This homemade sugar-free caramel recipe is so good, you are going to feel like a kitchen super-star when you give it a try. It’s so easy to make and these keto caramel candies are great for gifts for friends and neighbours or just for your family to enjoy!
You have two choices with this, you can make a sticky caramel filling or cake coating or you can continue on your journey of reaching candy perfection and make sublime sugar-free keto caramel candies.
The ingredients for this keto caramel are very simple. Butter, allulose, my Keto Corn Syrup, and my Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk. For flavourings, vanilla extract or my keto vanilla paste and a touch of molasses to enhance the caramel flavour. Yum! The key to creating this magical caramel experience is in the cooking process.
When I designed this recipe, I had soft and chewy keto caramel candies in mind, but it also works for softer caramel, as well as a drip sauce on cake. You can add 2 more tablespoons of Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk to make it even softer and runnier. If desperate and pressed for time you can even substitute heavy cream for the keto condensed milk. However, if you do, it will take longer and you may want to add a tablespoon or two more of allulose to account for the sweetened nature of condensed milk.
However, as far as Keto Corn Syrup substitutes go, my Keto Corn Syrup is reliable in this recipe, and uses allulose to work. Substituting with other sweeteners is not advised. You’ve been warned.
This recipe, similar to the procedure in my keto corn syrup recipe, has an important element to prevent crystallization. To begin with, you start with just the keto corn syrup and allulose. Then, all you do is that once you have your corn syrup and allulose mixed together and it’s starting to form a boil, cover the pot and leave it be for at least one minute.
This traps steam and moisture in the pot helping to melt any allulose crystals that may have foolishly found their way up the sides of the pan. This gentle coaxing of allulose back to the mixture is key in preventing crystals in your caramel later on that interrupts the smooth chewy mouthfeel of caramelized perfection. Are you hungry? Me too! Just writing this is making me hungry, too.
Maintain your burner/stovetop at medium heat. Again, you don’t want any drastic changes in temperature as you cook the caramels. If you notice the temperature is getting too hot too fast, turn it down a touch.
Now this part is key. According to the stages of candy making, this is past what is called the “hard-crack stage,” which means there is virtually no water left in the syrup and if you were to drop a little of this molten goodness into cold water, it would become brittle and most likely crack when bent.
The “hard crack stage” is when your allulose syrup is between 300 and 310ºF (149 and 154ºC). Since we are passing this stage, the allulose syrup will “caramelize” and your syrup will begin to take on an amber color. Find out more about the stages of candy making here. If you do, bear in mind things aren’t completely the same as sugar since we are using allulose and it browns more easily than sugar and LOVES water a bit more, too.
It’s after you reach this point you add your room temperature butter and Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk. You can do this in stages. I dropped all the butter in it once and it was fine but I do take my time pouring in my keto sweetened condensed milk.
To be clear, I also have never done this with any ingredients being cold. This is because no matter how fast of slow you add your ingredients, you need to maintain a constant boil. This is very important. If you add the cream product too quickly and the temperature changes, it can curdle. Alas, such a thing would cause you great sadness.
In truth, I personally have a love hate thing with candy thermometers and actually all thermometers if we are going to be honest with each other. You can use an instant read thermometer instead of a candy thermometer but they don’t have that handy clip to keep them on the side of your pan. Many of them though are magnetized, so if you pick a pan that attracts a magnet that could help you.
Nevertheless, I still have at least two when I make this so I can gauge accuracy. Also, if your thermometer is touching the bottom of the pot, it may give you false readings. Altitude and humidity also affect the outcome, so the perfect temperature may have to be adjusted depending on where you are and the weather. Moreover, the temperature in one spot may not be the same in another. You can gently stir the mix with your thermometer to give you an idea of what your overall temperature is.
That’s why doing a water test is a great method as well. That will give you reliable information no matter the location and/or climate. To do a water test, drop a spoonful of your hot sugar-free caramel into a cup of ice water.
If you are making a loose filling or drip sauce, you’re looking for the keto caramel to form a ball in the water. However, if you try to mould the caramel with your fingers into a ball but it kind of keeps its shape but is super sticky and falls apart as you touch it. That’s when you know it’s ready to be used as a loose filling or drip sauce.
