"Sugar-free" Caramel

"Sugar-free" Caramel
Diva Caramel Sweetheart Cake

Photo credit: Dana Cowans

Diva Caramel Sweetheart Cake

I love this caramel recipe for many reasons. First, it doesn't contain white sugar. Second, it's easy to make. No cooking or boiling is needed. Third, it can be re-invented into many variations.

This special caramel sauce is a perfect base for a candy recipe...or you can lovingly drizzle it over your favorite dessert: apple pie, ice cream, or chopped bananas with walnuts. The recipe can also be used to create Caramel Popcorn Balls, Sticky Bon-Bons, or as an icing or special glaze for a cake. 




½ cup Macadamia nuts

3 tablespoons Pecans



2 tablespoons raw Coconut Butter (One to try: Artisana), melted to a creamy texture using the double-boiler method

1 teaspoon extra light Coconut Oil (soft, melted)

¼ cup Light Agave (Light Agave is preferred, Dark Agave is too maple-like)

2 ½ teaspoons Lucuma powder

2 ½ teaspoons Vanilla extract (alcohol-free preferred so candy will freeze better)

½ teaspoon Raw CAROB powder

½ teaspoon Raw CACAO Chocolate powder

½ teaspoon Yacon syrup

1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt

1 ½ tablespoons Cocnut Palm Sugar (pre-ground to super fine texture)

dash of Cinnamon


If you are making just the SAUCE, skip using the nuts and go to Step 3 below.  If you are making the caramel CANDY, start at Step 1 below.


Step 1. Prep: Line a shallow glass (7 x 5 x 1.5 in) dish with non-bleached parchment paper. Set aside.

Step 2. Pre-grind nuts - first Macadamia nuts and then the Pecans, slightly pulsing them.

Pulse them separately to break them down. Do not blend - you still want large chunks. Set aside in a separate bowl. Time-saving tip: roughly chop the Pecans.

Step 3. To make Caramel sauce, combine Caramel ingredients in a small bowl and stir. No cooking or boiling is needed! That's it for the sauce.

Step 4. Once stirred to a creamy texture, add Macadamia nuts and Pecans to the Caramel sauce.

Step 5. Stir by hand until nuts and sauce are thoroughly combined.

Step 6. Transfer mixture to a shallow glass dish lined with parchment paper. Spread evenly. Freeze for 1-2 hours.

Step 7. Remove from freezer. Use a knife to loosen up the sides of the dish. Remove the candy from the dish and peel off the parchment paper. Cut into long candy bars. Serve and enjoy!

Storage: This dish should be stored in the freezer. Place in an airtight glass container. It will last for up to one week. 

Where to buy: Lucuma powder; raw carob, raw cacao chocolate powder, yacon syrup, and palm sugar are typically sold in health food stores. Select Whole Foods Market stores carry these items. Amazon.com also sells them. Internet-based companies specializing in natural or health foods also feature these ingredients as well.

Sugar Shopping Tip

Be sure to purchase the correct flour a recipe calls for – flours differ in gluten or protein content, making each suited for specific tasks.

Sugar Cooking Tip

Insert a toothpick into the center of cakes, bar cookies, and quick breads to test for doneness – it should come out clean or only have a few crumbs clinging to it.