is caramel vegan – How to Make Vegan Caramel At Home

The heavenly, sweet, golden-brown syrup serves as the best topping for coffee, ice cream, cakes, and more. But is caramel vegan?

Sadly, traditional caramel is not vegan. It is made from heavy cream and butter, so it is far from vegan. But that doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy caramel, as there’s a vegan way to make the sweet syrup.

Caramel is sugar heated until it turns dark in color. This process is called caramelization. The heated sugar is usually mixed with butter and heavy cream to turn it into a sauce that serves as a topping for our favorite desserts and drinks.

What is Caramel made of?

Caramel contains three main ingredients as follows:

1. White Sugar

Sugar is the main ingredient of caramel. Even though sugar is not an animal product, most vegans don’t consume white sugar because it’s said to have been bleached with animal bone char.

2. Butter

Another non-vegan product in caramel is butter. Butter is used to thicken caramel sauce and add depth to the flavor. Most restaurants use salted butter that balances the sweetness of the sauce.

3. Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is added in caramel sauce to give it a rich and creamy texture. It turns caramel into a thick sauce that is then used on cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and coffee.

is caramel vegan friendly

If you’re a vegan, you don’t have to say goodbye to caramel, as there is an easy way to substitute animal products in caramel with non-dairy ingredients to achieve a similar taste and flavor.

Most vegans who haven’t tried vegan caramel think that it does not taste good. That is far from the truth. Vegan caramel tastes just as delicious, if not better! I personally don’t follow a vegan lifestyle, but this is something I had to try because it’s not only non-dairy but healthy as well.

Chef Notes

  • You can use any kind of date you have. If they are small, you can increase the quantity to 8.
  • If you want less sugary syrup, you can cut back on sugar because dates are already sweet.

Here are some other vegan recipes that you can try:

Is Caramel Vegan at Starbucks?

Not all sauces and syrups at Starbucks are dairy-free, but caramel syrup is vegan, not caramel sauce. So, when you are getting coffee, make sure to ask for sugar-free caramel and not caramel drizzle.

You can also ask to substitute caramel sauce in your drink with caramel syrup which is vegan. Some other vegan syrups at Starbucks include:

  • Mocha sauce
  • Strawberry puree
  • Creme Frappuccino syrup
  • Classic syrup
  • Vanilla powder
  • Chocolate malt powder

Is Caramel Vegan at Dunkin Donuts?

No, Caramel sauce or swirl at Dunkin Donuts is not vegan as it contains condensed milk. However, you can ask for a caramel-flavored syrup that is dairy-free.

Dunkin Donuts does not have a lot of options for vegans. Some vegan treats include English muffins, Chai Tea syrup, and Mocha Swirl syrup.


How to Make Vegan Caramel Sauce

Follow this easy and quick recipe to make homemade vegan caramel sauce for your drinks, and desserts.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10


  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 6 soft pitted dates
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch/ cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Take the dates and microwave for 1 minute until soft.
  • Add coconut milk, tahini, coconut sugar, salt, dates, and arrowroot starch in a blender.
  • Blend for 1 minute until the texture is consistent and smooth.
  • Transfer the mixture to a small saucepan. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, and continue sitting.
  • Continue cooking until you get your desired consistency.
  • Cool the sauce, and transfer to an airtight jar. You can store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.


  • You can use any kind of date you have. If they are small, you can increase the quantity to 8.
  • If you want less sugary syrup, you can cut back on sugar because dates are already sweet.
Keyword caramel recipe, homemade caramel sauce, how to make vegan caramel, is caramel vegan, vegan caramel, vegan caramel sauce

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