Easy Vegan Flan (No-Bake!)

Jump to Recipe
Plate with a portion of vegan flan with a bite removed

If you’ve never had flan, you’re in for a treat! This easy, vegan version may be dairy- and egg-free, but it doesn’t skimp on flavor or texture. A dreamy, salted caramel sauce beautifully coats a coconut milk custard. The result? A cheesecake-like coconut custard covered in rich, salty caramel sauce. Swoon! Talk about a dreamy dessert. Plus, just 7 ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Bowls and spoons of coconut sugar, salt, vanilla, cornstarch, maple syrup, coconut milk, and water

What is Flan?

Flan (also called crème caramel) is a creamy custard dessert with a thin layer of caramel sauce on top. While it’s enjoyed in many regions around the world, flan is thought to have first originated in ancient Rome and is especially popular in Latin America. Many variations now exist, and they often include regional ingredients, such as pineapple juice in Puerto Rico and coffee in Costa Rica.

Though flan is traditionally made with eggs, milk, and sugar, the following is a plant-based and refined-sugar-free version inspired by the concept.

Saucepan of bubbling coconut sugar caramel sauce

How to Make Vegan Flan

We know we’re in for a challenge whenever creating a recipe that’s traditionally made almost exclusively from ingredients we’re trying not to use: milk, eggs, and cane sugar. But friends, with this one, we couldn’t be more thrilled with the result!

Coconut milk provides a luxurious, creamy, rich base for the custard and pairs beautifully with vanilla and maple syrup for a simple yet bold flavor. Top with a pleasantly salty, vanilla-infused caramel sauce, and it’s love at first bite.

Ramekins with a layer of salted caramel sauce

For the caramel layer, coconut sugar combines with salt, vanilla, and water and is heated until bubbly and thickened. It’s added to the ramekins before the custard so that once the flan ramekins are flipped onto a plate, the beautiful caramel layer is at the top.

For the custard layer, agar and cornstarch (or arrowroot starch) take the place of the eggs in a traditional flan. Agar comes from seaweed (red algae) and is used throughout Asia for making desserts. It’s fiber-rich (makes you feel full longer), and when boiled, it thickens like jello. Pretty neat, we’d say. What can’t you do, seaweed!?

Pouring the creamy coconut custard layer over the salted caramel sauce

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!

More Caramelly Vegan Treats

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Top-down photo showing the caramel layer on top of portions of vegan flan

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.
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate of gluten-free vegan flan
4.90 from 28 votes
Prep Time 4 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 8 (half-ramekin servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Latin-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3 Days



  • 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.
*If using agar flakes (vs. powder), a reader mentioned it worked well with 1 ½ tablespoons flakes in place of 1 tsp powder. We haven’t tested it that way and can’t guarantee results.
*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

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:

  1. Gwen says

    The link to the ramekins is faulty, can you provide one that works? Thanks for providing all of these GF vegan recipes!

  2. Alain Sauvage says

    Hi – I have a hyper absorption issue of LDL/Cholesterol from saturated fats hence I’m on a careful diet where I monitor levels of saturated fats. The most troublesome plant based (I avoid animal sources of saturated fats) recipes for me are those that use coconut milks / creams. (In your nutritional information I note that of the 16.8g fats, 15.5g are saturated – a whopping 92% sat fat proportion! – Yikes!).

    Do you have a version of this that does not use any coconut products please?

    I love your recipes and cook many of them except for those with coconut products.


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Alain, this definitely is a richer dessert! Unfortunately without a higher fat milk like coconut, it becomes more of a jello-like texture. You could possibly try subbing another dairy-free milk + more agar, but it won’t be the same!

  3. Dimpy says

    Hello :) could I use canned light coconut milk instead of the full fat kind? I’m hoping to keep it lower fat if possible.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we wouldn’t recommend light coconut milk in this recipe because it won’t set properly. If you wanted to try it, you would likely need more agar and the texture may be more jello-like vs. rich and creamy like flan. Hope that helps!

  4. AliVic says

    Couldn’t find afar agar to save my life, flan didn’t set, dessert was ruined. Do not substitute. Going with a baked recipe next time.

