An easy caramel recipe that uses cashew cream instead of dairy! Creamy, dreamy flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture make these candies incredibly irresistible.
- cooking oil spray
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews
- about 1 cup water, divided
- 6 Tbsp vegan margarine (I used original Earth Balance)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups vegan granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment so that it hangs over the edges. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
- Measure 2/3 cup water in a 2-cup glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave until boiling. Add the cashews and set aside to soak for at least 1 hour.
- Place the cashews and their soaking liquid in a blender and blend until very smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer back to your measuring cup; you should have just a bit less than 1 cup of cashew cream. Add cold water if necessary to bring it up to an even cup.
- Place the cashew cream, margarine, and salt in a small saucepan over very low heat and stir occasionally, until the margarine is melted. Do not allow it to boil, or even simmer around the edges. This must be done on the stovetop rather than in the microwave.
- While the cream is warming, place the sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water in a large 4-quart saucepan A light-colored heavy-bottomed pan works best. Stir until the sugar is evenly moistened. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan so that the heat sensor is immersed in the sugar mixture, but not touching the bottom of the pan.
- Place over medium heat and allow the sugar mixture to come to a boil without stirring. Let the mixture cook (again, without stirring) until it reaches 300-310°F. If necessary, tip the pan to fully immerse the thermometer in the mixture to get an accurate reading.
- Once the mixture reaches temperature, remove from the heat and slowly pour in the warm cashew mixture while stirring rapidly, until thoroughly combined. It may spatter a bit while you do this, so be careful!
- Return the pan to medium heat and continue to cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 245°F (your thermometer may initially read higher than this if it is still coming down from when you added the cashew cream).
- As soon as it comes to temp, quickly remove from the heat. Without scraping the bottom of the pan, stir in the vanilla and then pour into your prepared pan.
- Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for a few hours before cutting into smaller pieces. Wrap individually in wax paper. Caramels may be stored at room temperature for 1-2 weeks, or in the refrigerator or freezer for much longer.
This recipe makes rather soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramels. If you’d like a more chewy variety, decrease the margarine to 4 Tbsp and only use 3/4 cup of the cashew cream.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Candy
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Dessert
Keywords: caramel, cashew, vegan, candy