Gluten Free Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sundae with candied coffee walnuts – the ultimate adult treat. Start with a bowl of your favorite ice cream – I am a big fan of vanilla or coffee for this sundae. Topped with a generous pour of whiskey coffee caramel sauce and some candied coffee walnuts and you have yourself a winner.
- Recipe Ingredient Notes
- How to make Candied Coffee Walnuts
- How to make Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce
- Is Whiskey safe for Celiacs?
- How to plate the Gluten Free Whiskey Caramel Sundae
- What else can I make with Whiskey Caramel Sauce and Candied Coffee Walnuts?
- FAQ for Gluten Free Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sundae
- Baking in grams
- Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
- Substitutions and Modifications
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
Recipe Ingredient Notes
Heavy Cream: as tempting as it may be, please do not substitute the heavy cream with milk or half&half. Caramel gets its smooth consistency and texture from the heavy cream.
Whiskey: Most whiskeys available in the US are safe for people with celiac disease because of the distillation process. Here are a few celiac safe whiskeys widely available in the US.
Corn Syrup: I add 25 grams of corn syrup to this caramel to keep it smooth and avoid the crystallization of the sugar.
Instant Espresso: You will need Instant Espresso for the whiskey coffee caramel sauce as well as the Candied Coffee Walnuts
Ground Cardamon: I like to add a pinch of ground cardamon to my Candied Coffee Walnuts and Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce. If you have some in your pantry, please use it. Otherwise, feel free to omit it.
Walnuts: Please use raw, halved walnuts for the Candied Coffee Walnuts. If you do not like walnuts or have no access to them, feel free to substitute them with halved pecans or whole almonds.
Ice Cream: Please use your favorite ice cream for this recipe. I like to use vanilla or coffee for this gluten free sundae.
How to make Candied Coffee Walnuts
If you can whisk egg whites, you can make Candied Coffee Walnuts. Yes, this recipe is that easy.
Preheat your oven: Allow your oven to preheat to 325F while you prepare the walnuts.
Whisk the egg whites: Start out by separating the egg white from the egg yolk. Add the egg white to a medium-size bowl and with a whisk or a hand mixer, whip it to firm peaks. The peak should hold its shape, but the tip will curl inwards.
Add your sugar, espresso, and seasonings: Combine your brown sugar, instant espresso powder, ground cardamom (if using), vanilla and salt and add it to the whipped egg white. Whip it all together. Yes, the egg whites will lose some of their volume but that’s okay.
Fold in the walnuts: Add your raw walnuts to your sugar and egg white mixture and fold them together. Make sure all the walnuts are coated with the egg whites.
Bake: Place the walnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.
Stir them: After 15 minutes give the walnuts a good stir. You will notice that the egg whites look puffy but the stirring will create this delicious coating for your walnuts. Continue to bake for another 10 minutes, stir again and return the nuts to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. At this point, they should start to look dry with a crumbly coating.
Check for doneness: Your Candied Coffee Walnuts are done when the sugar coating looks crisp and still has a slight stickiness to it. Just like a touch. The magic number with my oven is 35 minutes.
Allow to cool: If you live in a very humid area, I recommend allowing the walnuts to fully cool in the oven instead of at room temperature.
Storing: store your gluten free candied coffee walnuts in an airtight container at room temperature.
How to make Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce
Please be very careful when making caramel since the burns from splatters do hurt, a lot.
Heavy Cream, Whiskey, Coffee Mixture: in a microwave-safe bowl combine heavy cream, whiskey, and Instant Espresso. Warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, give it a good stir, and set it near your stove.
Combine sugar and water: In a large saucepan, stir the sugars, corn syrup, and warm water together until dissolved, keeping the sides of the pan as clean as possible.
Bring to a simmer: Carefully bring the sugar and water mixture to a simmer without stirring. Allow to simmer under supervision until it reaches a copper/iced tea color – this depends on your stove. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes. Please be aware that because of the added brown sugar your caramel will have a darker color.
Remove from heat: Remove the pan from heat and carefully add the warm Heavy Cream, Whiskey, Coffee Mixture. Please be careful because the mixture will bubble up and may splatter. And caramel burns are the worst.
Return to the stove: Once all the liquid has been added, return your sauce to the stove on low heat. Bring back to a low simmer and dissolve all the sugar pieces that are floating in your caramel. Add butter, vanilla, cardamom (if used), and kosher salt and whisk until it is combined.
Cool: transfer the caramel sauce to a heat-proof bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature before using it. If you see chunks of sugar floating around, I recommend straining it.
Store: Store your Whiskey Caramel Coffee Sauce in an air-tight container in your fridge for up to 7 days.
Is Whiskey safe for Celiacs?
Most whiskeys available in the US are safe for people with celiac disease because of the distillation process. Here are a few celiac safe whiskeys widely available in the US
- Pendleton Canadian Whiskey
- Glenfiddich Scotch
- Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
- Jameson Whiskey
- Jim Beam Bourbon
- Knob Creek Whiskey
- Wild Turkey Bourbon
There are also a few whiskeys that are made with gluten-free grains such as Koval Bourbon Whiskey (100% corn and millet mix). Another option is Queen Jennie Sorghum Whiskey which is made from 100% sorghum
How to plate the Gluten Free Whiskey Caramel Sundae
I like to use glasses to plate my sundaes but you can use bowls as well. Start with a scoop of your Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce on the bottom. Top with a scoop of ice cream, some caramel sauce and candied coffee walnuts. Add another scoop of ice cream and finish off with more caramel and additional walnuts.
