Salted Caramel Chocolates (dairy free)

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dairy free salted caramel chocolates quirky cooking

A few months ago I decided I needed a homemade version of  Salted Caramel Chocolate that would be dairy free and soy free. I looooove salted caramel chocolates. So I raided my pantry drawer and freezer to see what I could make them out of (which is generally how my recipes begin!), and started blending up handfuls of cashews, macadamias and coconut, with a little coconut sugar, to use as a base. I added to that some raw cacao butter, pure maple syrup, vanilla protein powder and some salt, blended it for ages until it was smooth, and froze it in molds. It was delicious!! (Thankfully I weighed everything as I went and wrote it down, just in case it worked – phew!)

But then our family went onto the GAPS diet, so the recipe was set aside as we couldn’t have most of those ingredients, and the only sweeteners we have now are a little bit of honey and some fruit (fresh and dried). But I kept thinking about these yummy little caramels, waiting for the time we could add a bit of coconut and cacao butter back into our diet, and planning ways to tweak them so we could have them again.

By the way, it’s amazing the things you can do if you know it will be worth it in the long run, and since our focus has been on gut healing, we decided we could survive without chocolate for a while. We actually kept off it for five months, can you believe it?! Then Christmas came along and I decided to try introducing a little bit of (homemade and naturally sweetened) chocolate, just for special occasions, now and then. I figured it would be best to start with less cacao powder, as that can be irritating to a sensitive tummy, so these salted caramel chocs made another appearance! This time layered with my raw dark chocolate (made with just 20g cacao powder) and both sweetened just with a little honey.

They were a hit!!

dairy free caramel chocolate quirky cooking

I also made some swirled caramel chocolate bark… Mmmm!

quirky cooking dairy free caramel chocolate

dairy free caramel chocolate quirky cooking

Here we are a few months later and it’s nearly Easter… Time to think about chocolate again! So yesterday I decided to try another version, using raw Medjool dates instead of the honey to sweeten, to give it a richer caramel flavour. And it’s soooo much better!! I’ve used 80g dates and that’s sweet enough for us, but if you want it sweeter just add a couple more.

To make sure the mixture doesn’t split, freeze the nuts, cacao butter and coconut so that they’re really cold. It needs to be blended well for about 10 mins, to get the smooth texture, plus the extra ‘blitz’ at the end, and it will warm up a bit from the friction, but if it goes over about 40C then stop and let it rest. If you’re making this in a regular blender/food processor (not the Thermomix) you may need to blend longer to get the smooth texture. 

If you don’t have 200g cacao butter, you can use a mixture of coconut oil and cacao butter, or even all coconut oil, but it won’t have that same ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ chocolate texture, just so you know. (And if you make it with coconut oil you will need to keep them in the fridge or freezer so they don’t melt.)

For a nut-free version, you could just replace the nuts with extra coconut (same weight as the nuts), it just won’t be quite as creamy.

[Update! I’ve uploaded a video for you to show the method and what the mixture should look like, as a few people have had trouble. It seems that these chocolates work best if your ingredients are COLD – I keep my coconut, nuts and cacao butter in the freezer and have never had trouble with the mixture splitting.  If you do find your mixture ‘splits’, try adding a tablespoon or two of coconut cream, and mix until it comes together, then pour into molds and freeze. Video below.]


PS A few people have asked where I bought the cacao butter from – the batch in the video I got from a friend and I don’t know where they bought it, sorry! But you can get cacao butter and all the other ingredients from The Source Bulk Foods stores, so check on their site.

Ok, here’s the recipe… Enjoy!

Note: All the ingredients for these yummy chocolates are available at The Source Bulk Foods who have various stores all around Australia.  Click here to find your closest store!

Salted Caramel Chocolates
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  1. Place cashews, macadamia nuts, coconut and vanilla bean into Thermomix bowl and blend 30 sec/speed 9. Scrape down sides of bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and blend 1 min/speed 9. Scrape down lid and sides of bowl.
  3. Blend 10 mins/speed 5. The temperature will rise because of the friction, and melt the cacao butter, and the mixture will become quite smooth and runny.
  4. Blend 1 min/speed 9.
  5. Pour mixture into molds, or into a lined baking dish (to be cut into squares), or onto lined trays to make a thin bark. Freeze until set hard, then pop caramels out of the molds (or break bark into pieces) and store in a container in the fridge or freezer.
  1. Make sure the nuts, coconut and cacao butter are very cold - store them in the freezer and use them straight from the freezer. This helps to prevent the mixture warming up too much and splitting.
  2. You can swirl or layer the caramel chocolate with my raw dark chocolate if you like.
Quirky Cooking
 Salted Caramel Chocolates Quirky Cooking

This post is sponsored by The Source Bulk Foods stores.


