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 isomaltooligosaccharides. 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, isomaltooligosaccharides (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 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.
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 within 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– stuff 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.
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 the melted area toward the center with a rubber spatula. As it continues to melt, gently stir with a 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.
Estimated Nutritional Value per 1 Tablespoon serving: Calories: 51 kcal; Total Carbs: 0.5g; Fiber: 0g; Net Carbs: 0.5g; Fat: 5g; Protein: 0.1g