Fall baking is incomplete without the addition of pumpkin, but sometimes I don’t need pumpkin IN every baked good ya know? So I thought why not make it a topping as an option to dress up fall treats? I therefore decided that caramel sauce could use a fall makeover, and thus this pumpkin caramel sauce was born.
Let me tell you, It was such a good move. It’s shown here served over rich chocolate brownies and also atop s’mores…another good move. It is literally such a quick sauce to make and is perfect to level up desserts such as ice cream, brownies, trifles and even coffee drinks.
This pumpkin caramel is so creamy and buttery with just the right level of sweetness. You may be shocked to find that this recipe does not include the traditional caramel ingredients, butter and sugar, making this recipe vegan and refined sugar free. And bonus- it only required four ingredients!
Maple syrup – Using maple syrup as the sweetener in this recipe makes it refined sugar free. Maple syrup gives this vegan caramel sauce a richer flavor by adding brown sugar and caramel notes of its own.
Coconut oil- Unrefined, virgin coconut oil is a substitute for butter found in typical caramel sauce recipes. The coconut oil also keeps this sauce vegan and dairy free.
Cashew butter- This is another ingredient used in place of butter. You could use other nut butters here, but I think cashew butter adds just the right amount of creaminess and compliments the maple and pumpkin flavors.
Pumpkin puree- This is where the caramel gets its fall makeover. If the pumpkin puree doesn’t add enough fall oomph for you, simply add in 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.
How to make pumpkin caramel sauce
With minimal ingredients this sauce truly couldn’t be any easier to make. The only word of caution is to keep a close eye on the sauce while heating as it has the potential to burn.
To begin add all of the ingredients to a small saucepan over medium heat.
As the mixture starts to heat the coconut oil and cashew butter will melt making it easier to whisk the ingredients. Continue to whisk, and as the mixture comes to a boil whisk for another minute. This is where it is important to not have the heat too high and to whisk constantly to avoid burning the sauce.
Remove the sauce from the burner and allow to cool. If the sauce is too thick, simply add a bit of warm water to thin.
After the pumpkin caramel sauce cools completely, store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Bring to room temperature or reheat in 15 second increments in the microwave until it reaches its desired consistency.
How to serve this vegan caramel sauce
I have dreamt up various ways to use this decadent pumpkin caramel. Here are a few I’ve tried and look forward to trying most:
- Drizzle over fudge brownies
- Sandwich between marshmallow and chocolate inside of s’mores
- Top your favorite ice cream
- Serve atop bananas foster
- Stir into a coffee or latte
- Drizzle over scones
- Use as a dip for apples, graham crackers, shortbread, etc.
- Serve atop apple pie
- Place a dollop on a square of dark chocolate and finish withe sea salt
- Eat it straight from the jar with a spoon!
Pumpkin Caramel Sauce
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/3 tsp coconut oil
- 4 Tbsp cashew butter
- 4 Tbsp pumpkin puree
- Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
- Bring to a boil whisking constantly.
- Once the sauce comes to a boil, whisk for one minute as it thickens.
- Remove from heat. Use immediately or store until ready to use.