Flan, Caramel custard/pudding Vegan, glutenfree

Fresh cranberrrieeess in season now.. and I served some along this beautiful caramel flan! Also made some cran-blue berry upside down cake..all a part of our thanksgiving spread. The entire spread pictures and Roasted delicata squash recipe here.

I was looking to veganize the eggy flan for a while. Flan or creme caramel or custard pudding with soft caramel is one of the desserts which have sweet childhood memories associated with it. My maasi(mom’s sister) would make us some caramel custard for special occassions, and it was perfect, with the perfect sweetness, the perfect burnt sugar, and better than any flan I’ve had in restaurants. I cant beat her perfection, but this flan comes quite close! I found some references to Cafe con leche flan in Viva vegan and another version somewhere online used tofu. I decided to cut out the soy and here is my recipe!
More caramel and silkier flan!
makes two 3.5 inch ramekins
5 Tbsps raw sugar, brown sugar or sucanat
1 Tbps water
Pudding: 1.75 cups + 2 Tbsps So delicious vanilla coconut milk
2 Tbsps raw sugar or other sweetener to taste
1/2 teaspoon agar powder
1 Tbsp cornstarch
vanilla extract if using regular coconut milk
  1. Caramel: In a pan, add in the sugar and water for the caramel and mix on medium heat. Let it come to a boil, reduce heat to low and keep stirring occasionally till it gets dark and thick. Pour the caramel in the ramekins and spread around while still hot. reserve the pan.I like my caramel dark and burnt and bitter.
  2. Pudding: In a bowl whisk the agar powder into the coconut milk and add it to the pan in which you made caramel, on low heat.
  3. Keep stirring frequently and let it come to a boil.
  4. Add the cornstarch to a couple of tablespoon of cool coconut milk and mix well.
  5. Add this cornstarch mixture and the sugar to the boiling milk and keep boiling for 7-10 minutes, or until desired thickness is reached.
  6. Pour this boiling mixture in the caramel covered ramekins.
  7. If your caramel is a nice thick layer, then bake the ramekins for 3-4 minutes in 375 degrees F, so the caramel melts and the mixture just begins to bubble on the edges, and the caramel mixes well with the bottom.(I like this version better.)
  8. Let it cool for 10 minutes then refrigerate for atleast 2 hours.
  9. You can also use soy/almond milk or creamer with vanilla extract to make the pudding and add half cup blended silken tofu just before almost done, bring to a boil and take off heat. Mix well and pour immediately into ramekins covered in caramel.
  10. I made another batch with 1/2 cup coconut creamer, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup tofu and that was so creamy!
  11. To serve, run knife gently along the sides to loosen the flan and invert it on the serving plate. If the flan doesnt slide out easily, then dip the bottoms of the ramekin in hot water for a minute and invert. Serve as is, or with fresh fruits.
What favorite desserts do you plan to make this holiday season?
Agar powder is a gelatinous substance derived from algae and a great substitute for gelatin. You can find it whole foods or health stores, though it is much cheaper if bought online from iherb, swanson or amazon!
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  1. says

    You are a temptress Richa…the pudding looks simply wow and love the simple ingredients. I really like agar agar and use it often to make puddings.

  2. says

    These look delicious and so pretty on the plate. I love the cranberry touch. I have been trying think of ways to make a vegan custard, certainly going to try this one.

  3. says

    i love using agar flakes! i’ve made almond milk pudding with agar before and it gives the perfect flan texture! this recipe sounds fabulous.

  4. says

    Thanks junia.. i just got some agar and i cant stop trying all the puddings and custards i;ve missed!

    Thanks jb! i made them twice already.. luckily could take some pictures before they all vanished!

    Thanks Ella. hope you like it!

  5. says

    Now this is a dessert I haven’t had in a while- Thanks for the enticing reminder! It’s a favorite of my mom’s too, so she would be thrilled if I revisited it… Looks perfectly rich and creamy. :)

  6. says

    Thanks for the pin Elsa, do let me know when you try it!

    Thanks Uma, there are several varieties of raw sugar.. i use sugar in the raw or sucanat. you can use jaggery too if you dont mind the strong taste. the raw sugar tastes like mild jaggery.

  7. says

    “I made another batch with 1/2 cup coconut creamer, 1/2 cup coconut milk and 1/4 cup tofu and that was so creamy!”

    How did you make using the tofu?

  8. Anonymous says

    I think there’s a typo. After 4 minutes of baking the ramekins, it was definitely not done. I think you meant to type “30-40 minutes” in step 7. :)

    • says

      The caramel should melt start to bubble up on the side. that happens within minutes. After that the pudding just has to set in the refrigerator. It is all cooked and ready to set.


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