Home » desserts » Unbelievable 15-Minute (Salted!) Caramel Sauce 🍯 gluten free & keto

Unbelievable 15-Minute (Salted!) Caramel Sauce 🍯 gluten free & keto

This sugar-free and keto caramel sauce is truly unbelievable! In just 15 minutes, you’ll end up with a luscious sauce that’s shockingly close to the original in both taste and texture. Oh, and no thickener required!

A spoonful of sugar free and keto caramel sauce
Sugar Free, Low Carb & Keto Caramel Sauce

Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce

Unbelievable, For Real!

Sugar free cooking and baking never ceases to amaze me guys! Other than being slightly less chewy, you’d be hard pressed to find a difference between this keto caramel and the traditional stuff.

Which is fairly unbelievable if you think that caramel is essentially burnt sugar sauce! And guess what? It’s also infinitely easier to whip up than the traditional stuff! You don’t need to watch out for crystallization, temperature, etc. Essentially screw-up-free guys!

So serve it up with some (suuuper creamy!) vanilla ice cream, and just wait to see what I have in store for you guys with this little gem! Oh, and it’s also epic as a fat bomb dipped in chocolate!

The Deets

Because neither sugar alcohols nor allulose burn the same way as sugar, I took the dulce the leche route to bring you this sugar free caramel. This simply means simmering the ingredients together (and cheating a bit here and there).

Now, while dulce de leche requires roughly a 2 hours simmer to reduce and brown the sugar, neither sugar alcohols nor allulose are reducing sugars so that wouldn’t quite do it either. Rather, I opted for a browned-butter base and adding a teaspoon of blackstrap molasses for that burnt sugar kick (and needless to say, a tonne of umami).

Keep in mind that blackstrap molasses is considered a low glycemic sugar. One teaspoon (7g) adds 5g net carbs, so just 0.4g net carbs a serving (i.e. half the sugar of a strawberry!). But carbs aside, it’s also known to be a nutritional powerhouse rich in vital vitamins and minerals; such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Fun fact: Molasses contain high amounts of chromium, which has been studied to increase glucose tolerance levels.

But if it’s still not your thing, read on to the section below for possible subs.

Pouring freshly made keto caramel sauce into a glass jar
Sugar Free, Low Carb & Keto Caramel Sauce

The Sweetener

You’ve got a couple options here, and know that the recipe was thoroughly tested with xylitol, allulose and erythritol. And these are the findings!

1. Allulose and xylitol (non-corn though to avoid tummy troubles!) work equally well. The resulting keto caramel is luscious and sticky, with no thickener required. Plus, both sweeteners keep your caramel ultra smooth, and I didn’t experience any crystallization whatsoever with either.

Note: I’ve been testing different brands of xylitol and have noticed Health Garden and XyloSweet are two solid ones (particularly if you tend to get occasional tummy pangs with the NOW brand).

If using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕

2. Now, erythritol is a bit tricker guys as it tends to crystalize once cool (you can always reheat it?). I did notice that doing about 1/2 erythritol and 1/2 of allulose or xylitol seemed to keep it smooth all the way through.

So if you’re not into the blackstrap molasses, try using of the brown erythritol sweeteners (say Lakanto Golden or Swerve Brown). Just keep in mind that you may need to add a touch of xanthan gum to obtain the thick ‘n sticky results (say 1/8-1/4 tsp, depending on desired thickness).

How much sweetener? Now this is the question. Traditional caramel uses about 1 cup of sugar, but in my opinion 1/3 cup of sweetener for keto palates is more than enough. As allulose is 30% less sweet than sugar (and xylitol), I did 1/2 cup (but you can probably do with just 1/3 cup for a lightly sweetened caramel). With xylitol I tried with 1/4 and 1/3 cup and they both worked great (just depends how sweet you like it, and what you’re using it for). Keto sweet buds are all over the place guys, but the neat thing here is that you can adjust to taste!

Strawberry dipped in keto caramel sauce
Sugar Free, Low Carb & Keto Caramel Sauce
A spoonful of sugar free and keto caramel sauce

Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce

Course: Dessert, Sauces
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: keto, low carb, sugar free
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Servings: 16 tablespoons
Calories: 52 kcal

This sugar-free and keto caramel sauce is truly unbelievable! In just 15 minutes, you'll end up with a luscious sauce that's shockingly close to the original in both taste and texture. Oh, and no thickener required! 

If baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cups for an instant conversion.

Print

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add butter to a small saucepan over medium/low heat and simmer, stirring every so often, until fully browned (about 5 minutes). Add in the sweetener, heavy cream and salt (lower amount, see notes), stirring until fully combined. Add in the molasses (optional), and stir briefly until just combined. 

  2. Simmer over very low heat for 15 minutes (don't stir at all!), taste for seasoning and pour into a glass container of choice. Your caramel should be sticky and thick, but still totally pourable. Use warm or allow to cool completely, and refrigerate for roughly a week. The caramel will thicken up in the fridge (as does regular dulce de leche), so either bring it back to room temperature or heat it up with a little more heavy cream (or say almond milk!) to thin it out a bit. 

Recipe Notes

*I looove salted caramel, and using salted butter adds an incredible depth that you simply don't get by just adding salt. Just be sure to taste for seasoning, as you may not need to add more salt (varies from brand to brand!). 

**Please see section on sweeteners for full deets! How much sweetener? Now this is the question. Traditional caramel uses about 1 cup of sugar, but in my opinion 1/3 cup of sweetener for keto palates is more than enough. As allulose is 30% less sweet than sugar (and xylitol), I did 1/2 cup (but you can probably do with just 1/3 cup for a lightly sweetened caramel). With xylitol I tried with 1/4 and 1/3 cup and they both worked great (just depends how sweet you like it, and what you're using it for). Keto sweet buds are all over the place guys, but the neat thing here is that you can adjust to taste!

Please note that a batch yields roughly 3/4 cup, and nutrition facts were estimated per tablespoon. The blackstrap molasses adds 0.4g net carbs a serving (i.e. half the amount of sugar of a strawberry!).

Nutrition Facts
Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce
Amount Per Serving (1 tablespoon)
Calories 52 Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value*
Fat 5.5g8%
Saturated Fat 3.4g17%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 65mg3%
Potassium 12mg0%
Carbohydrates 0.5g0%
Sugar 0.3g0%
Protein 0.125g0%
Vitamin A 200IU4%
Calcium 7mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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106 comments

  1. Tammy F. says:

    Hi Paola,

    I’m loving your amazing recipes & thoroughly appreciate the tips & tricks you generously include. 😍So many are regulars in our kitchen. 👌🏼
    I am going to make this caramel sauce today but since I’m lactose intolerant I’ll be using coconut cream instead. Have you tried it this way? I’ll let you know how mine turns out!
    Wish me luck!😋

    • How awesome to hear Tammy!! I haven’t tried it personally, but I know a few of you guys have reported back successfully. If you’re successful o would love to know with what coconut milk xo!!

  2. Sue says:

    I have been using erythitrol-monkfruit blend as my sweetener. Can I use it in this recipe and if so, how will it turn out and do I need to make any measurement changes?

  3. Crystal L. says:

    Phenomenal is all I can say about this delicious caramel sauce 😊 I used the exact ingredients (purchased through the links provided-including molasses) that were given and followed the instructions. I thought at first I had messed it up because I stirred it after 15 minutes and it separated 😩 so I went through the comments and saw where you said to try adding a tablespoon of water and let simmer again…. so I did… but I DID NOT STIR it this time and it worked perfectly!!! Thank you so very much for sharing this amazing recipe and this will be my forever go to caramel sauce!! It’s wonderful!!

    • So good to hear Crystal!! It sounds like you need to use lower heat next time so the cream doesn’t split (and thank you for reminding me that I need to add that as a note to the recipe itself!) xo!!

      • Crystal L. says:

        Yes thank you !! I also read that in the comments about lowering the heat !! I am not a very good cook but I am willing to learn and very appreciative of you sharing your knowledge. All the little tips and tricks are so very helpful because I know NOTHING about cooking from scratch! Thank you again!!!

        • I get you girl! I taught myself how to bake and cook in college… so I definitely remember the fails so well (and the early successes!). It’s just a skill that you learn with practice (a loooooot of practice!) 😉 big kiss!

