? Yay!!!! That made my night – thank you so much for giving that recipe a try! ??
I’m eating one right now 🙂 I’ll post a pic of them tomorrow and tag you. I know you don’t really do IG, but hey I gotta share these beauties! And thank you for introducing me to cassava flour baking. Yes I know what you mean on the sweet foods thing. I can handle a bit of maple syrup but not much, and I just want something savory after eating it. It’s interesting to see these sorts of changes 🙂
rachel @ athletic avocado says
As much as I love regular date caramel, I don’t like how you can’t really drizzle well so this caramel is the ANSWER TO MY PRAYERS! Now I can drizzle and spread all I want and probably eat it all in one sitting with a spoon tbh!
It’s a small thing, drizzle-ability, but so essential with a caramel sauce! It feels more decadent when you can get those perfect zig-zags, ya know!? Haha! I hope you try it and love it too 🙂
Genius, Natalie! I am all about achieving the right viscosity! It was drilled into my mind in culinary school! I need this sauce ASAP because I recently had a dilemma trying to drizzle traditional date caramel on a caramel apple donut. As you mentioned, regular date caramel just isn’t drizzle worthy, although totally delicious. And I just happen to have a big bottle of coconut nectar, so this sauce is happening pronto!
Viscosity–YES!! When I was writing this post I was like hmmm I know there is a word for what I am trying to discuss here with the pourable consistency…and then it hit me viscosity! Not often talked about (except in culinary school apparently), but so important right!? I hope this can solve all you donut dilemmas Ashley 🙂
audrey @ unconventional baker says
I had a feeling coconut milk would make its way in there 🙂 and I laughed at the *plop* description of a regular date caramel — spot on. Delicious, but totally ungraceful ?. And yes to vanilla powder in EVERYTHING.
I am a liiiiitle obsessed with coconut milk at the moment. And by little I mean it’s taking up half my pantry lol. I’ve found that gums in carton milks don’t make me feel so good and have switched to pretty much all coconut milk in a can, so it’s bound to make some appearances around here too 🙂
Natalie!!!!!!! I am OBSESSED with this caramel sauce!!! Made it this morning and I may or may not have given myself a little tummy ache from sneaking too many bites of it ??? Willow added a drizzle to her pancakes this morning and I fear she won’t eat them any other way! Haha!! I’m hoping to photograph my pumpkin dessert recipe with this sauce of yours – they’re a perfect match! I’m loving how creamy and so very caramel-y it is and no *plop* about it – such a smooth pour!! Wonderful recipe, my friend! ❤️
You made it!!! And even more excitingly you have a pumpkin dessert recipe coming!?!!? Oooooh I can’t wait?? Story of my AIP life–just one too many taste tests? I will fully take responsibility for ruining Willow’s acceptance of non-caramel pancakes haha…sorry bout that? Thank you so so much, I always love getting your feedback?
Natalie, thanks a lot for your yummy recipe. Can i sub date syrup instead of dates? And sub rice syrup instead of coconut nectar? because coconut nectar in out place are very hard to find. Thanks a lot in advance.
Rice syrup instead of coconut nectar will be fine. But the dates are necessary to make it really thick, date syrup won’t give it that same consistency. If you don’t have/want to use actual dates, might I suggest this caramel sauce recipe from my friend Bianca instead: http://www.elephantasticvegan.com/vegan-caramel-sauce/
hello love all your recipes !!!! 🙂 how long can i keep this in the fridgeee ! ? thank you
I would say 2 weeks max to be on the safe side. Enjoy!
Hi thanks for this. I made a date caramel sauce today but it looked nothing like this. I’ve only just some across this recipe.
I was wondering, do I need to peel with skin off the dates first?
Hi Sophia! Nope, no need to peel the dates first, that would be very tricky. A few possible thoughts…1) what kinda of dates are you using, medjool? 2) What kind of blender are you using? Those are the two most important factors. I have an entire post/tutorial with video on making basic date past here that could maybe help: https://www.feastingonfruit.com/date-paste/. Let me know, happy to help troubleshoot some more!
Really loved this recipe! creamy and flavorful perfect for a richer vegan caramel. Substituted 1 1/2 tbs coconut cream(plus almond milk to reach 1/2 cup) for the 1/2 cup coconut milk.
I am so happy you liked it Michelle! Great idea for the cream + milk swap, thanks for the feedback. Enjoy drizzling it on any and everything 🙂
Oh my goddd that was amazing 😭😭 i ate this with some raw dehydrated banana wraps and apples. Also with peanut butter nice cream, its amazing!!!
Mmmm that sounds like a fruity feast of the sweetest sort! I am so happy you liked it, and wishing I could’ve stolen a bite of all that together😋 Thanks for the feedback Gisselle!
How long can I keep it in the fridge? ?
I’d estimate about 2 weeks, maybe 3. It may separate a little but you can always stir it up before using and it will be fine 🙂
Delicious recipe the whole family loves it! I was just wondering how long it keeps for in the fridge before it expires?
So happy to hear it Kayla! It will last 2 weeks or so, although may separate a bit so just stir it up before using. Past that it may start to mold. Enjoy the rest 🙂
Just made it to use in salted caramel chocolate tartlets (healthier version, using almond and hazelnut meal, honey and coconut oil for the base). Perfect taste and consistency. Thank you!
