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Coconut Flan Recipe

Dairy-free people rejoice! This Coconut Flan Recipe is dairy-free and simply amazing! You would never guess it was dairy-free by the taste! You have to try this amazing dessert!Dairy free coconut flan recipe

I went to this little Cuban restaurant down the road to pick up dinner the other night. We don’t eat out often, so when we do it is really a treat. I ordered a Flan for dessert. It was good but so so small for the price. We are talking …..where did it go so fast small.  I decided to make my own flan, except dairy-free, so everyone in my house could enjoy. This Coconut Flan Recipe turned out too good to be true.

coconut milk and eggs

Every flan I have ever made has had regular milk. Making flan with coconut milk was uncharted territory for me, but you don’t know if it will work if you don’t try. When you use coconut milk in a recipe that calls for full-fat milk, do yourself a favor and by the Thai Kitchen Brand Canned Coconut milk. Why? Because it seems to have a higher fat content than the other brands. This is the only one I buy for custards, ice cream, etc. ** Not a paid promo, just speaking the truth. 😉 **

Milk in saucepan

On the stove, you are going to want to put the 2 cans of coconut milk in a medium saucepan. You will want to reduce it by 1/3. I did this over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

beaten eggs in bowl

In a large bowl beat 6 eggs. Just enough for them to come together.

sugar syrup in bowl

You are also going to need your baking dish for your flan. I used a 9-inch cake pan. Since I used coconut milk, I thought I would go all coconutty and use coconut sugar too. The beauty of coconut sugar is its rich flavor. I mixed 1/2 cup coconut sugar with 2 tbsp water. Stir until dissolved and it makes this beautiful caramel syrup. Pour that right into your baking dish.

Flan in dish

Now comes the trickiest part.  It really isn’t that tricky. Remove the coconut milk from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. You are going to temper your eggs. This basically means take some of the hot milk and quickly whisk it into the eggs to avoid them from scrambling when added.

If you have never tempered eggs before doing a quick google and watch a video. It is simple, but you want to know what you are doing.

Once your eggs are tempered it is easier to stir the milk in while whisking. Finally, when the milk and eggs are happily residing in one bowl you can pour the mix right on top of the caramel in your baking dish.

flan in water bath

Flan cooks in a water bath. I pre-heated my oven to 325 degrees F. I used the bottom of my roasting pan and filled it with water (not too full) and placed my baking dish right in the center. Let it cook for 50 minutes.

finished flan

When it is done it will look like this. It will be set up like a pudding. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on the counter. Then transfer it to the fridge for atlas an hour. Preferably, 3 hours or more.

When you are ready to serve run a butter knife around the edges of your flan. Then flip it onto a serving plate. This isn’t near as scary as it sounds. I just put the plate on the dish like a lid and give it a quick flip.

Coconut flan on plate

The resulting caramelly custard happiness is totally worth it!

coconut flan slice

So you want to know….does this taste like coconut. Surprisingly the answer is NO. This tastes like a full-fledged flan. I really didn’t detect any coconut at all while I was licking my plate enjoying it. It had a perfect consistency and a really amazing flavor. I was actually surprised at how well it turned out for being dairy-free.

Coconut Flan

A dairy free version of a classic dessert. This coconut flan is amazing, and doesn't even taste like coconut. You can't even tell it is dairy free.
Print Recipe
Prep Time:1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time:50 minutes
Total Time:2 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 cans full fat coconut milk recommend Thai Kitchen Brand
  • 6 eggs room temp
  • 1 cup coconut sugar divided (granulated is fine)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/8 tsp salt


  • Preheat your oven to 325 Degrees F. Plan your water bath. I used the bottom of my roasting pan and filled it 1/2 full of water. You will be setting your flan pan (8 or 9 inch round cake/pie pan) inside of the water bath so make sure it fits first. Place your water pan in the oven while it preheats.
  • In a medium saucepan heat coconut milk to a simmer. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until reduced by 1/3. Add in 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Allow the mixture to cool.
  • While coconut milk is simmering, beat 6 eggs in a large bowl. Sit them to the side.
  • In a small bowl mix together the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut sugar and 2 tbsp of water. Stir until dissolved. This makes the caramel syrup for the pan. Pour into your 9 inch cake or pie pan. **If using granulated sugar you will need to heat the sugar and water over medium heat stirring until caramelized.
  • Temper your eggs. While continuously whisking, slowly pour in about a cup of the warm milk. Make sure to continue to whisk to keep the eggs from curdling. Continue to add more milk until it is all added.
  • Pour flan mixture into your caramel lined pan. Place your pan inside your water bath and bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until your custard is set.
  • Cool for about 15 minutes and then refrigerate for at least an hour. Preferably 3 hours or more.
  • When ready to serve run a butter knife around the edge of your flan pan. Carefully flip out onto a plate. The caramel will run all over the custard. Enjoy.
Servings: 8 - 10

Originally published in 2016. Updated in 2019.

Coconut Flan

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  1. 5 stars
    Lovely flan recipe! I strained my custard for silkiness, but that is not necessary.
    I also put a towel on the bottom of the roasting pan with water so my flan dish would not slip. It is cooling I will tell you how it goes 🙂

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