  5. mona says

    I don’t have full-fat coconut milk but I do have three other possible options: Califa almond milk, unsweetened coconut cream,and light coconut milk… Can I use any of these??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mona, you could mix the unsweetened coconut cream and light coconut milk to create a texture similar to full-fat coconut milk!

  6. Michelle says

    I have been wanting to try this for years and possibly this week I finally will get to! Instead of coconut milk, can I use almond milk instead? I could put some oil or butter to account for the fat if that’s needed! Thank you in advance

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Michelle, hmm, we aren’t sure it will work with almond milk because the richness from coconut really makes it, but the addition of fat would probably help a bit! If you want to try it, keep in mind you might also need a bit more agar. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi! We think you would probably need a lot to have a similar thickness – like 1/4 cup or more. It’s hard to say without testing it though!

          • Michelle says

            Not sure what you meant by “1/4 cup or more.” I just added about a tablespoon of melted vegan butter; same amount of agar powder. It worked though not a fan of the almond milk taste. Texture is good but probably a lot more Jell-O like. 😂 Caramel sauce is really good though. I had to double that after it seemed that one batch wasn’t going to be enough for all 11 of my small ramekin-ish containers. Otherwise I’m happy that I tried and would likely make this again but not with almond milk. Thank you again ❤️

          • Michelle says

            Yayyyy! My VERY PICKY (not exaggerating at all!) 12-year old daughter said it’s good! Definitely a keeper recipe! Thanks again, Dana!

  7. karen says

    this recipe is easy to follow turned out delicious. i served it at a dinner party of 6 and used 6 ramekins and i thought the am ought was just right. everyone ate every morsel and none of my guests we vegan! they were all quite impressed. my only other comment is you could increase the sweetness a bit. my crowd appreciated that is was not very sweet but i actually thought either a tad more of the caramel or another spoon of maple would be nice.

  8. Montaigne says

    I want to try this by substituiting some of the coconut milk for mango puree! what amount would you recommend for the puree in grams?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Montaigne, we’re not sure without testing it! Maybe 100-200 grams? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tilly! We haven’t tried this with gelatin but we think it should work.. yes. Let us know how it goes!

  9. Cristina Garcia says

    hi! I am thinking of adding pureed Mamey sapote to this. Any advice on where it could go? or if I should add more agar agar?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cristina, we aren’t familiar with that fruit! It looks delicious though. Perhaps another reader will have advice?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hm, perhaps you could try puréeing it and using in place of some of the coconut milk. Maybe ~1/2-3/4 cup? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  10. Nashira says

    This is an amazing recipe, I wish I could show you the picture!!! Thank you so much. Made it in a bigger pan and it came out beautiful 😍 so if anyone was asking if they can make it in a bigger pan then the answer is yes from my experience with this recipe. Amazing everyone must try!!!

  11. Anna Flores says

    Will this work without the agar agar powder anyone I don’t have access to that thanks ? And can I make it with a bigger dish

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, unfortunately the agar agar is pretty essential for the right texture in this recipe. We haven’t tried it with any substitutions and cannot guarantee results.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Paige, we aren’t sure how this would turn out in a larger pan since we haven’t tried it, but it could work. If anything you may need to chill for longer (maybe 4+ hours) to ensure that the center is totally firm. Let us know how it goes! xo

  12. Stacy says

    I’m hoping someone can help me figure out how I ended up with WAY MORE custard than needed. I made this for a dinner party, so I doubled the recipe (so using 4 cans of coconut milk) to divide among 8 ramekins (same size as suggested). If felt like I had barely enough caramel and about 2-3 cups of extra custard – and that’s after filling the ramekins nearly to the brim. This is not a terrible problem to have, as I can just whip up some more caramel and happily keep eating the custard, but I would love to know how I goofed this up.

    I should also say, it was delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Strange! We’re not sure how that might have happened unless you forgot to double the caramel ingredients? Or perhaps your ramekins were just a smidge smaller and it made a difference? Glad you enjoyed the (overabundant) results anyway, Stacy!

  13. Lo says

    Thank you for the recipe! I made it first in a bigger mold (no ramekins available), and it turned out alright. But the sugar didn’t caramelize like I wanted (the color).

