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.

A glass mason jar containing a vegan caramel sauce is positioned against a white tile backdrop. A spoon is peeking out of the jar.

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.

Salted date caramel ingredients

The best thing about this salted date caramel sauce is the short ingredient list. Here’s what you’ll need.

Dates

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.

Cashew butter

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.

Salt

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.

Vanilla extract

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!

Storage & freezing

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.

Ways to serve salted date caramel sauce

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.

A zoomed in photograph of a vegan salted date caramel, with a spoon swirled in.
A glass mason jar containing a vegan caramel sauce is positioned against a white tile backdrop. A spoon is peeking out of the jar.
4 from 1 vote

Salted Date Caramel Sauce

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1 heaping cup

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Heat two cups of water in a saucepan or teakettle till boiling. Pour the water over the dates.. Allow the dates to sit for 15-20 minutes.
  • Drain the dates, reserving the soak water. Place the dates into a blender with 1 cup of the soak water, the vanilla, the cashew butter, and the salt. Blend on a high speed till the dates are very smooth and resemble a sauce. Add more water if needed. The sauce should be thick but pourable. Serve or store.

Notes

Sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
A weck mason jar is filled with vegan salted date caramel sauce. A small, silver spoon rests on the bright surface nearby.

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!

xo

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Recipe Rating




    13 Comments
  1. 4 stars
    Great recipe. Though, mind me asking why you placed the dated into hot water and why you didn’t used then straight?

  2. 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!