If you have never eaten a pie, then you have a treat! This simple vegetarian version may not contain dairy products and eggs, but it will not skimp on taste or texture. The fantastic salted caramel sauce is perfectly wrapped in coconut milk custard. Coconut custard like cheesecake, covered with rich salted caramel sauce. Talk about a fantastic dessert. In addition, only 7 ingredients are required. Let us show you how it is done!
What is flan?
Flan (also called caramel cream) is a creamy cream dessert with a thin layer of caramel sauce. Although it is popular in many parts of the world, it is believed that the flan originated in ancient Rome and is especially popular in Latin America. There are many variations, and they usually include regional ingredients, such as pineapple juice from Puerto Rico and coffee from Costa Rica.
Although the flan is traditionally made with eggs, milk and sugar, the following is a plant-based and refined sugar-free version inspired by this concept.
How to make vegan flan?
We know that every time we create a recipe that is traditionally made almost entirely of ingredients that we try not to use, we face challenges: milk, eggs, and cane sugar. But friends, with this, we are very excited about the results!
Coconut milk provides a luxurious, creamy and rich base for the custard, and is perfectly matched with vanilla and maple syrup to bring a simple and bold flavor. It is topped with a delightful salty, vanilla caramel sauce, and fell in love with the first bite.
For the caramel layer, coconut sugar is mixed with salt, vanilla, and water, and heated until foamed and thickened. It is added to the ramekins before the custard, so that once the flan ramekins are flipped onto the plate, a beautiful layer of caramel will appear on top.
For the custard layer, agar and corn starch (or arrowroot starch) replace the eggs in the traditional flan. Agar comes from seaweed (red algae) and is used in desserts throughout Asia. It is rich in fiber (makes you feel fuller) and will thicken like jelly when boiled. Very neat, we will say. What you can't do, seaweed?
We hope you LOVE this vegan flan! It’s:
- Naturally sweetened
- & SO delicious!
It’s the perfect dessert for romantic occasions, holidays, or whenever the flan craving strikes!
Easy Vegan Flan (No-Bake!)
Creamy, luxurious vegan flan with salted caramel sauce, no baking required! Surprisingly easy to make with just 7 simple ingredients.
US Customary – Metric
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
- 1 tsp agar agar powder (not flakes)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 4 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 (13.5-ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk (we like Whole Foods 365 brand)
- Start by getting out 4 individual ramekins; ideally they should be 3-4 inches in diameter (at the base) and 2-3 inches deep. Place them within easy reach.
- CARAMEL: Add the coconut sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and water to a medium saucepan and turn on medium-low heat. Set a timer for 3 minutes and stir constantly while cooking – the sugar will dissolve and the mixture should start to bubble vigorously and thicken slightly. Stick with it! If it is only gently bubbling, turn up your heat very slightly. Or if it’s smelling burnt at all, turn heat down. As soon as the 3-minute timer goes off, quickly distribute the caramel between your 4 prepared ramekins (~1 heaping tablespoon per ramekin). Set aside.
- CUSTARD: You can rinse the same saucepan with hot water and use it for the custard, or choose another — make sure whatever pan you choose is deep enough to hold 4 cups (950 ml) of boiling liquid.
- Add the salt, cornstarch or arrowroot, agar agar, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to the cooled (or room temperature) saucepan and whisk together until few lumps remain. Then add the coconut milk and whisk vigorously until well combined.
- Place the saucepan over high heat, whisking continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. This should take about 5-7 minutes. Then reduce the heat to medium low and set a timer for 2 minutes. Continue whisking until the timer goes off. The mixture will have thickened but should still be quite loose and pourable.
- Carefully distribute the custard between the ramekins, on top of the caramel. Let the flan cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring it to the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 3 hours, uncovered. If chilling for more than 3 hours, cover lightly with foil, leaving room for a bit of ventilation.
- Once set, you can eat your flan straight from the ramekins with a spoon, or carefully remove them by loosening the edges with a butter knife and turning them upside down onto a plate. You may need to shake gently and tap the bottom to help them slip out!
- Best enjoyed the first day, but will keep for up to 3 days lightly covered in the refrigerator. Not freezer friendly.
- *A full ramekin feels very indulgent and filling. We prefer 1 ramekin of flan served between two people. Or, if you have smaller ramekins (we didn’t), feel free to split recipe into 6-8 ramekins.
- *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with cornstarch.
Nutrition (1 of 8 servings)
- Serving: 1 half-ramekin serving
- Calories: 247
- Carbohydrates: 21.5 g
- Protein: 1.2 g
- Fat: 16.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 15.5 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Sodium: 173 mg
- Potassium: 174 mg
- Fiber: 0.3 g
- Sugar: 17.3 g
- Vitamin A: 0 IU
- Vitamin C: 0 mg
- Calcium: 13.9 mg
- Iron: 0.6 mg