Decadent crème brûlée without eggs or dairy or special equipment? Impossible, right!? Wrong! Friends, we’ve got you covered. This vegan crème brûlée is a dreamboat dessert inspired by a recipe in the gorgeous cookbook Mumbai Modern.
Imagine: a creamy, chai-spiced cashew custard with a crackly, caramelized top. Simple methods and just 10 ingredients required for this elegant dessert. Let’s brûlée!
What is Crème Brûlée?
The first known recipe for crème brûlée, which translates to “burnt cream,” appears in a French cookbook from 1691. It may be inspired by the well-known Spanish dessert crema catalana, which originated in the 1500s, though they differ slightly in ingredients and preparation.
Masala chai is a creamy, spiced tea that’s most popular in India but is enjoyed around the world. Our chai-spiced crème brûlée takes inspiration from the warming, sweet, and spicy flavors of masala chai and gives it a decadent, dessert-y twist!
How to Make Vegan Crème Brûlée
Unlike traditional crème brûlée, which uses cream and eggs for its rich, custardy goodness, the decadence of this vegan version comes from a base of cashews and coconut cream.
First, we soak the cashews to soften them and ensure a milder cashew flavor.
Next, we blend the cashews with coconut cream as well as maple syrup, vanilla, and chai-inspired spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, and cloves)!
Then, after blending, it’s time to transfer the mixture to ramekins and chill. After chilling, you can enjoy the “crème” on its own. But we highly recommend you “brûlée” it for an extra special result (don’t worry, it’s way easier than it sounds)!
Just a touch of sugar and a quick trip to the broiler and it’s done (yep, that’s how you crème brûlée without a brûlée torch!). Grab your spoons and get to crackin’, friends!
We hope you LOVE this vegan crème brûlée! It’s:
With a crackly, caramelized crust!
It’s the perfect impressive yet simple dessert to make for anniversaries, dinner parties, or when you’re feeling fancy and craving crème brûlée. Basically, any time is crème brûlée time!
More Recipes for Chai Lovers
- No-Bake Vegan Chai Cheesecake
- Super Chunky Chai-Spiced Granola
- Creamy Vegan Chai Ice Cream
- Easy Masala Chai Recipe
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!
Vegan Chai-Spiced Crème Brûlée
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup canned full-fat coconut milk*
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
- 2 Tbsp organic cane sugar (fine works best but regular will work)
- Add the cashews to a heatproof bowl and cover with hot water by at least 1-2 inches. Set aside to soak for 20-30 minutes.
- Once the cashews are done soaking, drain them and discard the soaking water.
- To a high-speed blender, add the soaked and drained cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, and optional sea salt. Blend until creamy and smooth. If needed, add more coconut milk 1 tsp at a time to encourage blending (we didn’t need any), but avoid adding too much — you want the mixture to be thick.
- Divide the pudding between four 3-4 oz heatproof ramekins. We used shallow, wide ramekins that hold 4-5 ounces and added ~4 Tbsp per ramekin. It’s rich! Set in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. At this point, the custard can be enjoyed without the brûlée topping and/or can be kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- TO BRÛLÉE: Just before serving, set out a baking sheet and preheat oven to a high broil. Place an oven rack on the very top shelf just below the broiler element, leaving just enough space to fit your baking sheet and ramekins.
- Place each ramekin on the baking sheet and top each one with 1/2 Tbsp cane sugar. Place the ramekins on the very top shelf of your oven just under the broiler for 1-2 minutes until the sugar is melted, bubbling, and turning brown. Watch carefully — it can burn in seconds. Alternatively, if you have a butane torch, you can use it to caramelize the sugar on top. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy. The top will stay crisp for up to 1 hour.
*Adapted from our Vegan Tiramisu Pudding Cups and inspired by the gorgeous Chai Masala Crème Brûlée in Amisha Dodhia Gurbani’s Mumbai Modern.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
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