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Silky Smooth Vegan Flan Recipe (Classic Custard Dessert)

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Let’s indulge in a creamy delight with our Vegan Flan Recipe! This classic dessert gets a plant-based makeover without sacrificing flavor.

Start by making a rich caramel sauce with coconut milk and sugar. Then, blend silken tofu, coconut cream, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture over the caramel and chill until set. Garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy this luscious vegan treat!

WHY IT WORKS?

  • Coconut milk and agar-agar ensure a creamy consistency, rivaling traditional eggs and milk.
  • The caramel from brown sugar and water offers a deep, rich flavor.
  • Agave syrup provides a natural sweetness, perfect for those reducing refined sugars.
  • This flan is a testament to vegan adaptability, suitable for all dietary preferences.
  • It’s a celebration of how plant-based ingredients can create luxurious desserts.

Don’t have time to read the full blog post? JUMP TO THE RECIPE HERE!

Finding the perfect dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth without compromising your vegan lifestyle can often feel like a culinary puzzle. Enter the vegan flan recipe, a game-changer in plant-based treats. I remember the first time I tasted this decadent dessert; it was a revelation. 

The creamy texture and caramel sweetness had me questioning everything I knew about vegan cuisine. It’s a common misconception that vegan desserts lack the richness and depth of their dairy counterparts.

However, this vegan flan recipe is here to dispel those myths. By embracing simple, wholesome ingredients, you’ll enjoy a dessert that’s kind to the planet and a delight to your taste buds.

Vegan Flan Recipe

What Is Vegan Flan? 

Vegan flan is a delightful twist on the classic custard dessert, traditionally made with eggs and milk. In its vegan version, ingredients like coconut milk, almond milk, or soy milk replace dairy, while agar-agar or cornstarch is the thickening agent instead of eggs.

Sweetened with natural sugars such as agave or maple syrup, it maintains the signature smooth texture and caramel topping that flan is known for.

This plant-based alternative offers a compassionate choice for those following a vegan lifestyle, ensuring a guilt-free indulgence without sacrificing the luxurious taste and texture of the original dish.

Fact – Agar-agar, used in vegan flan as a gelatin substitute, is derived from seaweed and is a powerful thickening agent, making it perfect for setting desserts without animal products.

Vegan Flan Recipe

Recipe Directions 

  • Prepare Ramekins: Ensure your ramekins are clean and dry. Place them on a flat surface to get ready for the caramel.
  • Make the Caramel: Add sugar to a medium sauce pot and heat over medium-low. Allow the sugar to dissolve, gently swirling the pot occasionally. Do this for 8 to 9 minutes until the sugar turns golden. Be careful not to stir with a spoon.
  • Caramel to Ramekins: Remove the pot from heat immediately once the sugar has caramelized. Carefully pour the hot caramel into the ramekins. Then, gently lift and tilt the ramekins to coat the insides with caramel evenly. Set them aside to cool.
  • Combine Coconut Milk and Agar Agar: Mix coconut milk and agar agar in another medium sauce pot. Stir to combine well.
  • Blend Other Ingredients: In a blender, add oat milk, sugar, chickpea flour, and vanilla. Blend until the mixture is completely smooth. Then, pour this blended mixture into the pot with the coconut milk and agar agar.
  • Cook the Flan Mixture: Bring the combined flan mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove the pot from heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Fill Ramekins: Pour the slightly cooled flan mixture into the prepared ramekins over the set caramel.
  • Chill: Place the filled ramekins in the refrigerator. Let them chill for at least 4 hours, allowing the flan to set properly.
  • Serve: To serve, place the bottom of each ramekin in a container of hot water for 1 to 2 minutes. This helps loosen the flan. Run a small knife or an offset spatula around the edges of each flan. Then, invert a plate over the ramekin, turn it over, and gently shake to release the flan. Lift off the ramekin to reveal the flan with its caramel sauce on top.

