Everyday Vegan Cooking

Vegan Recipes for Everyday Meals

Vegan Salted Caramels Recipe

**** At the bottom of this post you can find a printable recipe ****

Well, this is the real thing.  Just like the store bought Fran’s salted caramels, but vegan. Trust me on this, they are the same, the only difference is that you will not pay $30 for 20 little pieces. this recipe’s ingredients cost about $10 and will yield more than one hundred (close to two hundreds) of these chewy caramels, covered with the chocolate of your choice. I used Valrhona 70% dark chocolate that you can find at any Trader Joe’s – super high quality.

Two things I would do differently next time I make these caramels:

1.  After covering the caramels with chocolate, I will place the covered caramels on a cooling rack (above a parchment paper), so I will not have to cut the extra chocolate with a knife after it cools.

2. I will take better pictures [many of the photos here taken with my (amazing) cell phone camera (lumia 1520)]. I didn’t plan to post about this, but only a month later I realized that I can’t find a similar recipe online, so I decided to share it as is. Next time I make it, I will update the post with some better pictures.

So…how did I get to this recipe?

I got this link  to a vegan caramels recipe from my friend Linda (check out her AMAZING blog)  who made vegan sneaker bars. The Vegan caramels recipe called for 1 cup of Margarine and 2 cups of soy milk.  Since I don’t have margarine in my fridge, and I don’t like to use it anyways, I decided to substitute the milk and margarine with 2.5 cups of coconut cream (most of the content of two cans). It proved to be working great. The caramels are chewy and creamy with a very faint coconut flavor that almost no one will notice. Since this recipe yields many many caramels, many friends and family have tried them (vegans and non-vegans) and all, with no exception just went immediately for another one (or two or five lol) after trying the first.

Before you start gathering the ingredients for this recipe, make sure you have a sugar thermometer and a tall pot/pan.

So, here is how you make some amazing chocolate covered vegan salted caramels.  BTW, you can skip the chocolate altogether and just eat the caramels if you prefer as the original recipe that inspired me (link).

Vegan Caramels recipe

Ingredients:

2.5 cups of coconut cream

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp Vanilla extract or any other flavor you like your caramels  (mint / cardamon / ginger/ cayenne etc’ )

Directions:

Before you start, line with parchment paper a 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan.

1. Put all the ingredients besides the vanilla, in a tall pot/pan – at least 5 times tall as the height of the ingredients and mix well. During the boiling process, the cream tend to expand with bubbles quite a bit.

2. Put the thermometer in a way that it does not touch the bottom of the pot.

3. Bring the ingredients to boil, stir occasionally, then cook over medium head until it reaches 240F (soft ball) to 245F degrees.  Please note, it might take up to 20 minutes to get to 220F (as all water evaporates), but about a minute or two later, you’ll be at 240F. If you are not careful and you will let the candy go above 245F, the caramels will not be as chewy and will be more similar to a hard candy if you reach 260F (once cooled down).

Vegan Salted Caramels

4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

5. pour into the lined baking pan. Allow  it to cool completely (about 5 hours or over night).

Vegan Salted Caramels

6. Cut it with a clean sheers (if you reached 245F) or with a plastic/metal scraper.

Vegan Salted Caramels

7. If you are just after the caramels, wrap them individually with wax paper. If you would like to cover them with chocolate (YUM), proceed to the next steps.

Cover Vegan Caramels with Chocolate

8. Cut the caramels to pieces in the size you would like to cover and put in the freezer to at least one hour. They don’t have to be at the same size or shape, it will taste the same, have fun!

Vegan Salted Caramels

9. Melt chopped chocolate (about 200 grams)  over steaming water (bain marie)

Vegan Salted Caramels

10. After the chocolate melted (mix well with a small whisk), remove from heat. Grab a fork (chocolate fork as seen in below picture is preferred) and a spoon. Drop the frozen caramels one by one into the melted chocolate. Use the spoon to take the caramel out of the chocolate and place on the fork, allow the excess to drip.

Vegan Salted Caramels

11. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with some crushed gray sea salt, if you like, and let it cool completely.   ***if you put it on a cooling rack, the outcome will look even better. make sure to put some parchment paper below the cooling rack.

