Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels

February 24, 2018

Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels

51 Comments

Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels

Soft and chewy, melt-in-your-mouth caramel that’s dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt. These Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels are so delicious you’d never know they were dairy free!

What is caramel exactly?

Caramel (or Carmelo, as the Spanish would say) is a color, a texture, and of course a sweet treat.  At its primitive state, caramel is simply sugar that is heated until it begins to “caramelize”.  Different recipes call for different ingredients to be added in to this process, like milk, cream, or butter.

 

It sounds simple, right?

Well, it’s a little more complicated than it might seem.  You see, different types of caramel will be created at different cooking temperatures.  When heated between 320 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit, caramel will have a straw or light brown color and can easily be drizzled onto your favorite treats.  Heated to no more than 380 degrees F, caramel’s color will deepen and become firmer when cooled.  Often times this is when other ingredients like cream or butter are added in to slow the browning of the sugar and create an opaqueness to the caramel, typical in caramel candies.  If you keep cooking it until 410 degrees F, the caramel will become very dark and hard and goes by the names black caramel or baker’s caramel.  This is used to color other foods like soda!

I’m a novice chef.  Making caramel seems out of me league.

If I’ve made you a little nervous with all of caramel’s heating delicacies, don’t sweat it!  I’ve changed up my recipe, which will make the heating process a little easier.

Since I’ve made these Chocolate Covered Caramels vegan, we’ll be using coconut sugar and agave syrup as the sweeteners and coconut oil and condensed coconut milk for the added liquids.  Once heated all together and boiling, these ingredients simply need to be stirred continuously for 10 minutes over medium heat.  Good time to bring your ipad into the kitchen and catch up on your favorite Netflix show while you do some stirring.

Why vegan?

There are many reasons why someone would eat vegan food.  I am personally not a vegan myself, but like many others out there, dairy products and my body do not get along.  So I’ve set out on a quest to make many of the most popular and scrumptious goodies – but without the stuff that doesn’t sit right with my body.

In my Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels, there are no refined sugars, no dairy, (no gluten or soy either) and yes…there is still chocolate!  I love using Enjoy Life Foods vegan dark chocolate chips.  Tastes like the real thing, people!

Whether you’re a novice or a professional chef, rest easy that you can make these caramels without too much fuss.  If you got curious kids, invite them to help; they’ll LOVE to dunk the caramels in the chocolate, just like you will 🙂

Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels

NOTE: If you can’t find sweetened condensed coconut milk in a store near you, here’s a recipe to make your own: Homemade Vegan Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.

4.2 from 5 votes
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Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels

Vegan | Gluten-Free
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the Caramel:

  • Coconut oil spray
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup
  • 2/3 cup (7 ounces) sweetened condensed coconut milk* I like Nature's Charm
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Chocolate Coating:

  • 2 and 1/2 cups vegan chocolate chips** I like Enjoy Life Foods dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Course pink sea salt for garnish

Instructions

For the caramel:

  1. Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper and spray with coconut oil.

  2. Place coconut oil, coconut sugar, agave and condensed coconut milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly with a whisk for exactly 10 minutes.

  3. Add the vanilla and simmer for about 30 seconds more. Pour into lined baking dish and let cool by placing in the fridge for about 60 minutes.

  4. Once firm, remove from the fridge and from the baking dish.  Carefully cut  the caramel into squares.  To make this easier, spray your knife with coconut oil before cutting.  Place each caramel on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Place the cookie sheet into the freezer while melting your chocolate.

For the chocolate:

  1. Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil together either in a double boiler or in the microwave at 30 second intervals until smooth and creamy. The trick to melting chocolate is making sure not a singe drop of water gets in!
  2. Once chocolate is melted, remove cookie sheet from freezer and place one caramel square at a time in chocolate and place back on cookie sheet.  (I like to use 2 forks to place each caramel in the chocolate, swirl it around, then use one fork to scrape off excess chocolate.)  Sprinkle the top with course pink sea salt. Continue until all the chocolate has been used.

