Homemade Caramel Sauce: the Ultimate Dessert Topping - Dr. Axe

Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe

Caramel sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

Caramel sauce is known for making so many desserts that much tastier and more interesting. From ice cream to candied apples to Paleo brownies, caramel sauce is a perfectly sweet yet slightly salty topping that takes flavor to new heights. Have you ever tried making a homemade caramel sauce recipe?

Normally, a caramel sauce recipe is just a mixture of butter, processed sugar, heavy cream, salt and vanilla. For this caramel recipe, I’m keeping the vanilla extract and the salt — a high-quality sea salt that is. But this caramel sauce recipe is actually dairy-free and processed sugar-free. So that means no heavy cream or butter. Instead, I’m using coconut milk and coconut oil. Instead of processed sugar, I’m including maple syrup and coconut sugar.

These changes result in a homemade caramel sauce that is just as delicious yet healthier than the typical recipes for homemade caramel. This is also such an easy caramel sauce recipe that you may never want to buy store-bought caramel sauce again!

Caramel Sauce Making Made Easy

Caramel’s texture alone can make it seem like an intimidating recipe to attempt at home. There are a lot of recipes out there for salted caramel sauce that overcomplicate the process. How to make caramel sauce really does not have to be hard.

Caramel sauce recipe ingredients - Dr. Axe

There’s typically a dry or wet method to making caramel. The dry method is known for being tricky and requiring a cook’s utmost attention. It’s easy to mess up caramel sauce using the dry method. Meanwhile, the wet method normally requires the addition of water, which is easier, but personally, I find this recipe to be even easier than the usual wet method.

Also, don’t be fooled — caramel doesn’t get its color from using brown sugar or molasses, but rather from the heating or caramelization of the sugar. In this case, I’m using coconut sugar, which is a healthier alternative to processed sugar.

How to Make Caramel Sauce

So, how do you make caramel? This easy caramel sauce only requires six ingredients, and I’m talking about ingredients that you won’t just buy for this recipe and never use again. If you’ve been making some of my other recipes, you probably even have all of these ingredients on hand already.

So, let’s dive into the four simple steps of making this classic and rich salted caramel sauce.

First, add the coconut milk, coconut sugar and maple syrup into a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 15 minutes.

Caramel sauce recipe step 1 - Dr. Axe

Next, add the coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt. I also want to note that depending on your tastebuds, you can add a little less or a little more sea salt.

Caramel sauce recipe step 2 - Dr. Axe

Now that all of the ingredients are in the saucepan, you can gently mix them together.

Caramel sauce recipe step 3 - Dr. Axe

Remove the saucepan from the heat and place it in the refrigerator, allowing the mixture to cool completely before serving.

Caramel sauce recipe step 4 - Dr. Axe

Top your favorite dessert with the caramel sauce and enjoy!

Caramel sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

Here are some great desserts to drizzle some of this magical caramel sauce over:

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Caramel sauce recipe - Dr. Axe

Caramel Sauce Recipe

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  • Author: Dr. Josh Axe
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Caramel sauce takes any dessert to the next level, especially the brownie. But most caramel sauces are loaded with sugar and processed ingredients. Not this delicious, healthy version!


  • 1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Place coconut milk, coconut sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add in coconut oil, vanilla and sea salt and mix.
  4. Place in fridge and allow mixture to cool completely before serving. Use within one week of making.
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Desserts, Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 serving (53 g)
  • Calories: 141
  • Sugar: 16.5 g
  • Sodium: 102 mg (7% DV)
  • Fat: 7.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.9 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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  1. gv on

    Can I use evaporated cane juice in place of coconut sugar? This looks yummy. I love caramel sauce but haven’t had it in ages b/c of all the bad ingredients.

  2. Connie on

    This sounds delicious and the ingredients are healthy too. As soon as I have the ingredients I will make it and post my comments on it.


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