  1. Alicia says:

    Hi Jo, I’m just wondering if you have any idea what quantities you used in the version with coconut sugar, maple syrup and protein powder? I’d love to give these a go but I would prefer not to use dates.
    Thanks so much, I love your work xx

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Alicia – This is the post. Hope this helps 🙂

      Salted Caramel Chocolates
      Today I had a sudden urge to make some dairy free ‘salted caramel chocolates’ (because the kids wouldn’t let me eat the Loving Earth ones I bought for them to take to camp – argh, they’re soooooo gooood!!)… So I raided the cupboards for ingredients and threw a few things together, and this is what I came up with. The kids loved them! (And I have a whole dish left in the freezer that they don’t know about…) 😀 *insert evil laugh*
      Here’s how I made them!
      Note: If you’re a late night cook like me, I’ll just warn you that this is a bit of a noisy recipe, so if you have sleeping kiddies you may want to hold off til morning. If you can. 😉
      Salted Caramel Coconut Chocs
      Place in Thermomix bowl:
      – 50g activated or raw cashews
      – 50g raw macadamias
      – 200g shredded or desiccated coconut (preservative free)
      – 60g coconut sugar 
      Blend 1 min/speed 9, using spatula to help it along as needed. 
      – 200g raw cacao butter, finely chopped 
      – 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
      – 30g pure maple syrup or 20g honey (optional)
      – 3 Tbspns Nutra Organics Thriving Protein Exotic Vanilla powder
      – 1/4 tsp fine salt
      Cook 10 mins/37C/speed 6. (It’s a bit noisy, but it helps the mixture to be really smooth.)
      Pour mixture into molds or a rectangular lined dish, and place in freezer to set.
      Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes lots. 😀
      #dairyfree #glutenfree #grainfree #naturalsweeteners #treat #chocolate #thermomix #quirkycooking

  2. Charde says:

    Hi there, Macadamia nuts are very expensive in Hong Kong is there another nut I could use instead? Thanks, Charde

  3. Megan says:

    I made the salted caramel for the first time and it tastes like eating straight cacao butter. Where did I go wrong? Could I use it in something else?

  4. Dominique says:

    Hi Jo, I made these today and the mixture is quite grainy? I used all macadamias due to my daughter having a cashew allergy. I also freezed the cacao butter, nuts and coconut as suggested. Thanks!

    • QuirkyJo says:

      It has a coconutty texture, won’t be as smooth as chocolate without coconut in it, but you can just keep blending for longer if too grainy.

  5. Jennifer says:

    Hi Jo,

    Did you grease the molds before pouring in the mixture? Just wondering if they will be easy to get out without greasing first. Thanks.

  6. Chiara says:

    Hi Jo
    I don’t have coco butter, what else could I use to make your chocolate?

  7. Kasia says:

    Hi Jo, does nuts need to be activated or soaked in water? Thanks!

  8. […] Cooking’s dairy free Salted Caramel Chocolates are good for making sure our dairy free friends don’t miss […]

  9. Mel says:

    Hi Jo,
    Would it work to use a smaller quantity of coconut butter instead of dessicated coconut, or does that basically turn into butter anyway with all my blending? Thank you and Merry Christmas 🙂 xx

  10. Cassandra says:

    OMG that was totally devine !!! I can’t believe it . I’m a fellow throw it together and create without fuss so I adapted it a bit to avoid dates but boy !!!!its beautiful , blending so long is the key and I had no problem with splitting . Thanks Jo

  11. Rebekah Chandler says:

    Nooooo the mixture split! How do I save it? Too expensive to throw

  12. Pina says:

    Do these taste similar to the loving earth salted caramel chocolate ? Yum yum. Going to make this today

  13. Prue says:

    Help. Mine just split and is very grainy. Can I rescue it? I made these last year for Easter and they were delicious. Maybe it is still too hot this year.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      I think it would’ve been because it got too hot. :/ Try reblending while drizzling in coconut cream, until it comes back together!

  14. Cristina says:

    Hey. I can’t wait to make these today. How many servings will i get from these quantities? Thanks!

  15. Melissa Cairney says:

    Hi Jo, I’m allergic to coconut so just wondering if it would affect the recipe if I omitted?

  16. Nikki says:

    Just wondering is there any other way that the mixture can be mixed, as I don’t have a thermomix bowl. Could it be done in a Nutri Bullet? I often use a Nutri Bullet to blend almonds.

    Thank you.

  17. Riley says:

    Hi is there a way to make this without nuts?

  18. […] nuts, dates, cacao butter and vanilla make up these bite size paleo- and GAPS-approved, dairy-free salted caramel chocolates. If you have children with allergies who seem to miss out over Easter, you’ll want to check […]

  19. Michelle says:

    Hi Jo…

    On your date free version of this recipe as posted on 30 July 2015… at the end it says:

    “Cook 10 mins/37C/speed 6. (It’s a bit noisy, but it helps the mixture to be really smooth.)
    Pour mixture into molds or a rectangular lined dish, and place in freezer to set.
    1 min speed 9, then scrape and 10 min/speed 5.
    Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes lots. 😀
    #dairyfree #glutenfree #grainfree ”

    Just clarifying… does it need to be blended again 1 min speed 9, scrape down then 10 mins speed 5?

    OR is cooking at 10mims/37oc/speed 6 sufficent?

    Thanks heaps

  20. Michelle says:

    Hi Jo,

    I was wondering if I could use vanilla bean paste instead? I don’t have any beans 🙁 Thanks!

  21. Amy says:

    boohoo I rarely have fails and mine split. I did watch your video AFTER Jo and noticed that in your written instructions, the second step is 1 minute. But in your video its only 30 seconds. I think this is where mine went wrong, as the 1 min was too long prior to the 10 minutes. I did use all cashews though, maybe that made a difference.
    Thanks anyway 🙂

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Ok yes basically you just want to blend it until it’s smooth, but don’t let it get too hot! If it splits, add coconut cream until it comes back together. x

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