    I made another batch in ramekins, and added a little coffee to the caramel mixture. It sets up nicely, but it has cracks on top when I flip it.

    I’m not sure what I did wrong? Maybe the caramel didn’t set enough when I scooped the custard on top. Would this be the issue?

    Anyway-it tastes delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the taste! It does sound like perhaps the caramel didn’t set enough. Another idea would be if the ramekins were especially large so it was a thinner layer of caramel?

  14. Olivia says

    We went vegan 3 years ago and my husband LOVES flan, so that’s what I’ve been making for his birthday every year. This version did not fail to impress!

    Alterations: I used 1 can coconut milk and 1 can coconut cream to make it even richer. The brands I used were a little too “coconutty”–will try Whole Foods 365 brand next time. Husband being a big sweet tooth I added extra sugar to the custard, and probably would do that again next time, too.

    Recommendations: I thought that the salt in the caramel was a little too intense, might drop that completely or just do a pinch next time.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the review and for sharing your modifications, Olivia! So glad you both enjoyed!

      • Mina Narula says

        I agree completely with Olivia. I would leave out the salt entirely in the custard especially. Definitely needs more of caramel than what the recipe above states. also adding coconut cream is a great idea!


  15. Cathy says

    has anyone ever tried this recipe like a creme brulee? The sugar on top on custard after its chilled? I want to see if it works but was curious if anyone has tried it before.

  16. jennifer andrews says

    Can I use Bakol unflavored Gel Dessert (vegan) instead of agar agar powder? If so, what measurements do I use?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jennifer! We haven’t had any experience using that product, but we think it could be worth trying it as a 1:1 swap for the agar. Good luck!

  17. Jenny says

    This recipe is amazing! This was my first time making flan. Tbh I’m not even a huge flan fan but wanted something on the lighter side that didn’t require baking for NYE and boy was it excellent.

    I followed the recipe exactly and it was super easy. I was using an electric stove so it definitely took a bit longer for the caramel to boil. I think I may have kept it on a bit too long as by the time I was pouring it in the ramekins it was getting hard, but I was still able to distribute it evenly on the bottom.

    I also made a double batch of the caramel as others have suggested and it was super delicious. Highly recommend this recipe!

  18. Yasi Herrera says

    Simply amazing!
    I love regular flan but because of so much dairy I have not been able to eat it.
    I followed this recipe exactly and my whole family loved it. Simple delicious vegan flan. Thank you soo much!

  19. Brittani says

    How do you recommend changing the measurements if you wanted to make it as a whole family size serving, say in a pie pan?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brittany, we think the recipe as written would work in an 8-9 inch pie pan. Let us know if you try it!

  20. Samantha LaRoche says

    Made this and loved it! Tried tweaking some flavors for a more traditional Puerto Rican flavor (no coconut). I used some vegan cream cheese to thicken up almond milk at a 1:1 ratio and it came out so good!! Only issue I’m
    having is that the top of my flan is not smooth and I’m not quite sure why.
    Anyway thanks for helping bring this back into my life!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Samantha! We’re thinking the vegan cream cheese may be causing the top to not be as smooth.

  21. Kristen says

    Wow!! Thank you for bringing “flan” back into my life!! I’m a huge fan of flan and creme brûlée—but have a hard time making either and all those eggs give me a headache. Thank goodness I held onto my ramekins! This recipe is fantastic.

    I made this with agar agar flakes and it worked beautifully. The caramel took longer than three min to boil—probably because I doubled the ingredients for it (not necessary) and am using an electric stove instead of gas. The end result was already set after two hours in the fridge. I completely filled five ramekins (3” wide, 2” tall). Next time I’ll divide among all six ramekins. And I agree it’s best divided among two people. I am a sugar fanatic and it’s too much for even me to enjoy all at once.

  22. Deb says

    I just LOVE this recipe. Easy to follow and yummy too!
    I made this for a non vegan friend and he begged me to make more…..lol.
    I doubled the carmel and used a pyrex pan and it turned out great.
    Going to make this again…tomorrow!

