Vegan caramel is an amazing treat to have when you are vegan and no longer eat dairy. Many people probably don’t even think that it is possible but it is!

Vegan caramel can be just as (if not more!) delicious, sweet, and rich as traditional dairy caramel. A perfect treat to dip apples into.

Once you get the hang of making dairy-free caramel, you will never miss the real thing or want to go back. It just takes a little trial and error then you can start to whip up golden caramel with no effort at all!

Here are some tips to help you make the best dairy-free caramel without milk, cream, or butter. It can be completely vegan and still be completely delicious!

The Secrets to Making the Best Vegan Caramel

Like any kind of cooking, making vegan caramel just takes some getting used to before you achieve perfect results. It is very possible to make delicious caramel without any dairy products at all! No one will ever even know the difference and will probably be asking you to make more of it!

Choose the Right Plant Milk

When it comes to making vegan caramel, it is very important to choose a good plant milk. Not all plant milks are made equal, and not just any option is going to work the same.

Speaking from experience, almond milk creates the most reliable results, while soy milk creates the creamiest results. But you have many options to try out. You could even make a day of it to see which milk creates the tastiest caramel.

All plant-based milks will also need to cook at slightly different times, which shouldn’t be an issue if you use a candy thermometer.

Any plant milk should work, you will just need to remember that every option will yield slightly different results. If you are following a normal caramel recipe, this is something that you will need to keep in mind.

Use Brown Sugar

This is an easily overlooked factor of homemade caramel. If you are making traditional caramel, by caramelizing the sugar, you can use white sugar. But if you are making an easier caramel recipe, you will need brown sugar.

The molasses from the brown sugar helps to give the vegan caramel that traditional flavor. It also gives it a beautiful brown color that we associate with caramel.

Use Vegan Butter

You will want to replace the dairy butter with vegan butter instead. This is an important substitution that you shouldn’t overlook.

The butter does a lot for both the texture and the flavor of the caramel, giving it a silky and smooth consistency with a rich taste.

Some vegan recipes recommend coconut oil, but it just won’t be the same as traditional caramel. So, if you are looking for a realistic caramel, you will need to use vegan butter!

Find a Good Recipe

If you have never made vegan caramel before, it is probably best to start off with a vegan recipe. Vegan caramel is very different from traditional caramel, so following a normal recipe might not work out too well.

It is best to try your hand at one or two vegan recipes before tackling a non-vegan caramel. This way, you will have an idea of how the ingredients act in the final results.

There are a lot of differences between a plant-based caramel and a traditional one. And you don’t want to get discouraged by trying to recreate traditional recipes before you have gotten the hang of dairy-free caramel.

Avoid Crystallization

One of the biggest enemies of candy-making is crystallization. This is something that happens when a crystal of sugar remains intact and crystallizes your caramel. It creates thick, clumpy, and hard caramel that is gritty and filled with sugar granules. It is the ultimate problem that anyone will have when it comes to working with sugar.

Some things that you can do to avoid this is to not over-stir your caramel. The more stirring you do, the better your chances of creating sugar crystals. You will also want to remove sugar stuck to the sides of your pot, as these can cause crystallization as well.

As a preventative measure, you can also add a small amount of corn syrup, cream of tartar, or lemon juice to your caramel. These ingredients fight crystallization and can keep your caramel nice and smooth.

Use a Candy Thermometer

Using a candy thermometer in any kind of candy-making is so important. There are older methods that you can use, of course, but they are not always accurate. It is much safer to just buy a candy thermometer so that you can create the perfect candy every time.

Because vegan caramel will often take longer to cook, this is even more important. If you are following a traditional recipe, a candy thermometer will help you to still achieve good results.

Instead of looking at times, it is best to only focus on temperature to make sure that your caramel reaches the right level of heat.

Most caramels will be done at the softball stage for a chewy candy. For a caramel syrup, you can stop cooking it much sooner.

It is also important to not focus on the consistency of the caramel. It will be very runny and hot but begin to thicken as it cools. So just pay attention to the temperature and not the caramel itself.

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