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Hello loves! Did you know that today is National Caramel Day? To celebrate I’m sharing the perfect keto caramel sauce. This caramel sauce, unlike many others out there, will stay a perfect consistency refrigerated or reheated and will not spike your blood sugar!
There are several other low-carb caramel recipes out there, but here’s what I’ve found– they either use erythritol, which has a tendency to harden when cool and not reheat well, OR they use a fiber syrup like Sukrin Fiber Syrup Gold or VitaFiber Syrup.
Unfortunately, my keto friends, fiber syrup is not all it’s cracked up to be. Fiber syrups are generally made from a substance called isomaltoogliosaccharides. Isomaltoogliosaccharides (other than being hard to pronounce) are short-chain carbohydrates that are classified as a fiber. It’s promoted as a prebiotic and a sweetener that has a low glycemic index.
The thing is, isomaltoogliosaccharides (IMO’s) are more digestible than first thought. In essence– they aren’t really fiber at all. And if these carbs are digestible, guess what they’re going to do? Raise your blood sugar, which is what many people have found they do.
IMO’s are also found in a lot of “low carb” protein bars, so be aware of the ingredient lists if you’re buying these while trying to stick to a keto diet.
Ok, so if IMO syrups are out, and erythritol sweeteners make caramel that has to be used immediately, what other options do we have?
A relative newcomer to the low-carb sweetener scene is allulose. Allulose is perfect for keto caramel.
I’ve talked a little about allulose before, but let’s go over exactly what allulose is.
Allulose is a sugar. Wait, what? Aren’t we avoiding sugar on a keto diet? Well, yes. But allulose is a naturally occurring sugar that isn’t metabolized.
Allulose is found naturally in small quantities in things like wheat, jackfruit, figs, and raisins. And while it tastes and acts like sugar, allulose is mainly eliminated from your body through your urine, although some of it reaches your small intestine. Because of this, some people find it causes some excess gas (which can also happen with erythritol and other sugar alcohols) but sensitivity varies from person to person. I personally don’t experience this, but I keep my portions low.
Because it’s not metabolized, allulose has no impact on blood sugar, which is why I include it in small quantities in my keto diet. And since it is a sugar, it acts like sugar in baking, which is why it makes a perfect caramel.
It’s important to note that while many studies indicate that allulose is safe and can be beneficial to people needing to control blood sugar levels, there are no long-term studies on allulose. For this reason, I limit my use of allulose and all low-carb sweeteners to occasional use.
Note: Allulose is more expensive than other low-carb sweeteners, but is cheaper if you buy it in these 3-lb bags.
Let’s Cook Some Caramel
The method for making this keto caramel is the exact same as a typical caramel recipe, so if you’re familiar with making caramel, this won’t really be anything new. There are a couple of small differences, but I’ll outline them below.
Start out by putting the allulose in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Watch closely, but don’t touch at all until you see the allulose melting around the edges of the pan. The first difference you’ll notice with allulose vs. sugar is that allulose melts much faster than sugar.
Maria Emmerich created a caramel recipe from allulose as well, but her method doesn’t cook the sugar at all, and I found that while it’s delicious, it breaks when reheated.
As you see the allulose melting, take a rubber spatula and pull the melted allulose in toward the center. Swirl gently with the spatula until it’s fully melted.
Allulose does not seem to clump as easily as sugar here, so I actually find it easier to work with in this application than sugar.
Continue stirring gently as the allulose boils.
Here’s one of the biggest differences with using allulose vs. sugar. When I used to make regular caramel, I preferred a nice dark caramel because it has a greater depth of flavor. To do this, you must cook the sugar until it’s a deep amber color.
However, if you cook allulose that far, it will taste burnt. So you want to cook the allulose just until it’s golden like you see above.
As soon as the allulose becomes golden brown, add the butter all at once and whisk until fully melted. It will bubble furiously.