Vegan Salted Caramels

12. Repeat.

Vegan Salted Caramels

13. After the caramels cooled completely, you can easily cut the chocolate excess from the rims using a knife and put it in your mouth 🙂

That’s it. Totally worth it, if you are missing some chocolate covered salted caramels.

Vegan Salted Caramels

A look inside:

Vegan Salted Caramels

See the rims after I cut the excess with a knife? you will not have it if you use a cooling rack.

Vegan Salted Caramels

4.5 from 13 reviews
Vegan Salted Caramels Recipe
 
Before you start, line with parchment paper a 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan. Also make sure that you have a sugar thermometer
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 2.5 cups of coconut cream
  • 2 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract or any other flavor you like your caramels (mint / cardamon / ginger/ cayenne etc' )
Instructions
Before you start, line with parchment paper a 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan.
  1. Put all the ingredients besides the vanilla, in a tall pot/pan - at least 5 times tall as the height of the ingredients and mix well. During the boiling process, the cream tend to expand with bubbles quite a bit.
  2. Put the thermometer in a way that it does not touch the bottom of the pot.
  3. Bring the ingredients to boil, stir occasionally, then cook over medium head until it reaches 240F (soft ball) -245F degrees. Please note, it might take up to 20 minutes to get to 220F (as all water evaporates), but about a minute or two later, you'll be at 240F. If you are not careful and you will let the candy go above 245F, the caramels will not be chewy and will be more similar to a hard candy if you reach 260F (once cooled down).
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  5. pour into the lined baking pan. Allow it to cool completely (about 5 hours or over night).
  6. Cut it with a clean sheers (if you reached 245F) or with a plastic/metal scraper.
  7. If you are just after the caramels, wrap them individually with wax paper. If you would like to cover them with chocolate (YUM), proceed to the next steps.
Covering the caramels with Chocolate
  1. Cut the caramels to pieces in the size you would like to cover and put in the freezer to at least one hour. They don't have to be at the same size or shape, it will taste the same, have fun!
  2. Melt chopped chocolate (about 200 grams) over steaming water (bain marie)
  3. After the chocolate melted (mix well with a small whisk), remove from heat. Grab a fork (chocolate fork as seen in below picture is preferred) and a spoon. Drop the frozen caramels one by one into the melted chocolate. Use the spoon to take the caramel out of the chocolate and place on the fork, allow the excess to drip.
  4. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with some crushed gray sea salt, if you like, and let it cool completely. ***if you put it on a cooling rack, the outcome will look even better. make sure to put some parchment paper below the cooling rack.
  5. Repeat.
  6. After the caramels cooled completely, you can easily cut the chocolate excess from the rims using a knife and put it in your mouth 🙂

 

24 Comments

  1. ohhhhh. I miss Fran’s chocolate salted caramels so much. They ARE super expensive.

    Thanks for sharing, I will make this recipe soon, just need to buy this sugar thermometer lol

    Miranda

  2. Guy Mugrabi

    May 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    Thank you Miranda, I’m sure you will love it.

  3. I made the caramels during the weekend. They ARE truly amazing and I could not notice the coconut flavor at all – which is good.

    Thank you!

  4. I have a question about the vegan caramels. The recipe calls for Cream of Coconut. Apparently, there is sweetened or unsweetened. Which one should I use to make the caramels? Thanks!

    • Guy Mugrabi

      October 29, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hi Dee,
      Thank you for your question.
      I used an unsweetened coconut cream.
      Let me know how it turn out!

      Guy

  5. I have a nephew with tree nut allergies and I don’t want to take any risk using the coconut cream. Is there any way I could use rice milk in place of the coconut cream?

    • Guy Mugrabi

      November 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

      Hi Marina,

      Thank you for your comment.

      Coconut cream has a very high fat content and I’ve used it to replace the margarine called for in the following recipe:
      http://www.grouprecipes.com/31122/vegan-caramels.html

      In the above link you can find a recipe that calls for soy milk and margarine. You can easily substitute the soy milk with rice milk to get similar results.

      Thanks again for being a reader of this blog.

      Guy

  6. My caramels are rock hard. I’m so confused because I bought a candy thermometer and brought it to the 240 stage ?? I left them overnight as shown in the recipe and when I woke it was like a rock. So disappointing because I don’t know what I did wrong.

