Oh my goodness, I am SO excited to share this entire 8 ingredient recipe with you today! Seriously, I contemplated dedicating an entire post just to this caramel sauce. It is certainly worthy of it. You haven’t lived until you have had this caramel, this tastes like REAL caramel. This isn’t kind of like caramel, or date caramel or almond butter caramel. It would fool anybody. I reinvented what we all think of when we think of caramel sauce. I created a dairy-free, vegan, corn syrup-free, easy, amazing, creamy caramel sauce…..using sweet potatoes! Yes, sweet potato caramel.
There are just no words to describe how amazing this caramel is!! I posted the teaser photo above on Instagram and it got quite the response. I was going to post it Saturday and I just never had a chance all weekend, so I’m sorry to everybody who was waiting on it. I have a toddler that is priority, so I don’t always get things done as perfectly/quickly as I’d like.
Another muffin recipe was in order after all the absolutely, amazing feedback I keep getting on my World’s Best Jumbo Blueberry Muffins. They have been wildly popular, so I was itching to create another amazing muffin recipe for you all and it be completely different and grain-free for those who can’t have oats!
BUT, I am making it up to you……since, I am so appreciative of you, my lovely readers, I created 4 versions for you! Do you love me or what?? People always ask about subs, so I created a few versions of this one to make it easy for everybody. I worked hard in my kitchen on this one, trial after trial, and can’t even begin to tell you how different each result was. That is the deal with gluten-free baking is…it is no easy feat. A lot of times, they end up as disasters.
These muffins are uber soft and light, like clouds of muffins with a wonderful cinnamon flavor and sweetness from the sweet potato and pure decadence from the caramel. Pretty flippin fantastic, to be honest with you.
Sooooo, what I am saying is, don’t try to sub any of these ingredients, as I don’t have any more rabbits to pull out of my hat on more subs than what I am already providing you today.
Full disclosure: Out of all 4 versions, my favorite version is definitely the almond flour/potato starch combo, so if you aren’t grain-free or nut-free, then choose that one, it’s the best as far as textures go. The result is light, soft and moist. Also, with the sunflower flour, just know that it does give a sunflower taste to the muffins. I prefer almond flour for this reason, because it leaves no aftertaste. If you are used to baking with sunflower, this probably won’t bother you. Nothing that a lot of caramel wouldn’t make up for!
I created a nut version, a nut-free version, a version made with oats and a grain-free version. Whew! The muffins turned out so yummy and moist, butttttttt this caramel sauce….I just, I uh, I just can’t even. It is just amazing. Period. So, what is traditional caramel sauce?
- Butter and sugar. That’s pretty much it and it is boiled down to a thick, syrup-like consistency. Totally yummy, but definitely makes your feel icky afterwards.
Or, if you are vegan, you have probably had caramel one of these ways:
- Date caramel ( I actually am not a big fan of date caramel…or dates for that matter…sorry!)
- Almond butter and syrup combined have a caramel-like taste
- Or, one of my favorites is melted coconut butter with syrup and vanilla and salt. YUM! It is what I created to drizzle over my Vanilla Cheesecake Ice Cream
Well, my blog is all about 8 ingredients, right? So, how in the world could I also have a glaze on top of my muffins if my muffin ingredients were already at 8? I knew I had to repurpose the ingredients in the muffins somehow to make a caramel sauce. I literally was jumping around in my kitchen with how amazing it turned out. It is sweet, thick, creamy and just like caramel sauce. You HAVE TO MAKE IT. Even if you don’t make the muffins, this caramel sauce could be used for anything! Think….pancakes, cake, ice cream….
So, when I created this, I was so in shock at the result. Then, I was dying to know if anybody had ever thought of using sweet potatoes to create caramel sauce before?! I ran to my computer and googled it and turns out, it has been done, which I found here. So, I’m not the first, but my version is definitely different.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of these super soft muffins and this caramel sauce!! Go make these and come back and leave me feedback on here. Each time you guys make a recipe of mine and leave me feedback, it makes my day. Also, tag me on Instagram @thevegan8 and also hashtag #thevegan8, so I don’t miss any notifications.
