Vegan Crème Brûlée

This easy vegan crème brûlée recipe is everything you want in a creamy, decadent dessert. If you’re a beginning vegan baker, you’ll love how easy it is to make a crème brûlée without eggs! It’s easier than the traditional recipe and uses 7 ingredients.

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

A close up of creme brûlée in white serving dishes with raspberries on top and a bowl of raspberries beside them.

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.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • 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.
A close-up shot of creme brûlée in a ramekin with burnt sugar on top and raspberries on the side.

What You Need

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:

  • 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.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Raw cashews
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — There’s a bit of nutritional yeast flakes for color and flavor.
  • Vanilla extract
  • 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.

A saucepan holds coconut milk with cashews.

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.
A creme sauce is being poured from a blender jar into a ramekin.

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.

A torch has a flame going and is burning the sugar layer over creme brûlée.

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.
  • 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.

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.

A spoon dishes out some creme from a serving dish of creme brûlée.
A close up of creme brûlée in white serving dishes with raspberries on top and a bowl of raspberries beside them.

Vegan Crème Brûlée

Take your dessert to another level with this indulgent Vegan Crème Brûlée recipe. Any recipe that requires a blow torch is fine with me and that crispy sugar topping makes it all worthwhile!
5 from 21 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 375kcal
Author: Marly

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Combine the 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 3 to 5 minutes). Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Don't worry about lumps 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.

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Video

Notes

If you don’t have arrowroot powder, you can substitute cornstarch.
Use full-fat coconut milk. The label should read 13 – 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.
To make ahead, prepare the custard and pour it into serving dishes. Cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 3 days before serving. 
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. 
Nutrition Facts
Vegan Crème Brûlée
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 22g110%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 312mg9%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 25g28%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 23mg2%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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.

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

Two serving dishes contain creme brûlée with raspberries on top. The text reads: Vegan Creme Brûlée.

61 Responses to Vegan Crème Brûlée

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly Reply

    As author of this recipe, it’s my pleasure to report that both the ease of making it and the flavor involved is stupendous! I love that a vegan creme brûlée is actually easier to make than the non-vegan variety!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKari Reply

    These are all ingredients I always have stocked up so it would make a perfect any day dessert.

    I’m assuming not, but do you know of any other way to get the sugar burnt? Maybe a quick broil in the oven? Don’t have the torch but really want to try.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kari! You can use your broiler to burn the sugar on your crème brûlée. Put the rack just underneath the broiler (highest rack in the oven). Then heat your broiler so it’s nice and hot. It helps if the custard itself is well chilled. Just be sure to set it out for a few minutes so the ramekin dish doesn’t crack. You won’t get as much golden color as with a torch, but this will work. I’ve also read that a grill lighter (the ones with a long wand). However, it seems like that would take awhile so it may not be very practical. Once your sugar coating is done, let it rest for a few minutes before digging in so you don’t burn your mouth. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRozelyn Roux Reply

    Came here from Julien! He and Jenna sold me on this recipe. Can’t wait to try it out!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Rozelyn! Thanks so much. Hope you love it as much as we do! FYI – I love that it’s so much easier to make than traditional creme brûlée! 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKatie Riddoch

      Me too!!! I’m in the ‘chilling’ process and so curious how it’s going to turn out

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAnne Reply

    Hello! Came from Julien Solomita’s YouTube video. I was curious if I could substitute active dry yeast or quick rise yeast for the nutritional yeast flakes? I don’t know a ton about yeast, so I’m not sure how the substitution would affect the recipe. Thank you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Anne. Thanks for your comment! If you don’t want to use nutritional yeast flakes, you can simply leave it out, but you should not substitute any other type of yeast for it. Leaving the nutritional yeast out will impact the flavor, but it should still taste good.

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCarrie Reply

    Allergic to coconut, can you recommend an alternative to use? **came over from Julien’s video**

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySK

      Same! I’m allergic to coconut and would live if anyone knows a vegan or non-vegan substitute 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for Marlyjasmine

      i think the coconut milk is mostly there for flavor and fat content. cashews are also pretty high in fat so you could probably just increase the amount of cashews used and use water/almond/cashew milk as the liquid. i would personally add more sweetener, vanilla, and salt to the recipe to make up for the coconut flavor/sweetness you are taking out 🙂 i hope this helps and works!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyTasha Reply

    is the 503 cal for all servings or for one serving?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Tasha. Yes, this is a very rich dessert! However, I reworked the nutritional analysis and it has been adapted. Thanks for bringing my attention to this. However, it’s still pretty rich, thanks to the full fat coconut milk and cashews,

