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Date Caramel is a delicious dip made without dairy or refined sugar. It can be whipped up in just minutes for a healthy snack all week long.

Date caramel in a jar served with apples

Ingredients You’ll Need

date caramel ingredients labeled in glass bowls.

Medjool dates have a natural caramel flavor which makes them the perfect base for this vegan caramel sauce. They are nature’s candy!

When shopping for dates, look for ones that are plump and juicy for the best results. The squishier the date is, the easier it will blend. 

Other varieties of dates, like deglet noor, can also be used, but they are smaller in size so be sure to go by the weight called for in this recipe, rather than the number of dates needed.

Using dairy-free milk, like almond milk or oat milk, will keep this recipe vegan-friendly. In fact, you could even use the date soaking water for blending, and add a spoonful of peanut butter for creaminess. (Almond butter or cashew butter could also be used if you prefer.)

apple dipped in date caramel with dark background.

How to Make Date Caramel

1. Soak the dates. 

Because dates can be very difficult to blend, remove their pits and place them in a large bowl. Cover them with boiled water and soak for 10 minutes. 

This will make your life easier for the next step, even if you already own a high-speed blender.

dates covered in boiling water and drained.

2. Blend. 

Use a fine mesh strainer to drain the dates, then add them to a high-speed blender. Add in the milk, vanilla extract, and sea salt then secure the lid. 

Blend until the dates are totally broken down, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula, if needed, until the dip looks smooth. For a smoother consistency, you can add an extra tablespoon of water and blend again.

date caramel blended together in a blender pitcher.

If you’d like to adjust the flavor of your date caramel, add a tablespoon of maple syrup for extra sweetness, a pinch of salt to boost the flavor, or a tablespoon of peanut butter or any other nut butter for a richer flavor. It’s easy to taste and adjust as you go!

For nut-free creaminess, try adding a tablespoon of sunflower seed butter and a pinch of ground cinnamon.

3. Enjoy!

Serve this vegan date caramel sauce right away with sliced apples or salty pretzels. You can also use it as a filling in your favorite desserts, like Vegan Snickers, or as a layer in a gluten-free Chocolate Cake

Drizzling it over sliced apples, like a plate of apple nachos, is also an easy after-school snack!

When chilled, the date caramel will thicken slightly. You can store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

date caramel finished in a blender.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make date caramel with coconut milk?

I tested this recipe with canned coconut milk and found that the full-fat version separated when making this recipe. (There were little white flecks throughout the dip.) I think refrigerated coconut milk would not have this issue, but it’s something to keep in mind. Using full-fat coconut milk would probably make the caramel thicker when chilled if that is your goal, but it will also have a hint of coconut flavor.

Can I use a food processor?

In my experience, food processors won’t give you quite the same smooth texture as a high-speed blender, but it will still make a delicious dip! In that case, start with less liquid so it won’t splash out of your machine, and add more as you go.

Looking for more date recipes? Try my Date Brownies, Healthy Birthday Cake (which is 100% date-sweetened!), Chocolate Date Smoothie, or Date-Sweetened Hot Chocolate for more ideas.

Date Caramel

4.87 from 38 votes
Date Caramel is a delicious dip made without dairy or refined sugar. It can be whipped up in just minutes for a healthy snack!
prep10 mins total10 mins


  • 1 cup Medjool dates (approx. 10 to 12 dates)
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt


  • Remove the pits from the dates, then place them in a heat-safe bowl. Cover them with boiling water and let them soak for 10 minutes. This will help them soften for blending. (Even if you're using a powerful blender; it helps!)
  • Drain away the soaking water, then add the dates to a high-speed blender along with the milk, vanilla, and salt. Secure the lid and blend until the dates are totally broken down, about 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the machine, as needed.
  • Taste the date caramel and adjust any flavoring, as needed. For a sweeter caramel, add a tablespoon of maple syrup, and for a richer flavor (that hides the date flavor) add a tablespoon of peanut butter and blend again. You can taste and adjust as you go.
  • This caramel dip can be served right away with sliced apples or crunchy pretzels. Or transfer it to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. It will thicken slightly when chilled.


Nutrition information is for roughly 1/4 cup of caramel dip. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
For a sweeter caramel: Add maple syrup, starting with 1 tablespoon at a time, until this dip reaches your desired sweetness.
For a richer caramel: Add peanut butter or another nut butter, starting with 1 tablespoon at a time, for a creamier texture and richer flavor. (You can add up to a 1/4 cup.)
Update Note: This recipe has been updated to be simpler! If you prefer the peanut butter & maple syrup version, you can find that here. And if you’ve been here since 2012, there’s an even older version that you might have enjoyed. You can find the older measurements below:
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (to help thicken when chilled)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup water plus more as needed to blend
  • 1 cup cashews (optional for creaminess; you’ll need more water in this case)


Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 138mg | Potassium: 171mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 37IU | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: date caramel

If you try this date caramel recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.

Megan Gilmore leaning on her white countertop.

Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned best-selling cookbook author. I create healthy recipes made with simple ingredients to make your life easier.

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  1. Oh my! I just made this and had it with a sliced up apple…absolutely amazing. Perfect sweetness without feeling ick. And SO simple and easy!! Another amazing recipe!!

  2. this was part of my Thanksgiving appetizer tray, served with sliced apples. Absolutely yummy. Stirred some into my morning oatmeal as well.

  3. I am rating 5 stars for the original. I came to see what your alternative recommendations were to the cashews (for a friend) to discover there’s a newer (and simpler) version without them. The ‘OG’ recipe has been a favorite since you shared it. I guess I’ll be trying the updated recipe for my friend. Thanks for all the recipes over the years. They have been much appreciated!

  4. This is so good! Better than regular caramel, imo! Maybe you could give us a healthy version of that fruit dip garbage you find in the store…with sugar and cream cheese or something like that?