A decadent caramel sauce that's filled with toasted pecans and rich coconut milk. It tastes just like pecan pie filling, without the crust! Perfect on ice cream or straight from the spoon.

Southern Pecan Caramel Sauce [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon bourbon, divided
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 10-12 minutes until browned and fragrant. Transfer pecans to a cutting board and chop.
  2. In a medium saucepan, add sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons bourbon. No need to stir. Have the coconut milk measured and next to the stove at the ready.
  3. Place saucepan over medium to medium-high heat (depending on how hot your stove runs). Bring mixture to a rolling boil and watching the sugar mixture deepen in color. It will go from a light corn syrup color to light brown to amber. The change between light brown and amber is quick. Be ready for it.
  4. When it achieves a deep brown (not burnt) color, pour the milk into the center of the pan. It will steam and bubble vigorously – that's ok. When it calms, remove it from the stove. Stir in the salt and chopped pecans. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of bourbon. Transfer to a glass storage container. You can store sauce in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


I use canning jars for storage because the caramel sauce will harden up in the refrigerator. I remove the lid and microwave the jar for 30-45 seconds to soften the sauce before spooning it over ice cream.


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