Recipe Notes

*I like Nature's Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.  But if you can’t find sweetened condensed coconut milk in a store near you, here’s a recipe to make your own: Homemade Vegan Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk.
**I prefer Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chips for the chocolate coating.

Did You Make It?

If you make this recipe, please let us know!  We love seeing your creations and hearing about how your recipes turned out.  Tag us with your photos on Instagram @naturaltastychef, #naturaltastychef or on Facebook: Alison Charbonneau, Natural Tasty Chef!

 

Thinking of going vegan or gluten-free and not sure where to start? Check out our One Week Vegan + Gluten-Free Meal Plan, complete with recipes and grocery lists!

 

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Ashley
Ashley
March 4, 2018 9:46 am

These looks heavenly, perfect for special occasions. ❤️

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Ashley
March 4, 2018 9:12 pm

Thanks Ashley! They really are! Perfect to gift too 🙂

Jill
Jill
May 13, 2018 2:07 am

When you say 1/2 cup coconut oil is that in solid form or melted? Also can you just use regular coconut milk?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Jill
May 13, 2018 8:32 am

Hi Jill! The oil gets melted so whether it’s in solid or liquid form to begin, both with work. For the milk, it has to be sweetened condensed coconut milk. Regular milk will have too much water content. If you can’t find Nature’s Charm Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk and are okay with a little dairy, condensed milk will work too.

Jill
Jill
Reply to  Alison Charbonneau
May 13, 2018 10:45 am

Thankyou! 🙂

Cristina Warseck
Cristina Warseck
June 5, 2018 8:51 am

Is there a substitute for the Agave? thanks!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Cristina Warseck
June 5, 2018 9:19 am

yes, you could also use maple syrup! Just DO NOT substitute honey. It will make the caramel too hard 🙂

Cristina Warseck
Cristina Warseck
Reply to  Alison Charbonneau
June 5, 2018 9:42 am

Awesome, thanks! Glad I asked because I was going to use honey!!!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Cristina Warseck
June 5, 2018 9:52 am

I’m glad you did too! I tried it with honey just recently and it turned into toffee! I guess it’s something to keep in mind for the future if you’re trying to recreate a Heath Bar! lol

Cristina Warseck
Cristina Warseck
June 13, 2018 7:06 pm

I just made these and they are BY FAR the most amazing caramels I have ever had. Hubby says the same! Thank you so much for this amazing recipe. I used maple syrup instead of the agave.

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Cristina Warseck
June 16, 2018 5:35 am

I’m so happy you enjoyed them!! 🙂 🙂 I’ll have to add maple syrup as an option to the recipe.

Christine McCombs
Christine McCombs
July 22, 2018 6:44 am

Do these have to be kept cold? Thanks

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Christine McCombs
July 22, 2018 8:42 am

I believe i’ve kept these counter top before AFTER they had been dipped in chocolate and cooled in the fridge or freezer. Our home stays at about 70 – 72 degrees F. If it’s too hot I can see them melting. Also, I know if you don’t dip the caramel in chocolate, it will spread at room temp. Hope this helps 🙂

Cassandra
Cassandra
September 5, 2018 7:14 pm

Do you think this caramel could be used for caramel apples, somehow?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Cassandra
September 5, 2018 10:11 pm

Hmm, I think it could work! I would simmer, while whisking constantly for about 4 minutes instead of 10! Dip the apples and then place in the fridge to set. Let me know how they turn out!

Karen
Karen
November 19, 2018 7:30 am

Can you pour the caramel in a truffle mold to make different shapes?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Karen
November 20, 2018 9:47 am

If you did, you’d have to keep them in the freezer to keep their shape before dipping in chocolate. right out of the freezer they’ll be more like toffee. When they’re room temp without a chocolate coating, they spread and lose their shape.