  23. AmyM says

    It is delicious! Made this with half of the recipe because just two of us. Will make this again when I have more people to share. I’m wondering it could place into a glass pie pan to take to church to share? Thank you so much for your recipes and have always come to your site to look for ideas.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amy! We have had other readers make the flan in tart pans instead of ramekins with success! You may need to let it chill longer, but hopefully it would work!

  24. MONICA FRIGON says

    I substituted the coconut for 1 canned milk + 2% organic milk for the rest of it because we ran out of coconut milk. It turned out HEAVENLY! I love creme brûlée and this had exactly the same texture and richness without all those heart-attack inducing egg yolks or heavy cream. I think I might continue just using regular milk to make this since the texture didn’t seem to suffer and I can cut back on some of the fat of the original recipe.

    Less guilt, more enjoyment!

  25. Salwa Mansoor says

    This looks so delish! I was wondering if this can be baked along with cake batter to make the Chocoflan Impossible cake? I am so scared to try it so was wondering if you have any experience with baking this flan.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Salwa, we don’t have any experience with baking it, but we don’t think the agar would hold up well.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Yisell, perhaps agave or date syrup, but we haven’t tried those and can’t guarantee they will work!

      • Kathya says

        I’d like to try making this but don’t have access to agar agar powder. Is it necessary/can I use a substitute? If so, what would you suggest? Thank you!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Kathya, we’ve only tested it with agar agar and think it’s pretty key for the right texture. But other readers have mentioned trying substitutes. We’d suggest searching the comments to see their results. If you press “ctrl+f” on a PC or “command+f” on a mac, a find bar should pop up that allows you to search for specific words in the post and comments. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Karen, we think that should work, but we haven’t tried it! The caramel might not drizzle down the sides of each piece the same way though. Let us know how it goes!

  26. Jen W says

    When I went vegan almost 10 years ago, I mourned the loss of flan. This recipe (which I doubled for a dinner party) came out great! I was quite fearful because 1) after making everything I noticed all my coconut (2 cans cream, 2 cans milk) were 15 oz!!, and 2) the coconut sugar caramel was so stiff it was barely spreadable across the bottoms of the ramekins. I had to quickly make a second batch (essentially tripling that part of the recipe) but after letting them sit in the fridge overnight, turns out a little goes a long way. Luckily I was sloppy with both the cornstarch and the agar agar, and more than intended spilled into the pan. This may have made up for the extra liquid. I’ll be making this again – maybe adding puréed mangos! Thank you for the recipe!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ooo – mangoes sound so delish! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your experience, Jen! So glad you enjoyed!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Cristina, we don’t think so as coconut milk adds thickness and richness that oat milk might not. But let us know if you try it!

  27. Yunhe Rodriguez-Choi says

    Great recipe! Turned out delicious with awesome texture. Couldn’t find Agar-Agar powder so I used flakes (1tsp powder is equivalent to 1.5 Tbsp) . Would be great if you update the recipe with this information. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Dom! We haven’t tried this without agar agar and we aren’t sure how it will turn out! Cornstarch does not thicken or solidify in the same way that agar agar does, so the result might be a much softer custard. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marisol, we don’t think it will be thick enough, but let us know if you try it!

  28. BeeH says

    Again, and again every time I made any of your recipes they are a success and yes!!!!, it is a flan. It is DELICIOUS!!!!… I have been looking for a recipe that will give me that creamy consistency with a delicious dripping caramel and you just ended my quest with your recipe. I had all the ingredients; I always have Vegan baking and cooking ingredients at hand just in case I bump into a recipe. I used one can of cream of coconut and one can of milk. I purchase these products from an Indian grocery store near my house and the quality is much better. I looked into the 365 brand and had only 4 grams of fat, so I thought the milk I used would work better (17 grams of fat) and it did. My husband loved it. I notice that if I leave them in the refrigerator longer than 3 hours, even overnight the caramel will dissolve better and it will drip when I turn the ramekins. It renders 4 full ramekins, I had to make it the minute we finished them. The flan is not only delicious but super easy!…I made a video for my sister, too bad I stopped using FB and Instagram, otherwise I would’ve posted…Thank you so much!

