Date caramels taste shockingly similar to sugar/butter caramels, and they don’t stick to your teeth! With just five ingredients, they’re also much easier to make (no candy thermometer needed).
Simply blend everything up in a food processor, chill, and then dip in dark chocolate. The chocolate is optional but it’s nice to have that crackly exterior in contrast to the smooth caramel inside. These keep well in the freezer and taste great frozen.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Dates: preferably quite soft and fresh. The type of dates doesn’t matter. Pictured are medjool, but something smaller like deglet noor works just as well. If the dates are harder or dried, soak in very hot water for 30-60 minutes and drain before mixing.
- Nut butter: use any kind of nut butter you like. I almost always use peanut butter or hazelnut butter. For a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter instead.
- Coconut oil: use refined to avoid any slight coconut flavour.
Step by Step
Step 1: add the caramel ingredients to a food processor.
Step 2: blend until a smooth ball of caramel forms with no chunks from the dates.
Step 3: press into a parchment-lined form (pictured is a bread tin).
Step 4: freeze, then cut into small squares.
Step 5: coat the caramels in melted chocolate.
Step 6: decorate as desired and store in the freezer.
If you want to make date caramel rather than individual caramels, add some non-dairy milk to the mixture when blending to make a softer consistency, then keep it in a sealed container rather than freezing and cutting into squares.
Raw chocolate is a nice coating here if you don’t mind keeping the caramels in the freezer (they’re best from the freezer in any case). Top with any edible flowers or something like flaked salt if you’re a fan.
I haven’t tried making these without a food processor. I imagine you could do it with a fork and a lot of persistence, but I don’t think a large blender will work.
These can also be rolled into small balls after being frozen rather than cut into squares if you prefer. I don’t recommend making ingredient changes as it’s such a minimal recipe.
More Fruit Sweetened Treats
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- 300 grams soft dates ~15 medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons nut butter
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- 50 grams dark chocolate, for coating
- Place the dates (remove stones), nut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.300 grams soft dates, 2 tablespoons nut butter, 2 teaspoons coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Mix on high until the mixture breaks down and forms a homogenous ball.
- Line a bread tin or similar with parchment paper. Press the caramel mixture into the container in an even layer, dampening hands if needed. It should ideally be 2-3 cm thick (about 1 inch).
- Freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the tin and peel the paper off. Cut into small squares, about 2×2 cm (3/4 inch). Place back into the freezer until ready to coat in chocolate.
- Melt chocolate over a double boiler and use a fork to dip the caramel squares to coat, tapping any extra chocolate off before setting onto parchment or a rack to set. Top with edible flowers or similar if desired.50 grams dark chocolate, for coating
- Once set, store the caramels in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month. They're best straight from frozen.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.
This post was originally published in March 2016. It has been updated with some slight improvements to the recipe as of February 2022.
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