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyPaige Haas Reply

    hi ! i really want to try this but i’m allergic to cashews, do you have an alternative you’d suggest?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Paige! Thanks for your comment. I have not tried this myself, but I would think you could substitute raw almonds. It may not be as creamy, but it should work. I would remove the almond skins just to make the color more beautiful. You don’t have to throw them in the trash either. I love adding almond skins to my smoothies because they’re so healthy! Hope this is helpful!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAsh Reply

    Hey Marly, Julien did a great job demoing your recipe. What are the cashews used for (flavor, texture, etc.)? I’m on an anti-inflammatory diet and am trying to come up with some substitutes. Looking forward to making this soon!! Thanks in advance.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Ash. Thanks for your comment. I haven’t tried this myself, but you could try substituting raw almonds. I’m not sure if that works with your diet, but let me know if it doesn’t. I do like the flavor and consistency added with cashews. You could always try not including any nuts, but increase the arrowroot powder to 1 1/2. Hope this is helpful!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAmy Reply

    Sent here by Julien Solomita’s incredibly positive review. Definitely going to be trying this one!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Amy! I hope you enjoy this dessert. Be sure to let the mixture come to a simmer and then cook for a minute. That’s what activates the arrowroot powder and thus creates a thicker dessert. As Julien points out, it still tastes great!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMuneera Reply

    Hi, I’m gonna try this and I think I’m gonna try to substitute the turmeric with saffron do you think it will work? and Thanks for the recipe

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Muneera! I haven’t tried saffron with this recipe, but I bet it would taste great!

  11. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKelsey E. Reply

    I can’t wait to make this, if I am allergic to all nuts is there an alternative that would work, such as sunflower seed kernels? Would it ruin the recipe if I left them out altogether if there isn’t an alternative?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kelsey! I’m so glad you’re going to give this vegan creme brûlée a try. I’ve got some in my fridge right now and we love having it for dessert! So, I haven’t tried this myself, but you could just leave the cashews out. I love the flavor they add, but I think it will still taste great. Just use 2 tablespoons of the arrowroot powder and increase the vanilla to 2 – 3 teaspoons. I hope you love this as much as we do!

  12. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMadison Reply

    Came here from Julien’s video, mine is chilling in the fridge right now! The liquid tasted great straight out of the blender so I can’t wait to see how it turns out after chilling. My husband and I went vegan a few months ago, so I’ve been loving discovering new veganized recipes for my old favorites like this one! I’m expecting this one to be phenomenal. Thanks for figuring out a vegan alternative for such a yummy dessert!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Madison! So glad you like this vegan creme brûlée! That’s great that you and your hubby are doing this together! My hubby, Shawn, is vegan as well and it makes for a fun journey together. I’m so impressed that Julien is sharing vegan/plant-based recipes. Once we realize how yummy it can be, it makes it so much more do-able! Let me know if there are recipes you’d love to see veganized. 🙂

  13. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyHarper Reply

    I’ve just made this and it’s amazing, super quick and delicious. I don’t have a high powered blender so I just soaked my cashews for An hour beforehand and strained it into the serving bowls to catch any bits of cashew that got missed. The next time I make this I’m going to try it with alpro soya cream and see how that turns out.

  14. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySuzy Reply

    Love creme brûlée’s! Is there a lower sugar substitute you recommend. TRYing to keep my carbs low.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Suzy! I’m so glad you asked this question! I love using monkfruit sweetener and it’s perfect to make this into a low-carb recipe, keto creme brûlée! You can also use stevia.

  15. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlyssa Reply

    Hi ! Came from Julien’s video too. Just wondering if I could use coconut cream instead of milk ? It’s all I have right now. Thank you!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Alyssa! The coconut cream should work great as it has even a higher percentage of fat in the can. As long as the fat is between 13 – 15g you should be great. Hope you love it as much as we do!

  16. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLain Reply

    I really want to make this for my mom but she’s on a weight-watchers diet and I’m not super sure how the “points system” works. Does anyone know how many points this recipe would be?

  17. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKapil Reply

    Love this recipe. How long can this sit in the fridge for? We are thinking of making a batch a few days ahead or a week if possible?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kapil! So glad you like this vegan creme brûlée recipe. I have made it up to 2 days before an event and it’s fine. I like to do the sugar coating until an hour or so before serving. The creme will thicken as it sits longer, so if you’re going to go longer than a couple of days, I would be sure to cover it to prevent it from drying out.

  18. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKyle Reply

    Saw this recipe on Julien’s channel and am thrilled to try it out. Would it be ok to substitute arrowroot powder for tapioca starch? They seem to be the same thing but I just want to ask to be sure. Thanks!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kyle. Yes, you can substitute arrowroot powder for tapioca in this recipe. Hope you love it as much as we do!