  29. Irene says

    I made this and it did not turn out for me. Since I didn’t have and couldn’t find agar agar powder, I used gelatin. The custard never set. It tasted alright, but it did not taste like flan. It tasted like vanilla pudding or custard. Also, I used 6 ramekins and still had enough left over for a pie pan’s worth of custard, which did not set either. Not sure where I went wrong, maybe the gelatin? Even if it had set, it would not have been like traditional flan, probably because traditional flan uses eggs and sweetened condensed milk + evaporated milk.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Irene, we haven’t tried it with gelatin, but that’s likely the issue. This recipe requires agar to work properly. This won’t be exactly like a traditional flan due to the ingredient swaps, but should be very delicious and similar in texture and flavor. We’d suggest buying agar online if you decide to try it again.

  30. Carolyn says

    Just okay. I wouldn’t call it flan, it was more the taste of coconut custard. It did have the flan consistency though. If I make it again I’ll use almond milk.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear that, Carolyn! Let us know if you try it out with almond milk. We think it might need more agar to set properly.

  31. Nicole Wilson says

    This is literally the best vegan dessert I’ve ever had! It’s divine. I just finished eating the last of it and I’m ready to make more. I appreciate the level of detail you always include in your recipes. It makes all the difference in the world to have the specific heat setting, temperature, and time. The precision on your recipes is really quite something. I can feel the love you put in to creating. Thank you for that. Excellent recipe, 5 stars, hands down.

  32. Aidan says

    This was really simple and easy to make, and had such a lovely texture! I would recommend adding a bit more vanilla if you want a stronger flavour :) Thank you so much for creating this!

  33. Carla says

    I made this last night for a dinner party and it was a total hit! I substituted agar for gelatin (since I am not totally vegan) and it worked using the same quantity. Itwas restaurant quality! Light, not too sweet, and delicious! Will definitely make it again. I would leave longer in the fridge if possible, at least 5 hours.

  34. cat says

    The caramel element took slightly longer than instructed but worked perfectly. I used light brown sugar instead as I didn’t want to buy a different sugar.

    The custard was delicious and flavorful, but mine just didn’t set quite right, even with 6 hours in the fridge. I used gelatin instead of Agar, but I’ve subbed the two in the past without issue. When I try this recipe again, I’ll double the gelatin to see if I get a more favorable result. I’ll also try the coconut milk suggested instead of a local store brand to see if the variations in fat content could be behind it. Flavor-wise, these were excellent! I’ll troubleshoot texture with the next batch.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the review and for sharing your experience, Cat, it’s super helpful for us and other readers! Can’t wait to hear how round 2 goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Valerie! We haven’t tried this with gelatin but we think it would work. Let us know how it goes! xo

  35. Lyuba Misheva says

    A dream come True! Since I am on lactose free diet, I am trying to make something close to brule or caramel.
    Thanks a lot! I did it and it is better than excpected.

  36. Tracy says

    Since I live in New England, would be fun to see if caramel could be made from maple syrup. Maple sugar should work fine, just harder to come by and so expensive! Thanks for the recipe. Eggs and dairy are on my allergens list.

  37. EMC says

    I’m thrilled to find a vegan flan recipe! A long, long time ago, summer after my 6th grade year, I spent a few weeks in Spain and flan became almost a daily staple! Still love the stuff in all its various iterations – creme caramel, panna cotta, creme brûlée… yum! Thanks for developing this!

    I am, however, trying to reduce my use of coconut products. Do you think another thick, creamy milk (cashew maybe?) would be a feasible replacement given the agar and cornstarch? Or does this recipe really need the sat fat from the coconut?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! We haven’t tried this with any milks other than coconut, and we’re not sure how it would go! We suspect that the fat in the coconut helps with the final texture, but it’s possible a cashew milk could work instead. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

      • Lexi says

        Would love to hear the answer to this too! I’m allergic to all things coconut so curious which other milks would be a suitable substitute! :) thanks!!


    This is certainly on my to do list. At last a flan that I can eat without the eggs. I have never liked flan because of the eggs. I will certainly give this a try.

