Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (2024)

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4.92 from 50 votes

1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

by Marly

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This easy vegan crème brûlée recipe is everything you want in a creamy, decadent dessert. Make this crème brûléewithout eggs for a simple but elegant dessert! This plant-based dessert is easier than the traditional recipe and uses only 7 ingredients.

Drizzle some blueberry sauce over the top for an even more dramatic presentation and flavor.

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (1)

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Vegan Crème Brûlée

Growing up in a super small town, I would not have pictured myself oohing and ahhing over a vegan crème brûlée recipe. And yet… here I am. This deliciously creamy custard recipe comes with a crispy burnt sugar topping that makes this dessert sing!

The contrast between that crispy topping and the creamy custard in this vegan coconut creme brulee is nothing short of spectacular. It surges this simple vegan dessert into another hemisphere!

Making a crème brûlée vegan may seem like an affront to die-hard French dessert connoisseurs, but I’m here to tell you, it’s the only way to go! The thing is dairy-free crème brûlée is still just as creamy but it’s ready without even baking.

What Makes This Recipe Shine?

  • Using full-fat coconut milk makes this dessert rich and creamy
  • Adding raw cashews impacts the flavor and texture of this dish
  • Using a tiny pinch of turmeric adds a hint of golden color.
Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (2)

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe, including substitution ideas:

  • Coconut milk— We’ll use full-fat canned coconut milk (it should have 12+ grams of fat)
  • Arrowroot powder — This is a thickener, and you can substitute others, like cornstarch.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — There’s a bit of nutritional yeast flakes for color and flavor.
  • Ground turmeric— There’s a pinch of ground turmeric for color.

How to Make Vegan Creme Brûlée

It may seem complicated to make this healthy crème brûlée recipe, but of course, you might think that about any creamy dessert with a fancy, French name. Trust me, this recipe is easy!

In fact, I think making vegan crème brûlée is easier than the standard recipe. Because you don’t have to crack eggs, or worry about bacteria in your kitchen from said eggs, or temper the egg yolks, or ensure the eggs are cooked adequately.

See? This vegan crème brûlée is easier.

So, let’s get started.

  1. Make the cream base by simmering the coconut milk, arrowroot powder, sugar, and cashews in a saucepan while stirring for about 5 minutes.
  2. Blend the cream base with nutritional yeast flakes, vanilla, and turmeric until creamy.
  3. Pour the cream into brûlée dishes or ramekins.
  4. Chill the brûlée in the fridge for 2 hours.
  5. Sprinkle the top of each dish with granulated sugar.
  6. Make the burnt sugar topping by suing a kitchen torch to carmelize the sugar and create a crispy top coating.
  7. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.

Here are more detailed, step-by-step instructions for this vegan creme brûlée:

Step One: Bring Coconut Milk and Cashews to a Simmer

Add the coconut milk, arrowroot powder, and cashews in a small saucepan. Use a spatula and stir to combine. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook it for 1 minute, then remove it from heat. Don’t worry about lumps if they occur. We’ll take care of that in the next step.

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (3)

Step Two: Blend & Chill

Add the cream mixture to a high-speed blender. You can use a food processor here, but to get the creamiest texture, a blender works best.

Add the yeast flakes, vanilla, and turmeric. Blend for a few seconds, then use a spatula to push ingredients down from the side of the blender jar. Blend again until smooth.

Blending Hot Liquid

  1. Allow the liquid to cool slightly.
  2. Never fill a blender more than half-way with hot liquid.
  3. Remove the center cap from the blender lid.
  4. Place a towel over the top of the blender lid.
  5. Blend until smooth.
Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (4)

Pour the vegan brûlée into 4 brûlée dishes or ramekins. Place them in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours up to overnight (it gets creamier as it chills).

Step Three: Burnt Sugar Topping for Serving

Brûlée actually means burnt. This requires a kitchen power tool — bring on the kitchen torch!

So, before serving, cover the entire surface of the brûlée with a thin layer of sugar. Use a kitchen torch to carmelize the sugar and create a crispy top coating. Let the sugar sit for a few minutes (so the sugar isn’t too hot), then serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to an hour before eating it.

Don’t have a kitchen torch? Use your oven broiler to burn the sugar. Move the oven rack to the highest position. Heat up the broiler so it’s very hot. You won’t achieve the same golden color as with a torch, but this works. I’ve also read that a grill lighter (the ones with a long wand) can burn the sugar topping, too.

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (5)

Marly’s Tips

Use these expert tips to make this vegan crème brûlée perfect every time:

  • The texture of crème brûlée is more like Greek yogurt than a true custard, so serving this dish after it chills will let it thicken properly.
  • Add up to 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the milk mixture to make vegan chocolate crème brûlée (and leave out the ground turmeric).
  • Traditional crème brûlée is served in ramekins to ensure they cook evenly. Of course, that’s not an issue here because we’re not baking it. You can serve this in any dish you want, but I love the “traditional” look of ramekins.
  • I used plain granulated sugar for the topping and it works just fine!

