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Coconut Flan

This amazing recipe is created for my son who is lactose intolerant. It is an adapted version of a non-dairy custard I made for him when he was a baby. Using coconut milk instead of cream and maple syrup instead of sugar keeps this a nutritious, rich and satisfying desert. It even wow-ed my ultra picky husband who grew up with traditional flan!
Use up the leftover eggs whites by making a Spinach & Feta Frittata. I bake them at the same time with the frittata on the top rack & the custards on the bottom rack. See Frittata recipe for more details.
NOTE: This recipe calls for grass-fed butter & a high quality maple syrup. Substitutions can be made to suit your lifestyle preferences:
RAW/ VEGAN Varriation will use the blender to emulsify the custard and the freezer to set it. (Obviously), skip the egg yolk, butter & oven. It will help get that smooth creamy texture & place in freezer to set.
PALEO substitute with your favorite sweetener, just note it may not caramelize.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Set Time 1 hr
Total Time 3 hrs
Course Dessert
Servings 12 People


  • Muffin pan
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Cupcake liners
  • Large bowl (traditional) or high-speed blender if using RAW/VEGAN option
  • Whisk


  • 1 can Organic Coconut Milk BPA free lining, whole fat
  • cup Grass-fed Butter or coconut oil use 1/3 cup of melted butter in the recipe.
  • 1 cup Maple Syrup high quality
  • 9 Large Organic Cage Free Egg Yolks
  • 1 Large Vanilla Bean, seeded OR 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ¼ TSP Sea Salt
  • RAW/ VEGAN Option VEGAN use these INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk BPA free lining, whole fat
  • 3 Cups Cashews Vegan only soaked & drained
  • ¾- 1 Cup Maple Syrup Vegan only
  • Cup Coconut oil Vegan only
  • 2 TBSP Lecithin Powder Vegan only
  • 1 Large Vanilla Bean, seeded Vegan only or 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ¼ Tsp Sea Salt Vegan only


  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
  • TRADITIONAL: Mix all 6 ingredients in the large bowl until well incorporated. ( Ignore the Vegan only ingredients.)
  • Insert cupcake liners into the muffin tin.
    Grab the cookie sheet & fill bottom ½ full with water. Place the muffin tin in the cookie sheet with water to temper the custard as it cooks.
  • Using a ⅓ measuring cup ladle the mixture into the prepared cupcake liners as evenly as possible and no more than ¾ full.
  • Bake for 40 minutes @ 325 on the bottom rack. For a more caramelized look & taste, bump up the heat to 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes depending on how your oven cooks. Check at 5 minutes and add more time if the butter and maple syrup hasn't (turned a golden brown color).
    The custard should be firm but jiggly.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before placing in the refrigerator to set for 1 hours. Your custard may crack or split if you do not let it cool completely.
  • VEGAN option:
    If making this recipe vegan you will use a high speed blender rather than a large bowl and you will NOT bake it. Instead you will freeze it after blending and defrost 1-2 hours before eating.
    Mix all ingredients (EXCEPT the lecithin granules) until well incorporated (about 2-3 minutes in a Vitamix or high speed blender).
    With the blender still running add in the lecithin and blend for another 2 minutes. 3 tablespoons of Lecithin should set well.
    Insert cupcake liners into the muffin tin & ladle the mixture in using a ⅓ measuring cup.
    Put in the freezer for 2 hours to set, then you can move to the fridge when you are ready to thaw & eat.
    The vegan butter/coconut oil may not caramelize & make the famous flan syrup but that's ok! You can make your own vegan caramel sauce or for an even healthier version buy some Yacon Syrup.
  • This dessert freezes VERY well and keeps for about 2 months in the freezer, if you can keep them that long. (I know we can't.)
  • Move to the fridge to thaw before serving.


Use the egg whites from this recipe to make a Spinach-Feta Fritada (see post below for recipe).
This recipe is adapted from Super Nutrition for Babies by Katherine Erlich.
Yacon syrup is a low-glycemic alternative to honey or table sugar. It is Keto, Vegan & Gluten Free, it has a different taste almost like a really light molasses but with the consistency of honey. I like it but it's not for everyone.
Another low-glycemic possibility is coconut sugar. I have not tried it but I bet it tastes more like traditional flan & may even render the carmelized flavor.
Keyword dessert, dessert recipes, healthy treats