For some of us, fancy coffees are a year-round love affair. For others, the beginning of fall and chillier, crisper weather makes us yearn to wrap our hands around a warm cup and sip. Whichever group you fall into, you'll love this recipe for a homemade vegan salted caramel mocha. It's like three recipes in one, since you can also use the chocolate and caramel sauces on their own over ice cream, drizzled over fruit, or anywhere else you need a little more chocolate and caramel in your life (some might say "everywhere!). This recipe is completely refined-sugar free, relying on sweeteners such as coconut sugar, dates, and maple syrup for a smoother, natural sugar high. Unlike at certain coffee shops, you will be able to identify every ingredient on the list and will likely have most on hand, making this salted caramel mocha a treat you can whip up whenever you fancy. Read on for a vegan drink that could pass for a dessert but will also get you going in the morning.
1. Gather the ingredients.
- 1 cup coffee or espresso (or as needed)
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (also as needed)
For the salted caramel sauce:
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 4 1/2 Tbsp coconut sugar
- 1/8-1/4 tsp sea salt (depending on how salty you like your salted caramel)
For the chocolate sauce:
- 5 pitted dates (if your dates are super hard, soak them in warm water for 15 minutes, then drain)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt
- Vegan whipped cream, for topping
2. Make the salted caramel sauce.
In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and sea salt. Bring to a low boil, lower the temperature to medium-low and let simmer for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep the mixture from burning. The sauce will darken and become thicker and will continue thickening after you remove the pan from the heat. If the sauce ends up saltier than you would like (if you like a more traditional caramel flavor, use less salt), simply add more coconut milk to dilute and continue cooking until sauce coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Make the chocolate sauce.
In a Vitamix or high speed blender, add the pitted dates, cocoa powder, coconut milk, and maple syrup. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
4. Prepare the milk.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk until hot, but not boiling. If you have a fancy milk steamer, definitely use that!
5. Set up a chocolate and salted caramel prep area.
Set up your sauces, coffee, and milk so that you can prepare everything together. Start by adding the desired amount of coffee (typically a few ounces) to the bottom of your cup. Mix in 1-2 tsp of the chocolate sauce until combined. Add 1-2 tsp of the salted caramel sauce and repeat. Add the desired amount of warmed milk (I recommend about 1/2 cup) and mix again. Taste and add more chocolate or caramel sauce as necessary.
6. Drizzle and serve!
Top your salted caramel mochas with vegan whipped cream and another drizzle of chocolate and caramel sauce. Enjoy! You can also easily make these into a kid-friendly drink by using hot chocolate instead of the coffee and milk. Save the extra caramel and chocolate sauces in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week.