What else can I make with Whiskey Caramel Sauce and Candied Coffee Walnuts?
Gluten Free Banana Snack Cake: Replace the Salted Caramel in the Buttercream for my banana snack cake with the whiskey caramel sauce and top it with candied coffee walnuts.
Coffee Drinks: add the whiskey caramel sauce to your favorite coffee drinks.
Ice Cream: swirl the whiskey caramel sauce in your favorite vanilla or coffee ice cream once it has frozen. Add some candied coffee walnuts for an extra crunch.
Gifts: wrap the candied coffee walnuts up in a cute bag or jar and use them for edible gifts for the holidays.
FAQ for Gluten Free Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sundae
How do I reheat my sauce once it has been refrigerated?
Your caramel will set up and become less fluid once it is fully cooled and has been in the fridge. The easiest way to reheat is by transferring it to a microwave-safe bowl and carefully nuking it for 10-15 seconds until it is fluid it again.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
This recipe uses a lot of cream. I do not recommend substituting the cream with vegan products.
Can I leave out the alcohol?
Of course! Please use an additional 3 tablespoons of heavy cream.
How long does the caramel sauce last?
I recommend using it within 7 days.
My candied nuts are not crispy
If your candied nuts are sticky and soft, you most likely have not baked them long enough OR the humidity in your kitchen got to them. You can easily re-crisp them by popping them back in the oven for 5-8 minutes at 250F.
Baking in grams
My recipes are posted in grams since baking by weight is the most accurate way to bake. Digital Scales are very affordable and can be found on Amazon for less than a set of measuring cups. Measuring cups are very inaccurate and can cause significant errors when it comes to baking. Especially since I bake with gluten-free flours which weigh differently than “regular” flours. I do provide some ingredients like spices and leavening agents in measuring spoons.
Note about Ovens and Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection (fan-forced), please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
Substitutions and Modifications
Any dietary or ingredient modifications/substitutions to this recipe may alter the end result in appearance and taste. My recipes have been tested several times as published in this post and The Gluten Free Austrian Blog is not responsible for the outcome of any recipe found on our website.
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For the Candied Coffee Walnuts
- 225 grams raw walnuts
- 1 egg white
- 60 grams light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of Instant Espresso
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling the finished product
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamon (optional)
For the Gluten Free Whiskey Caramel Coffee Sauce
- 65 grams heavy cream
- 50 grams gluten free whiskey
- 1-3 teaspoons instant espresso (depending on how much you love coffee)
- 150 grams granulated white sugar
- 50 grams light brown sugar
- 20 grams corn syrup
- 60 grams water
- 30 grams unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamon (optional)
For the Gluten Free Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sundae
- 1 -2 pints of your favorite ice cream
How to make Gluten Free Candied Coffee Walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 325F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk egg white until firm peaks. Add brown sugar, instant espresso, cardamon (if using), vanilla, kosher salt, and whisk to combine.
- Add the walnuts to the egg white-sugar mixture and gently mix until the walnuts are well coated.
- Spread the walnuts into a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake in your preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes give the walnuts a good stir. You will notice that the egg whites look puffy but the stirring will create this delicious coating for your walnuts.
- Continue to bake for another 10 minutes, stir again and return the nuts to the oven for an additional 10 minutes. At this point, they should start to look dry with a crumbly coating.
- The walnuts are done when they look dry but may still feel a bit sticky. Just make sure not to overbake them.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle with kosher salt and allow the walnuts to cool completely on the baking sheet.
- When completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to one month.
How to make Gluten Free Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce
- In a microwave-safe bowl combine heavy cream, whiskey, and Instant Espresso. Warm it up in the microwave for 30 seconds, give it a good stir, and set it near your stove.
- In a large saucepan, stir the sugar, cornsyrup, and warm water together until dissolved, keeping the sides of the pan as clean as possible.
- Carefully bring the sugar and water mixture to a simmer without stirring. Allow to simmer under supervision until it reaches a copper/iced tea color - this depends on your stove. This can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 10 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat and carefully add the heavy cream, whiskey, espresso mixture little by little.
- Please be careful because the mixture will bubble up and may splatter. And caramel burns are the worst.
- Once all the liquid has been added, return your sauce to the stove on low heat. Bring back to a low simmer and dissolve all the sugar pieces that are floating in your caramel. Add butter, vanilla, cardamom (if using), vanilla, and kosher salt, and whisk until it is combined
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl.
- Allow your caramel sauce to cool to room temperature before using it as a Sundae topping.
How to plate your Gluten Free Whiskey Caramel Sundae
I like to use glasses to plate my sundaes but you can use bowls as well. Start with a scoop of your Whiskey Coffee Caramel Sauce on the bottom. Top with a scoop of ice cream, some caramel sauce, and candied coffee walnuts. Add another scoop of ice cream and finish off with more caramel and additional walnuts.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409