  4. Jessica says:

    OMG….this recipe is fabulous! I have been on keto, and missing my Carmel macchiato! I mix espresso, and vanilla premier protien with whipping cream, and it comes close…but 1 tbsp of this caramel, and I have my favourite morning drink back! I look forward to mornings again! Thank you!

  5. Crystal B says:

    Hi, I’m a bit confused on carbs. I used the xylitol but my package says the xylitol is 4g carb per teaspoon. If I use 1/2 cup that is 96 g of carbs per recipe…not sure how that will work out to 0.4g of carb per tablespoon??

    • Rebekah says:

      Carbs in xylitol don’t count as net carbs, as they don’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels to the extent sugar does. So essentially, xylitol carbs are just empty carbs, much like fiber carbs are never counted in net carbs.

  6. Penny says:

    I just made this for the first time today (I finally got around to buying Allulose) for some homemade Twix bars. OMG… it was so good I immediately made a second batch just to… have! You are consistently awesome. Thank You!!

  7. Janie says:

    After reading all the comments, I really want to make this but my stomach
    can’ t handle xylitol or allulose. What other sweetener can I substitute?

  8. Rebecca Harris says:

    This is INSANE. Up until a few days ago when I made your zucchini apple crumble, I thought that was best keto sweet I’d eaten. Then I did this recipe and it’s AMAZING. Used a touch of maple sugar free flavouring for more colour and taste since I don’t have molasses. But, I also added a touch (a drop) of gravy browning which is apparently similar to molasses. Only thing is, this didn’t yield 3/4 cup. More like 1/2. Any reason for that? Maybe I didn’t use enough cream.. So versatile!! I’m wondering what I can use this on now. This replaces the rubbish sugar free syrups that I’ve bought. Next time I make pancakes…

  9. Ash says:

    Hi,
    I just made this.. it tastes good but looks nothing like yours… also when i tasted it after cooling, it got grainy… n dis urz crystalize on top… mine did ! What could it be … btw i had no xylitol so used erythritol. Can tht make a difference?

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Ash! If you read the section on sweeteners it says that if you use Erythritol that’s what will happen 😉 xo!

  10. Happy Camper says:

    Wow! This caramel sauce is out-of-this-world delicious. The first time I made this, was for your sticky pecan rolls… And I was instantly hooked. I seriously had thoughts of just drinking the stuff and going with cinnamon rolls instead! So when I dared venturing to another site (gasp!) to make a chocolate Greek cake reminiscent of tres leches… And it turned out terrible!… I knew this caramel sauce would salvage the 9×13″ mess I had. And let me tell you:. I poured a double recipe over the top, let it soak in… And it was so incredibly decadent and delicious, that I highly recommend it inspiring future recipes. Thank you. And I won’t venture from your site again. You really know what you’re doing, lady!! 🙂

  11. Leide Galhardo says:

    Hi Paola, thank you for the awesome recipe! I’m wondering when should I add the xanthan gum if not using blackstrap molasses? Thanks!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Leide! At the end, you may need to use an immersion blender (or actual blender) to get rid or any lumps xo!

  12. Zahrah says:

    Seriously, thank you for this recipe! It’s been so hard to find a Keto caramel recipe that doesn’t involve additional thickeners and complicated steps. I just made this recipe and it was SO easy, and so delicious. This is definitely going to be a go-to for me!

  13. Janet in Boulder says:

    I’ve been eyeing this recipe for a while. Don’t know why (hindsight) but felt a little intimidated because caramel sauce takes skill and patience, right? This was so easy and incredibly delicious! Will make this again and again! I had a hard time finding blackstrap molasses so used organic unsulphured molasses instead. Wowy, wow! So glad the recipe kept beckoning!!

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      I don’t blame you… even I postponed trying it for a while as caramel is notoriously finicky! Oh surprise that the keto version is 10000 times easier lol! Glad you decided to try it Janet, it is one of my favorites from the site 😉 xo!