That burnt-sugar, crackly topping on a cashew creamy custard creates such a simple, elegant dessert.

Reader Reviews

★★★★★
WOW! Creme brûlée is a favourite dessert in my house and, since going plant-based, we’ve missed it dearly. Not any more! This is truly delicious, decadent, creamy, and wonderful. It’s also just so darned much easier to make than the “real” thing.

KM

Frequently-Asked Questions

Is Creme Brûlée Vegetarian?

Although crème brûlée is technically a vegetarian dish, because it’s made with both milk and eggs, it is not considered vegan. However, it’s a very easy recipe to adapt to a vegan diet and tastes just as creamy and delicious!

What's the best coconut milk to use?

There are so many types and brands of coconut milk. Which ones are best? I recommend using full-fat coconut milk, regardless of the brand. To make sure you’re using full fat, simply check the label. It should indicate somewhere between 12 and 15g of fat. The amount of fat in each can vary, and this will have an impact on how creamy the custard is. It will take longer to set if there’s less fat in the can.

Fancy Vegan Desserts

If you love this vegan creme brûlée, you obviously like the finer desserts in life. Be sure to try these indulgent vegan desserts.

Vegan Coconut Cake

55 mins total

Vegan Strawberry Chocolate Cake

50 mins total

Vegan Pecan Pie

95 mins total

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (10)
Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (11)

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Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (12)

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (13)

No-Bake Crème Brûlée

Take your dessert to another level with this indulgent no-bake vegan Crème Brûlée recipe. Any recipe that requires a blow torch is fine with me and that crispy sugar topping makes it all worthwhile!

4.92 from 50 votes

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Course: Dessert

Cuisine: French

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour hour

Total Time: 1 hour hour 15 minutes minutes

Servings: 4

Calories: 375kcal

Author: Marly McMillen

Ingredients

  • 13.5 oz can coconut milk (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (not soaked cashews)
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tiny pinch turmeric (for color)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar (for topping)

Instructions

  • Scoop one cup of the fat from a can of chilled coconut milk, arrowroot powder, sugar, and cashews in a saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer (low boil) over medium heat while stirring (this can take up to 5 minutes). Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Don't worry about lumps in the sauce if they occur.

  • Add the cream mixture to a high-speed blender. Add the nutritional yeast flakes, vanilla, and pinch of turmeric (for color). Blend until creamy.

  • Pour the cream into 4 brûlée dishes or ramekins (or 8 smaller containers). Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours to overnight (the longer it sits the thicker the cream will become).

  • Before serving, sprinkle the top of each with approximately 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and make sure the entire surface of cream has sugar over it. Use a kitchen torch to carmelize the sugar and create a crispy top coating. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to an hour before serving.

Recommended Equipment

Kitchen Torch

Blender

Medium Saucepan

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Video

Notes

If you don’t have arrowroot powder, you can substitute cornstarch.

For Chocolate Creme Brûlée

Add up to 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the milk mixture (and leave out the ground turmeric).

Regarding Coconut Milk

Use full-fat coconut milk. The label should read between 13 and 15g of fat. The amount of fat in each can varies which will have an impact on how creamy the custard is.

Keep your coconut milk in the fridge so the fat hardens. Then you can scoop the fat from the can. If your can has 1 cup of fat that’s good. If your can has less than 1 cup, use 1.5 tablespoons arrowroot powder.

Make-Ahead Tips

To make ahead, prepare the custard and pour it into serving dishes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving.

Burning Sugar Options

Don’t have a kitchen torch? You can use your oven broiler to burn the sugar. Simply, move the oven rack to the highest rack in the oven. Heat up the broiler so it’s very hot. It helps if the custard itself is well chilled. Just be sure to set it out at room temperature for a few minutes so the ramekin doesn’t crack. You won’t achieve the same golden color as with a torch, but this works. I’ve also read that a grill lighter (the ones with a long wand) can burn the sugar topping as well. However, it seems like that would take a while so it may not be practical. Once the sugar coating is done, let it sit for a few minutes before eating it, so you don’t burn your mouth.

Calories: 375kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Sodium: 16mg | Potassium: 312mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 4mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a rating below then tag @namelymarly on Instagram and hashtag it #namelymarly. I love seeing your creations!

This post was originally published in 2019 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2021.

Vegan Creme Brûlée Recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is vegan creme brulee made of? ›

Coconut-Free Creamy Vegan Creme Brûlée (4 Ingredients!)

Whisk: In a medium saucepan, whisk together the soy milk, arrowroot starch, 1 cup of granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and vanilla beans. Heat: Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat as you whisk.

