Today I bring you a recipe that you never knew you needed, but if you’re anything like me, you’re going to fall in love with.
This Protein Caramel Sauce takes only one minute to make, contains 4 ingredients, is low calories & high in protein, contains no sugar, and has 0g net carbs!
In other words: it has something for everybody.
Traditional caramel sauce takes time to cook, requires precise temperature control, and can turn into a rock if you’re not careful. I don’t know about you, but I prefer simple…
If you’re thinking that this is too good to be true, you’ll just have to give this one a try to see for yourself! I’ve already made this protein caramel sauce numerous times, and I absolutely love it.
While it may not be quite the same as traditional caramel sauce that you’re used to, it’s pretty darn close. And with extra protein and ZERO carbs, you really can’t ask for much more.
I made this recipe without measuring out exact serving sizes, but I estimate that you’ll get about 6 servings or so out of it (although you could get way more, depending on how you choose to use it). With 6 servings, this is how the nutrition breaks down for a single serving:
45 Calories, 3g Fat, 0g Net Carbs, and 4g Protein!
Note that a serving will have 7g of sugar substitute, which technically falls into the carb category, but I don’t count sugar substitute in my carb totals because they contribute 0 calories.
Ingredients in Protein Caramel Sauce
All you need to make this protein caramel sauce is one minute of time and just 4 ingredients. It doesn’t get much easier than that.
The ingredients we’re using here are vanilla protein powder, sugar-free syrup, butter, and brown sugar substitute.
This photo shows you exactly which brand I chose to go with, and I’ll tell you why I chose each in case you need to make substitutions.
Vanilla Protein Powder: I used Quest Nutrition here because it’s one of my favorite tasting protein powders. It’s a blend of whey & casein, which leads to a thicker consistency than whey protein alone. I know that the majority of people out there only have whey protein, and that will work here too. The addition of casein in the Quest powder really helps the texture, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Sugar-Free Syrup: I always have some sugar-free syrup in my fridge because I make waffles almost daily. I like using this because it tastes like maple syrup (albeit not as thick) and has very few calories to it. For this recipe, any sticky liquid sweetener should work! If you have regular maple syrup, or even honey, both should work here.
Butter/Butter Spread: The butter in this recipe is necessary to give this protein caramel sauce its smooth consistency and to balance out some of the sweetness. I use Country Crock spread because it is only 50 calories per tablespoon, vs regular butter that is 100 calories per tablespoon. Country Crock is actually non-dairy as well, if that is something you’re after! Regular butter will work here, as well as any other “buttery spread.”
Brown Sugar Substitute: Brown sugar is what is going to give us that dark caramel color. If you use regular sugar, our protein caramel sauce is going to be way too light and taste much different. I’ve been using So Nourished brand brown sugar substitute, and it’s the closest I’ve found to real-deal brown sugar. Feel free to use any brand you like!
How to make Protein Caramel Sauce
The process to make your own protein caramel sauce could not be simpler, but let’s run through it quickly.
Put your butter, syrup, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl.
Since butter pops in the microwave and can make a real mess, give everything a quick mix. If your butter is fully coated in the syrup, it will just melt without popping all over your microwave. There’s a little life hack for ya!
Microwave this mixture for 30 seconds, then whisk together until smooth.
Add it back to the microwave for another 30 seconds to heat it up a little more, then whisk one more time.
All that is left to do is add the protein powder!
While whisking, add the protein powder a little bit at a time, then continuing whisking (about 30 seconds) until the mixture fully smooths out and there are no clumps left.
Technically we’re done at this stage, but we’re going to let the caramel sauce sit for about an hour.
If it’s absolutely necessary, you could enjoy the protein caramel sauce at this stage, but it’s much better once it sits. Like most no-bake recipes with protein powder (like my Protein Fudge or Cookie Dough Bars) the flavors mellow out as they sit, and the mixture will thicken up a bit.
Just let it sit at room temperature for about an hour, and it will thicken up to the perfect caramel consistency!
If you want to store this protein caramel sauce for later use, just keep it in an air-tight container at room temperature and it will stay good for up to 3 days. If you need to stretch it beyond 3 days, it can easily be stored in the fridge for much longer.
Note that if you store this protein caramel sauce in the fridge that it will thicken up quite a bit. When you’re ready to enjoy it, simply microwave for about 15 seconds and it should be good as new!
The best ways to enjoy Protein Caramel Sauce
Caramel sauce tastes delicious, but I’m sure you’re not planning on just eating it with a spoon.
If you need some ideas on how you can use your new protein caramel sauce, here are some of my suggestions…
Use as a caramel drizzle over your favorite desserts
Whip up some of my famous Protein Brownies (one of my favorite recipes) and drizzle some protein caramel sauce right on top.
Or make yourself some of the No-Churn Soft Serve Ice Cream and top with some caramel!
You could even use the protein caramel sauce as a dip. Make yourself a batch of cookies, dip them in caramel, and thank me later.
Level up your coffee
Want to make your own caramel cold foam? Now you can!
Mix 2 tablespoons of the protein caramel sauce with 1/4-1/3 cup of your favorite milk (depending on how much you want to make), then use a milk frother to turn that into an easy cold foam.
If you want to get even fancier than that, allow me to point you in the direction of the Protein Snickers Cold Brew…
I mean, that one doesn’t even need an explanation- head on over to the full recipe to make that one.
I’m sure I’ll continue to come up with even more applications for this protein caramel sauce, but if you think of any other unique uses, please let me know in the comments below! I always love seeing the creativity from you guys.
- 42g Light Butter (I use Country Crock Butter Spread)
- 31g (1 Scoop) Vanilla Protein (I used Quest Nutrition)
- 2 Tbsp Sugar-Free Syrup (any sticky sweetener will work)
- 40g Brown Sugar Substitute
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the syrup, butter, and brown sugar. Give this a quick mix so the butter is covered in syrup (this helps prevent the butter from popping in the microwave and making a mess).
- Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and whisk to fully mix, then microwave for another 30 seconds.
- Remove from the microwave and slowly add your scoop of protein powder a little bit at a time while whisking. Continue whisking for about 30-60 seconds to smooth it out.
- Let the caramel sauce sit at room temperature for about one hour to fully cool and for the flavors to marry (the sweetness settles down a little bit), then enjoy!
- This caramel sauce is best saved by covering at room temperature for up to 3 days. If it thickens up over time, simply microwave for 10-15 seconds when ready to enjoy.
- If you need to save this for longer than 3 days, it can be safely stored in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. It will solidify in the fridge, so you'll need to microwave & mix it up before serving.
- You can make this vegan by making sure to use a non-dairy butter spread, as well as a vegan protein powder. However, vegan protein powders often have a strong earthy flavor, so the result may not be as tasty.
- I use a whey/protein blend because it creates the best consistency (in my mind). A whey protein powder should still work great here, and you can certainly try a flavor other than vanilla if you prefer.
- I didn't measure out my serving sizes, so you may get more (or less if you use a lot at once) than 6 servings. But 6 is definitely a decent estimate!
- Each serving technically has 7g of carbs if you count the brown sugar substitute, but I do not count that in my carb count since it provides no caloric impact.
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Nutrition InformationYield 6 (ish) Serving Size 1/6 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 45Total Fat 3gCarbohydrates 0gProtein 4g