Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche (sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan)

Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche (sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan)
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So “keto dulce de leche” might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re looking for a tasty recipe to make, but for some reason I had a pretty serious hankering for some low carb caramel-type treat the other day. I was completely aware that finding a sugar-free, dairy-free caramel that actually tastes good is probably not going to happen and that I would have to make my own if I wanted to make any keto caramel treats. So, after some internet recipe research and six actual attempts with different amounts of ingredients, this keto coconut dulce de leche was born.

Right off the bat, I’ll point out that this is a really quick recipe in comparison to traditional dulce de leche, which is cooked down for a few hours. It’s also a little lighter than traditional recipes, as sugar alcohols don’t really brown. What I love about this quick dairy-free keto caramel is that it only took about 15 minutes to whip up, and didn’t require too much sweetener.

I’ve been putting this on keto nice cream for about a week now, as well as eating it straight out of the jar, along with some peanut butter. I think that might be the winner: spoon + keto caramel + peanut butter = happiness.

Like every recipe on this blog, this low-carb coconut caramel sauce is gluten-free – I don’t know where the gluten would come from, but I’m sure I could find a caramel that contains some sort of wheat out there. It’s also dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free and totally vegan.

Vegan Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche | - This rich and creamy vegan keto dulce de leche is super easy to make and tastes delicious on top of ice cream, brownies and pretty much any low carb dessert you can think of! This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and sugar-free, so almost everyone can enjoy it!

Notes onΒ Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche (sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan)

  • I used full-fat canned coconut milk for this recipe, and it really needs the fat from that to become caramel. I haven’t tried it with other non-dairy kinds of milk, though. As I do experiments, I will update this post.
  • The granulated sweetener I used is the Lakanto Golden Monkfruit sweetener – it contains erythritol, and sugar alcohols are an important structural feature of this keto caramel sauce. If you are using a granulated sweetener that doesn’t contain erythritol, I can’t guarantee that this will turn out. However, if you are brave and try this – I’d love to hear about it!
  • Swerve sweeteners will also work!
  • This caramel will harden up a bit in the fridge – to soften it to drizzle over ice cream or other treats, I put the sealed jar in a hot water bath for about 15 minutes, and that did the trick.
  • The trick to getting this right is removing the caramel from the heat, as soon as the “cloudiness” (for lack of a better description) disappears. Basically, there will be this almost foam-like stuff that pops up to the top of the caramel as it cooks. This is totally normal and as you stir, it will dissipate. Once this foam is gone, the dulce de leche is done and should be removed from the burner.
  • Overcooking this basically just means that it will crystallize once it cools. It’s still tasty, though. You can also take this crystallized caramel and reheat it with a second can of coconut milk and make a somewhat thinner sauce by following the same directions. So, if it’s overcooked, all is not lost!

Vegan Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche | - This rich and creamy vegan keto dulce de leche is super easy to make and tastes delicious on top of ice cream, brownies and pretty much any low carb dessert you can think of! This recipe is dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free and sugar-free, so almost everyone can enjoy it!

12 thoughts on “Keto Coconut Dulce de Leche (sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan)”

    • Hi Chris – I imagine you could, but it might need less cooking time as the coconut cream is considerably thicker than the canned coconut milk! πŸ™‚

    • Hi Sami, you definitely can! For the honey and maple, you may have to use a little more than the recipe calls for and cook it a tiny bit longer to account for the extra water (but only around a minute longer, not a huge deal). I bet this would be extra delicious with maple syrup!

  • This looks amazing! I happen to have 2 cans of coconut milk on hand right now however one of the cans is β€œlite” so it’s not full fat. The other can is full fat. Do you think this would still work? This would be soooo good with a bit a vanilla added and drizzled over a mug cake!!

    • Hi Juju! I think it would still work, but because there is a little less fat, it may be slightly less creamy. You also might have to cook it for a little longer because of the increased water content of the light coconut milk! Just be sure to check for the visual cues while making it. πŸ™‚

  • I tried this and it didn’t work πŸ™

    After cooking for about 40 minutes, I finally saw the foam disappear. It was very obvious. The mixture changed from creamy to a very clear separation of what looked like oatmeal and water, except it didn’t mix, like oil and water don’t mix. At this point I stirred a lot more and kept doing so for 9 minutes because the consistency didn’t change. The mixture turned brown, then darker brown, and finally it burned, but it never got to a single creamy consistency; it retained the oil-and-water look. Do you have any advice?

    Also, I used a wooden spoon instead of a whisk. Do you think that made a difference? (My whisk is no good with my nonstick pan.)

    Thank you!

    • Hi there! I’m sorry you are having trouble with getting this to work! The mixture definitely overcooked. As I mentioned in the directions, it should be done in around 20 minutes. It sounds like all of the water may have cooked out and the mixture that was left was the coconut oil, sweetener and burned bits of coconut solids from the milk.