    • Guy Mugrabi

      December 29, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Hi Dec,

      The texture of the caramels is determined by the temperature the sugar reaches.
      At 240F, the sugar reaches the soft ball stage, in which the caramel should have a very chewy texture that takes the shape of a container after few minutes if put aside at room temperature.

      The only way to explain a rock hard caramel is that the sugar had reached a temperature higher than 250F (firm ball). It could be an issue with the thermometer or thermometer setup (did it touch the bottom of the pot? it shouldn’t)

      As I’ve also mentioned in the post, it takes a while to reach 220F (all water content evaporates) but then it can take only a couple of minutes to reach and exceed 245F (which will give you a harder caramel). In addition, once you’ve reached a temperature between 240F and 245F, you should remove the pot from the heat source immediately.

      Don’t give up and try it again, it worth it and very rewarding. I’ve also failed a couple of times to reach the 240F-245F (exceeded it) and got a hard candy.

      Thank you for your comment and a happy new year!

      Guy

  7. I just made these for the first time after making regular caramels for more than 40 years. I let it go to 245 degrees, the taste is fabulous, and the caramels are firm to hard. I am trying another batch and only letting the temperature go to 240 degrees for a chewy caramel.

    • Guy Mugrabi

      December 29, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      Hi Beth,

      Glad you liked it. I once brought them to work and told no one that they were vegan 🙂 No one could tell the difference. They actually taste better then the cheap caramels you can buy in stores that contain a very cheap fat content.

      Let me know how you liked the chewy version.

      Happy new year to you and family.

      Guy

  8. I just found your site and am so excited to try these carmels. I have a question though. You call for coconut cream, I also saw you wanted it to be unsweetened, could you tell me what brand I should be looking for. I have never bought coconut cream before. Thank-you for your time, Suzie

    • Guy Mugrabi

      February 4, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Suzie,

      I bought mine at Trader Joe’s but almost any brand will do. You have to look at the fat content of the coconut cream you buy. 80%-95% of the calories should come from fat.

      Hope that helps and sorry for taking a couple of days to get back to you.

      Guy

  9. Hi. I made this recipe and my vegan friends said it was the best vegan salted caramel they have ever tasted. However, I’ve noticed that, during storage (airtight container, cool dark room) that the once smooth caramel is now very gritty. I’m assuming either or both the salt/sugar have started to crystallise. Is there anyway of prolonging the shelf life? Thanks in advance

    • Guy Mugrabi

      May 28, 2016 at 5:54 pm

      Hi Anita,

      Aren’t they delicious?!

      I haven’t noticed any crystallization in mine, but they usually don’t last more than a couple of days 🙂
      I did however freeze some leftover caramels for over a month and they were defrosting to a perfect texture. Perhaps freezing and defrosting would help, but I would give the recipe another try before coming into conclusion that they will always become gritty after (how many?) few days.
      Please share your feedback if that happened more than once.

      Guy

  10. Thank you Guy – your directions are so detailed – great job! I did want to clarify something — when you refer to “coconut cream” — are you referring to the usually sweet stuff found in the U.S. that is ordinarily added to tropical drinks, or are you referring to “coconut milk” that’s often used in Asian cooking? (Someone referred to “unsweetened” coconut cream – which I’ve never come across — so I wanted to make sure…) Thanks again — an extreme allergy elimination diet for my son has forced us to experiment with new ingredients – finding something delicious and familiar is a rare treat! Monica

    • Guy Mugrabi

      June 11, 2016 at 11:57 am

      Hi Monica,
      In “coconut cream” I refer to the product that comes in cans and usually has a very high fat content. If you look at the calories from fat on the can nutrition facts you should see that at least 90% of the calories comes from fat. On my can it is 120 out of 140 calories that are coming from fat.

      Here is the specific product I’ve used in this recipe, but there are many others out there…
      https://www.amazon.com/Trader-Joes-Coconut-Cream-Pack/dp/B00A6BHDOE

      Thanks for being a reader and let me know if you make it, how it turned out.

      Guy

  11. Hello! I tried these recently and for some reason my caramels came out crystalline and sugary, not chewy. I even made extra sure it stayed lower than 245F. Do you have any idea why they wouldn’t turn out chewy?

