A paleo creme brulee recipe one of my all-time favorite desserts. I love the caramelized top, the delicious texture of the custard below. It’s the dessert equivalent of catching up with a good friend – comforting, warming and a real treat. But surely you can’t have a delicious pumpkin creme brulee that is vegan? You can! This vegan creme brulee recipe is really, REALLY easy, plus it tastes rich and creamy and like everything dreams are made of. 😉
Just a few simple steps and some time to set and you’ll be digging into the creamiest, best dairy-free creme brulee recipe ever. Actually scratch that – this is just as good as any regular creme brulee, dairy or not!
What Is Creme Brulee?
Creme brulee is a custard dessert with a caramelized sugar topping. The name means “burnt cream”.
Doesn’t sound vegan or paleo, does it? It’s not… but it can be! Read on for my dairy-free creme brulee recipe that ticks all the boxes…
Is Creme Brulee Gluten Free?
Yes, creme brulee is usually naturally gluten-free. However, it’s usually made with refined sugar and dairy.
My version of paleo creme brulee uses coconut cream instead of dairy cream, and coconut sugar in place of white sugar. It’s still a treat – not to eat every day! – but healthier than the regular kind, plus allergy friendly.
What Does Paleo Creme Brulee Taste Like?
Coconut milk creme brulee tastes very similar to the regular kind. A plain version is a silky, creamy vanilla custard with a crunchy caramelized sugar layer on top.
To make that classic custard texture, I use coconut milk and agar agar, which is a vegan gelatin replacement. It creates the most luscious texture that’s spot on. This paleo creme brulee recipe tastes rich and creamy and the caramel is to die for.
What Is Pumpkin Creme Brulee?
This pumpkin creme brulee recipe has the same characteristics of the traditional kind, except I kicked up a notch for fall with the addition of pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and salted caramel… lots of salted caramel. Yummm!
Can You Make Vegan Creme Brulee?
The typical creme brulee dessert is made with an egg, sugar and cream custard. So surely you can’t make a vegan creme brulee? Wrong!
Not only is this a killer vegan creme brulee, but it’s a paleo creme brulee and a dairy-free creme brulee, too!
How To Make Vegan Creme Brulee
If you’re intimidated by the thought of how to make vegan creme brulee, don’t be! It’s really just a few easy steps:
1) Make a batch of paleo salted caramel sauce and pour in into the bottom of glass serving jars.
2) Simmer coconut milk, pumpkin puree, coconut sugar, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, and agar agar together. This is to get the agar agar to dissolve, which will thicken the mixture into a custard.
3) Pour this custard style mixture over over the caramel. The caramel isn’t set at this point, so it sort of swirls through the custard and you’ll get a bit of caramel in every bite. Divine.
TIP: If you prefer your paleo caramel sauce to sit in a single layer in your vegan creme brulee, then just leave the caramel sauce to set slightly in the refrigerator and pour over the custard mixture when it is almost cold.
4) Chill the paleo creme brulee in the fridge for about 3 hours to set the custard. I usually just leave them overnight so I don’t have to time it.
How To Get A Crunchy Topping On Paleo Creme Brulee
The secret weapon here is coconut sugar. This delicious natural sugar has an extra level of caramel nuttiness that really adds to the flavor or this vegan creme brulee.
To get the classic ‘crack’ of sugar layer on the top of your pumpkin creme brulee, you need to heat that (coconut) sugar. This is easiest with a kitchen torch (and lots of fun)!
TIP: You might find that coconut sugar can get a little more burnt than white sugar. I think this just adds to the flavor and it looks beautiful on top of your paleo creme brulee pots.
How To Torch Creme Brulee
If you’re using a kitchen torch for the crunchy top, here is how you do it:
- Place a generous amount of coconut sugar over the pumpkin creme brulee jars.
- Gently shake the jar to let the sugar settle evenly.
- Torch a small area at a time. Light the torch, hold it near the top of the jar, and move it around a small area until it’s lightly browned. Rotate the ramekin with a pot holder and repeat with another small area.
- Keep working in small areas until the coconut sugar is evenly browned and forms a hard shell.
How To Make Creme Brulee Without A Torch
If you don’t have a kitchen torch, you can also place your jars of vegan creme brulee (topped with coconut sugar) under the broiler in the oven for a few minutes. It’s another way to get that classic (coconut) sugar crust!
The torch is always a more fun option though. 😉
How Long Does Dairy-Free Creme Brulee Last?
If you want to make this dessert ahead of time, it lasts for around 5 days in the refrigerator.
In fact, paleo creme brulee gets even better after sitting for a day or two. The pumpkin flavor intensifies as do the spices.
TIP: If you pull these out of the fridge and there’s a bit of water on top, don’t worry – just pour it off. It won’t affect the taste at all. Coconut milk likes to separate just a bit, which is harmless, but the coconut sugar won’t be able to caramelize if it’s wet.
Can You Freeze Creme Brulee?
Yes, you can even freeze this vegan creme brulee dessert! Wrap the jars individually, with parchment paper flush against the top, and freeze.
When you are ready to serve, simply pull them from the freezer and let them sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes, then add the coconut sugar topping and torch. The heat of the torch usually thaws them enough to eat, so you don’t even need to thaw them separately!
More Easy Paleo Desserts
I love to pair this dairy-free creme brulee recipe with extra paleo caramel sauce or to top it with fresh fruit. To make a simple fruit coulis to serve with them, quickly blend a cup of fresh or frozen fruit with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Delicious, quick and refined sugar free.
If we’re having a party or friends over for dinner, here are a few of my other favorite paleo dessert recipes to make:
- Paleo Chocolate Chip Brittle (vegan too!)
- The Best Fudgy Paleo Brownies
- Roasted Blackberry Ice Cream
- Paleo Edible Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
Easy Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Creme Brulee Recipe
Easy pumpkin creme brulee is perfect for fall! This dairy-free vegan creme brulee recipe needs just 7 simple ingredients + 15 minutes prep. And, paleo creme brulee is a naturally gluten-free treat.
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- 1 batch Paleo caramel sauce (1 cup)
- 2 13.5 oz cans Full-fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup Pumpkin puree
- 3 tablespoons Coconut sugar (divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp)
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Pumpkin pie spice
- 2 tablespoons Agar agar
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
In a large pot over medium high heat, whisk together the coconut milk, pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, and agar agar. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes to allow the agar agar to dissolve. Remove from heat.
Divide the caramel between 8 jars or ramekins. Top with custard filling.
Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set.
To serve, use the remaining 1 tablespoon coconut sugar to top the vegan creme brulee, and use a kitchen torch or broiler to caramelize.
Serving size: 1 pumpkin creme brulee (1/8 of entire recipe)
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.