This vegan salted date caramel sauce is made with Medjool dates, salt, cashew butter, water, and vanilla—that’s it! It’s a wholesome alternative to more traditional caramel sauce, and it tastes absolutely delicious.
The other day one of my clients and I were joking about the appropriate response to discovering a really good salad dressing. (She was talking about my turmeric tahini dressing).
I made a hand motion that approximates the action of taking a blender and pouring its contents into one’s mouth. If you ask me, this is a reasonable response to great dressings, as well as great smoothies and great nut milks. And it is also the only appropriate response to the this vegan salted date caramel sauce.
It’s amazing how simple this recipe is: dates, vanilla, cashew butter, salt, water. Not much needs be done because Medjool dates already taste like caramel! That flavor is why I love dates as much as I do. The recipe grew out of years of my using dates as a sweetener in baked goods and making homemade date paste.
I always thought a salted date caramel, with something added for creaminess, would taste amazing. And it does.
The best thing about this salted date caramel sauce is the short ingredient list. Here’s what you’ll need.
I recommend using Medjool dates for the caramel sauce. They have a naturally caramel-like flavor—more so than with other varieties of dates—and that compliments this recipe perfectly!
If you don’t have Medjool dates, deglet noor dates will be a very good substitute.
For a while I was using melted coconut oil to help replace the butter in traditional caramel. But I’ve found that cashew butter works even better. It adds just the right amount of creaminess to the recipe, and the sweetness of the cashews compliments the sauce well.
A raw cashew butter is best for the sauce—I love this one—but roasted cashew butter also works. If you don’t have any cashew butter, try using two tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegan butter instead.
I like to use fine sea salt for the recipe, but Kosher salt will also work. You can use slightly more Kosher salt than fine sea salt (it’s less salty), but I recommend starting with a 1/4 teaspoon and working up to taste.
The vanilla extract in this recipe is optional in the sense that the sauce still tastes great without it. But it’s part of what makes the sauce taste so much like caramel. So if that flavor is what you’re craving, then I highly recommend the vanilla!
The date caramel sauce will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. And if you’re wondering whether it can be frozen, yes, it can! I like to freeze it in mason jars, leaving a full inch of space a the top of the jar for safety.
There are so many ways to enjoy this sweet, salty, luscious sauce! Here are some of my favorites:
Or, you know, drink it right out of the blender.
Here are some sweet ideas for using the caramel sauce:
I hope you all enjoy this sweet start to the weekend. Tomorrow, a special holiday post!
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Great recipe. Though, mind me asking why you placed the dated into hot water and why you didn’t used then straight?
Thanks for sharing this brilliant caramel recipe – it was just what I was looking for 😀
I cannot wait to try this. Ever since my dairy allergy, I have not eaten caramel… tragic! Thanks!
Ooooh yum! And I second the comment above re: fleur de sel! I’ve been using dates or date syrup as a sweetener for years too, and it really is the perfect caramel base. Love this recipe!
Oh I love the sound of this!
Nom. Date caramel is the best!
i could see this being used with soooo many things. i’d definitely try with my pancakes.
Gena, this is fabulous. I’m a caramel fanatic, and this recipe is exactly what I was looking for!
Oh my oh m oh my *__*
Trying this immediately! Seriously, love how insanely easy this is but extremely dangerous because I can make it anytime I want! I need will power haha
Love this. Dates totally do have a caramel flavor!
I bet this would be over the top with a little fleur de sel!
This looks heavenly! Although I think that it also needs some chocolate drizzle. 🙂