  14. Kay says:

    O……..M………..G!!!!!!!!! This caramel sauce is absolutely amazing. It has saved my Keto life. My pancakes have went from “meh,” to “wow” and don’t even get me started on putting it on a chocolate mug cake; out of this world.
    Thank you for such an amazing recipe and showing us that things can still taste amazing on a keto diet.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Diane is the US Cups button below the ingredients not working?

      1/4 cup grass-fed butter salted or unsalted*
      1/4-1/2 cup allulose or xylitol**
      1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
      1/4-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
      1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses optional**

  15. Lisa says:

    The molasses says 14 g carbs. I take it that the carb count listed at the end of the recipe is the sauce without the molasses added.

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Copy and paste from the post 😉

      One teaspoon (7g) adds 5g net carbs, so just 0.4g net carbs a serving (i.e. half the sugar of a strawberry!). But carbs aside, it’s also known to be a nutritional powerhouse rich in vital vitamins and minerals; such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

  16. Bix says:

    Hi Paola,

    just tried this and read through the comments above too. Mine completely seperated at the 15min mark, and yes, it may have been too hot, but I have poured into a sterilized jar and syphoned off 40 g of floating butter. The taste is insane and is perfect for my too bitter keto chocolate truffles I made as a topping. Will try and get the blend perfected, but fine for the moment and less 40g calories too haha that I can use somewhere else Bx

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Hi Bix! Yeah its just something that happens as the cream splits when it gets too hot… in fact, it happened to me a couple months back when I moved to a new apartment and I was still ‘getting to know’ my new appliance. Sometimes you can get it back if you add a tablespoon or two of water, maybe worth reheating it and see if you can save it? Hope it helps xo!

  17. Kimberly C says:

    This is awesome. Using it to top some coconut ice cream I made last night. Mmmmmm. Just one question that is really more about aesthetics. It seem like the butter solids (guessing that’s what it is) stayed on top during the simmer. I did whisk it in before I poured it into my glass jar but some formed on top again. Any idea why? I used regular salted butter (not grass fed or organic). Still tastes great though!!

  18. Kristina says:

    This caramel sauce is OFF THE HOOK!! I used a really good grass fed butter and followed all the directions using xylitol. I was a little hesitant when milk solids started to foam at the top but I just whisked it near the end and it was perfect! One thing is I’ll use less Xylitol next time because it was just a touch too sweet with just under half a cup. I drizzled it on microwave whiskey Keto mug cake… oh my looord – so good. It was quite liquidy but the next day after having it in the fridge it was the perfect consistency at room temp and like a caramel fudge right out of the fridge. I’ll never stop making this! Thank you xo

  19. Millie Battenfield says:

    I was so hopeful about this, following directions to a T… I used Xylitol. Mine separated upon cooling and burnt when I tried simmering again without stirring.
    I’d really love to make this successfully… any chance you would be willing to post a video the next time you make it. I think a visual might be really helpful. Ty 🙂

    • Paola van der Hulst says:

      Sounds like the heat was too high Millie (try whisking in a TBSP of water and see if it comes back together). I get you on the videos, but I had an accident back in June and still figuring out my mobility 😉 xo

      • Millie says:

        Understandable, I hope your recovery is going well. I’ll give this another try with the heat a bit lower. Thank you! You are doing amazing things for low carbing!

  20. JoAnn Reed says:

    OMG! OMG! OMG! You truly are the best KETO Baker in the world! Tried the caramel sauce tonight and it was amazing. Waiting for it to cool so I can pour it over some pecans to make your Pecan Turtles. Thank you thank you thank you for continuing to bring happy and joy to us KETO followers. 🙂

    PS – Oh yeah and you bet I’m going to try this as a substitute in my morning latte!

  21. Truely says:

    Amazingly easy! I used Allulose for the sweetener, ghee in place of butter and I did add the molasses. The molasses adds the perfect color and flavor. This recipe worked like a charm. I’ve made caramel using erythritol and it did get grainy.

  22. Louise Bruno says:

    Hello Paola,

    Thank you for another wonderful Keto recipe! I made this delicious carmel sauce for the thumbprint cookies for Christmas and they were just what I needed as my family munched on traditional gluten and sugar laden cookies. I’m wondering how long it will safely stay good to use in the refrigerator?

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