Vegan Flan Recipe

Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Chocolate Vegan Flan: Incorporate melted dark chocolate into the flan mixture for a rich, chocolatey version.
  • Coffee Flavored: Add brewed espresso or instant coffee powder to the flan mixture for a caffeinated twist.
  • Citrus-infused: Add the zest of oranges or lemons to the flan mixture for a refreshing citrus note.
  • Pumpkin Spice Flan: Blend in pumpkin puree and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger for a fall-inspired dessert.

Add-Ons

  • Fruit Purees: Serve the flan with a side of raspberry, strawberry, or mango puree for a fruity contrast.
  • Coconut Whipped Cream: Top with coconut whipped cream for an extra layer of creaminess.
  • Nut Crunch: Sprinkle chopped toasted almonds, walnuts, or pecans on top for added texture and nuttiness.

Vegan Flan Recipe

Toppings

  • Caramel Sauce: Drizzle additional homemade vegan caramel sauce over the flan for extra sweetness.
  • Fresh Berries: Top with fresh strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries for freshness and color.
  • Mint Leaves: A few mint leaves can add a refreshing aroma and visually appealing garnish.
  • Edible Flowers: Edible flowers offer a beautiful, elegant garnish for a special occasion.

Toppings

Vegetable Substitutions

  • Mushrooms – Great for replacing meat due to their umami flavor and meaty texture. Portobello mushrooms work well as burger patties or steak substitutes.
  • Jackfruit – Its fibrous texture makes it an excellent stand-in for pulled pork or chicken in savory dishes.
  • Cauliflower – Can be used as a substitute for chicken wings, steak, or even ground meat when finely chopped.
  • Lentils – A perfect replacement for ground beef in recipes like Bolognese sauce, tacos, or burgers, providing a hearty and protein-rich alternative.
  • Eggplant – With its meaty texture, eggplant is ideal for dishes like lasagna moussaka or as a meat substitute in stir-fries.
  • Chickpeas – Can be mashed for sandwich fillings or used whole as a substitute for chicken in salads and stews.
  • Beets – Their earthy flavor and red color make beets a good substitute for meat in recipes like burgers and salads, especially when aiming for visual appeal.

Quick Tip – Blend soaked cashews with water, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast for creamy vegan sauces without dairy. This base is perfect for alfredo, cheese sauces, and more.

Vegetable Substitutions

Best Side Dishes

  1. Mixed Berry Salad A refreshing blend of strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, drizzled with a hint of agave syrup and lemon juice.
  2. Coconut Rice Lightly sweetened coconut rice complements the richness of the flan, adding a subtle tropical flair.
  3. Roasted Almond And Arugula Salad This is a simple, peppery arugula salad with crunchy roasted almonds, dressed with olive oil and lemon dressing.
  4. Sautéed Green Beans Green beans sautéed with garlic and a splash of lemon juice offer a crisp, savory counterpoint to the sweet flan.
  5. Cinnamon-Spiced Quinoa A warm, spiced quinoa that bridges the gap between sweet and savory, flavored with cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup.
  6. Grilled Asparagus Lightly grilled asparagus with a drizzle of balsamic reduction can add an elegant touch and slightly smoky flavor.
  7. Roasted Sweet Potatoes Cubed sweet potatoes roasted with thyme, rosemary, and a hint of maple syrup for a sweet and savory side.
  8. Chilled Gazpacho A cool, refreshing tomato-based gazpacho contrasts well with the flan’s creamy texture and sweetness.

Best Side Dishes

How To Serve?