Abby
Abby
December 3, 2018 9:09 am

1 star
These didn’t work for me at all. The caramel wouldn’t thicken. Should I try cooking the caramel with a candy thermometer? When I’ve cooked honey caramels I had to cook them to 250 degrees, just over soft ball point.

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Abby
December 3, 2018 2:43 pm

Hmm, let’s see..did you use Nature’s Charm sweetened condensed coconut milk and whisk over a medium boil for exactly 10 minutes? I’ve never used a candy thermometer for these, but you could try it. If your batch didn’t set, i wouldn’t throw it out, i’d put it back in a saucepan and bring back to a boil, reduce to medium and whisk for 10 minutes. let’s see if that works!

Allyn Bader Barclay
Allyn Bader Barclay
Reply to  Alison Charbonneau
December 3, 2018 8:06 pm

5 stars
It was totally user error,I purchased evaporated milk instead of condensed coconut milk (the packaging is the same). So when I tried the right ingredients, it worked out fine! Now just waiting for the chocolate to set. Thank you!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Allyn Bader Barclay
December 4, 2018 10:59 am

Wonderful!! Enjoy 🙂

Taylor
Taylor
December 9, 2018 4:20 pm

Would coconut cream work instead of condensed coconut milk?? I can’t find any in my area!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Taylor
December 10, 2018 1:08 pm

Hmm…I’m not sure. I think that it would contain too much liquid and not be sticky enough. You can find condensed coconut milk on Amazon, or you could also try making your own, i’ve seen recipes online.

Heather
Heather
January 4, 2019 12:15 pm

5 stars
These are delish!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Heather
January 4, 2019 1:52 pm

I’m so happy you like them!! 🙂

Taylor
Taylor
January 22, 2019 6:50 pm

Hi Alison, these look awesome! I accidentally used Coconut Milk instead of condensed coconut milk, and they did not hard after an hour in the fridge. Any idea how to save this batch? I appreciate the help!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Taylor
January 23, 2019 9:57 am

Hi Taylor, what a bummer. I’m not sure if you’ll be able to achieve a firm caramel with this batch due to the high liquid content already in there, but what you could try is adding 1 can of sweetened condensed coconut milk (11.25 ounces) and boil again for 8 – 10 minutes. If it doesn’t firm up completely, you’ll at least get some yummy caramel SAUCE that would be delicious served over coconut ice cream.

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March 10, 2019 11:08 am

[…] the show, not just another ingredient you add to a desert, make these chocolate covered caramels by Natural Tasty Chef! They have a strong caramel flavor and the chocolate is only the cherry on top! Oh, did we mention […]

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Homemade Vegan Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk - Refined Sugar Free | Natural Tasty Chef
April 12, 2019 6:37 pm

[…] love using sweetened condensed coconut milk. It’s in our Easy, Vegan No-Fail Chocolate Fudge, Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels, Vegan and Gluten-Free Twix Bars, Easy, Vegan Mounds Bars, and of our churned Vegan Ice Creams […]

Hannah
Hannah
June 20, 2019 11:26 am

Instead of condensed coconut milk could I use the solid layer of a canned coconut milk?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Hannah
June 20, 2019 12:44 pm

Hi Hannah, Unfortunately, the solid layer of canned coconut milk still contains too much moisture to work in these. they wouldn’t become the sticky, chewy texture taht you’re looking for in caramels. If you don’t have access to sweetened condensed coconut milk, i recently posted a recipe to make your own. https://naturaltastychef.com/homemade-vegan-sweetened-condensed-coconut-milk-refined-sugar-free/

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Homemade Vegan Caramel Sauce | Natural Tasty Chef
July 26, 2019 2:45 am

[…] you like this recipe, you may also like our Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramels and our Vegan and Gluten-Free Twix […]

Vlada
Vlada
November 30, 2019 10:33 am

Can you use other sugars, like cane, for this recipe?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Vlada
December 1, 2019 11:43 am

