Dairy-Free Crème Caramel: A Cream-less Twist on this Classic Flan


Crème caramel, also referred to simply as flan, is a custard dessert with a layer of clear caramel sauce. It’s usually made with milk and cream, but this dairy-free crème caramel uses the fresh flavor of orange juice instead. The finish is lighter, but still decadent. And it’s a sample recipe from Kristin Caitlin Reilly’s book.

To keep that rich custard base, this dairy-free crème caramel recipe still uses eggs. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? For an egg-free option, enjoy this Vegan Candied Apple Flan or this Vegan Crème Brûlée.

Dairy-Free Crème Caramel Recipe, an Easy Dessert for Entertaining - also naturally gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free and coconut-free #cremecaramel #dairyfreedessert

Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Crème Caramel

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

Dairy-Free Crème Caramel
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This simple dessert is lighter than your average crème caramel since it doesn't use any dairy cream.
Serves: 4 servings
Caramel Sauce
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
Crème Flan
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. To make the caramel sauce, put the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook without stirring until the sugar is a dark, caramel color.
  3. Pour the caramelized sugar into a 4-cup mold or divide between 4 individual 1-cup ramekins.
  4. To make the flan, in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolks. Then add the sugar, orange juice, and vanilla, whisking until smooth.
  5. Pour the egg mixture through a fine strainer to remove any particles.
  6. Pour the egg mixture on top of the caramel, dividing it equally if using multiple molds.
  7. Place the mold(s) in a large roasting pan surrounded by enough boiling water to come halfway up the side of the mold(s).
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
  9. Remove the mold(s) from the water bath, cool and place in refrigerator.
  10. Before serving, run a knife around the inside edge of the mold(s) and invert onto a plate.
This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Not a Drop of Milk … (or Soy) by Kristin Caitlin Reilly. However, the photo shown is not from the book.

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About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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