  • Chill Thoroughly: Ensure the flan is fully set by chilling it in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
  • Warm Release: Briefly dip the bottom of the ramekin in warm water to loosen the flan. This helps it release smoothly onto the plate.
  • Use a Thin Knife: Run a thin knife around the edges of the flan to help separate it from the sides of the ramekin without damaging its shape.
  • Invert and Plate: Place a serving plate on top of the ramekin. Flip both over together, then gently lift the ramekin off, allowing the flan to settle onto the plate.
  • Garnish Wisely: Add a sprig of mint or a few edible flowers for an elegant touch. Fresh berries also beautifully complement the caramel flavor.
  • Serve with Sauce: Drizzle extra caramel sauce or a fruit coulis around the flan for added flavor and a professional presentation.
  • Offer Complementary Sides: Serve alongside a light, refreshing salad or fruit to balance the sweetness of the flan.
  • Provide Coffee or Tea: A cup of coffee or herbal tea pairs wonderfully with the creamy sweetness of the flan, offering a complete dessert experience.

Quick Tip – To enhance the flavor of vegan dishes, try roasting vegetables before adding them to soups or stews. This step adds depth and a rich, caramelized taste.

How To Serve?

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Refrigerate Properly: Vegan flan can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Ensure it’s covered to prevent it from absorbing other flavors in the fridge.
  • Make Ahead: Preparing vegan flan a day in advance is ideal. It allows the flan to fully set and develop flavors, making it even more delicious.
  • Freezing: Although not recommended due to texture changes, if necessary, freeze individual portions. Thaw in the fridge overnight before serving.
  • Caramel Sauce: Prepare extra caramel sauce ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator and warm slightly before drizzling over the flan when serving.
  • Serving: Remove the flan from the fridge 15 minutes before serving for the best texture and flavor. This slight temperature adjustment enhances its creaminess.

Fact – Did you know? Agar-agar, used in vegan flan for its gelling properties, was discovered in Japan in the 17th century and is derived from red algae.

vegan flan recipe

Time-Saving Tips

  1. Prep Ingredients Ahead: Measure out all your ingredients before starting. This mise en place approach saves time during cooking.
  2. Microwave the Sugar: For the caramel, consider dissolving the sugar in the microwave before caramelizing it on the stove. It can reduce the overall caramel-making time.
  3. Blend Mix Smoothly: Use a high-powered blender to ensure the flan mixture is completely smooth in one go, avoiding straining.
  4. Batch Prepare: If you have enough ramekins, make multiple batches of flan at once. This will allow you to use your time more efficiently, especially if you’re meal-prepping or expecting guests.
  5. Use Agar Powder: Agar powder dissolves faster than flakes, reducing the time needed to activate its gelling properties.
  6. Chill Quickly: Place the filled ramekins in the freezer for about 30 minutes before transferring them to the fridge to speed up chilling. Just be sure to monitor them so they don’t freeze.
  7. Serve Directly in Ramekins: If you’re short on time for serving, skip demolding and serve the flan directly in the Ramekins. It’s just as delicious and saves on presentation time.

Silky Smooth Vegan Flan Recipe (Classic Custard Dessert)

Silky Smooth Vegan Flan Recipe (Classic Custard Dessert)

Recipe by Julia
Course: Desserts
0 from 0 votes
Servings

6

servings
Prep Time

15

minutes
Cooking Time

15

minutes
Calories

200

kcal
Rest Time

4

minutes
Cook Mode

Keep the screen of your device on

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup ¾ Granulated sugar (for caramel)

  • 1 can 1 Full-fat coconut milk

  • 1 cup 1 Oat milk

  • 1 Tsp 1 Chickpea flour

  • cup Sugar (for flan base)

