Healthy Chewy Cashew Caramels

Decadent Chewy Cashew Caramels — seriously sweet, rich, and delicious, you’d never know they’re made without the heavy cream, butter, white sugar and corn syrup!  Refined sugar free, dairy free, and vegan caramels?  Ohhhh yes.

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

A yummy bowl full of Cashew Caramels for family and friends to share.

I recently perfected the most PERFECT Chewy Caramel recipe for my newly released dessert cookbook, Naughty or Nice.

*jumps up and down and runs around in circles*

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

These Decadent Chewy Cashew Caramels are good.

Wait, no, they’re not “good,” they’re “great.”

Ugh, no, that’s not right…  they’re “amazing.”

They’re “LIFE-CHANGING.”

Okay, that’s better (and no, I’m not being dramatic).

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

They’re life-changing because, if you’re like me and somewhat obsessed with caramel and its burnt brown sugary flavor (like how people obsess over those Pumpkin Spice Lattes), then this recipe will save you from a ton of excess calories and sugar.  Not to mention, that dreaded sugar-rush and sugar-crash rollercoaster.

To help celebrate my book launch, as well as my serious liking passionate love for the Caramel-Cashew combo (it’s mah jam), I wanted to share this Decadent Chewy Cashew Caramel recipe with you.  This recipe is slightly adapted from the Homemade Chewy Caramels recipe from the Naughty or Nice Cookbook.  I just swapped crunchy, buttery, whole cashews in place of a super TOP SECRET ingredient (hehehe).

These Chewy Cashew Caramels are salty and sweet, soft and chewy with a slight crunch in every ultimately satisfying bite.

When they’re wrapped individually, they’re perfect for the holidays and gift-giving.

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

This Chewy Cashew Caramel right here?  Literally MADE for me.

5 from 1 vote
Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits
Healthy Chewy Cashew Caramels
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Secretly Healthy Decadent Chewy Cashew Caramels made without the heavy cream, butter, white sugar and corn syrup! Refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Candy
Servings: 32 caramels
Ingredients
  • 153g (⅔ cup) Light Coconut Milk (canned)
  • 56g (¼ cup) Coconut Oil (melted)
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 252g (¾ cup) Pure Maple Syrup
  • 30g (2 tbs) Water
  • 192g (1 cup) Sucanat
  • 96g (½ cup) Granulated Erythritol
  • 1 tbs Vanilla Extract
  • ½ cup (2½ oz) Whole Cashews
Instructions
  1. Generously spray an 8x5" loaf pan with cooking spray and line one way with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, coconut oil and salt.  Set aside.
  3. In a 3-quart saucepan, add the maple syrup, water, sucanat and erythritol.  Do not stir.  Add a candy thermometer to the saucepan, then place the pan over a stove set to medium-high heat.
    Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits
  4. Without stirring, let the mixture come to a boil.  When it reaches 250 degrees Fahrenheit (it takes me ~7-8 minutes), remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the set aside coconut milk/oil mixture.
    Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits
  5. Return the pan to the heat and let it come to a boil again.  When it reaches 266 degrees Fahrenheit (it takes me ~10 minutes), turn the stove off and remove from the heat.
    Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits
  6. Very carefully, add the vanilla extract.  It will bubble up vigorously, so watch out!
    Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits
  7. Briefly stir in the cashews, then pour the caramel into the prepared pan.  Let cool at room temperature for 3 hours.
  8. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  9. Transfer the caramel out of the pan and flip over onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Peel the parchment paper off the top of the caramel and refrigerate uncovered for 2 hours (or overnight).
  10. Cut the caramels with a sharp knife (I cut them into 32 pieces -- 8 rows x 4 columns).
  11. Wrap the caramels in parchment paper cut into 4" squares.  Serve immediately, or store in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe Notes

*I wouldn't recommend substituting the sweeteners used in the recipe.  You may be able to use more sucanat instead of the erythritol, but I haven't tried it.  All I know is that coconut sugar will not work in place of the sucanat (you will get caramel sauce...  delicious, still, but it won't firm up)!

 

Recipe adapted from the Homemade Chewy Caramels from the Naughty or Nice Cookbook

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Homemade Decadent Cashew Caramels (refined sugar free, dairy free, vegan) - Healthy Dessert Recipes at Desserts with Benefits

Enjoy!

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With love and good eats,

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-Jess

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9 comments on “Healthy Chewy Cashew Caramels”

  1. Lolette Stephenson
    1

    This sounds absolutely scrumptious! !  Will be trying very soon. 

  2. Would a sugar free maple syrup work? Or do you need the naturally occurring sugars to crystallize?
    I was thinking of using a xylitol maple syrup

  3. Thank you Jessica! I’ve actually been experimenting with Lakanto, it’s a monk fruit blend that’s been bound with non GMO erythitol, has a subtle molasses flavor and a darker color, I’ll try that in place of the sucanat and tell you what comes of it!

  4. Kaylee Walters
    4

    After the first bite, I was sure you accidentally made them with dairy. After eating the whole thing, I was still sure.  A few weeks later, I am still stunned. Best. Vegan. Caramels. Ever. And I’ve tried just about every recipe there is out there.  Love you, and way to be Jess! You are amazing! 

  5. Umm this was made for me!

  6. Pingback: Healthy Homemade Caramel Sauce Recipe | Desserts with Benefits

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