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Coconut Crème Brûlée (Dairy-Free) – Downshiftology

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Take a bite of this ultra-creamy, dairy-free, coconut crème brûlée and you’ll instantly fall in love. It’s got a smooth and silky custard base, and a crunchy, caramelized maple sugar topping.

Ramekins of dairy-free coconut creme brulee on a table

What Is Crème Brûlée?

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I’ll admit I’m a sucker for ending a nice dinner out with a classic French crème brûlée. It’s a delicate, rich custard that’s torched with a caramelized sugar topping. The perfect bite of silky smooth, crunchy, and toasty. And while it may look a bit fancy, it’s shockingly easy – if you nail down the time and temperature.

After a few tries, I can confidently say I’ve got the perfect recipe for a dairy-free crème brûlée (yes, it’s true), made with full-fat coconut milk! But don’t let the coconut milk throw you off, because this custard is just as good (flavor and texture wise) as the classic version, without having to use heavy cream. And no, it doesn’t taste overly coconutty. So for those folks looking for dairy-free alternatives when it comes to desserts – I’m confident you’re gonna love this one!

Ingredients for coconut crème brûlée on a table.

The Best Dairy-Free Crème Brûlée Recipe – 5 Simple Ingredients

This recipe is extremely pantry-friendly, with just 5 ingredients. Plus, it’s a dessert that’s not crazy expensive to make. So if you’re looking to impress on a budget, keep this dairy-free crème brûlée in your back pocket! Here’s what you’ll need.

  • Coconut Milk: Make sure to grab a can of full-fat coconut milk. Regular or light coconut milk won’t be creamy enough to create a luscious custard.
  • Maple Syrup: There’s no refined sugar here! Instead, I’m using maple syrup (you could use honey as well) for a dessert that’s got just the right amount of sweetness.
  • Vanilla Extract: Many classic recipes use the actual vanilla bean – which you can do. But to keep this recipe as simple as possible, vanilla extract works great as well.
  • Egg Yolks: Egg yolks are the key to a creamy and thick custard. I’ve tried recipes that also use egg whites, but the consistency just isn’t the same.
  • Maple Sugar: I like to use granulated maple sugar for the caramelized topping, but you can also use coconut sugar.
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Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

How To Make Coconut Crème Brûlée

The key to perfecting this coconut crème brûlée is the temperature. You’ll want to bake them at 325ºF (165°C) with a water bath that helps to evenly cook the custard. With that in mind, grab 4 ramekins and a quarter-sized baking tray to get started.

Mixing coconut milk in a pot for coconut crème brûlée

Warm the coconut milk mixture. In a pot over medium-low heat, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Right when it begins to simmer, remove the pot from the heat.

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