Tropical Coconut Flan


Tropical Coconut Flan
by The Vegan Feast
I used to make flan with coconut milk even before we went vegan. Why? Well, we just loved that coconutty flavor way more. This egg and dairy free flan takes it up a notch, with a smooth coconut custard and spiked with a hint of rum for a tropical twist. And let’s not forget about that rich, caramel sauce! This dessert not only tastes even better than the traditional version, but it’s also a whole lot easier to make.

My Story

Traditional flan, or creme caramel, is made by combining eggs, milk and sugar, and slowly cooking it in a water bath in the oven, until the eggs coagulate in a firm texture. Instead of eggs, we are going to be using agar agar as the binding agent for our rich and creamy vegan flan. Agar is made from red algae, is tasteless and odorless, and is an excellent vegan alternative to gelatin, and perfect for thickening custards, jellies and sauces. Agar needs to be boiled for 5 minutes to be activated and set properly. This totally works in our favor, because it means our vegan custard only needs a few minutes to cook on the stove, before it's chilled and ready to enjoy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, nut-free, Vegan
Servings 4 servings



  • ½ cup organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • cups coconut milk
  • ¾ cups plant based milk I used full-fat Oatly oat milk
  • 2 tablespoons organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ teaspoon agar agar powder
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons rum optional
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



  • Add the sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a saucepan.
  • Turn the heat to high and cook the mixture undisturbed until it turns an amber color. (Avoid stirring the mixture to prevent crystals from forming.)
  • Keep a close eye on the mixture as it caramelizes, as it can quickly go from amber to burnt. If there are some dark spots in the caramel, gently swirl the pan to blend and ensure even coloring.
  • Once the caramel reaches the desired amber color, remove the saucepan from the heat immediately to prevent burning.
  • Working quickly and carefully, pour the hot caramel into your flan molds.
  • Allow the caramel to cool and harden before pouring in the custard mixture.


  • Combine the coconut milk, oat milk, sugar, salt, cornstarch and agar agar powder in a medium saucepan.
  • Bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes until the custard thickens slightly. The custard will not be very thick at this point. It will look similar to cream.
  • Remove from heat and add the vanilla and rum (if using).
  • Make sure that the caramel has hardened, and pour the custard into the four ramekins.
  • Refrigerate for 8 hours, or overnight, so the custard sets completely.
  • To remove the flan from the molds, slide the tip of a knife around the edge of the molds to loosen the custard, and flip onto individual servings plates.
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