  19. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKaren Reply

    This turned out AMAZING! I ended up doing a few adjustments such as walnuts instead of cashews, tapioca flour instead of arrowroot and no turmeric. It was GREAT!
    Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Karen! Wow! I would have never thought to try walnuts. I’m glad it worked out. So glad you liked this recipe!

  20. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyIsabella Reply

    HELP! I decided to make this for my father for his birthday today. Soon after I blended them I put them in the fridge for about 4 hours now. BUT I just realized I completely forgot to add the vanilla, is there anything I can do to save them??

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Isabella! Honestly? I think it will be fine without the vanilla. I think the vanilla helps break up the flavor of the coconut, but if you don’t mind that, it should be fine. Alternatively, you could remove them from the fridge, and pour them back into the blender and add the vanilla and pulse a few times to combine. Then pour them back into the ramekins. That will work too! Now I’m curious…let me know which way you decide to go with this!

  21. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaddie Reply

    Excellent, delicious and rather quick. Great even without using a torch and placing sugar on top. Which is how I actually ate this dessert. I saw no need in adding more sugar if it was not necessary.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaddie

      I added 4 strawberries into the blender for strawberry creme brulee and it was absolutely delicious. I had a hard time sharing.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      OMG Maddie. What a great idea! Strawberry creme brûlée sounds amazing!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Thanks, Maddie! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. We have had this without the sugar topping too and I agree, it’s great that way. But I also like the crunch of the burnt sugar topping. It’s nice to know we have options. 🙂

  22. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyCatherine Reply

    Hi!! I tried this recipe and mine isnt setting solid! Any problem solving tips? I might have done soemthing wrong! I did let it set for at least 6 hours in the fridge but it’s still quite liquid!

  23. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKiara Reply

    I dont have nutritional yeast, can you tell a substitute? Pleaseee

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Kiara! You can just leave it out. It adds a slightly “eggy” flavor, but it’s not necessary.

  24. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyFord Reply

    Hi ! Came from Julien’s video too. Just wondering if I could use coconut cream instead of milk ? It’s all I have right now. Thank you!!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi there! I’ve used coconut cream (as long as the can shows between 12 – 15g of fat) and it worked great!

  25. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJanelle Reply

    This looks simple and delicious! I bet it will taste good. Thanks for sharing

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Janelle – we really love this recipe. Hope you will too!

  26. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlySamantha Reply

    Amazing is an understatement for that creme brulee! Oh man, the raw oreos too! YUM!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad you liked this recipe, Samantha!

  27. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMinna Reply

    On my 2nd attempt on making these they actually succeeded! On the 1st attempt I some how forgot to add sugar, haha.. Didn’t turn out too well that time.
    On my 2nd attempt I used 3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder to really thicken it up, left it in the refrigerator overnight. Caramelized a tablespoon of granulated cane sugar on top and let it sit in the fridge for an hour after that. I tasted one 2 minutes after caramelizing the sugar and the cream mixture was a bit melted, it wasn’t the texture I was looking for. It had the consistency of greek yogurt or some thicker puddings. It was great!
    Next time I am going to try out vanilla beans to give the real taste of vanilla. Vanilla extract really isn’t something I like to use. Perhaps going to slit 2 vanilla beans and seed them. Using those seeds in the cream mix should be easy enough, right? Haha. I loved this recipe either way! Thank you!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Minna, Thanks for your thorough comments. I’m so glad it worked for you. And, I have forgotten sugar in a few desserts myself! 🙂

  28. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyChelle Thompson Reply

    Creme brulee is a delicious treat to eat! What a great vegan version. Topping it with fruits and sugared almonds is such a fantastic addition.

  29. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyBecky Reply

    Your recipes look amazing in general, and I like that it’s healthy. I try to eat sugar-free, so I was wondering with what I could replace the sugar in this recipe (for example dates or maple syrup or else, but not sure that works the texture). Do you have any suggestions? 🙂 Thanks !

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyManami

      Monk fruit ‘sugar’ substitute works great, and the most healthful non-sugar choice. Skip the burnt sugar part.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Manami. I’m a big fan of monk fruit as well. So glad it worked in this recipe and thanks for your tips!

  30. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAudrey-Anne LeBlanc Reply

    Really good! My boyfriend loved it too 🙂

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Audrey-Anne. So glad to know you both loved this recipe. It’s one of our favorites, too!

  31. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyKM Reply

    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.

    I can’t say enough thank yous for this recipe.

    Cheers!

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