  • 1 Tsp 1 Vanilla

  • 1 ¼ Tsp 1 ¼ Agar agar powder

Directions

  • Prepare Ramekins: Ensure your ramekins are clean and dry. Place them on a flat surface to prepare for the caramel.
  • Make the Caramel: Add sugar to a medium sauce pot and heat over medium-low. Allow the sugar to dissolve, gently swirling the pot occasionally for 8 to 9 minutes until it turns a deep golden color. Avoid stirring with a spoon.Vegan Flan Recipe
  • Caramel To Ramekins: After caramelization, immediately remove the pot from heat. Carefully pour the hot caramel into the ramekins, then gently lift and tilt them to evenly coat the insides with caramel. Set aside to cool.
  • Combine Coconut Milk and Agar Agar: Mix coconut milk and agar agar in a different medium sauce pot. Stir well to combine.
  • Blend Other Ingredients: In a blender, combine oat milk, sugar, chickpea flour, and vanilla. Blend until completely smooth, then pour this mixture into the pot with the coconut milk and agar agar.Vegan Flan Recipe
  • Cook the Flan Mixture: Bring the flan mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly.Vegan Flan Recipe
  • Fill Ramekins: Pour the slightly cooled flan mixture over the set caramel in the prepared ramekins.
  • Chill: Transfer the filled ramekins to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, allowing the flan to set properly.
  • Serve: To serve, place the bottom of each ramekin in a container of hot water for 1 to 2 minutes to loosen the flan. Run a small knife or an offset spatula around the edges of each flan. Invert a plate over the ramekin, turn it over, and gently shake to release the flan. Remove the ramekin to reveal the flan with its caramel sauce on top.Vegan Flan Recipe
  • Equipments List
  • Ramekins
  • Medium Saucepan
  • Blender
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Whisk
  • Small Knife or Offset Spatula
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove

Notes

  • Sugar Melting: Watch closely as sugar melts to avoid burning. The color should be golden, not dark brown.
  • Agar Agar Consistency: Ensure agar agar is fully dissolved for a smooth flan texture. If lumps form, strain the mixture.
  • Blending: Achieve a silky texture by blending quickly until no solids remain.
  • Chilling Time: Take your time with the chilling; it’s crucial for setting the flan properly.
  • Demolding: Use a gentle touch when loosening the flan to maintain its shape.
  • Serving Temperature: Serve chilled for the best taste and texture experience.
  • Storage: Flan can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, covered to prevent absorbing other flavors.

Nutrition Table 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Different Plant-Based Milk Instead Of Coconut Milk In The Vegan Flan Recipe?

You can use different plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, or cashew milk, as substitutes for coconut milk. However, remember that coconut milk provides a rich creaminess and subtle sweetness that might be partially replicated with other milk.

Almond or soy milk are good options if you prefer a lighter texture. For a creamier consistency, cashew milk is an excellent choice.

How Can I Ensure My Vegan Flan Sets Properly?

The correct use of agar agar is the key to ensuring your vegan flan sets properly. Measure the agar agar accurately and dissolve it completely in the liquid before heating.

It needs to be brought to a simmer for at least 5 minutes to activate its gelling properties. Also, allowing the flan to chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight, will help it set perfectly.

vegan flan recipe

Can I Make Vegan Flan Without A Blender?

While a blender helps achieve a smooth and homogeneous mixture, you can still make vegan flan without one. Whisk the ingredients vigorously or use a hand mixer to blend them as smoothly as possible.

The goal is to ensure that the chickpea flour and sugar are fully dissolved and the mixture is uniform. However, the texture might be slightly less smooth than if a blender were used.

Is It Possible To Freeze Vegan Flan?

Freezing vegan flan is possible but may affect the texture, making it slightly less creamy upon thawing. If you freeze it, wrap the flan tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container.

Thaw the flan in the refrigerator overnight before serving. Keep in mind that the caramel sauce may become more liquid upon thawing.

How Can I Add Flavor Variations To My Vegan Flan?

To add flavor variations to your vegan flan, consider infusing coconut milk with different ingredients during cooking.

For example, adding citrus zest (lemon, lime, or orange) can introduce a fresh, tangy flavor. Cinnamon, vanilla bean, or cardamom can add warmth and depth.

Mix in melted vegan chocolate or cocoa powder to the blend for a chocolate vegan flan. Experimenting with these additions can create delightful variations of the classic vegan flan.

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VIE DE LA VEGAN!

Greetings from the heart of Vie De La Vegan, where each dish we share is a chapter in a larger story of discovery, wellness, and the transformative power of a plant-based diet. My name is Julia, and I am thrilled to be your guide on this delightful culinary adventure.

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