    • Guy Mugrabi

      February 17, 2017 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Nikoli,

      Sorry for getting back to you so late. My email notification system stopped working last summer and I’ve missed many comments.

      Regarding crystallization. I’ve read about some theories regarding this issue and about people experiencing it sometimes with no obvious reason. Did you use light corn syrup? this should prevent the crystallization. Found this explanation here: https://food52.com/hotline/16577-why-did-the-sugar-crystallize-in-my-caramel-sauce-i-assume-i-cooked-it-too-long
      “Sucrose (table sugar) readily crystallizes, especially in high concentrations. Two tactics that can prevent unwanted crystals are the use of an acid and the inclusion of glucose in the mix. The acid helps to split sucrose, a double sugar, into its two component parts, glucose and fructose, which are far less likely to crystallize. Corn syrup, which is basically glucose, mixes with sucrose and physically interferes with the formation of crystals.”

      Another advice would be to mix the caramel well, right before you pour it into the pan.

      As for the consistency. I would highly recommend replacing your thermometer if you got rock hard candy instead of a chewy candy.

      Hope that helps and sorry again for my late reply…

      Guy

  12. Thank you for the great recipe! I tried another one before yours and it bombed big time. These came out perfectly. I chocolate covered some and wrapped the rest. So good 🙂

  13. I made these this evening hoping to put them in the stocking of my lovely hubby who has a diary and soy allergy and I followed the recipe exactly (I have a biochemistry degree so I know how to follow directions, and I also know my way around a kitchen), I heated the caramel to exactly 243 degrees F and they turned out rock hard (though delicious).

    I think the confusion here comes from adding all the ingredients to the pot initially, most caramel recipes call for heating the sugar mixture first to a higher temp, then adding the fat and then returning to 240 degrees. Whatever the reason, this recipe simply doesn’t work. Buyer beware! (Plus it will harden onto your stove, pan, etc, like a devil).

    The majority of the 5 star reviews are from people who didn’t actually try the recipe or the author himself.

    • Guy Mugrabi

      February 17, 2017 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Molly,

      Sorry for getting back to you this late, I have an issue with the email notification system that I’m trying to resolve and apparently, I’ve been missing many comments. 🙁

      I appreciate you trying the recipe and providing me with feedback.

      As one who appreciates science as well, I did not invent or researched the temperature for which the caramel should reach in order to be soft and chewy. The firm ball stage Firm should allow you to forms a firm ball that will not flatten by itself, but remains malleable and will flatten when squeezed. The temperature for the Firm Ball stage is 242° F–248° F/116° C–120° C. There’s nothing you or I can do about this. It’s pure science. Rock hard caramels can be obtained in temperatures that are higher than 250F. If you would take my advice on this after the mishap you had, I would suggest replacing your thermometer, or make sure the tip of the thermometer is not touching the bottom of the pan.

      As for the hardening onto the pan. You can just add a little water to the pan and bring to a boil. The mess will be cleaned easily. Hot boiling water will clean your stove as well, as the sugar melts and dissolves in water.

      I’ve tried this recipe at least a dozen time with repeated success. Nevertheless, I’m always happy to help others troubleshoot as I know I’m not perfect in writing instructions in English as it is my second language. I always appreciate any constructive feedback.

      Hope you give this recipe another chance.

      Guy

      I’ll start from the

  14. These sound wonderful!
    The only problem I have here is with your math.
    Your instructions are to line a 8 x 8 inch pan.
    Your yield is: close to 200 caramels.
    How is this possible?

    • Guy Mugrabi

      February 17, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      Hi Levana,

      Sorry for responding so late, my email notifications about new comments on the site stopped working some three months ago… 🙁
      it would be easier for me to do the math for you in cm instead of inches.

      The height for the caramels is about 1cm, the length is about 2cm and the width is about 1.5cm. So an area of 8″x8″ is about 20cm X20cm or 15cm (that fits 10 caramels in width) X 50cm (that fits 25 caramels in length), that gives us about 250 caramels!

      I hope my math makes sense to you 🙂 I got about 200 caramels and that’s the reason I wrote this number.

      Guy

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