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Murielle Banackissa
Overhead of 2 Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée broken open

Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée

Print recipe
8 hours 30 mins Prep: 15 mins Cook: 15 mins Resting Time: 8 hours
Serves 5

Made with a base of silken tofu, this eggless and dairy-free crème brûlée is rich, silky, and incredibly aromatic.


  • Blowtorch


  • 1 cup unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 5 opened green cardamom pods
  • 1 (300g) pack of silken tofu , drained
  • 1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup organic cane sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of ground turmeric
  • 5 tbsp superfine (caster) sugar

Prepare the crème brûlée mixture

  1. Step 1

    To a medium saucepan, add the plant-based milk and cardamom pods. Bring to a boil on high.

  2. Step 2

    Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.

  3. Step 3

    Strain the milk into a bowl. Discard the cardamom pods and seeds. Return the hot milk to the saucepan.

  4. Step 4

    In a mini food processor or a high speed blender, blend together the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, cornstarch, sugar and salt until the mixture is silky. It's normal that the sugar won't be fully dissolved at this stage.

  5. Step 5

    Transfer the tofu mixture to the saucepan with the warm milk along with the coconut oil.

  6. Step 6

    Set the saucepan on the stovetop and heat on medium-high heat, whisking regularly until the mixture starts bubbling up, about 7 minutes.

  7. Step 7

    Once the bubbles start, whisk constantly and cook until the mixture has thickened and you can no longer taste the cornstarch.

  8. Step 8

    Stir in the vanilla bean paste and the turmeric.

  9. Step 9

    Divide the mixture between 5 ramekins and let cool for 30 minutes.

  10. Step 10

    Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and set in the fridge to set for 8 hours or overnight.

Caramelize the sugar

  1. Step 1

    Spoon 1 tablespoon of superfine sugar on top of one of your set crème brûlées. Move the ramekin in circular motions to evenly distribute the sugar.

  2. Step 2

    Using a blowtorch, caramelize the sugar until browned.

  3. Step 3

    Repeat the process for any of your desserts that will be served immediately. Keep any crème brûlées that won't be eaten immediately intact (without sugar) and covered in the fridge for up to 3 days. Caramelize the sugar right before consumption.

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Use any unsweetened plant-based milk from a carton such as soy milk, oat milk, cashew milk, etc. Do not use canned coconut milk.
  • Can I replace the cornstarch with another thickener? Yes, you can use equal quantities of arrowroot powder.
  • Can I use another kind of sugar instead of organic cane sugar? Any other white sugar would work well here so granulated sugar or superfine sugar are great alternatives. 
  • Feel free to use extra virgin or refined coconut oil. Either one will work well in this recipe.
  • Can I use vanilla extract instead of vanilla bean paste? Yes, use 1 tablespoon of it in place of the paste.
  • Can I replace superfine sugar with another kind of sugar? Superfine sugar is superfine, so it melts quicker than other more coarser sugars. If you only have granulated sugar on hand, you can still go ahead and use it. 
  • I cannot recommend any other methods to caramelize the sugar other than using the blowtorch! Because of the vegan nature of this dessert, the crème brûlée mixture is not as stable and putting it in the oven on broil to caramelize the sugar will result in significanlty softening the creamy mixture, which you do not want, trust me. 
Overhead of 2 Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée broken open
Sugar being caramelized on Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée
Closeup of Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée
Two Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée ready to be eaten
Two Eaten Vegan Vanilla-Cardamom Crème Brûlée