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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!

Note: this recipe was first published on November 2018, but has since been updated to provide you guys with more deets ‘n tricks! 

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

Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce

The Definition Of Unbelievable!

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.

And you guys clearly agree… I mean just read through your comments from the past year!

This 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 as you don’t need to watch out as much for crystallization, temperature, etc.

Essentially screw-up-free guys!

So serve it up with some (suuuper creamy!) vanilla ice cream, to finish off our famous ‘apple’ pie, whipped up into some (salted!) caramel ice cream, transformed into turtle candy…. I mean, endless possibilities await!

Oh, and it’s also epic as a fat bomb dipped in chocolate!

Drizzling sugar free caramel onto a slice of keto apple pie with vanilla ice cream
(Mock!) Gluten Free, Low Carb & Keto Apple Pie with Zucchini

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 allulose(my favorite sweetener by a mile really), xylitol (try and use non-corn to avoid tummy problems), and erythritol. And these are the findings!

1. Allulose and xylitol 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!

Pecan keto turtle candy with salted caramel
(Salted Caramel!) Pecan Keto Turtle Candy
Strawberry dipped in keto caramel sauce
Sugar Free, Low Carb & Keto Caramel Sauce

A spoonful of sugar free and keto caramel sauce

(15 Minute!) Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce

Course: Dessert, Sauces
Cuisine: American, European
Keyword: keto caramel, keto caramel sauce
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. 

  3. Note: if your caramel splits (too high temperature is usually the culprit!), you might still be able to save it. Remove it from the heat, allow the mixture to cool down for about 5 minutes, bring it back on the stovetop over low heat, and gently whisk in a tablespoon of water until it comes back together (should happen almost instantly).

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
(15 Minute!) 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.

202 comments

  1. Fernanda Galvez says:

    I really appreciate your recipes but this one was a mess for us, we used xylitol and unfortunately ours burned at minute 14 . I have a gas stove and had it on the lowest setting, so word of caution for others you may have to pull your caramel out sooner. Ours turned out almost too thick so I may try to make it again and stop around the 11 or 12 minute mark .

  2. Elena Martens says:

    This is absolutely perfect ‘caramel’ taste. I was a bit sceptic about how the test will turn out witout any sugar there but i was pleasantly suprised.

  3. Ashley says:

    Mine came out runny! Not thick at all did I do something wrong? I’m leaving it on the stove on simmer for 30min to try to get it thicken!

  4. Nancy says:

    I just made this and it is way too thin….. what did I do wrong? Could it be I used powdered Swerve? I was unsure if it was supposed to be granulated or powdered.

  5. Emma says:

    Hi Paola! I loved this recipe. Just wondering if I can store this at room temp. Or if it needs to be kept in the fridge? I’d also like to know what the shelf life is. 🙂 Thanks!

  6. Connie S. says:

    Just made this sauce today using allulose. First time using that sweetener. The sauce came out luscious! It’s rich and creamy, and looks beautiful. I added 1/2 tsp of molasses (didn’t have black strap so used reg.) But I think I’ll skip that next time. The sauce tastes great. Can’t wait to try it on some keto ice cream!!

  7. Dee says:

    Love this! Thank you for sharing.

    Can this be used to make caramel popcorn?
    Will it harden up on the popcorn or turn soft?

    Thank you so much!

  8. Sara says:

    Has anyone tried turning this into a chocolate-caramel sauce? Would simply melting some dark chocolate into it before it cools do the trick?

    • Sara says:

      So I did try this recipe, using allulose (3 Tb) + powdered Swerve (1 Tb) + Lakanto powdered 2x (1 Tb) as the sweeteners (by weight even), and found the sauce to be quite sweet. Next time I will stick to 4 Tb of sweetener. I also added in Lily’s dark chocolate chips, 6 oz. I started with 4 oz, and it was still very caramelly. I really wanted a hot fudge-sweetened-by-caramel sauce, and that’s what I got. To thin it out a bit, I added an extra tablespoon of heavy cream after all the chocolate. I guessed on the molasses, and probably used closer to half a teaspoon. This was fantastic globbed on top of my low carb no-churn coffee ice cream.

  9. Ana says:

    Just finished using xylitol only and it tastes great. Just wondering about the brown flakes from browning the butter. Do you keep it or strain it?

    Keeping my fingers crossed to see the final result when cold! 🙂

    Thanks!

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