Hi Vlada, In place of the coconut sugar, maple sugar or date sugar would work in equal amounts without changing the cooking time or texture. I have never tried this recipe with cane sugar, but it may work. I’d probably reduce cooking time by 2 – 3 minutes since it’s more refined. Again I have never tried it. Hope this helps! 🙂

Jake
Jake
December 1, 2019 8:45 pm

They came out great. Substituted regular sugar for the cocunut sugar and worked great. A cookie cooling rack for the chocolates helps them come out better

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Jake
December 2, 2019 1:29 pm

That’s great! Did you reduce the boiling time? Glad they worked out and good tip about the cooling rack!

Rachel
Rachel
February 3, 2020 8:33 am

Hi Alison! I made these yesterday (subbed maple syrup and used regular condensed milk and regular baking chocolate) and they came out amazing! My kids tried this morning and they are a winner for all. This will be my go-to caramel recipe moving forward and now I am dreaming of homemade twix bars, etc. I am hoping the coconut oil in this recipe helps to keep things moving in my littles ones’ systems, if you know what I mean. Is coconut oil known to help with constipation? That is always something I am watching for with my kids. Thanks for… Read more »

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Rachel
February 3, 2020 9:26 pm

Hi Rachel! Thank you for sharing. I’m so happy that you and your kids are enjoying them, yay 🙂 Coconut oil is thought to help with that, so they’re a double win. Flaxseed oil is also very helpful in preventing constipation. I like adding 1 – 2 Tablespoons to my smoothies or toping oatmeal with it. Those could be ways for you to sneak them in for the kids.

trackback
13 Delicious Desserts with a Caramel Twist!  | Awareness
May 17, 2020 1:29 am

[…] the show, not just another ingredient you add to a desert, make these chocolate covered caramels by Natural Tasty Chef! They have a strong caramel flavor and the chocolate is only the cherry on top! Oh, did we mention […]

Annette
Annette
October 14, 2020 12:07 pm

Can vegan butter be used instead of Coconut Oil? Thank you!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Annette
October 20, 2020 9:35 pm

Hi Annette, Yes, I believe that vegan butter can replace coconut oil just fine 🙂

Chloe Reed
Chloe Reed
November 28, 2020 4:18 pm

Are we able to use something besides agave syrup. Looks great!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Chloe Reed
November 28, 2020 10:21 pm

Yes, you could substitute maple syrup. 🙂

Amanda
Amanda
December 7, 2020 12:51 pm

5 stars
I made these a few weeks ago and was actually quite surprised at how well they came out. I might mix up some of the ingredients next time to cut down on the coconut products to let the caramel flavor shine more but these were still really good.

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Amanda
December 9, 2020 12:56 pm

I’m so happy you enjoyed them. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Marianne
Marianne
December 11, 2020 7:37 am

Do you think brown rice syrup with you work in place of agave?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Marianne
December 11, 2020 3:01 pm

That’s a great question. Since brown rice syrup is much thicker and half as sweet as agave, i’m not sure how they will turn out. Maple syrup, on the other hand, would be a nice substitute. Hope this helps.

Marianne
Marianne
Reply to  Alison Charbonneau
December 12, 2020 7:06 pm

So I decided to try it with the brown rice syrup anyway…it was all I had at home. They turned out perfectly, I added 2 tbsp of water to thin out the thickness of the syrup but I followed the rest of the recipe exactly and they were amazing!!

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Marianne
December 13, 2020 6:15 am

Yay, that’s great, thanks for sharing. I wasn’t sure if the caramels would get too hard after boiling, but good to know brown rice syrup will work!!

Jamie Jennings
Jamie Jennings
March 27, 2021 1:03 am

What can you use to substitute coconut sugar?

Alison Charbonneau
Alison Charbonneau (@admin)
Reply to  Jamie Jennings
March 27, 2021 12:03 pm

Hi Jamie, you could use maple sugar or brown sugar in equal amounts.


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