Is Flan Dairy Free? Dairy-Free Alternatives to Flan

Traditional flan is not dairy-free, as it typically includes ingredients like milk or condensed milk and eggs. However, it’s possible to make a dairy-free version using non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk, or soy milk. You’ll also want to use dairy-free caramel for the sauce.

Remember that while you can substitute the milk for a plant-based alternative, traditional flan is not vegan because it contains eggs. If you need a vegan version, you’ll need to use an egg substitute, such as a flax egg, applesauce, or a commercial vegan egg replacement product.

Before consuming any dish, it’s always a good idea to check the ingredients if you have dietary restrictions or allergies.


Dairy-Free Flan Recipe


  • 1 cup of granulated sugar (for caramel)
  • 1/4 cup of water (for caramel)
  • 2 cups of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup of aquafaba (chickpea brine, it’s a great egg replacement)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric (for color, optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • First, make the caramel: combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then, reduce the heat to low and cook without stirring until the mixture turns a golden caramel color.
  • Quickly pour the caramel into a round cake pan (or into individual ramekins), swirling to coat the bottom evenly. Set aside.
  • In a separate saucepan, combine the coconut milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  • Whisk together the aquafaba, vanilla extract, and turmeric in a bowl. Slowly pour this into the coconut milk mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Pour the mixture over the caramel in the cake pan or divide it among ramekins.
  • Place the pan or ramekins in a larger baking dish. Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the pan or ramekins.
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes until the flan is set and just slightly jiggly in the middle.
  • Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan or ramekins and invert onto a plate. The caramel sauce will flow over the flan. Enjoy!

Note: Always check the ingredients on the labels when cooking for someone with food allergies or dietary restrictions.

Tips to Make a Smoother Flan

Strain your custard mixture: After combining your ingredients, pass them through a sieve to remove any lumps. This results in a smoother, creamier flan.

Cook in a water bath (bain-marie): This method helps distribute heat more evenly and gently, resulting in a smoother texture.

Cool slowly and chill completely: Allow the flan to cool at room temperature before refrigerating. A slow cooling process can prevent cracks and maintain a smooth texture.

Dairy-Free Alternatives to Flan


It is a frozen dessert made from sweetened water with flavoring like fruit juice or artificial flavors. Unlike ice cream, sorbet doesn’t contain milk or cream, making it a great dairy-free alternative.

Fruit Salad

We all know what fruit salad is, sometimes served in a liquid, either juices or syrup. It’s a naturally dairy-free and healthy dessert option.

Dark Chocolate

Pure dark chocolate is mostly dairy-free. It’s made from cocoa solids, cocoa butter, and sugar. Always check the label to make sure no milk products have been added.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream

This is a creamy and delicious dairy-free alternative to traditional ice cream, made with coconut milk, sugar, and various flavors.

Rice Pudding

This traditional dessert is a comforting, dairy-free choice when made with a dairy-free milk alternative like coconut or almond milk.


This Japanese dessert is made from sweet rice flour and can be filled with sweet bean paste or fruit. It’s unique, naturally dairy-free sweet.

Dairy-Free Alternatives to Flan

Frequently Asked Questions

Is flan vegan?

Traditional flan is not vegan as it contains eggs and dairy products. However, making a vegan version using plant-based milk and egg substitutes is possible.

Is flan vegetarian?

Yes, traditional flan is vegetarian. It’s made from milk, sugar, and eggs, all vegetarian-friendly ingredients.

Is flan gluten-free?

Yes, traditional flan is typically gluten-free as it’s made from milk, sugar, and eggs, none containing gluten. However, always check labels for pre-made caramel or other additions, as they may contain gluten.

Is flan healthy?

Flan does contain some nutritious ingredients like eggs and milk, but it’s also high in sugar. Like most desserts, it’s best enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. You could try using a sugar substitute or a lower-fat milk option for a healthier version.


I live in Los Angeles with my better half, Dave, and our child, Corey. Each second with them is the acknowledgment of my fantasies working out as expected — and for that? I am so extremely thankful. Hi! I am Diana Rodriguez, the founder, author, and photographer of ATD.

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