This delicious easy vegan flan recipe is inspired by Puerto Rican creme caramel, but uses oat milk, coconut cream, and agar agar to keep it plant-based. It's a luscious and creamy vegan version of the popular Puerto Rican dessert I grew up with.
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If you've ever had Latin or Puerto Rican cuisine, you've probably tried some variation of flan. It's a dessert primarily made of eggs, milk, and condensed or evaporated milk.
Today we're using coconut cream, oat milk, and agar agar to mimic the texture and consistency of a Classic Puerto Rican flan recipe in this vegan flan recipe.
Here’s a quick glance look at the ingredients you’ll need to make this oat milk flan:
- sugar (can be coconut sugar or any kind of plant based sugar you like)
- coconut cream
- oat milk
- maple syrup
- vanilla extract
- agar agar
How to Make Vegan Flan
Making this recipe is actually easier and faster than a traditional flan recipe. Because the ingredients are all plant based, they don’t need to be baked.
Instead, we chill our creme caramel in the fridge for this flan agar agar!
Start by making the caramel sauce.
Heat your white granulated sugar in a saucepan until all the sugar has dissolved and turned a golden brown color.
Pour caramel into your oven safe mold or molds.
Next, you’ll make the plant based milk filling in a large saucepan. Mix together the coconut cream, oat milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup.
Then sift in the turmeric (to give it a beautiful golden color), cornstarch and agar agar - this step helps to prevent clumping! Whisk them in until evenly combined.
Turn on your cooktop and keep whisking while you thicken the milk mixture.
Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon without dripping, pour it over the caramel in your molds.
Transfer the molds to the fridge for at least 5 hours before flipping to reveal that beautiful caramel sauce. Buen provecho!
Oat Milk Flan with Agar Agar
For this vegan flan we're using a combination of a super common household staple and a more niche vegan ingredient to thicken things up.
- Corn starch - this is a super effective, accessible and affordable thickener. Whisk it into a cool liquid before heating and watch the magic happen!
- Agar Agar - this ingredient has tons of different applications and is a really fun one to play around with. It's also super effective at thickening just about any liquid.
- Oat milk and coconut cream - we use these two plant-based liquids to produce a very creamy, not at all grainy consistency that feels eerily similar to the custard classic flan recipe.
- Maple syrup - this is one of my favorite vegan sweeteners to use, but feel free to use your favorite plant based liquid sweetener.
- Vanilla extract - this is the one consistent ingredient from our traditional flan recipe, used to add that signature vanilla flavor to the custard.
- Plant based sugar - you can use your favorite kind of plant based sugar (or conventional sugar) here. I like using coconut sugar.
Caramel Sticking to the Pan?
Sometimes a thick layer of caramel will stick to the bottom of the pan, even after flipping the flan.
This can happen for a few reasons:
- Reason 1: The layer of caramel was too thick at the bottom of the baking dish, which means the caramel was too thick to melt all the way through
- Reason 2: The surface area of the baking dish was too small, making it difficult for the caramel to melt all the way through
- Reason 3: The heat was too high
Either way, you can melt the caramel that is stuck to the pan over low heat until it returns to a liquid form, and pour over the flan.
In the future, try using a baking dish with a wider surface area on the bottom, and/or making and using less of the caramel mixture.
- Is traditional flan vegan? No. This Puerto Rican dessert usually uses lots of eggs, whole milk, and either evaporated or sweetened condensed milk.
- Flan vs. creme caramel/brûlée: Creme caramel/brûlée are known for their hard sugar topping, whereas flan has a liquid caramel topping that's baked underneath the custard.
- Where is flan from? Flan has origins from the Roman Empire, but can be found across Latin America, in places like Mexico, Puerto Rico, and even in the Philippines.