Those tarts sound marvelous, I am so happy the sauce worked! Thanks for the feedback Nicole 🙂
This is exactly the recipe I needed! I was looking on Pinterest for a raw, vegan caramel sauce, and this will work great! I never thought about using coconut nectar with dates; I love them both separately and imagining them together is mind blowing! I can’t wait to try this!
Woohoo I am so happy pinterest brought you here 🙂 The coconut nectar gives it that drizzly consistency, and yes so so yummy in combination with dates. I hope you enjoy on top of all kinds of yummy things, Sara!
Rachel Adkins says
Have you ever tried Bahri dates? They are a little more expensive and a little harder to find, but they taste just like rich caramel on their own. I heard of them from the book How Not To Die, ordered them, and WOW.
I’ll be trying the date caramel recipe soon, though I think I’m all out of coconut nectar and may try it with maple syrup but less of it
I have heard of them and would LOVE to try them but haven’t ever been able to find them or spent the money to order them. I bet they are DELISH–medjools are so caramel-y already, stepping that up another notch sounds heavenly. Maple syrup will be okay here, but it doesn’t have the same viscosity as coconut nectar so the texture/drizzle-ability will be a little different. Still yummy though 🙂
As these person says about BARHI I totally agree and I speak about them to you!
Please try them..my favorites Dates for sure especially the fresh ones melt in mouth without chewing! 🤤
For the Caramel, it solidify in their fridge or even more in freezer?
Then how to melt it again?
Yes it will get thicker in the fridge than at room temperature and even thicker in the freezer, depends on what texture you are going for!
I want the smooth texture as possible but I wanted to know if I can use s à topping just before serving or freeze the cake with Caramel on top..
This caramel does get a little bit icy in the freezer since dates have natural water content in them, but you could try it! It would be really yummy with this cake. Or you could just drizzle the caramel on top before serving
As Im fan of Dates, I speak with Israël guys who harvest Dates and they told me Dates love freezer especially Fresh JUICY Medjool, Barhi, Sukari..
You can freeze and defrost Dates many times because they never become icy and Sugar content protect them..
So if Very soft Dates used as your Caramel topping and freeze the cake with it, It will perhaps harden a bit but melt when defrost I guess?
To make a Vanilla Cheesecake (Topping with Caramel Date) on the base of your Strawberry Cheesecake, if we remove Strawberry, how can we do?
More Cashew butter and Dates?
Yep it will thicken/harden somewhat when frozen and then melt again when you take it out. For a vanilla version try this recipe and just omit the matcha powder: https://feastingonfruit.com/no-bake-matcha-cheesecake/#tasty-recipes-15926-jump-target
The Matcha Cheesecake filling looks good!
For Yogurt we can use Soy plain, Greek or Vanilla?
Almonds yogurt sounds good but not easy to find here…
Or Coconut Milk thick part?
If you succeed to make Cheesecake without oil, why so many people use it?
I made a small batch of your Caramel today because I didnt have much Coconut Nectar…but the taste WOW! Awesome Congratulations for this recipe!
I looked for a Caramel like this exactly!!
Thanks Nat you rock 🤗👍
Soy or greek yogurt would be fine! Vanilla would work too although they are usually sweetened so it will make the cake a bit sweeter overall. Coconut oil is a great ingredient for texture hence why so many no-bake cheesecakes use it. So so happy you love the caramel!
As you say it may he better to keep natural version unsweetened..
If Coconut oil is useful why you dont use in Cheesecakes?
I like the fact you dont use it but try to understand why everyone always use and in larger quantities!
Sometimes more than 100ml it makes 900 Kcal!
I really prefer whole fat sources!
#DATE CARAMEL vs DATE PASTE
For sure the Silky one is so melty…but Date Paste is 100% Dates and very interesting for a middle layer as we talked for example?
As we talked about how many Grams of Dates in 1cup you said 200g packed..
Denise S says
Made this and added cinnamon and then used this as the filling in your Banana Cinnamon Roll recipe! It was a huge hit, everyone was blown away at how amazingly delicious it was! Tastebuds were wowed!
Omg that sounds SO good!! I adore those cinnamon rolls, it’s been too long I need to make a batch. I am so happy they were a hit, thanks for the feedback Denise 🙂
This is a very good recipe. I love that it doesn’t have any unhealthy ingredients in it and is so easy to make.
I have a raw vegan salted caramel sauce recipe that I make in the blender and also has no refined sugar in it: https://magicallifeoffruit.com/caramel-sauce-recipe/
I would love it if you would check it out and let me know what you think 🙂
What is the “shelf”’life of this caramel and what’s the best way to store it?
In the fridge in an airtight jar is best! It will last about 2-3 weeks that way 🙂 You can try freezing it, but haven’t tested personally so the texture may be funky after thawing…
This is amazing! I used the maple syrup cause I didn’t have coconut nectar on hand. I also did all coconut cream . It’s healthy fat right? The kids devoured the first container so I need more already. Thank you for doing the leg work on this and delivering such an awesome recipe. You should make a vegan hot fudge to go with this.
Mmm I bet it was ultra rich and creamy then, and heck yes I am all about the coconut fat🙌🥥 So happy you guys liked it, and I love the hot fudge idea! I will do that…
This is amazing! Question; do you think it would it hold up if I swirled it into brownie batter and baked? Or should I strictly use for drizzle on top?