Vegan Crème Brûlée

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!

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

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 doing just that! 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!

That’s right! This is a no bake creme brûlée recipe!

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 for a vegan diet and tastes just as creamy and delicious!

A close-up shot of creme brûlée in a ramekin with burnt sugar on top and raspberries on the side.
Non dairy creme brûlée is served with a burnt sugar topping.

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!

Besides, it’s much more affordable to make it home than a restaurant where you’ll pay $10 or more. You might spend $10 for some raw cashews and coconut milk but you’ll be able to enjoy several batches at home for that price!

In fact, I’m going to put myself out on a limb and say this: making vegan crème brûlée is actually easier than the standard recipe! What? I know! But it’s true. Why? You don’t have to crack any eggs, or worry about the bacteria in your kitchen from said eggs, or worry about tempering the egg yolks, or cooking the brûlée to ensure the eggs are cooked adequately. Blah. Blah. Blah!

See? This eggless crème brûlée is easier!

So, let’s get started.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: You’ll need raw cashews, full fat coconut milk, arrowroot powder (or you can substitute cornstarch), granulated sugar, nutritional yeast flakes (just a teaspoon!), turmeric (for color), and some vanilla extract.

Step One: Bring Coconut Milk and Cashews to a Simmer

Add the full can of 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. Be sure to stir occasionally. Once it comes to a simmer, cook for approximately 1 minute. Then remove from heat. Don’t worry about lumps if they occur. We’ll take care of those 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 just the tiniest pinch of turmeric (for color). 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.

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

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

Step Three: Burnt Sugar Topping for Serving

Brûlée actually means burnt, so that means we’re gonna need a kitchen power tool! Bring on the kitchen torch!

So, 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.

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

Expert Tips

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

  • This recipe calls for full fat coconut milk. I used Sprouts coconut milk, but whatever brand you use, be aware that the amount of fat varies and this can impact how creamy the resulting custard is.
  • 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.
  • 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 after it’s removed from the saucepan. So, you can serve this in any dish you want. I just love the “traditional” look of the ramekins.
  • Some people recommend specific kinds of sugar for the topping, but I used plain ol’ granulated sugar and it worked 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.

Love Fancy Vegan Dessert Recipes?

it’s fun to have some fancy recipes at the ready! Here are some of my favorite vegan desserts:

A spoon dishes out some creme from a serving dish of creme brûlée.

I hope you love this recipe as we do! Have you tried it? Be sure and leave a comment and a rating of this recipe below and then take a quick photo and share it with me using #namelymarly on Instagram. I love seeing your creations!

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 Creme Brûlée recipe. Any recipe that requires a blow torch is fine with me and that crispy sugar topping makes it all worthwhile!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Vegan Creme Brulee
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 sauce pan. Stir to combine. Bring to a simmer (low boil) over medium heat while stirring (this can take up to 3 -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 brulee 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.

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. It will take longer to set if there’s less fat in the can. 
I usually keep my coconut milk in the fridge so that fat hardens and I can tell how much fat is in the can. Typically, I prefer at least 1 cup of fat from the can works best. If your can has less than 1 cup, use 1.5 tablespoons arrowroot powder.
To make ahead, prepare the custard and pour 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 on this crème brûlée. Simply, move the oven rack to just underneath the broiler (highest rack in the oven). Then 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 nice, 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 awhile so it may not be practical. Once the sugar coating is done, let it set 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.

Enjoy!

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

  1. 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. 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.

    • 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!

    • 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! 🙂

  3. 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!

    • 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.

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

    • 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,

    • 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!

  4. 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

  5. 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

  6. 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?

    • 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!

  7. 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!!

    • 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. 🙂

  8. 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.

    • 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.

  9. 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!!

    • 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!

  10. 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?

  11. 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?

    • 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.

  12. 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!

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

  13. 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!

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

  14. 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??

    • 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!

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