How To Turn Coconut Milk Into Caramel

Did you know that you can make thick and completely vegan caramel sauce from a can of coconut milk?

1 can coconut milk

Pure vanilla extract

Sweetener of choice

Pinch of salt

Just four or five ingredients, and you’re on your way to the perfect coconut caramel sauce, good for serving with fruit, pancakes, or over my 10 Banana Ice Cream Recipes.

And the best part is that there’s NO heavy cream and NO high fructose corn syrup required for this recipe!


Step One:

Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract in a medium saucepan, and whisk everything together.

Bring to a boil, then let it boil for around 3-4 minutes.

caramel recipe

Step Two:

Turn to a simmer, and let the mixture cook down to about half its original volume, stirring as needed.

Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, and let it cool. Then refrigerate.

vegan caramel

The homemade coconut caramel sauce will continue to thicken overnight.

Use it as you’d use caramel sauce. It tastes absolutely amazing over my Pumpkin Pancakes.

I know it’s not pumpkin season right now, but homemade pumpkin pancakes with thick and luxurious coconut caramel sauce is one breakfast you should enjoy all year round!

coconut milk caramel

Stored in the refrigerator, the jar of vegan caramel sauce will last for at least a week.

I don’t know if it lasts longer or if it can be frozen, because I’ve never been able to keep a batch around long enough to find out!

There's NO heavy cream or corn syrup needed for this easy coconut caramel sauce recipe!

How To Make Coconut Caramel

How To Turn Coconut Milk Into Caramel

Total Time:

about 2/3 cup

Print This Recipe




  • 13.5 oz coconut milk (Coconut-free recipe here)
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, honey, or agave (vegans use the maple or agave)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar OR simply increase the above liquid sweetener to 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • optional 1 tbsp butter-type spread or coconut oil, for richer flavor


*Use the brown sugar (or coconut sugar) if you want more of a caramel flavor; however using all liquid sweetener still yields delicious results. Make sure to buy full-fat canned coconut milk, not lite or coconutmilk beverage.

Combine all ingredients except the vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let it boil for around 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously, then lower to a simmer. Let it simmer—stirring as needed—until it cooks down to about half its volume and thickens. This usually takes around 50-60 minutes, depending on your climate, stove, and the fat content in your particular can of coconut milk. Turn off the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let it sit for about an hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight – it continues to thicken as it sits.

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