The next difference you may notice is that this recipe has proportionally less butter and cream for the amount of allulose. This is because allulose makes a slightly runnier caramel. At the ratios of this recipe, this caramel is like the conventional kind I used to make– stiff straight from the fridge, but pourable when warm.If you’d like a thinner caramel that pours straight from the fridge and will stay runny even when frozen, add an additional 2 tablespoons each butter and cream.Consistency Tip
Turn off heat and whisk in the cream in a slow stream. It will again bubble violently.
Stir in the vanilla and salt (if using) until fully incorporated.
This recipe will fill an 8 oz. mason jar up to the very tippy top.
Doesn’t that look exactly like the real stuff?
The last difference I should mention is that allulose is a little bit less sweet than regular sugar. So while this caramel is still definitely sweet, it is a little more mellow than typical caramel (which I actually appreciate!)
So make up some of this keto caramel and get ready to drizzle it over your favorite keto ice cream or keto brownies. Or just eat it straight off the spoon. You know I won’t judge.
Perfect Keto Caramel Sauce
This keto caramel sauce tastes and acts like the real thing-- it reheats perfectly!
- 1 cup (160g) allulose
- 4 Tablespoons (57g) butter, room temperature
- 6 Tablespoons (90mL) heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (optional, but recommended)
- In a medium saucepan, place allulose over medium-high heat. Watch closely, but do not touch until it begins to melt around the edges. Once it begins to melt, gently pull melted area toward the center with a rubber spatula. As it continues to melt, gently stir with spatula until it’s fully melted and begins to boil.
- Watch closely, continuing to stir, until the allulose turns golden brown.
- Immediately whisk in butter all at once, until completely melted and incorporated. Caramel will bubble violently. Turn off heat.
- Whisk in cream in a steady stream (caramel will bubble again.) Then add vanilla and salt and mix well to incorporate.
- Transfer to an 8 oz. jar and allow to cool at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge.
Caramel can be kept refrigerated for at least a week. It may be reheated in the microwave.
For a thinner caramel that pours straight from the fridge and will stay runny even when frozen, add an additional 2 tablespoons each butter and cream.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 46Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3.2gSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 0.2gNet Carbohydrates: 0.2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 0.1g
Can you use some other type of no cal sugar substitute, like Splenda?
No, this will only work with allulose, as other no calorie substitutes will not react the same way.
Can this be used in coffee?
Yes! This works perfectly in coffee. 🙂
So stevia will not work either?
No, stevia has no ability to caramelize.
Have you tried using swerve?
You can use swerve to make caramel sauces, and there are many recipes out there that do just that. But caramel made with Swerve or other Erythritol-based products tend to crystallize and harden as they cool and don’t reheat well. 🙂
Allulose is said to have no effect on insulin. is that still so if caramelized? there certainly is a slight chemical change when caramelized!
Marco! That is a really excellent question! I have not come across any information about that, but it would definitely be worth a test with a meter to see if it raises blood glucose. I might have to test that next time I make this!
Do you know if anyone has tried testing blood sugar after consuming caramelized allulose? If I understand correctly, part of the process of caramelizing sucrose (sugar), involves the breakdown of the sucrose molecule. I’m wondering what happens to allulose and whether or not one of the breakdown components has a greater effect on blood sugar. Allulose is a pricey ingredient so I’d be happy to know the answer in advance… 🙂
This is a great question and I’d love to find an answer. I lent my blood glucose meter to my sister, but maybe I’ll get it back from her and test this out in the near future.
Thanks. And now I realize my question is redundant. Sorry. (The question immediately before mine effectively asks the same thing.)
Amber, I’m going to hijack this comment. Sucrose breaks down into fructose and glucose when you caramelize it because heat helps trigger hydrolysis (splitting). The actual “caramel” is a polymerization of the fructose and glucose (think of making fruit loop cereal necklaces) into the class of molecules called “caramelans.”