Sweet Potato Cinnamon Muffins with Sweet Potato Caramel
You will be amazed that both these muffins and the caramel sauce, total, are just 8 ingredients. By using both the same ingredients in the muffins and caramel, it makes this recipe ridiculously easy and fabulous. These are pillowy soft and have a wonderful cinnamon flavor that is complimented by the natural sweetness of sweet potatoes and coconut sugar. They are then draped with an out-of-this-world sweet potato caramel glaze that makes them more unique and delicious than any muffin you have had before.
1. First, cook your sweet potato by placing a large sweet potato (with skin on) on foil and roast for 50-60 minutes at 405 degrees. You want it to be overcooked basically and incredibly juicy and tender, so it mashes very well. Let it cool before preparing the muffins.
2. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin pan with foil liners. I use Staybrite by Reynolds because they keep muffins really moist and do not stick at all like the paper ones. Add the almond flour (or sunflower), potato starch, baking powder, sea salt, coconut sugar and cinnamon to a large bowl and whisk very well, breaking up any lumps from the starch. Tip: when measuring potato starch, it tends to leave gaps in the cup, so make sure you are patting it down and leveling off with your finger.
3. In a small bowl, peel the sweet potato and mash it very well, so no lumps remain. Measure out 1/2 cup, making sure to fill the cup and then level off with your finger, so there is not excess potato. Add the potato to a small bowl with the vanilla and coconut milk and stir really well.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until well mixed and thickens some. The batter should be similar to the consistency of cake batter, not thin, but not as thick as traditional muffin batter. However, if you are subbing with oat flour in place of the potato starch, the batter will be thicker. Just gently smooth out the tops.
5. Divide the batter between 8-12 muffin liners, depending on how tall you want them to be. Bake for 22 minutes (unless you are baking with the oat flour, which it will be 20 minutes), when a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs still on it (but not wet batter) and it lightly springs back when touched. When the muffins come out, they will still be slightly undercooked, but will finish cooking over the next 20 minutes. So, do NOT eat them until they have cooled at least 20 minutes. They will then be incredibly soft, light and moist. Drizzle caramel sauce on top following directions below. The muffins are best eaten within 24 hours, as the starch will cause them to start to dry out after a couple of days. I stored mine in the fridge and preferred them that way.
Directions for caramel
1. Add all of the sweet potato caramel ingredients (except the vanilla) to a food processor and blend until completely smooth, scraping the sides a couple of times during. Taste and add any more sweetener, if desired.
2. Add to a small pot over a stove and turn to medium-low heat. Once it starts boiling, stir with a rubber spoon for a full couple of minutes or so until it thickens up. This should only take a few minutes. Immediately remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Note that the caramel will thicken up much more as it cools, so don't worry if it's not as thick as you want while it's still warm. It will thicken up more in the fridge as well. Pour into a container and drizzle muffins when they are ready. This caramel sauce would be insane also on ice cream, pancakes, etc.!
*Vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free option, grain-free
*Subs: To make this nut-free, omit the almond flour and grind 1 cup (145 g) of raw, unsalted sunflower kernels into a fine flour in your food processor for a couple of minutes, being careful not to overprocess into nut butter. Measure out 1 cup after grinding (103 g) and proceed with recipe. Please note that it does leave a sunflower taste to the muffins.
*If you aren't concerned about being grain-free, then sub out the potato starch and use oat flour instead, but use 1 cup oat flour (118 g) (instead of 1/2 cup of the starch). All the rest of the ingredients remain the same. Please note that the muffins are more dense with the oat flour, but are still moist and delicious.
*Nutrition per muffin: 146.2 calories, 6.97 g fat, 2.68 g protein, 19.8 carbs, 9.2 g sugar
*Nutrition per tablespoon of caramel: 39.6 calories, .8 g fat, .1 g protein, 8 carbs, 6.5 g sugar
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