Vegan Dulce De Leche

Refined Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Paleo

Sometimes I get a craving for something sweet & salty. When I say sometimes, I mean all the time. When all the salted caramel things came out about 10 years back, I was on board til the day I die. The thing about caramel, it is finicky and if you have any level of A.D.D., you most likely have burnt or crystalized a batch or two in your lifetime. I like dulce de leche because it is “basically foolproof”. Traditionally dulce de leche is made with sweetened condensed milk and just simmered (for what seems like forever) until it eventually becomes this luscious, rich caramel like substance.

My Vegan Dulce De Leche is going for a “healthier” spin on it that still packs a punch of flavor on your tongue. This is with mainly two basic ingredients, full-fat coconut milk (from a can) and coconut sugar. I add a bit of vanilla, vegan butter & salt to it because HELLO FLAVOR! And best of all, it doesn’t take longer than 30 minutes to cook. Longer if you decide you want to refrigerate it for a thicker, more honey-like/maple syrup-like consistency (which I highly recommend, you know, after you use a little of the warm syrup on some ice cream). You know when it is done cooking when you can use a silverware spoon to scrape across the spoon and it holds a bare line (pictured below) OR if when your scrape your spoon across the bottom of the pot, it leaves a bare line at the bottom of the pot for a few seconds (pictured below).

Vegan Dulce De Leche

Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: caramel, dessert sauce, dulce de leche, ice cream topper, sweetened milk, syrup, vegan dulce de leche
Servings: 6


  • 400 g full fat coconut milk (from a can)
  • 155 g coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
  • ½ tsp cornstarch (optional, if you want it to be thicker)
  • 1 tsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread (room temperature)


  • Combine the coconut milk & coconut sugar in a large pot (the pot might seem humongous for this purpose but this will prevent it from boiling over) over high heat. Stir every minute or so until coconut cream & sugar are melted. Bring to a boil & then turn down to a simmer for 25-30 minutes (this was dial 4/10 on my stovetop). Stir and scrape the sides & bottom of the pot every couple minutes.
  • Melt Earth Balance in a small microwave safe dish in the microwave (20 seconds should be plenty), add cornstarch & salt and combine until thoroughly mixed.
  • When the syrup has cooked 25-30 minutes (it should look significantly thicker & a deep golden brown color), whisk in your butter/cornstarch/salt mixture, cook for one last minute until it comes to a boil (you might need to turn the heat up for a minute for this to happen). Turn the burner off, remove from heat and let cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once cool, pour dulce de leche syrup into a heat proof container, serve immediately or for a thicker consistency, refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) for a molasses-like syrup.


*Notes: If dulce de leche becomes too thick from the fridge, heat in 30 second increments in microwave and stir after each for it to become syrupy again.
Enjoy on ice cream, cakes, tarts, pancakes, waffles, French toast, & buttered toast!  Stir into coffee or hot chocolate!  The varieties are endless.

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