vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods

It’s nearing the time to start planning your holiday gift giving this year! I hope you’ll consider less plastic and stuff and more thoughtful homemade ideas, like my edible gifts.

vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods_hot for food

Starting this week and for the next 3 weeks, I’ll be featuring tasty, delectable homemade treats you can give as gifts to the ones you love this year. This week I’m showing you how to make these vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods! They’re super cool and a pretty fancy looking, too! 

vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods recipe

These babies have a gooey caramel coating, then chocolate, and a sponge toffee crunch on the outside with a little sparkle. Check out how to make them in the video below and scroll down for the recipe!

If you are looking for more edible gift ideas try my copy-cat Ferrero Rocher truffles or the tokyo mix popcorn tin!

sponge toffee vegan recipe

You can use remaining toffee for the hazelnut truffle recipe OR break up the remaining piece into large chunks and you can dip half of them in melted chocolate and give that as a different edible gift too! They’re very decadent.

vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods_hot for food
5 from 1 vote
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vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods

These golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods are a cute host gift for the holidays or just make them and keep them to yourself! Whatevs…

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate, edibel gifts, pretzel, sponge toffee, toffee
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
cooling 3 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 47 to 60 rods
Author Lauren Toyota


  • 47 to 60 pretezel rods (4-inches in length)

date caramel

  • 12 (250 g) medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 C warm water
  • 2/3 C canned coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C vegan butter
  • 1 C granulated cane sugar

golden sponge toffee

chocolate coating


  1. In a high-powered blender, add pitted dates, water, coconut cream, tapioca starch, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blend until very smooth.

  2. In a saucepan, melt vegan butter and add the cane sugar on low to medium heat. Stir to combine. When the butter is mostly melted, you can turn the heat up slightly and add in the date mixture and stir until combined.

  3. Let it come to a low bubble and whisk constantly to prevent burning. A smooth caramel forms and thickens slightly in about 4 to 5 minutes. Then remove from the heat and let the mixture cool.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare two baking sheets lined with wax paper and prepare the sponge toffee while the caramel cools down.

  5. For the sponge toffee, make sure all of your ingredients are pre-measured as the process happens really quick! Line a square pan with parchment paper and attach a candy thermometer to a medium sized sauce pan.
  6. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the gold pearl dust and water.

  7. In your sauce pan over medium-high heat, add sugar evenly so it covers the bottom of the pot. Pour the corn syrup and water over top so that all of the sugar is covered. Do not stir this. The sugar will dissolve and start to simmer.
  8. Once the sugar mixture reaches 300°F which is hard candy-crack stage (this took about 18 minutes on my stove top), take the pot off heat and whisk in the baking soda until combined. Don’t continue whisking as you want air to remain the mixture. The mixture will begin to foam right away and double in size.

  9. As soon as it mostly stops expanding, pour the mixture out into the square pan, working quickly as it’ll start to harden immediately. Let the mixture cool and harden at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  10. By now, your caramel will be cooled enough and slightly thicker. Pour the caramel into a heat-safe cup or mug that is about 4-inches tall and ensure the mouth of the cup is about 2 1/2-inches wide.

  11. Dip a pretzel rod 3/4 of the way into the caramel. Let the excess drip off well before placing on the sheets lined with wax paper. Repeat with the remaining pretzel rods. The caramel shouldn’t pool too much but if some are a little bit misshapen from pooling around the pretzel, use a knife or small spatula to smooth out the caramel edges before chilling in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set the caramel.
  12. Once the sponge toffee is completely cooled, break the large piece in half. Place one half in a large resealable plastic bag, removing the air. Use a rolling pin to bash the toffee to create small crumbs. It’s very therapeutic! Pour into a wide shallow dish and set aside until you’re coating the caramel pretzel rods.

  13. To make the chocolate coating, melt 8 ounces of dark chocolate wafers at a time over a double boiler until smooth and entirely melted. Clean out the same mug or cup you used for the date caramel, and pour in the melted chocolate.

  14. Take the caramel dipped pretzel rods and smooth out any shifted caramel on the pretzel using a knife or small spatula.
  15. Dip it into the chocolate covering the caramel layer and let a lot of the excess drip off.
  16. Have toffee sponge crumbs in a large wide plate or platter and generously coat the rod with the crumb while rotating it constantly so you don’t drip a lot of chocolate into the crumbs.
  17. Place the rod on a clean sheet lined with wax paper that is in the fridge. You’ll want to place the fully coated rods immediately in the fridge so they don’t pool at all. Keep chilled in the fridge.
  18. Divide the rods in individual plastic cellophane bags or in mason jars and keep refrigerated unless putting out to serve immediately. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

These should be made 1 day in advance of gifting and eaten within 1 to 2 days max. for total freshness.

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4 thoughts on “vegan golden chocolate caramel pretzel rods”

  1. I am confused as to why the written recipe calls for flat water for the sponge, and the video recipe calls for sparking water.

    1. I say "sparkly water" because I added the edible glitter to the water – not carbonated water!

  2. These sound and look so good! Is the edible glitter necessary to the working of the recipe or there for the look only? Thank you!!

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