Gluten-Free Thai Crème Caramel

Gluten-Free Thai Creme Caramel

The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 43 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
225 Calories
16g Fat
19g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 225
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 12g 62%
Cholesterol 93mg 31%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 16g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 45mg 3%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 203mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This Thai version of the classic crème caramel dessert is super-easy to make, melt-in-your mouth delicious, and healthier than traditional crème caramel! It's also gluten-free. This recipe calls for coconut milk instead of cream (coconut milk contains good fats that actually lower your cholesterol), so if you're lactose-intolerant, this is a good dessert choice for you. It also makes an elegant dessert to serve guests or take to a party. Best of all, this recipe can be whipped up and in the oven in less than 10 minutes!

Pandan paste turns the dessert a pretty green and also provides a subtle sweet taste. If you don't have pandan paste, you can substitute vanilla flavoring for delicious results. To match the green color you'd get from pandan, add a few drops of green food coloring.


  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup coconut milk

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon  pandan essence paste (or 1 teaspoon vanilla)

  • Pinch kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gluten-Free Thai Creme Caramel ingredients

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  2. Lightly grease 4 (5-ounce) ramekins with oil. Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Lightly grease 4 ramekins with oil

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  3. Beat eggs with a fork or an electric mixer for 1 minute.

    Beat eggs with a fork

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  4. Add coconut milk, sugar, vanilla or pandan paste, and salt. Stir until well combined. (If you are using pandan essence/paste, note that it will turn the dessert a bright tropical green.)

    Add the salt, sugar, vanilla or pandan paste, and coconut milk to the egg mixture

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  5. Pour a little syrup into the bottom of each ramekin: enough to cover the bottom, plus up to 1 tablespoon more.

    Pour a little syrup into the bottom of each ramekin

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  6. Pour egg and coconut mixture into each ramekin up to 3/4 full. Do not stir: the syrup should naturally remain at the bottom of the ramekin.

    Pour the egg and coconut mixture into each ramekin

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  7. Place ramekins in a large baking dish or deep-sided roasting pan. Pour some hot water into the bottom of the baking dish or pan until water reaches 1/2 way up the side of the ramekin.

    Place ramekins in a large glass baking dish with water

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  8. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Allow to cool, then place in refrigerator until ready to serve. (Note: you can also serve this dessert warm—it's delicious both ways!)

    Gluten-Free Thai Creme Caramel in ramekins

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

  9. To serve, run a knife around the inner rim of each ramekin to loosen pudding. Overturn ramekins onto individual dessert plates. Pudding should fall out easily, with syrup naturally dripping down over coconut custard.

    Gluten-Free Thai Creme Caramel in ramekins

    The Spruce / Madhumita Sathishkumar

Recipe Variations

  • For a special occasion, dress your crème caramels up with a topping of toasted coconut and a few mint leaves.
  • Instead of vanilla or pandan, flavor the custard mixture with about 1/2 teaspoon of almond or hazelnut extract.
  • To lower the carbs, use a sugar-free syrup and replace the granulated sugar with your favorite sugar replacement.

How to Store

Cover the cooled baked crème caramels with plastic wrap and refrigerate the crème caramel for up to 5 days.

How Can I Be Sure the Crème Caramel is Done?

When done, the crème caramel should look set with a slight jiggle in the center. If it has a wavy sort of jiggle, put it back in the oven for a few more minutes. If your oven bakes unevenly, turn the baking dish about halfway through.

Why Do You Need a Water Bath for Crème Caramel?

A water bath ensures the custards cook evenly. Boiling water is preferred because it is close to the oven temperature and helps the bottom of the custard cook at essentially the same speed as the top portion. Cold or room temperature water will take extra time to warm up in the oven, so the bottom portion of the custard will cook more slowly.