  39. Jess S says

    I can’t comment on the caramel aspect, but I made the custard tonight and it was phenomenal! I subbed 2x tapioca starch for the agar, left the rest as listed. I topped with strawberries and everyone loved it, even my not vegan father in law. I will definitely make again!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We love to hear this. Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Jess. Super helpful! xo

  40. Ann says

    This looks soooo freakin’ delicious! Vegan flan! Brilliant!! I’m in the middle of moving apartments, so playing in the kitchen is on hold for a little while.😭But once I’m back on track, this is on the menu. About Alexis’s question regarding eggs, you can make a stove-top egg custard. I’m not sure how it works with dairy-free milk, but Alexis could check it out. Also, this flan recipe makes me think that moussaka is back in my life again! Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sneha! After heating the caramel and coconut milk mixture on the stovetop, the flan is simply chilled in the refrigerator, not baked or steamed. If you want to make the caramel or coconut milk mixture in the instant pot, theoretically you could do it on the saute setting but we think it might burn. Hope this helps!

  41. Stacy says

    What is agar agar? Is it expensive? I don’t have other recipes that call for it so I’m not sure I want to try to find it. Did you test this using gelatin powder, like a pan a cotta? Wondering if that could work too.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Stacy! Agar agar is a naturally gelatinous powder derived from marine red algae. It is not very expensive in our experience (~$5/oz), and you use so little that it lasts a long time. Our goal with this recipe was to replicate the results of gelatin with a fully vegan alternative, but if you have gelatin it should work similarly. Let us know how it goes! xo

      • Kelly says

        I prepared this flan today! It was quick and easy – the hardest part was the wait while it set! I do not have ramekins, so I used one round cake tin. Delish!

  42. Sofia says

    Hello! Do you think I can use xanthan gum instead of the agar agar? Xanthan is all I have at home right now and it seems like it can be used 1:1 in replacement of agar agar in most recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sofia! We haven’t tried it and we aren’t sure it will work the same way, but we don’t know! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

      • Sofia says

        Hi again! So I realized that I have total mom brain and typed xanthan gum, when what I have is GUAR gum. I made this recipe yesterday using the same measure of guar gum and they came out perfectly. If anyone wants to try this sub, I confirm that it works!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nessa! From what we’ve read 1 tsp powder is ~1 Tbsp flakes, so they should work if you just use a bit more! Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Colette! We haven’t tried this with other milks and we aren’t sure it would work. The fat in the coconut milk is super helpful for texture and flavor in this recipe, but something like cashew or almond might work – we don’t know. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

    • Renee says

      I just made with Xantham gum because that all I could find. It was edible but quite rubbery. I will make again but I will find agar agar first! To be fair I will rate it then. This recipe will get a 3 though because it did turn out.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Sorry to hear it didn’t turn out well with xanthan gum, Renee. Agar is key for the right texture. We hope you love it next time!

  43. Tessa says

    This looks delicious! I’d like to make one big one (rather than small portions). Could I make this in a metal cake pan? What do you recommend?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tessa! We aren’t sure how this would turn out in a larger pan since we haven’t tried it, but it could work. If anything you may need to chill for longer (maybe 4+ hours) to ensure that the center is totally firm. Let us know how it goes! xo

    • jess says

      Same! I’d do that for a Venezuelan-style quesillo. There is another Venezuelan dessert that is sort of like a coconut flan and it’s so delicious.

  44. The Vegan Goddess says

    Are you SERIOUS? I love flan! I can’t believe it can be vegan and looks great!

    I am SO making this! Will check back …

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi there! We have only tested this recipe with agar agar powder, so we aren’t sure how the sheets would compare. It’s possible you could add 1 or two to the coconut milk mixture as it’s heating, but we wouldn’t recommend adding using/adding extra water to prepare the sheets. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try! xo

    • Alexis says

      How many eggs do we use if we wanted to use them instead of agar agar? Do we still use the cornstarch also? Thanks!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Alexis! Due to the nature of this recipe being no-bake, we wouldn’t recommend using eggs in place of the agar agar. If you do, you need to do more of a traditional flan method and bake them or they will be unsafe to eat. You could look up a dairy-free or traditional flan recipe for inspiration, as we cannot guarantee good results when adding eggs to this recipe. Hope this helps!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi there! Do you mean guar gum? We haven’t experimented with it in the kitchen ourselves but we have heard that it can work similarly to agar agar. Let us know your results if you give it a try!