Bittman’s Dairy-Free Flan (No Bake)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The caramel is the trickiest part of this recipe. The right thickness will ensure you get just a slight ombre effect with a caramel topping. See the above post for tips. Also, please note that the Prep time is hands-on time only. This is a great make ahead recipe, since you want to allow time for chilling.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 4 servings
  1. Whisk together the ½ cup sugar and water in a small heavy saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan occasionally (it’s best not to stir) until the sugar liquefies, turns clear, then turns golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  2. Editor Add: Just before the caramel finishes, soak 4 (6-ounce) ramekins in hot water to warm them, shake off the excess and place them in a baking dish or baking pan that will fit in your refrigerator. You want the ramekins to be hot so the caramel doesn't set up too quickly.
  3. Immediately pour the caramel into the bottom of your warm ramekins.
  4. Put the coconut milk in a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook, while stirring, until the gelatin dissolves entirely.
  5. Put the tofu, remaining 2 tablespoons vanilla, and salt in your blender or food processor and puree. Add the coconut mixture and blend until smooth.
  6. Pour the custard evenly over the caramel in your ramekins.
  7. Refrigerate the flans for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours.
  8. Dip the bottoms of the ramekins in hot water for about ten seconds, run a thin knife all around the edge, and then invert onto plates, scraping the sauce over all.
Easier Serving Option: For a more casual dessert, you can use small bowls or cups instead of ramekins, and just serve the desserts with a spoon for scooping out the flan and caramel.

This recipe is adapted from The Foods Matter Cookbook by Mark Bittman.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 dairy-free flan Calories: 300 Fat: 14.8g Saturated fat: 12.6g Carbohydrates: 34.1g Sugar: 33.5g Sodium: 77mg Fiber: 0g Protein: 4.8g
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at