My sister turned vegan a couple months ago, so this holiday season was the perfect time to try some new dairy-free desserts.
I’ve been a fan of vegan chef and businesswoman Chloe Coscarelli since she first won Cupcake Wars. This is a slight adaptation of her Holiday Spice Creme Brulee.
Creme brulee is a creamy French custard baked in a water bath, then topped with a crackly burnt sugar crust. Traditionally, the richness comes from eggs, but this vegan version achieves the same texture with coconut milk and cornstarch. The coconut flavor is subtle and complements the caramelized crust perfectly. The nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon add a festive touch and make this dish a perfect addition to any holiday dessert table.
The recipe is surprisingly easy and uses everyday ingredients: no tofu, agar agar, or other obscure vegan gelling agents.
I made two small changes: I used Califia Farms’ vegan eggnog (made from almond milk) and omitted the cloves because I find the flavor overpowering.
The recipe makes 4 servings, though you could easily double or triple it. I served them in these 4 oz ramekins I found on Amazon. To make the burnt sugar crust, I used this butane torch (also from Amazon).
- Make sure you let the custard firm up in the fridge for at least 10 hours or it’ll be too runny, especially after you torch it
- Make sure your coconut milk mixture isn’t too hot when you add the cornstarch, otherwise you’ll get clumps. If you do, whisk the mixture as much as you can, then strain before pouring into the ramekins
- Make sure you use granulated sugar for the crust, as it burns the best
- 1/4 cup vegan eggnog or almond milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 14-oz can coconut milk
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar, plus more for crust
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk together eggnog and cornstarch in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt.
- Heat over medium high heat until mixture just starts to boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and slowly add in cornstarch mixture, whisking constantly.
- Whisk until mixture is thick (about 5 min), then turn off heat.
- Whisk in vanilla
- Pour into ramekins and chill in fridge at least 10 hours.
- Remove from fridge, and sprinkle two teaspoons of sugar on each custard.
- Burn with butane torch until crust is browned and there are no more sugar crystals visible.
- Serve immediately.