Date Salted Caramel is a delicious dip for fresh fruit or on ice cream. Plus it's easy to make, with no cooking required and can easily be made vegan.
My family cannot get enough dips. Mr. Dreamboat eats hummus daily. My son will eat guacamole by the bowlful. In fact, when I asked him what he wanted for dinner tonight, he asked for guacamole and chips.
I have a sweet tooth, and I am partial to dessert dips. You can often find my snacking on strawberries or bananas dipped in Nutella (store bought or homemade). And if I happen to have any, apples or bananas dipped in caramel.
I don't often make homemade caramel, because I don't usually have the cream on hand that's required to make it, nor do I like fussing with a candy thermometer if I can avoid it.
But one day last year, I found myself with a large container of fresh dates that weren't getting eaten fast enough, and I was turned on to the wonders of Date Caramel.
Date Salted Caramel Ingredients:
Making your own date salted caramel requires only a few simple ingredients:
- Fresh dates - find them in the produce section. Dried dates won't work here.
- Maple syrup
- Cream or evaporated milk - your favorite non-dairy alternative will work just fine.
- Salt - this is optional. If you don't like your caramel to be lightly salted, simply skip it.
You will also need a microwave or stovetop and small saucepan, and a blender or food processor.
The caramel you'll get from this recipe will be quite thick and spreadable. Perfect for dipping fruit in, but probably a little to thick to serve over ice cream. If you need it thinner, simply add a little bit more of whatever cream you used in your recipe.
Date Salted Caramel Nutrition Notes:
The nutrition information in the recipe below uses half and half cream for the calculations. If you use canned evaporated milk, your date caramel will have less total and saturated fat.
Compared to store bought traditional caramel dips or sauce, this homemade date caramel has significantly less calories and sugar, and slightly less fat while still tasting sweet and delicious.
Want More Sweet Dips and Spreads?
Date Salted Caramel
- ½ cup fresh pitted dates, coarsely chopped (see note)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup evaporated milk, half and half cream, or heavy whipping cream (or use your favorite dairy free cream alternative to make this recipe vegan and dairy free)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt optional - skip if you don't want your caramel to be slightly salted
- Place dates, maple syrup, and cream in a microwave safe 2 cup measuring cup. Microwave on high for 1 minute to soften the dates. (Or you can simmer over medium low heat in a small saucepan for about 5-10 minutes until the dates soften).
- Transfer the date mixture to a blender or food processor (it's okay to use a mini one if you have one, since we're dealing with a small amount). Process until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the vanilla and salt, and process again until completely mixed. The mixture will be thick and spreadable. If you want a thinner sauce, add more cream to reach your desired texture. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to a week.
Nutrition Disclaimer: I try my best to make sure the nutrition information I provide is accurate to provide you with the best information possible. However, due to ingredient discrepancies and other factors, the above nutrition information should be considered an estimation only.