Coconut Milk Caramels Without Corn Syrup (Dairy-Free Recipe) (2024)

by Cara | candy making without corn syrup, Dairy-Free, Dessert and Treats, Do it yourself and save | 7 comments

Coconut Milk Caramels Without Corn Syrup (Dairy-Free Recipe) (1)

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1 Dairy-Free Soft Caramels with Sea Salt (corn-syrup free recipe)

1.1 Ingredients

1.2 Instructions

“Use coconut milk to make caramels, and then they’ll be both dairy and corn free!” My friend Lorrine said as I described to her my new fascination with making homemade candy without corn syrup. I gave it a try and after a few tweaks on the proportion of sugar-to-coconut milk, was delightedwith the results!

These smooth classic caramels are free ofmajor food allergies (gluten, dairy, eggs… even corn). They do taste faintly of the coconut that they are made with, but the overwhelming taste is caramel with an initial blast of delicious salt to counteract the sweetness.

If you haven’t made candy before, or need to brush up on the ‘hows and whys’ be sure to check out the overview article: Gourmet Candy Making Without Corn Syrup, Artificial Flavors, or Colors first.

Coconut Milk Caramels Without Corn Syrup (Dairy-Free Recipe) (3)

Dairy-Free Soft Caramels with Sea Salt (corn-syrup free recipe)


Cuisine:dairy free, Gluten Free

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Servings: 64

Author: Cara Comini

Classic caramels made with coconut milk to make them dairy free. This recipe is also free of corn, nuts, eggs, and gluten.




  1. In the pot of your Instant Pot, or in a stock pot for use on the stovetop (choose a large one, it will bubble up in later steps), combine sugar, coconut nectar, a pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) sea salt and water with a whisk until all the sugar is wet.

  2. Remove whisk, clip on candy thermometer so that the bulb is in the sugar mixture but not touching the bottom of the pot, and turn the Instant Pot on to Saute- Medium. Alternatively, heat pan on the stovetop over medium heat.

  3. Heat until just before hard crack stage (310* F). Do not stir at all during this time.

  4. As the sugar mixture heats, use a small saucepan to heat the coconut milk over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until it starts to boil, then turn heat off.

  5. Add vanilla to coconut milk after heat is off.

  6. As soon as sugar mixture reaches 310*, remove from heat (place on a trivit or hot pad) and slowly pour in in hot coconut milk/vanilla mixture. Be careful, there will be lots of steam and the mixture will increase in volume.

  7. Stir to mix coconut milk into the sugar mixture and return to medium heat.

  8. Cook until caramel mixture reaches 260* F. Do not stir during this cooking process.

  9. As the caramel mixture cooks again, line a loaf pan or 8x8 pan with parchment paper, and grease with coconut oil or spray with cooking spray. Alternatively, a silicone pan can be used without the need to line or spray.

  10. Once caramel reaches 260*, pour into prepared pan. Do not scrape the edge of the pan, only pour off what comes out on its own.

  11. Place pan with caramel on a cooling rack and allow to cool until it comes to room temperature. Cover and transfer to the fridge.

  12. After caramel is set, 4-8 hours later, sprinkle with remaining sea salt flakes and pop out of the mold by lifting up the parchment or inverting the silicone pan.

  13. Use a knife that you have run under hot water to heat up to cut into 1" squares. Wrap in waxed paper, cellophane, or parchment paper squares individually to keep caramel from sticking together. Caramel can also be served in small parchment paper mini muffin cups.

  14. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 months, freezer for up to 6 months, or enjoy right away. Caramel may melt at room temp, depending on how warm your home is.

Coconut Milk Caramels Without Corn Syrup (Dairy-Free Recipe) (4)

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  1. HigherGroundHerbsandHomesteadon October 13, 2017 at 7:17 am

    Will these work out if made with goat or cow milk? We raise our own animals for food, but I’m not seeing too man coconuts here in AL. :)

    • Caraon October 13, 2017 at 8:11 am

      I have a recipe coming out that uses dairy cream in a few days, I would use that one :)

    • Serene Swansonon November 11, 2023 at 8:47 pm

      The cocunut nectar you link you provided is unavailable. Would agave work as a substitute? Or possibly honey?

  2. Joanneon October 17, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Can I use a Stevia sweetener instead of organic sugar? My husband is diabetic.

    • Caraon October 17, 2017 at 11:55 am

      Hi Joanne, no you can’t, the recipe depends on sugar for consistency. Sorry about that!

  3. Andreaon February 23, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Yikes, I made these tonight and they taste great but came out so hard. Like break your teeth hard. I kept running a water bath test throughout just to make sure my thermometer was working since it had been a while, but other than that I followed the recipe to a t so I’m not sure what went wrong. I may attempt this again later. I appreciate you making recipes for dairy free candy!!

    • Caraon February 24, 2018 at 6:28 am

      Hi Andrea, that’s good to know, I haven’t had that problem before- did you adjust for altitude at all? Do you know your elevation?


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