How to make refined-sugar free caramel sauce for a real food salted caramel mocha! this treat really hits the spot after a long week. Plus there's 20 other real food holiday treats!

By Stephanie, Creator and Editor

Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha

I have long been a self-proclaimed coffee snob, and while I can easily walk away from candy, sodas, and most assorted desserts or sweets, fancy coffees just might be my downfall. I’m pretty sure that Starbucks created their Salted Caramel Mocha for the sheer purpose of tempting me beyond what I can handle.

Since I try to keep my sugar intake low, and avoid refined sugar in particular, I had to figure out how to make my own (besides the simple fact that I can make dinner for my family for the cost of one stinkin’ mocha).

The coffee itself is not the fancy part. It’s the caramel that makes or breaks it. Here’s my fast, easy but scrumptious caramel recipe.

Caramel Sauce {Real Food Style}

  • 2 Tbsp butter (pastured, organic or cultured is best)
  • 4 Tbsp unrefined sugar like Sucanant or Rapadura. Using it in powdered form will give the best results.
  • 1-2 Tbsp heavy cream (raw is best)

1. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.

2. Add sugar and stir in with a small whisk. At first, the butter and sugar won’t really mix.

Let it keep simmering while you stir every 30 seconds or so. After about 5 minutes, bubbles will begin to appear, and the butter and sugar will start to melt together. You’ll know you’ve got it to the right spot when you stir it and it pulls away from the side of the pot, sort of like taffy, all stuck together.

3. Add the cream (I do one tablespoon at a time), and keep whisking until it’s well incorporated. This will help to thin out your sauce and give it a lovely creaminess.

This sauce is best served warm. Drizzle it over your coffee, over ice cream, over cake, or anything else you can think of. I made some this morning to take pictures for this post, and my kids felt that their oatmeal was desperately in need of caramel sauce. I’m not so sure about the merits of caramel for breakfast (well, I could probably be convinced), but trust me, you’ll want to pour it on anything you can think of.

If you want to make a large batch, you can store it in a jar in the fridge. When you want to use it, just warm it up by placing the jar in a pot of warm water and stirring it until it’s smooth and pourable once again.

Now to Make Your Salted Caramel Mocha…

Make yourself some coffee. I mean, some dark roast, fair trade, strong coffee.

In the bottom of your mug, put 1 heaping tsp. cocoa powder, along with 1 Tbsp caramel sauce, and however much more sweetener you need. When I’m being good, I just add some stevia to sweeten it, but other times I add a drizzle of maple syrup or else a teaspoon of Sucanat.

Pour in your coffee, add some cream or milk of choice, and stir to dissolve all the sweeteners and cocoa.

Top your coffee with freshly whipped cream (none of that store-bought stuff in the can, ok? promise?).

Drizzle generously with caramel sauce, and then sprinkle with salt. I used the kosher version of Real Salt, because I like the larger granules, but you can use any good sea salt.

Imbibe. Sigh. Lick your lips. Repeat.

(Just a thought… this is amazing to make for yourself or one or two other people, but a lot of work for a crowd. If you want to make a whole lot of latte, try these Holiday Lattes in the Crock Pot!)

Pair this Mocha with a Sweet Holiday Treat

If you’re the type that loves to pair a warm holiday beverage with a scrumptious seasonal dessert, look no further! Check out these 20 tantalizing treats I (Erin) recently dug up in the Keeper of the Home archives!

Cakes, Pies, and Breads

Scrumptious Gingerbread Cake

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

Cranberry, Apple and Walnut Cake

Dark Chocolate Flourless Pudding Cake {allergy-friendly}

Grain-Free Dehydrated Apple Pie, Sweetened with Molasses {allergy-friendly}

Janet’s Cheesecake

Gingerbread Fruitcake

Almond Coconut Crust {allergy-friendly}

Cookies, Bars and Balls

Rich Carob Balls and “Sugar” Cookies

No-Bake Cookie Dough Balls {allergy-friendly}

Secret Ingredient Brownies {allergy-friendly}

Chewy Gingersnaps

Cinnamon Scones


Incredibly Yummy Homemade Eggnog (Here’s another simple cooked eggnog recipe you can try.)

Blender Mocha

Holiday Lattes in the Crock Pot

Miscellaneous Treats

Homemade Marshmallows

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Guilt-Free Christmas Snacking

And we can’t forget Stacy’s 25 Grain-Free Desserts and Chocolate Truffle Recipe!

And if we haven’t given you enough holiday treat recipes to try this season, check out our favorite real food desserts eBooks–Treat Yourself: Real Food Desserts and Smart Sweets!

What is your favorite seasonal beverage and holiday treat?

Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. (And lots and lots of pure yummyness!)