If you are making keto caramel candies and you drop the caramel in the water, mould the caramel with your fingers into the shape of a ball. If the ball maintains its shape, that’s good. You will know the caramel is ready for use as candies when the keto caramel feels pretty firm and pliable.
Once you are done and if you are using it right away for fillings or a sauce, let it cool a bit and then use away. If not, you can put it into containers. I store this in the fridge and let it warm up a bit before I use.
If you are making sugar-free caramel candies, pour it into your square pan and let it set in your fridge before you cut it into candies. When you do, use a good knife! Cold, your keto caramel candies with be a bit harder to cut. Moreover, the longer you cooked them, the more brittle and less chewy they will be.
A little story here, one day when making them I spent about 20 minutes arguing with my jar of Keto Corn Syrup that wasn’t wanting to open for me. Don’t worry, it paid the price of such behaviour by getting all used up! Anyway, to make a short story longer, I was behind schedule with that debacle and now rushing, I accidentally added my butter and Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk into my allulose and keto corn syrup at the beginning of the procedure. Oops.
Since what’s done was done, I just kept going and decided I’d just go up to 310 – 320ºF and then remove it. I went that high knowing that allulose loves moisture and that just going to lower the temperature of between 240 – 260 without having raised the allulose and Keto Corn Syrup up higher, my caramel may never get the right consistency to make candy.
The gamble paid off, and what resulted was a fantastic keto caramel toffee. It’s softer than a brittle yet hard, and melts in your mouth. Now, I’m not sure I recommend this method. The other, is more reliable and will result in a luscious sticky chewy goodness that is most desirable. However, if you accidentally do what I did, don’t throw it out; keep going and trust the caramel.
Wrapping up, I have three more tips. The first is, resist the urge to stir. You want to stir just to moisten the allulose into the water and corn syrup before bringing it to a boil. This is fine, but after that, there is no need to stir until you begin to add the butter and Keto Sweetened Condensed Milk – even then, don’t stir a lot. You can even just stir with your candy thermometer.
If you’ve been making candy for years and years then maybe you can go by sight and water test alone, but it’s not something I’d suggest. This is especially because you are working with allulose not sugar, so it won’t be exactly the same as a sugar based recipe. Use your water test to confirm the readings from your thermometer.
Thirdly and lastly, this gets extremely hot. Wear gloves to protect yourself from burning. You can also read these safety tips. If the hot allulose touches your skin it can cause very bad burns. Make sure your caramel-making attire includes clothes that cover your arms and legs. This is not the recipe to make while wearing a strappy bikini.
Well, that sums it all up. I hope you love this keto candy recipe as much as I do and enjoy your luscious sugar-free caramel! Next up on the blog are a couple of other recipes that include this fantastic sugar-free caramel recipe too, including chocolate and cake. Hooray!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do,
Nutritional Information and portions are estimated from the USDA Food Database. Net carbs exclude fiber, sugar alcohols, and products like allulose, because they do not generally affect blood sugar. I try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
Yup, that’s me with my eyes closed while my hubby takes the picture. Totally me. I’m in my happy place doing one of my favourite things: on a hike in the Cape Breton Highlands.
I started my low-carb journey three years ago, for health reasons, determined to make a Low Carb, High Fat, Keto diet work for me as a lifestyle, without the exercise in deprivation with constant calls to the fun police.
I thought, as someone with a severe peanut/tree nut allergy, I am already a pro at adapting recipes to my nut-free existence, so adapting Keto to also be nut-free is something I can master. Truly, I love both the experimentation and the glee when I hit upon something fabulous and all with no sugar! It’s here where the idea was born for lafemmenikketo.com. I feel like a superhero baker and cook with a whisk in hand, whipping the carbs gone to make fabulous nut-free treats without the sugar. This, to me, is simply joyous. I hope you think so too!
This Keto Milk Chocolate Bar recipe is super easy. And when you need chocolate this is key. I love working with chocolate but it’s extremely fussy, so I wanted a fail safe recipe, that is kind of a cheat. Meaning, I’m not actually making the milk chocolate from scratch, I’m just putting it together so that it seems miraculously awesome.