What is the secret of creme brulee? ›

Chill custard overnight.

To get the smoothest, most gorgeous crème brûlée, cover the bowl and chill overnight. If you don't have the time, you can continue with the baking, but you'll get the silkiest custards by chilling the mix for at least a few hours.

Can I use milk instead of heavy cream for creme brulee? ›

You can usually get away with using milk if you also add enough butter to make up for the missing fat content. Without the fat, you won't end up with crème brûlée. If you don't have heavy cream, you can substitute 3/4 cup of milk plus 1/4 cup melted butter for one cup of heavy cream.

Why is my creme brulee not crispy? ›

If the whole thing is wiggly, use more time in the oven. If the bottom is unset, use a hot water bath. If the top is not set, you got boiling water in the ramekins and should use less water.

Is crème brûlée junk food? ›

Crème brûlée is a dessert that is traditionally made with heavy cream, sugar, and eggs, and it is not considered a weight loss food. In fact, it is high in calories, fat, and sugar, and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in large quantities or as part of an overall unhealthy diet.

What not to do when making crème brûlée? ›

Avoid These Common Mistakes and Make a Flawless Crème Brûlée
  1. Using the Wrong Size Ramekin. Crème brûlée is traditionally baked in a wide, shallow ramekin. ...
  2. Using Whole Eggs. The pudding portion of crème brûlée should be trembling and tender, but still rich and creamy. ...
  3. Getting Water in the Pudding. ...
  4. Torching the Wrong Sugar.
Jan 20, 2016

What can go wrong with crème brûlée? ›

  • Whisking too much which will incorporate air bubbles in the custard. ...
  • Not using a water bath in the oven or enough water up the sides of the ramekin. ...
  • Overbaking, the custard should just jiggle a in the center when you remove from the oven. ...
  • Using granulated sugar for the brulee.
Feb 18, 2021

Why is crème brûlée so hard to make? ›

The hardest part about making Creme Brulee is waiting for the custard to set in the fridge and being fearless with the mini blow torch. Yes, you have to make Creme Brulee ahead of time, but I love a dessert that bakes the day before.

What sugar is best for creme brulee? ›

For the caramelized sugar crust, we recommend turbinado or Demerara sugar. Regular granulated sugar will work, too, but use only 1 scant teaspoon on each ramekin or 1 teaspoon on each shallow fluted dish.

What is the best sugar for brulee? ›

Plain old table sugar, with its small crystal size, melted evenly and caramelized well, forming a thin, shatteringly crisp layer on top of the custard. In short—perfect. For best results, make sure to apply your sugar in an even layer.

Why do you need to scald milk for creme brulee? ›

You'll see this technique used a lot in ice cream recipes, pastry cream, and other dessert recipes. Scalding the milk can also help cut down on cooking time. Milk is an easy and relatively forgiving ingredient to heat, and when making a sauce or custard, it can help jump-start the cooking process.

Why does my creme brulee look like scrambled egg? ›

If you have a mixture resembling sweet scrambled eggs then the eggs in the creme brulee are curdling and this happens because they become over heated.

Can you overmix creme brulee? ›

Add the cream to the eggs slowly while whisking so the eggs get tempered and don't scramble. Whisk gently and don't overmix! You don't want to whisk aggressively as that will add lots of little air bubbles and the texture won't be as creamy. You just need to whisk enough to get a hom*ogenous mixture.

Can you use a candle lighter for creme brulee? ›

Not everyone has a brûlée torch, but nearly everyone has a candle or grill lighter. This may or may not be practical, though; mine took forever to melt even a small amount of sugar. I think that this is a good option only when you have a small surface area, a thin layer of sugar, and a pretty powerful lighter.

What are crème brûlée made of? ›

Five simple ingredients – cream, vanilla, salt, eggs and sugar – make for an exquisitely rich and elegant dessert. Most crème brûlée recipes require the use of a small propane torch to achieve the crackly sugar top, but this version offers a simpler (and safer) solution: your oven's broiler.

What makes vegan ice cream vegan? ›

“'Vegan' simply means that whatever product it is, it is plant-based and made free of any animal products,” says Julie. Most vegan ice creams are made with coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk. All of those bases come from plants, and none include anything that comes from an animal.

What's the difference between crème brûlée and custard? ›

The main difference between the two is that creme brulee is topped with a layer of sugar that caramelizes under a broiler or torch, resulting in a crunchy, burnt sugar topping. Egg custard does not have this additional layer of sugar, but some recipes call for a dusting of nutmeg or cinnamon.

Is caramel brûlée syrup vegan? ›

The Caramel Brulée Latte technically cannot be vegan because the caramel brulée sauce contains skim milk powder. What you can do instead is replace the caramel brulée sauce with a combination of non-dairy caramel syrup and toffee nut syrup, hold the whipped cream, and replace the milk with a plant-based alternative.

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