This low carb keto caramel sauce recipe is a gooey, sticky, and flavorful gluten-free sauce that’s amazing as a topping for various dishes like pancakes, ice cream, waffles, muffins, and even cakes. This sauce is suitable for a keto or low carb diet.
Ingredients you'll need
Sweetener - This recipe is a little bit different in my sweetener choice. I explain further down in the post why I choose allulose over other types of sweeteners to make my low carb caramel sauce.
Butter - I use unsalted butter for this gluten-free and sugar-free caramel sauce so I can salt it later if I want, or make two batches at once and have only one of those be salted. Also, using unsalted butter gives you more control over how much salt to add to your caramel sauce later to make it salted.
Heavy cream - Use at least 36% heavy cream (I use 40%) for this recipe.
Vanilla - It's totally optional to use vanilla extract in this caramel sauce recipe, but it definitely gives the sauce more character and makes it taste like the real, traditional caramel sauce.
Salt - Salt makes everything much better. If you like salted caramel sauce, add 2 teaspoons of flaky sea salt or kosher salt before pouring it into the jar. If you prefer a regular caramel sauce, you should add a pinch of salt anyway.
What sweetener to choose
Let's go through the most common keto-friendly sweeteners and look at what results you'll get using them.
Allulose – Using allulose, you'll get the best gooey and sticky caramel sauce that’s almost indistinguishable from the one containing real sugar. Allulose behaves itself (it doesn’t crystalize while cooling down) and tastes almost like a real sugar (no bitter or cooling aftertaste). However, it’s expensive and sometimes difficult to find.
Xylitol - Xylitol has no aftertaste and it doesn't crystalize in the sauce after cooling down, which is cool. However, the downside of this sweetener is that it has a GI of around 13 and can potentially spike your blood sugar, so you have to decide by yourself whether or not to use it. But for me, personally, the worst thing about xylitol which means I don’t use it is that it's deadly for dogs and cats (I don't know about other animals, though). Even small amounts like 0.1g can cause a really serious health problem in your beloved pets.
Erythritol and stevia blend - I'm so used to a little bit of an aftertaste from stevia and erythritol blends like from Swerve or Sukrin, that I don't really notice it. For me, these types of sweeteners taste like sugar. There is, however, one little problem with them. These sweeteners tend to crystalize when cooled down, so the texture will be grainy if you use it in my no sugar caramel sauce recipe - or any other sweet sauce or spread. Nevertheless, the flavors will be on-point so you can use these sweeteners if you don't mind the grainy texture.
Brown sugar substitutes - Brown sugar substitutes like Swerve Brown Sugar or Sukrin Gold will give your keto caramel syrup a deep golden brown color and extra flavors. The grainy texture, however, will still be there after the sauce cools down. Also, Sukrin Gold contains malt extract which is not gluten-free and might be a problem for those with gluten sensitivity or coeliac disease.
Actually, the cooking process of sugar-free keto caramel sauce is similar to a regular caramel sauce. So, let’s begin by melting the sweetener in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat. It won’t caramelize the same way white sugar does, but it will brown and give our caramel a nice golden-brown color.
When the sweetener has completely melted and become golden-brown, add the butter and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully incorporated. If the mixture separates (this can happen if you heat the mixture too much), remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until combined again. Return to the heat.
Then, slowly add the heavy cream while stirring. Bring the mixture to a light simmer and cook for around 5-10 minutes (depending on how thick you want your caramel sauce to be), stirring occasionally and checking the consistency.
The low carb caramel sauce is done when it has a nice caramel color and is thick enough to cover the back of a metal spoon with an even layer without patches, but still pourable. Note that the sauce will thicken while cooling, so you want your perfect keto caramel sauce to be a little bit more liquid than the desired end result by the time you finish cooking it.
The list is endless, but I prefer to use it as a topping for my KETO PUMPKIN PANCAKES, KETO-FRIENDLY COTTAGE CHEESE PANCAKES, KETO PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE RECIPE or EASY LOW-CARB WAFFLES RECIPE. This caramel sauce will also make a delicious topping for my NO-CHURN KETO AVOCADO ICE CREAM.
How to reheat sugar-free caramel sauce
First of all, the best way to store my caramel sugar-free sauce is in a sterile, air-tight container (10oz/300ml) in a fridge. The downside of this storing method is that the sauce will solidify. Therefore, we need to heat it very gently to make it runny again. Heating it in a microwave will separate the sauce a lot, so don't do it. Instead, try to put your jar with the sauce in a stockpot or a large mixing bowl filled with warm water. Let the jar sit there for around 5 minutes. If it separates a little bit, take a spoon and mix the sauce vigorously until it comes together again.
More low carb recipes
Keto caramel sauce
- 10 oz (300ml) mason jar
- 4-5 tbsp 50-65g allulose
- 6 tbsp 90 unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract optional
- ½ cup 120g heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp flaky sea salt or kosher salt for salted caramel
- Melt the sweetener in a medium saucepan over a medium-low heat.
- When completely melted and golden-brown, add the butter and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until fully incorporated. If the mixture separates, remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until combined again. Return to heat.
- Then, slowly add the heavy cream while stirring. Bring to a light simmer and cook for around 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking the consistency.
- The sauce is done when it has a nice caramel color and is thick enough to cover the back of a metal spoon with an even layer without patches, but still pourable. Note that the sauce will thicken while cooling, so you want your caramel sauce to be a little bit more liquid than the desired end result by the time you finish cooking it.
- Transfer into a 10oz (300ml) mason jar and let it cool down completely before refrigerating.
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