This paleo maple caramel sauce recipe is made with simple, real ingredients including honey and maple syrup. It isn't complicated or hard to make, and it's absolutely delicious!
Originally published March 2019. Updated Sept. 2021.
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I have to be honest. When it comes to sweet sauces, I will choose chocolate absolutely every time, without exception. My husband on the hand? He's a true caramel lover, through and through.
So this recipe is one that I created specifically with him in mind. He's not the biggest fruit and vegetable fan, but pair a little caramel with those apples? Bring it on.
Most homemade caramel recipes call for corn syrup or sweetened condensed milk - ingredients that I never want to feed my family, even as a treat.
This recipe uses only pure honey and maple syrup for sweetening, and while it might require a little more of a watchful eye in the cooking process than recipes with processed and artificial additives, it's really not difficult or complicated to make.
If you opt for coconut oil rather than butter, this recipe is also dairy free. I generally make it with half grass-fed butter, and half coconut oi, but the sauce comes out wonderfully both ways, with just a subtle flavor difference between the two variations.
This paleo maple caramel sauce travels well, and makes a special lunch box treat, along with a sliced apple, pear, or even some pretzels. I haven't owned a microwave in many years, so I can't vouch for the ability to reheat this sauce in the microwave, but it does reheat well on the stove.
If there's any left, it stores well in a tightly-covered container in the fridge. I've stored it for up to a week, without noticing any crystalization or loss of flavor.
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I hope you and your family enjoy this paleo maple caramel sauce as much as my husband does!
Paleo Maple Caramel Sauce
- double boiler
- Add all honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and water to the top of a double boiler. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Continue to simmer, stirring frequently. As the mixture cooks, you'll notice that it first darkens in color, and begins to “pull away” from the sides of the pan. You will
likely see an increase in the volume of bubbling right before this point. Soon after, the caramel will start to lighten in color a bit, and that's when your sauce is just about done. Cooking the caramel takes some time - usually at least 20 minutes. Caramel can be cooked more quickly in a saucepan directly on a burner, but it's a bit easier to burn it, so I suggest using the double boiler.
- Heat the caramel till it reaches 230 degrees on a candy thermometer, or the mixture thickens if you cool a bit on a spoon. You can also check for done-ness using the "cold water test": using a spoon, pour a drop of the mixture into a glass of cold water. Mixture should mostly stay together and form a soft clump in the water (you're shooting for just shy of the "soft ball" stage, for a nice thick caramel sauce).
- Remove caramel from the heat, and let it rest for a few minutes before serving warm.
- Unused caramel can be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator. Warm gently in a double-boiler to reheat.