This is an easy, one ingredient vegan & dairy free caramel sauce or Dulce de Leche that has a rich caramel flavor and is kid-approved!
The other day when we were at the store both of my kids asked for those little packages of apples with caramel and I said no because of all the dairy and unhealthy ingredients. I was feeling bad ’cause they both wanted them so bad, but then when we were at the health food store I saw this can of dairy free sweetened condensed milk and got super excited:
Easy Vegan Dulce de Leche
I remembered that you can make caramel from boiling cans of sweetened condensed milk long enough for a caramelizing to occur and was SO hoping that it would work with this dairy free and vegan version so I bought some and gave it a try. It wasn’t until after I came home and started looking up recipes on how to do it that I discovered that it’s not actually caramel when you make it this way but it’s called Dulce de Leche. However, there’s not much difference.
Dulce de Leche basically just has a thinner, more sauce-like consistency than caramel (even though it thickens considerable in the fridge) but it still has that great caramel flavor that me and the fam just LOVE! In fact, I found both of my kids licking their bowls (and maybe me to!) and asking for more 🙂
While I still love and make my original Caramel Sauce Recipe I was excited to try something new and am now happy to have 2 recipes for caramel! Which do I like better you say? It’s hard to pick since there are pro’s and con’s to each recipe so here’s the rundown:
Dulce de Leche Vs. Caramel Sauce
- If I had to pick totally off of taste I would pick the Dulce de Leche. Since it’s made with white cane sugar that is then caramelized, it has a truer caramel taste. The caramel on the other hand, uses coconut palm sugar and non-dairy butter to achieve a caramelized taste.
- My Caramel Sauce Recipe is Paleo compliant since it doesn’t use refined sugar.
- The Caramel Sauce Recipe is also a lot faster to make. If you don’t care about it thickening up, it can be ready in 10 minutes. The Dulce de Leche, however, takes over 3 hours.
- The Dulce de Leche would not work in recipes calling for thick caramel sauce. It’s thinner than caramel (especially before it’s refrigerated), but would work perfect drizzled over dessert.
What about you, which do you think you will try it? Do you prefer Dulce de Leche or caramel? Let me know what you think!
Pin for later:
*Since making this I found out you can do this in the crock pot – WHAT, that’s awesome!?! Next time I will try THIS CROCKPOT METHOD with the dairy free condensed milk.
Vegan Dulce de Leche
- 1 Can Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk or as many as you would like
- Place the can or cans into a large pot on their sides and cover with 1 to 2 inches of water.
- Bring to a boil, then immediately turn down to Medium-Low or Low until you have a nice, gentle simmer or light boil.
- Let simmer 3 1/2 hours.
- *Important step* Top off the water as it simmers to keep 1 to 2 inches of water over the cans at all times.
- Halfway through the simmering processes, very carefully rotate the cans with tongs.
- After the simmering time, carefully remove the cans with tongs and allow to cool before opening. DO NOT open cans when they are hot, there is a potential for explosion!
- Dulce de Leche can be stored in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for up to a month. Will thicken slightly in the fridge.
- DO NOT open the cane while they are hot! Let them cool before opening, otherwise, they may explode!
- This recipe this thinner than traditional Paleo Caramel Sauce or Keto Caramel Sauce, but will slightly thicken in the fridge.
- Keep at least one to two inches of water over the cans at all times. Add more water as needed as it simmers.
- The longer you boil the cans, the richer the caramel. Feel free to boil the cans an additional 30 minutes to an hour if desired.
Nutritional information is approximate and may vary.