Gluten-Free Thai Creme Caramel

Thai-style Creme Caramel

The Spruce / D.Schmidt 

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 38 mins
Servings: 4 servings

This Thai version of the classic creme caramel dessert is super-easy to make, melt-in-your mouth delicious, and healthier than traditional creme 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 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pandan essence (paste, or 1 teaspoon vanilla)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (table syrup, your own syrup made with Thai Palm Sugar: add more as desired)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Lightly grease 4 ramekins with oil. Preheat oven to 350 F.

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

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

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

  6. Pour the 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.

  7. Place ramekins in a large glass baking dish or on a deep-sided roasting pan. Pour some water into the bottom of the baking dish or pan until water reaches 1/4 way up the side of the ramekin.

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

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

Thai Creme Caramel will keep (covered) in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.