Dairy-free crème caramel

Coconut milk creme caramel on eatlivetravelwrite.comThis post is sponsored by Grace Foods.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or if you follow me on social media, you’ll know I am writing my first cookbook. I’m currently in the (nearly) final stages of recipe testing and I can’t tell you how happy I will be to actually get to the writing part! I’ve spent the better part of my spare time over the past 3 months in the kitchen testing recipes and, since there are only two of us in the house, you might wonder where all that food goes?

Fortunately, I have lots of colleagues willing to take baked goods off my hands (homemade cookies and cakes go down a treat in a staffroom!) and for the rest, my neighbours are always happy to lend a hand. I’m often found outside on my porch or in my backyard photographing my dishes and my neighbours seem to have the knack of knowing just when to appear to snag a sample. Sadly, for a few of them with allergies/ intolerances, a lot of my dishes contain gluten and dairy (hello French food) so they can’t sample, they have to be content with eating only with their eyes.

As I’ve been developing and perfecting recipes, I’ve kept an ongoing list of dishes I’d like to go back and rework so they are gluten and/or dairy-free.  This way my tasty treats can be accessible for more people and some of my close friends and neighbours are able to get a taste of my recipes too. I was excited to work with some Grace Foods products recently to develop a non-dairy, non refined-sugar version of my crème caramel for one of my very patient neighbours in particular. She’s had to endure a near-constant stream of dairy-laden goods entering her house to be enjoyed by her partner only and I always feel bad I don’t have anything to offer her!

Coconut sugar caramel on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe Grace Coconut Sugar made a beautiful dark caramel

Grace coconut milk and coconut sugar on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe custard made with Grace Coconut Milk and Grace Coconut Sugar is a little more caramel-y colour than a typical crème caramel which is more yellow

A crème caramel is typically made with cream or full-fat milk and regular granulated sugar. I was interested to give this a whirl using Grace Organic Coconut Milk and Grace Organic Coconut Sugar and ever since I saw (and tasted!) them, I wanted to use Grace Coconut Chips for garnish to add some crunch to an otherwise silky smooth dessert In fact I didn’t have to tweak the recipe very much from its original at all making it a fabulous dessert to have up my sleeve when I’m entertaining guests who are lactose intolerant. The subtle coconut flavour (it’s not too sweet either) give it a bit of an exotic flair too – it is definitely reminiscent of the coconut custards I’ve eaten all over South East Asia.

Grace Foods products on eatlivetravelwrite.comThe custards set up beautifully and I couldn’t think of a better garnish than the Grace Coconut Chips!

Coconut creme caramel with Grace Foods on eatlivetravelwrite.com

Dairy-free crème caramel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
An easy French classic, made dairy-free with coconut milk
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6
  • For the caramel:
  • 75g (1/2 cup) Grace Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • For the custard:
  • 400mls (1 can) Grace Organic Coconut Milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50g (1/3 cup) Grace Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • To serve:
  • Grace Organic Coconut Chips
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 300˚F.
  2. Make the caramel:
  3. Place the sugar and water in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Do not stir.
  4. Once the sugar has melted and is beginning to bubble, cook a further 5 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. The mixture will start to smell like a slightly burnt caramel - it will me more watery than traditional caramel, less syrupy. Don't worry!
  5. Divide the caramel evenly between six ramekins (83mls or ⅓ cup each). Swirl the caramel to completely coat the base of each ramekin.
  6. Set the ramekins in a high-sided baking dish and boil a kettle.
  7. Make the custard:
  8. In a heat-proof bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar until thick and slightly pale.
  9. Heat the coconut milk, whisking constantly, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  10. Once smooth (the coconut cream can be a little lumpy) and simmering (NOT boiling), drizzle the milk slowly into the eggs and sugar, whisking constantly until you've incorporated all the milk.
  11. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  12. Pour the custard into a 500ml jug and divide evenly between the six ramekins.
  13. Carefully pour the boiling water into the baking dish until it's just over ½ way up the sides of the ramekins.
  14. Carefully place the baking dish in the oven.
  15. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the custards are JUST set (they should be jiggly in the centre still).
  16. Remove the ramekins from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
  17. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  18. To remove the custards from the ramekins, gently run a sharp knife around the edge of the ramekins (alternatively you can set the ramekins in lukewarm water for a few minutes).
  19. Place a plate on top of the ramekin and, holding tight, flip the plate and ramekin. You might have to gently shake the plate/ramekin until you hear the custard slide down onto the plate.
  20. Serve immediately topped with the coconut chips.

Useful for making this recipe: 3oz ramekins and a high-sided baking dish.

I’m so happy I have an easy classic French dessert recipe to share with my dairy-free friends!

Coconut creme caramel (dairy free) on eatlivetravelwrite.comCoconut milk is a pantry staple in our house so I’m happy to have a sweet application for it (we mostly use it in savoury dishes – curries and the like). What do you like to make with coconut milk? Have you tried coconut sugar? How did you like it?

Grace coconut products can be found in the international aisle at: Metro, Food Basics, Sobeys, FreshCo, Wal-Mart, Loblaws, NoFrills, RCSS, Coppa’s fresh market and Highland Farms.

Want to try Grace Foods coconut products for yourself? I’ve got a giveaway going on for residents of Canada (excluding Quebec, sorry friends who live there). Check it out here.


Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Grace Foods but all opinions are my own. I only write about and recommend products I use and love myself.

Please note: This post contains product links from which are affiliate links, meaning if you click over and purchase something, I will receive a very small percentage of the purchase price (at no extra cost to you) which goes towards maintaining eat. live. travel. write. Thank you in advance!

26 thoughts on “Dairy-free crème caramel”

  1. I’m so excited to try this recipe, especially because it can be difficult to find fancy custard based recipes that are dairy-free. My husband is lactose intolerant and it can be difficult to make something that we both can enjoy (I too take most of my baking to work for my colleagues). I always have coconut milk on hand to make ice cream (dairy-free ice cream is expensive), so I just need to pick up some coconut sugar and coconut chips. Thanks Mardi!

  2. What a gorgeous and delicious dessert Crème Caramel is! I still have to make one and I can’t wait to try your recipe. I use a lot of coconut sugar in my baking and I bought the Grace brand also. It gives a lovely flavor and a darker color to every baked good. Beautiful!

  3. So happy to find this recipe. My husband is lactose intolerant and has allergies. Will be making this for Easter dessert this weekend . Thank-you Mardi 😀

  4. I have made this a few times now and it is such a winner every time. I use about a third less sugar and I prefer it that way. I am baking a batch now for our Christmas lunch and I’m using a whole baking dish instead of ramekins and I’m keeping my fingers crossed it would work. Thank you for such an easy and delicious recipe.

  5. I made this recipe for a Christmas party where creme caramel is a staple item but there are 6 people who always get left out because of dairy intolerance. I have tried 3 different ways to make this and your recipe was not only the simplest – it worked the best!
    I didnt heat the coconut milk before adding it to the eggs.(forgot that step) and it came out beautifully silky and firm. I have shared the recipe with 4 people already and will definitely be making it again!


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