      What brands of sweetener and coconut milk did you use? This might have a clue as to why the mixture didn;t turn out as it should. πŸ™‚

      The spoon wouldn’t make much of a difference, so you’re fine there! πŸ™‚

      • Thank you! I’ll try it again. My keto friend has a birthday coming up and he absolutely loves alfajores so I want to get this right! I used cans of coconut milk from Whole Foods and the same brand of sugar substitute that you recommended, in the red bag.

        Follow up question. If the foam isn’t gone after the first 20 minutes, should I take it off the heat anyway? That’s the reason I left it on the burner — consistency didn’t change at all so I thought it wasn’t done. The only difference I noticed was that the bubbles from boiling got bigger. What should I do if this happens again, if the consistency doesn’t change and the foam doesn’t go away completely?

        Am I right that it should continue boiling for the full 20 minutes? Like, I should bring it to a boil and keep it boiling for 20 minutes, then take it off the heat?

        Thank you!!

        • Hi again! You’re such a nice friend to do this πŸ˜€

          The WFM coconut milk should work totally fine, and the sweetener as well (some don’t work, so I thought it was worth checking). Did the liquid reduce in volume? The consistency change may just be more subtle than you are used to. Also, the heat should be lowered as per the instructions. Boiling on the higher heat for the full amount of time will likely burn the mixture.

          This is one of those recipes (like almost all candymaking) that is more about the temperature and consistency than the time it takes for the mixture to cook. You’re really just looking for it to reach that slight caramel color and to thicken a bit (as shown in the picture). It won’t be like a chewy caramel, but more of a sauce.

          The foam should really be gone by the 20 minute mark, especially if the sauce has come to a boil. So, I would take it off the heat at that point and let it cool. You can always put it back on if it really hasn’t changed.

          The only things I can think of is that either the temperature wasn’t high enough (but if it boiled, then that’s not the case) or that the water content of the coconut milk was too high, but that would only be from using Light Coconut Milk instead of the full-fat one the recipe calls for.

          I’m stumped! This is a recipe that is on the list to get a video for it, though, so eventually there will be more of a visual to go alongside the text. I know that isn’t super useful now, though. :/

          Let me now if I mis-understood anything or need to clarify anything further! I am now invested in making sure your friend has his birthday treat! πŸ˜€

          • Thanks! So, I tried again, just using the timings you posted. The dulce is in the fridge now, cooling. It’s a little bit thicker and darker than the original coconut milk, but not much. It mostly smells like coconut, but I will see another Argentinian friend tonight and I will ask him to tell me what he thinks. (I don’t actually like dulce, and I certainly don’t have an Argentinian palate.) The actual birthday isn’t for a few more days, so I have time for a little more trial & error.

            Two questions for you:

            1) Am I right that the mixture should boil for the entire 20ish minutes (even after I reduce the heat)? Or should I reduce the heat to just below boiling?

            2) When you make the video, can you use a candy thermometer and tell us what temperature the mixture should be at different times? That would help a lot for those of us with less candy-making experience!

            Thank you!!

            This whole alfajores project has been a trip! I tried to make some keto alfajor cookies to go with the dulce, but I have celiac, so I don’t have regular flour in my house (and I’m relatively new to celiac baking). I ended up with a big bowl of powder that couldn’t be formed into anything but powder, and it flew all over the kitchen while I tried to mix it (which the dog enjoyed very much). But I think I know what I did wrong so I’m going to try again later this week. I am determined to make this work! One of my new Spanish vocabulary words this week is ‘logro’ and that is my goal!

            Thanks again for your help with the dulce!!

          • It sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of new stuff at the same time! I was diagnosed with Celiac at 25 and it really threw me for a loop – I had done “regular” baking my whole life, but gluten free baking was like a whole different beast and it took me quite a while to adjust! Even now my mom is still learning to make GF treats (since it’s pretty much only for holidays, she just doesn’t bake GF things that often).

            To answer your questions – you are right that it should be bubbling the whole time to caramelize the minimal sugar in the coconut milk and reduce the liquid further. Since sugar alcohols and monkfruit and the like do not caramelize the way that sugar does, the brown color comes from what little sugar and protein is in the coconut milk itself. It is for a similar reason that the “caramel” won’t get quite as thick as normal dulce de leche. Like with all keto treats, it’s more of an ode than the real thing. πŸ™‚

            I love your determination and that you’re doing all of these steps for your friend! I also love your attitude, with tying “lograr” into this! πŸ˜€

            Oh! And yes to the candy thermometer in the video for sure! πŸ˜€

            Oh! This is silly, but what kind of pan were you using? I listed the saucepan as it has a larger surface area, so the coconut milk boils quicker and the water evaporates faster. I’m not sure how much that would impact things by, though. Just a thought!

            Anyway, I hope everything works out!! πŸ˜€