Slow cooker date caramel is an easy and decadent treat. This healthy and insanely addicting sweet treat will soon become something you can’t live without. An amazing snack to make in bulk and have on hand at all times. Also makes a wonderful and thoughtful homemade gift.
You MUST make this recipe! I am not kidding when I say it is life changing. It's beyond delicious and a super healthy treat - all at the same time. The perfect food (IMHO!)
Homemade date caramel is an easy recipe to make and it lasts quite a while in the fridge. I like to make a lot and put it on EVERYTHING (see serving suggestions below)!
Where I live, the types of dates I see most are Medjool dates and dried Deglet Noor dates. I have made this recipe with both. Medjool dates are softer and easier to blend.
Dried dates are the type of dates I prefer to use. They often come already pitted (I am too lazy to remove all those pits). Plus, they tend to be less expensive.
To make this simple recipe, you will need:
- Dates - whole dates
- Coconut milk*
- Non-stick cooking spray
Start by spraying your crock pot with a non-stick cooking spray. Place whole pitted sticky dates into the slow cooker. Add in some of the coconut milk and all of the vanilla and salt.
The white showed in this picture is the solid part of the full fat coconut milk that has separated in the can. Be sure to include all of this in your recipe to ensure the creamiest finished product.
Cover and cook on the high setting until the dates are swollen and soft looking. This generally takes me a couple of hours.
Next, add in the remaining coconut milk and use an immersion blender* to begin to turn your cooked dates into caramel. The longer you blend your dates, the creamier the caramel will become.
Taste your blended dates. You can add in an extra dash of vanilla or a pinch of salt based on your personal preferences.
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy your vegan caramel sauce! I love to dip fruits such as apple slices, pear slices and banana slices. Strawberries and blackberries also great dipped this vegan date caramel sauce. As is dark chocolate!
It is great to spread onto a sandwich with peanut butter, almond butter, or sunflower seed butter. Really, any nut butter will do! Spreading the natural caramel flavor of this sweet treat on cinnamon rolls is decadent.
I even use it to sweeten healthy peanut butter and oatmeal power balls (I will share the recipe for this soon!). AND - It is amazing on top of ice cream and nice cream!! PLUS- if you are a salted caramel lover (and who isn't) just sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt!
The natural sugars in this healthy caramel sauce are the perfect, refined sugar-free way to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you like things super sweet (like me!) this is a great topping for apple pie. You can also stir some into hot chocolate or hot oatmeal for a caramel flavor boost.
- If you are not a fan of coconut milk, you can use most other dairy-free milk. Almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk are all great options. I have only made a vegan version of this delicious caramel sauce. If you try it with heavy cream or any other dairy products, I would love to hear about it. Please share in the comment section below!
- No immersion blender? No worries! You can use a traditional high-powered blender or food processor to turn your dates into caramel. The only thing to consider is that you must be extremely cautious when transferring the date mixture. It will be VERY hot!
The easy date caramel should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can last for several weeks that way (but it is never around long enough)
When you refrigerate your date caramel, it will get thicker as it cools. You will ultimately have more of a date paste than a sauce. It will soften a bit as it warms up to room temperature.
If you love this recipe, please let me know in the comment section below!
😉Hints & hacks
- Your date caramel will have a grainier texture than regular caramel sauce. This is normal. However, the longer you blend it, the smoother it will become. You can also stir in some additional non-dairy milk for a thinner/silkier texture.
- Homemade date caramel makes a GREAT gift! It is a healthy way to share a sweet treat (that I think is better than the real thing!).
- Full fat coconut milk will often separate in it's storage container/can. The coconut cream rises to the top of the liquid. Include both the liquid and the coconut fat in your recipe for the creamiest finished product.
- I generally recommend using a slow cooker liner for easy cleanup. However, if you are using an immersion blender, it is best to skip the liner. If the immersion blender blades get caught on the liner, you will have shredded liner in your sauce.
- In the market for a new slow cooker?? I love mine!
- Each crockpot is different. The first time you make this dish, you may need to watch it a little more closely. Try stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ensure that nothing is burning on the bottom. I have not experienced any burning issues when making this recipe.
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Slow Cooker Date Caramel
- 3.5 slow cooker or smaller
- measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing Spoon
- 2.5 Cups pitted, sundried dates about 70 dates
- 13.5 Oz can full fat coconut milk divided
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ Tsp salt
- non-stick cooking spray
- spray slow cooker with non stick cooking spraynon-stick cooking spray
- add dates to the bottom of the slow cooker2.5 Cups pitted, sundried dates
- add one cup of coconut milk13.5 Oz can full fat coconut milk
- add in salt and vanilla and stir to combine½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon salt
- cook on high until dates are super soft and large.
- add in the rest of the coconut milk and fully blend with immersion blender until smooth
- allow to cool enough to eat and devour!
**This recipe was inspired by Baked By Melissa's Date Caramel!