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!
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!
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.
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!
And… the video story!
(15 Minute!) Sugar Free & Keto Caramel Sauce
- 56 g grass-fed butter salted or unsalted*
- 1/4-1/2 cup allulose or xylitol**
- 118 ml heavy whipping cream
- 1/4-3/4 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses optional**
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
Wel now I’m in love with browned butter! I us 50/50 erythritol xylitol but it didn’t thicken. I tried the 1/2tsp arrowroot powder suggested by someone and it worked! PS next time I’m adding a bit of brandy to try to capture my mother’s brandy sauce!
Question: I know you said using all erythritol would crystalize but maybe in a way that would make this hard but pliable for wrapped soft toffees?? That would be so fun.
Ooooh the brandy idea sounds *chef’s kiss*! I’ve actually never tried boozy caramel… mmmmm, thank you for sharing Lulu I’ll def try this too 🙂
And re soft toffees… erythritol wont work (you will just end up chewing your way through minty crystals), but last year trying to make caramel popcorn I ended up with an interesting discovery in one batch that adding baking soda to a variation of this allulose caramel actually ends up giving you a super chewy toffee texture. But I also ended up cooking it for so long that the allulose was a super weird dark orange color that also stained my pot… so work in progress lol, but taste and texture were def there!
I just found this site and I’m in love 🥰. My caramel was just not thickening after 15 minutes. So I follow the tip to wait 5 minutes and try again…it was a no go. So I raised the tempt to high and whisked away while it bubbled and lighten in color! And it worked! Delicious caramel. I’m so pleased. Thanks for the recipe!!!!
Oh wonderful to hear Makenzie, thanks for taking the time to share 🙂
Plus (and vip!), it sounds like you’re naturally intuitive in the kitchen. Sometimes stoves, ovens etc run different and its important to not follow me blindly (lol, I know!). xo and welcome to gnom-gnom!
OMG, made the recipe as written. I used Xylitol from Health Garden.
This is so delicious! I added some pecans when I served it over Bryers vanilla ice cream. It’s sweet and super tasty. I can’t believe it’s low carb! Ty!
I can’t find blackstrap molasses specifically, is regular molasses ok? I found one that says “unsulphured”?
Yes that works!
I made this with allulose and when it cooled, it separated. What did I do wrong?
I saw the last paragraph you wrote. I did what you said to save it. I’m waiting to see if it separates again on cooling. I had it on the lowest my stovetop would go. Not sure what I could do different?
I made this carmel recipe exactly as you said & it turned out GREAT!!! Thank you!!
I used lakanto monk fruit sweetener with erythrinol. Mine also came out very runny I did let it cool down I did add a tablespoon of water but I also added a little bit maybe half a teaspoon of air route and I heated it up and stir it until it started getting thick and then once it was the consistency I wanted. I let it sit off the heat until it was cooler but still warm. And then I poured it into my jar. It came out great and I would think that any type of thickener would work if the water issue doesn’t or if yours turns out to be not as thick as you’d like it
Do you use powdered or liquid allulose for this recipe?
I used powdered (I’m guessing liquid will work… but can’t tell you exact amounts) xo!
Powdered in the sense of finely grounded like confectioner, or simply granular…? Sorry for the silly question, but I was wondering how to improve the texture and solubility. In EU allulose isn’t still allowed, so here we’ll have to use something else, like erythritol (personally avoiding xylitol: 3 pups here!), even if I’ve read it gives more satisfying results (except for crispiness making cookies soft) in many recipes without aftertaste and without any BG nor insulin spike… Lucky you overseas 😉
You know Roberta, it doesn’t seem to matter with erythritol if its powdered or granular in its solid state… once you melt it and it cools down, you will get crystals in your caramel (this is why it works so well to get crisp cookies, it always reverts back to its original molecular structure after melting and cooling). I do believe allulose should be approved soon-ish though! I feel you though, used to live in London a decade ago and I remember when stevia was all the rage and it was banned in the EU…! xo!
Does this recipe work for making turtles? The Carmel sets up solid with turtles. I don’t want this to be gooey or sticky
Def! There’s even a recipe in the blog (just search on the top right corner for it!) 😉
Can this be made with powdered stevia?
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 .
Can coconut milk be used in place of whipping cream?
No it will not become thick and it doesn’t bind well.
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.
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!
What sweetener did you use Ashley? Can you give me more info to help diagnose please (did you sub anything, for instance)? xo!
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.
Hi Nancy! As stated in the post, Swerve (i.e. erythritol sweeteners) have a tendency to crystalize. For best results please use allulose or xylitol xo!
I will try with the allulose. The taste was amazing though, and it did get thick in the fridge!
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!
Awesome to hear Emma! Please keep it in the fridge xo!
Dairy products always need to be stored in the refrigerator.
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!!
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!
Has anyone tried turning this into a chocolate-caramel sauce? Would simply melting some dark chocolate into it before it cools do the trick?
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.
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! 🙂
It’s the brown bits in the butter that give it the sweet flavour, so I would definitely keep those in!!!
Does anyone know if the Swerve brown sugar would be a substitute for molasses?
I just re-read your notes about Swerve and duh…nvm thanks
how and how long may this sauce be stored?
I use this recipe to make fat bombs. For the caramel, my favorite sweetener is Sola. It’s expensive, but I only use about 1/4 cup. Sola never gets grainy like erythritol (even powdered Swerve gets grainy after cooling for me). I stir in chopped toasted pecans, pour into my mini cup silicon mold, freeze for an hour, then pop them out and keep them in my fridge. Absolutely decadent. Hits that caramel spot perfectly.