Looking for a paleo recipe for homemade natural caramel – especially one that’s super easy and doesn’t require a candy thermometer? You found it!
Oh. My. Goodness.
This is seriously delicious stuff. I’ve always loved caramel, but when I decided to stop buying products that contained corn syrup, I thought my days of gooey, buttery sweetness had come to an end.
Oh, how wrong I was.
I started looking for a paleo-ish recipe for homemade natural caramel before Thanksgiving, in the hopes of having the perfect dessert – something that tasted delicious, but that even my newly-paleo SIL could partake of. It seemed pretty futile at first – most basic caramel recipes called for both corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk. Neither ingredient was allowed. Bummer.
Then, when I searched the term “real caramel,” I hit upon this link – and it all seemed so simple. I just needed one thing – some form of sugar; the rest was just to fill out the flavor and texture. I found the simplest recipe that I could, and then just subbed out everything that was a no-go; guess what? It turned into caramel. Yummy, wonderful caramel.
It’s only fair to warn you: this stuff is unbelievable. So good that I had to exercise every ounce of self-control to keep myself from just eating the whole jar with a spoon. In one sitting. It’s also a very dangerous recipe to share, because it’s such an easy recipe and comes together very quickly – no candy thermometers are needed.
It’s not like it’s just my freakish real-food tastebuds enjoying this, either. I offered a spoonful to my hubby without telling him what it was. After his initial skepticism (he tends to taste my “chick food” with just the tiniest dip of his finger and teensiest taste of his tongue), he devoured the whole amount, proclaiming it better than storebought. There was a slight moment of panic when I said, “Oh, good, because I used healthy ingredients.” Once I told him what I meant by “healthy,” though, he was fine with it. As long as it wasn’t made out of squash or something, he loved it.
Feel free to modify this recipe according to your own wants and needs. Like salted caramel? Add extra salt. Don’t use coconut oil? Use butter. Maybe use half honey, half maple syrup for the liquid in the recipe rather than all one or the other. And don’t be afraid to try out sweeteners other than coconut sugar (that’s just what I had on hand). Try this out with sucanat, rapadura, turbinado – whatever you’ve got!
Also, note that the texture is exactly like a normal caramel - it’s a sauce when it’s warm and a solid when it’s cool. You could probably get it to remain a sauce if you added something to thin it out (such as cream, or coconut milk).
Enjoy – I know I have!
Homemade Natural Caramel:
- 2/3 c. natural sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1/2 c. honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil (or butter, if you don’t need it to be Paleo)
- Scant 1/8 tsp. real salt
- 2 tsp. real vanilla
Combine first four ingredients in a saucepan; stir until oil is melted over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer, then stir constantly for about two minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Use this as you would any other caramel! Drizzled over any dessert, served with apple slices, maybe stirred into your coffee, cocoa or cider (what? I can’t be the only one who likes a little caramel in my hot cider!). Just don’t make it too far in advance if you’re planning on using it for a holiday party or dinner – it’ll probably be too much of a temptation, and might not last that long!
Happy holiday baking!!!