This Vegan Crème Brûlée recipe is everything you want in a creamy, decadent dessert. If you’re a beginning vegan baker, you will be so surprised at how easy it is to make a crème brûlée without eggs! It’s much easier than the traditional recipe and this one only uses 7 ingredients. Follow my expert tips for your new favorite smooth, creamy dessert!
Drizzle some blueberry sauce over the top for an even more dramatic presentation and flavor!
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 is nothing but spectacular. It heralds 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, making this dessert both flavorful and pleasing to the eye!
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 creamed dessert like this with a fancy, French word in it. Trust me. This recipe is so easy!
In fact, I think making vegan crème brûlée is actually easier than the standard recipe. Because you don’t have to crack any 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.
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 approximately 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.
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 and then use a spatula to push ingredients down from the side of the blender jar. Blend again until smooth.
Blending hot liquid: First, allow the liquid to cool a bit before blending. Never fill a blender more than half-way with hot liquid. Remove the center cap from the blender lid. Finally, place a towel over the top of the blender lid. Then you’re ready to blend.
Pour the cream into 4 brûlée dishes or ramekins. Place in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours to overnight (it gets creamier as it chills).
Step Three: Burnt Sugar Topping for Serving
Brûlée actually means burnt. That means we’re gonna need a kitchen power tool — bring on the kitchen torch!
So, before serving, cover the entire surface 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 immediately or refrigerate it for up to an hour before serving.
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.
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 an hour or two later will result in the best texture as it will thicken as it sits.
- 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 is not really an issue with this recipe because we’re not baking it. So, you can serve this in any dish you want. I just love the “traditional” look of the ramekins.
- I used plain granulated sugar for the topping and it works just fine! Just be sure to sprinkle that sugar all across the top of the creme.
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
Vegan Crème Brûlée
- 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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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.