Paleo Homemade Caramel
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Paleo Homemade Caramel Topping - Gluten-free, dairy-free, tree nut-free and so easy!

My Paleo Homemade Caramel brought back a family favorite. Caramel is one of our family’s favorite ice cream toppings. But, so many of the store bought caramels had dairy or a looong list of ingredients. This easy homemade sauce only has THREE ingredients! It’s not hard to get behind a treat like this one.

Why We Love this Paleo Homemade Caramel

I mean, this had me at three ingredients. So many store bought treats have an ingredient list a mile love. I love that this dessert topping is made with only 3 whole food ingredients. It uses coconut cream, coconut sugar, and vanilla. That’s it! Thus, this sauce is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, and vegan.

I love how simple it is to make. No blending, no candy thermometer, and only takes 15 minutes to prep. The hardest part about it is just making sure you patiently continue to stir during the entire 10 minutes of cooking so it won’t burn. We usually rotate a few kids for that job! 

NOTE: Right after cooking, this caramel will be delicious but thin. It has to thicken in the fridge for at least 6 hours before it will have a nice thick caramel consistency.

What is Coconut Cream?

I get a lot of questions about coconut cream. Coconut cream is similar to coconut milk but is much thicker and four times richer. Make sure to use canned coconut cream in this recipe. We need that richness to make a thick ice cream. Using coconut milk (even just the solid part of coconut milk) will result in an ice cream that will never get thick. 

Also, note that in this Paleo Homemade Caramel recipe you only used the solid part of the coconut cream. I keep my coconut cream in the fridge, especially in the warmer months of the year. Chilled coconut cream means the rich healthy fats will solidify, making it easier to scoop out. (Note, the thick solid part shouldn’t be icy – that means you stored it in too cold a part of the fridge and will result in a chunky consistency. I usually keep mine in the door of my fridge). What you scoop out and use for this recipe should be thick, solid, and white (see ingredient photo below). The remaining more opaque liquid you don’t use, and can save for smoothies.

As this recipe only has 3 ingredients, getting the coconut cream right is essential. I prefer the Thai Kitchen brand for great consistency, which I get cheapest at Walmart. Some canned coconut creams have a weird chunky texture out of the can, but this one is always just right for me.

Ways we Love to Eat this Paleo Homemade Caramel

I mean, you are more than welcome to just eat it with a spoon ; ). But, here are some other ideas:

Paleo Homemade Caramel Topping - Gluten-free, dairy-free, tree nut-free and so easy!


Like I said, only 3 simple ingredients to make this Paleo Homemade Caramel:

  • Canned Coconut Cream – See above notes to make sure you get this one right!
  • Coconut sugar – I get my coconut sugar most affordably from the bulk bins at Winco. When I buy it online, here (1.5 pounds) or here (5lbs, cheaper but in bulk) are the one I get from Amazon.
  • Vanilla – We often can’t afford pure vanilla extract, though that’s ideal. If it’s not accessible to you, vanilla extract is fine.

Paleo Homemade Caramel Topping - Gluten-free, dairy-free, tree nut-free and so easy!

Paleo Homemade Caramel Topping

Autumn @wholefoodfor7
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 cup


  • 1 15 oz can coconut cream, chilled
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Open the chilled coconut cream. Set aside the lighter clear liquid, you will only need the solid white cream part.
  • Combine the coconut cream and coconut sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it reaches a boil, lower heat to medium low and continue to whisk for 10 minutes.
  • Caramel will reduce – thickening and deepening in color. DO NOT stop whisking or you will burn the caramel. Remove from heat and add in vanilla.
  • Caramel will thicken as it cools. Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 month.


If your coconut cream is not separated into the solid white cream and the clear liquid, it might not have chilled long enough. I usually put mine in the fridge overnight. Also, some brands sadly don't separate, I'm not quite sure why. I love using Thai Kitchen brand. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. 5 stars
    This homemade paleo caramel is the best! I make it to dip apples in and for my absolute favorite topping for dairy free coffee ice cream. It’s heaven! Super easy to make and love that i can have a healthier dairy free version.

    • HOORAY for a dairy-free whole food version for all the things. I agree, makes a delicious apple dip and so good on ice cream! Thank you for the review!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made this Autumn, and it was delicious! Can’t wait to mix it up in my afternoon iced coffee!

    One question- I used thrive market canned coconut cream and chilled it overnight. The volume of the solid part was only about one-third of the can. So it only yielded about 4-5 ounces of sauce. About how much actual solid part of the chilled coconut cream should there be? Thank you, because I am going to certainly put it in the rotation!

    • I’m so happy you loved this easy dessert recipe! I use the Thai Kitchen brand of coconut cream and, once chilled, the solid part yielded about one cup. I can adjust the recipe to reflect that amount for clarity. Hope you enjoy it again soon!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe a few months ago and it is still a family favorite! Will never go back to conventional caramel!

    • I’m so happy you loved this recipe and it’s replacing the conventional caramel – wahoo!

  4. 5 stars
    This homemade paleo caramel is the best!! It’s better than regular caramel. I will be maki g this from now on.

    • 5 stars
      We made this last week 😱😱 So Amazing!! Never buying store bought again!!

      • Woot for this easy one being even better than store bought!

  5. 5 stars
    This was so good! Made it tonight. Thank you!


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