Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

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Creamy vegan homemade Dulce De Leche Pops for dessert

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! What are you up to this weekend?

I’m just getting over a little cold and looking forward to a weekend in before we travel yet again all of next week.

This time I’ll be in Kansas visiting friends and family and tackling a freelance gig while John skips over to New Zealand with a close friend. Lots of adventure in February for us Minimalist Bakers.

Let’s get to the good stuff: dessert. If you’re in need of a last minute treat this weekend, try these simple, naturally-sweetened Dulce de Leche Pops made with just 5 ingredients. (Bourbon is optional, but c’mon).

Grabbing some coconut cream for making vegan Dulce de Leche pops

It all starts with the magic of coconut cream (or milk) and sultry dates.

Bowl of dates for making homemade vegan Dulce de Leche pops

Origins of Dulce De Leche

Dulce de leche is a gooey, caramely substance that’s usually made from milk, sugar, and vanilla. It’s believed to have originated in the 19th century, but who gets the credit is a topic of hot debate! Dulce de leche is popular in Uruguay and Argentina and a similar delicacy with a different name is enjoyed in Colombia and Perú.

These popsicles are inspired by the flavors and ingredients of dulce de leche, but are naturally sweetened and made with plant-based ingredients.

Bowl of date caramel for making vegan Dulce de Leche pops

I could eat dates all day every day – OK, I pretty much do. They work some serious magic in this recipe, providing a caramel swirl that’s seriously reminiscent of dulce de leche. 

The process is simple, too. Just blend your dates into a smooth “caramel,” add half to the coconut milk, and mix. Then add the remaining date caramel back into the mix, swirl, and freeze! It’s that easy.

The result is a seriously delectable, naturally-sweetened vegan and gluten-free Popsicle that’s like ice cream on a stick. You’ll likely want to eat all of them at once – trust me. This is why you need a friend on standby for help (in both restraint and sampling).

Salty and sweet Dulce De Leche Pops alongside date and spoons of coconut milk
Dulce De Leche Pops for an amazing gluten-free vegan dessert

What do they taste like? So glad you asked. They’re:

Creamy
Smooth
Sweet
Caramel-swirled
Slightly salty
& Soooo dreamy

These would make a delicious dessert any time of year, but especially when you want something creamy without breaking out the ice cream maker.

If you don’t have Popsicle molds, use oversized ice cube molds instead! It makes a fun shape and they can be easily blended into a milkshake with additional coconut milk (and/or bourbon – c’mon). Live a little – that’s what I say.

Simple and creamy vegan Dulce De Leche Popsicle squares
Holding up a Dulce De Leche Pop for an incredible vegan dessert

We hope you love this recipe! If you try it, let us know: Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! I also joined the Snapchat revolution (all the kids are doin’ it), so you can send me a pic there as well (username: minimalistbaker). I’m a super newbie though so bare with me.

Happy Valentine’s weekend, friends! We’re sending you all a giant John + Dana sandwich-style hug (even you, Rhonda). Cheers!

Holding up a Vegan Dulce De Leche Pop with date caramel on top
Simple homemade Dulce De Leche Pops for a vegan summer dessert
Creamy vegan Dulce De Leche Popsicles for a homemade dessert

Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops

Amazing 5-ingredient Dulce de Leche Pops made with coconut milk and naturally sweetened with dates and maple syrup. Salty, sweet, and SO creamy and delicious! A healthier dessert for the caramel lover.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Baking sheet with Creamy Dulce de Leche Pops on wooden popsicle sticks
4.56 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 (pops)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Latin-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Week
Does it keep? Store in freezer.

Ingredients

  • 14 whole medjool dates (pitted // 15 dates equal ~253 g or 1 1/4 cups // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 min. then drain)
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk (if using full-fat milk, add 1 Tbsp melted coconut oil)*
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp bourbon (optional)

Instructions

  • Add pitted dates to a food processor or high-speed blender and blend until a caramel-like paste is achieved. If you have trouble blending, add 2-4 Tbsp warm water (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) to help achieve the right texture – thick and spreadable. Scrape down sides as needed and blend until a thick, caramel-like consistency is achieved.
  • Once the date caramel is smooth and creamy, add 1/4 – 1/2 tsp (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size) sea salt depending on how salty you prefer it. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Scoop out caramel and set aside. Then add coconut cream (or coconut milk + coconut oil), vanilla, 1/2 cup of the date caramel, and 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup or agave nectar for additional sweetness (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Blend until creamy and smooth and taste and adjust flavors as needed. Bourbon is optional, but recommended for flavor.
  • Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl, cover and chill in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours (or freezer for 1-2 hours) for best results. (If you’re impatient and can’t wait, skip this step. The Popsicles just won’t be as swirled as if you were to let the batter chill.)
  • Once chilled, add the remaining caramel back in in small spoonfuls and loosely stir to combine / swirl.
  • Scoop/pour into Popsicle or ice cube molds (about 10, depending on their size // as original recipe is written) trying to evenly distribute the caramel swirls, and tap to remove air bubbles. Insert Popsicle sticks and freeze for at least 6 hours or until firm.
  • Once set, remove from freezer and let rest for 5 minutes to soften. Then gently pull out of molds and enjoy. Pops keep covered in the freezer for up to 1 week, though best when fresh.

Notes

*Coconut cream is ideal in this recipe as it yields the creamiest Popsicle. Although full-fat coconut milk will work with the coconut (or other neutral) oil added.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without bourbon.
*Prep time does not include chilling / freezing.

