Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

This Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée is an indulgent dessert!

Silky chocolate custard is topped with a crackly, caramelized sugar crust.

It’s made with coconut milk so it’s nut-free as well.

chocolate coconut milk creme brulee in green ramekins with a spoon breaking through the top sugar crust of one them, with raspberries and chocolate chunks next to them

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Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Crème brûlée is one of those classic desserts that everyone loves. A smooth, creamy custard topped with caramelized sugar you have to crack with a spoon? It’s fun and decadent!

But unfortunately not all of us can/want to eat dairy, so I came up with a dairy-free version that’s just as good as the original.

But I didn’t stop there. Why must crème brûlée always be vanilla? Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I like vanilla as much as the next person.

But I wanted to make this dairy-free crème brûlée even more decadent, so we’re adding chocolate!

It somehow makes it even more special, and would be a fantastic dairy-free Valentine’s Day dessert as well.

[Note: I tried using coconut sugar in this recipe to make a Paleo crème brûlée but coconut sugar just does not caramelize like regular sugar. So I’m using regular cane sugar in this recipe. It’s still a gluten-free and dairy-free crème brûlée but it’s not Paleo.]

 

What you need for Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Ingredients:

Equipment:

chocolate creme brulee made with coconut milk in white ramekins next to raspberries and chocolate chunks

How to make Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

First, heat the oven to 325°.

Set a kettle of water on to boil. You’ll need enough water to fill the 9×13″ baking dish halfway up. If the water starts to boil before you need it, just remove it from the heat.

Place the 4 ramekins in the 9×13″ baking dish.

In a large measuring glass or heavy medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar until well blended.

In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk and 1/4 cup sugar and place over medium heat. It’s okay if the coconut cream and coconut water have separated in the can. Stir occasionally until the coconut cream and sugar have completely melted.

Once the milk mixture begins to gently bubble, add the chopped chocolate and stir until completely melted and blended (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat.

While whisking constantly, sloooooooowly drizzle the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture (not too quickly or you’ll cook the yolks).

Whisk in the vanilla.

Pour the custard mixture through a small sieve into the ramekins, filling each almost to the top.

Pull the oven rack out part way and set the baking dish on it.

Carefully fill the baking dish with the boiled water until it comes about halfway up the ramekins. Do not splash any water into the ramekins.

Carefully slide the rack into the oven and let the custards cook for 35-40 minutes, until they are only somewhat jiggly in the center.

Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack or hot pads. Once the ramekins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the baking dish and let them cool completely.

Wrap the ramekins with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap onto the surface of the custards to prevent them from forming a skin. Chill the ramekins in the fridge for at least four hours or up to 3 days.

You can make the caramelized sugar crust one of two ways:

  1. Use a kitchen torch: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon sugar evenly over each custard (the custards should be cold, straight from the fridge). Hold the torch 3-4″ above the ramekins, aiming it straight down, and slowly torch the sugar until it’s a dark brown liquid. It will quickly set into a crunchy topping.
  2. Use a skillet: Melt 4 teaspoons sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to melt, you can use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir it until it becomes a golden brown liquid caramel. Carefully pour about 1 teaspoon over each custard. Gently swirl each ramekin so the caramel spreads to an even layer and let it set into a crunchy topping.

 

Make ahead

You can make the custards up to 3 days in advance. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap onto the surface of the custards, and chill in the fridge. When you’re ready to serve, add the sugar directly to the cold custards.

Once you caramelize the sugar on top, it’s best to eat them right away.

 

Substitutions and variations

  • I would not recommend using almond milk instead of coconut milk. The custards won’t be thick enough.
  • I like to use 70-72% chocolate but if you want it sweeter you can use milk chocolate instead.
  • Feel free to add a large pinch of cinnamon and a small pinch of cayenne for Mexican chocolate crème brûlée.
  • You could add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the custards.
  • You could add 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder for mocha crème brûlée.
  • You could serve these with raspberries or any other fruit you like with chocolate (cherries, strawberries, etc.).

 

Other recipes you might like:

chocolate creme brulee made with coconut milk in white ramekins next to raspberries and chocolate chunks
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée

This Dairy-Free Chocolate Crème Brûlée is an indulgent, decadent dessert! Silky chocolate custard is topped with a crackly, caramelized sugar crust. Plus it uses coconut milk so it's nut-free as well.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time40 mins
cooling time4 hrs
Total Time5 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: chocolate dessert, dairy free creme brulee, dairy free dessert
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Don Baiocchi

Ingredients

  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons organic cane sugar + 1/4 cup + 4 teaspoons, divided
  • 1 (13.5 oz.) can full-fat, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 oz. chocolate, chopped (dark or milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 325°.
  • Set a kettle of water on to boil. You'll need enough water to fill a 9x13" baking dish halfway up. If the water starts to boil before you need it, just remove it from the heat.
  • Place 4 (4 oz.) ramekins in a 9x13" baking dish.
  • In a large measuring glass or heavy medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and 3 tablespoons sugar until well blended.
  • In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk and 1/4 cup sugar and place over medium heat. It's okay if the coconut cream and coconut water have separated in the can. Stir occasionally until the coconut cream and sugar have completely melted.
  • Once the milk mixture begins to gently bubble, add the chopped chocolate and stir until completely melted and blended (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from the heat.
  • While whisking constantly, sloooooowly drizzle the milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture (not too quickly or you'll cook the yolks).
  • Whisk in the vanilla.
  • Pour the custard mixture through a small sieve into the ramekins, filling each almost to the top.
  • Pull the oven rack out part way and set the baking dish on it. Carefully fill the baking dish with the boiled water until it comes about halfway up the ramekins. Do not splash any water into the ramekins.
  • Carefully slide the rack into the oven and let the custards cook for 35-40 minutes, until they are just barely set in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack or hot pads. Once the ramekins are cool enough to handle, remove them from the baking dish. Once they reach room temperature, wrap them in plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic onto the surface of the custard, and chill them in the fridge for at least four hours or up to 3 days.
  • You can make the caramelized sugar crust one of two ways:
    1. Use a kitchen torch: Evenly sprinkle each ramekin (cold, straight from the fridge) with 1 teaspoon sugar. Hold the torch 3-4" above the ramekins, aiming it straight down, and slowly torch the sugar until it's a dark brown liquid. It will quickly set into a crunchy topping.
    2. Use a skillet: Melt 4 teaspoons sugar in a small skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to melt, you can use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir it until it becomes a golden brown liquid caramel. Carefully pour about 1 teaspoon over each custard. Gently swirl each ramekin so the caramel spreads to an even layer and let it set into a crunchy topping.

Notes

Make ahead
You can make the custards up to 3 days in advance. Cover with plastic wrap, gently pressing the plastic onto the surface of the custard, and chill in the fridge. When you're ready to serve, add the sugar directly to the cold custards.
Once you caramelize the sugar on top, it's best to eat them right away.
Substitutions and variations
 
  • I would not recommend using almond milk. The custards won't be thick enough.
  • I like to use 70-72% chocolate but if you want it sweeter you can use milk chocolate instead.
  • Feel free to add a large pinch of cinnamon and a small pinch of cayenne for Mexican chocolate crème brûlée.
  • You could add 1 teaspoon of orange zest to the custards.
  • You could add 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder for a mocha crème brûlée.
  • You could serve these with raspberries or any other fruit you like with chocolate (cherries, strawberries, etc.).

 

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