Vegan Caramel

This vegan caramel is made simply by blending dates with vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil, lemon juice, and water. An easy, naturally sweetened vegan treat you can slather on anything.

Swirls of vegan caramel with a knife on the side

Vegan caramel? Yep. This naturally sweetened but truly delectable sugar fix with toffee overtones really does coax a rich, sweet, satisfying experience from good-for-you ingredients. More surprisingly, the list of ways to swirl, spread, and drizzle this sublimely silky treat will take longer to read than the recipe itself. We’re talking yogurt, oatmeal, and apples. Pancakes, waffles, muffins, and quick breads. Did we mention vanilla ice cream? Better tell your bottle of store-bought caramel there’s a new kid in town.–Jenny Howard

Vegan Toffee Spread

  • Quick Glance
  • 10 M
  • 10 M
  • Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Print RecipeBuy the Naturally Sweet Vegan Treats cookbook

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  • 1 cup medjool dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons coconut oil*
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups warm water


  • 1. In a food processor or blender, combine the chopped dates, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut oil, lemon juice, salt, and 1 cup water. Blitz until very smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, adding more water, a little at a time, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency, whether you care for more of a stiff dip or a runny sauce. Taste and, if desired, add another pinch of salt.
  • 2. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  • Either refined or virgin (unrefined) coconut oil will work in this recipe. Refined coconut oil is essentially flavorless and won’t interfere with the caramel flavor, whereas an unrefined oil will add mild coconut undertones to the finished sauce. Your choice.

#leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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