Nutrition (1 of 10 servings)

Serving: 1 pops Calories: 130 Carbohydrates: 12.3 g Protein: 1.2 g Fat: 9.5 g Saturated Fat: 8.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 100 mg Fiber: 1.8 g Sugar: 9.9 g

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  1. Joelle says

    Although the flavor of these was lovely, I made it with the coconut oil substitute and the resulting texture was extremely unpleasant – the oil curdled into tiny grains. If you’re thinking about making this recipe, I would suggest waiting until you have the coconut cream on hand.

  2. Sandy Crespo says

    OMG – died & went to heaven! These are so easy & delicious! For my pop molds, however, if I have to spoon it in it gets stuck – so I had to spoon it out of the molds to eat it – but the flavor & texture were a dream. I had extra which I put into a ramekin & that reminded me of the specialness of a gelato. Another point, the can of coconut cream I got from Trader J had a few weird ingredients so I went & got the Whole Foods version which was fine. Next time I make it I may try adding a bit of regular coconut milk along with the cream so it turns out a little less thick & will hopefully work in my pop molds. OR, I may simply place the whole batch in a container & have like regular ice cream, though there’s nothing regular about this great recipe!

  3. Enthusiastic Juliette says

    The most difficult thing with this recipe clearly is to keep some mix for the freezer before eating it all straight out of the bowl. It’s a hard decision to make, but the popsicles are even more delicious! Once more, thank you Dana for this fantastic recipe. My Vitamix didn’t like the date caramel this much but he got over it. Good boy :)

  4. Tammy Thiele says

    Now that I have the date caramel on hand I have my sights on these bad boys! Can’t wait to try them!

  5. Ali says

    I just tried this today! It is SO delicious. I almost couldn’t stop eating the mix before freezing it! Now that they are frozen, the texture has changed from creamy to almost gritty. Did you have this happen? Trader Joes was totally out of coconut cream, so I used a Native Forest brand coconut cream, which honestly seemed the exact same as full fat coconut milk. I know that coconut does tend to bead up when freezing, so I’m wondering how did you prevent this from happening?

    Thanks!!!! YuMMMMMM

  6. Susana says

    Hi, if I don’t have coconut cream on hand, how would I be able to make it out of coconut milk and coconut oil? What would be the proportions for the substitution? Thank you so much! Looks delicious! :)

  7. Teffy @ Teffy's Perks says

    Oh god how I absolutely love doce de leite (Brazil’s version of dulce de leche!). I remember my granny making jars of the stuff for me, and I’d eat it straight with a spoon.
    Since shying off milk and refined sugars it’s a childhood favourite I definitely miss, but these popsicles look like they might hit the spot!

  8. Kathryn says

    The idea of this, in milkshake form, with bourbon – yes please!! I’m having a girl’s night for my birthday at the end of the month and that might just end up being the cocktail of the evening!

    x Kathryn

  9. Felicity says

    Hi Dana,

    These look great, I’ll have to give them a go sometime! I presume if I’m substituting regular dates for medjool dates (as they are about 1/4 of the price) that I would use the same quantity – is that correct?

    Also, it could just be my computer, but I just wanted to let you know that the past week I’ve tried to pin several of your recipes to Pinterest and Pinterest keeps telling me, “We’re having some trouble talking to cdn.minimalistbaker.com. Please try again later!” so I’m not sure what’s up there.

    Cheers,
    Felicity

  10. Nicole {VeganShowOff.com} says

    Yum, think I’m going to throw this recipe into the ice cream maker and see what happens (yup, feeling crazy)!

  11. Mandie @ Mandie's Kitchen says

    These look awesome! I’ve never tried anything Dulce De Leche flavoured, but I’ve definitely wanted to! These may be just the thing!

  12. Emily @ Life on Food says

    These look so yummy. Even with our below freezing temperatures and snow these are still super tempting.

  13. Maggie @ Veg Fiend says

    Such a simple recipe! I love it. I also welcome any new ways to use up cans of TJ’s pure coconut cream :) I always keep one in my pantry.

  14. Ashley says

    I have to say just seeing the photo made me want to try these! After reading your blog this is definitely something on my list to make! I am really lacking confidence about making caramel myself but you have given me the boost to try it!

  15. Abby says

    These popsicles look so, so amazing, Dana. That creaminess and the date caramel… NEED!

    Happy Valentines Day to you and John! xx

  16. Gabriella Susanto says

    Hi John & Dana, totally love your blog! your blogger resources were super useful to me and really helped me to get my blog up and running! I wanted to ask whether you would be able to do a rich pin tutorial for pinterest? Thank you!

  17. Michelle @ Hummingbird High says

    Yum! These look absolutely amazing. I’ve always been a fan of dulce de leche, and turning them into ice pops = pure genius!

  18. Jessie Snyder | Faring Well says

    Oh my goodness this recipe looks so creamy and perfectly sweet!! And WHAT he is going to New Zealand without you?! How does that work?! Stoked you’ll be still doing some awesome stuff in Kansas, but seriously, sneak in his suitcase!!

  19. Anna says

    This looks so yummy! I make Popsicles ALL the time and these look like a great one to add into the rotation. Just one question however- do you have a hard time getting these out of plastic molds? I find that the higher fat Popsicles fall apart sometimes… If so then I’ll make them in mini paper cups instead.

    • Laura ~ Raise Your Garden says

      I started to be one of those people who “make popsicles all the time” when I looked at the ingredient list of the store bought ones, yuck! I love the idea of making these, I’m going to get hubby to help though =)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      They were actually quite easy! If you’re gentle and let them thaw just a couple minutes, they slide out nicely!

      • Priscilla says

        Hi Dana! Can I use this recipe to make icecream in the icecream maker as well? ?? I love your recipes!!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          We haven’t tried and can’t say for sure, but if you give it a go, report back!