Allulose, or psicose, is already a monomer (like fructose or glucose). The caramelization just combines individual allulose molecules into a different “fruit loops necklace” than the ones from fructose+glucose. So to answer that question, the allulose caramel will have no difference in blood sugar than just normal allulose, provided the same amount is consumed.
Amazing answer! Thank you so much for dropping this science bomb!!!
THIS is delicious! Thank you for sharing it 🙂 it’s recipes like this that will keep me on my low carb path.
That makes me so happy to hear!
Delicious! I added the recommended salt. Plus my own touches, of 1/2 tsp Watkins butter extract, and 1 tbsp of blackstrap molasses (to make up for the limited allulose caramelization). It tasted *exactly* like a salted Werther’s! Thank you for this recipe.
Awesome! That sounds great! I’m glad it worked well for you. 🙂
Thanks for this recipe. I had read allulose caramelizes like sugar but I had a hard time finding a recipe that more or less uses the normal method for making caramel sauce.
Overall I like the recipe but for me allulose has a slight aftertaste that annoys me a little. the next time I make it I might try adding some stevia drops or something to see if I can balance that out. My husband likes it fine as is.
That’s so funny, Shannon! I don’t taste any aftertaste with allulose, but the stevia aftertaste is awful to me! Haha! Our tastebuds are all different, I guess!
Would this sauce harden up enough to use on some halved apples for a sugar free caramel coating on the apple?
Great question, Jeannette! I’ve found that allulose keeps a lot of moisture, so allulose on its own in caramel will not firm up enough for what you’re looking for. However, another blogger found that combining allulose with a bit of xylitol (which hardens up very well, you can achieve a chewier caramel more like the candies you find in the store. Here’s that recipe if you’d like to try your hand at caramel apples. (Just know apples are quite high in sugar as well!) https://www.tphketodesserts.com/allulose-chewy-caramel
Thank you so much 🙂
Can you bring it to hard ball stage for things like fudge. And halva and Turkish delight. Or sugar syrup for marshmellow or simple syrup? Cheers
That’s a good question! I’ve not tried this with allulose. My main concern would be just that allulose browns much more quickly than sugar. When it comes to candy-type applications, I’ve found xylitol behaves more like sugar in that regard. But you could certainly try it and see what happens! Just be aware that allulose may burn before it hits the hard ball stage.
This sounds and looks amazing. Has anyone tried it with coconut cream instead of heavy cream?
I haven’t tried it, but I think it should work.
Thank you so much! This is the only caramel recipe I have found that works and has no aftertaste!
So glad to hear you like it, Gina!
Hooooooly moley….This is an absolute game changer for keto! Great taste and texture, no one would ever know that this was keto, it’s seriously just like the real thing!! Thanks so much for the recipe, it’s amazing. I used half a tsp of salt, and might even go a little less next time, as I used salted butter
Yay! So happy to hear how much you like it!
I’m on keto, but find it difficult to stay on track because I have a HUGE sweet tooth, but I can’t stand Stevia and the cooling effect of other sweeteners puts me off. This caramel is an absolute game changer for me. I love that there’s no aftertaste and the flavor is so very close to sugar caramel. I opted to use an additional Tbsp of butter and cream and it’s perfect for ice cream and adds a deeper flavor to coffee that I love. It’s also amazing right from a spoon! I’ve had a jar in the fridge for over a week and it’s still super smooth. No crystallization. Thank you so much!
So glad it’s working for you!
I was wondering if instead of a sauce can you make allulose into a hard caramel like we would for flan before adding the custard and baking!
Great question, Aneeshaa. I have not tried that, so I can’t say for sure. I will say that in general, allulose tends to stay softer rather than harden up, but it might work for flan! Let me know if you try it.
This is absolutely delicious! I definitely burned my tongue because I couldn’t wait to try it lol.
Hi! This will work too with erythritol?
No, it won’t work with any other sweetener.
Made this like a zillion times! Best recipe ever! Thanks so much for sharing this incredible sugar free caramel recipe.
Thank you! I’m glad you like it so much!