The Best Vegan Fat Combo To Substitute Eggs In Crème Brûlée

If you're baking a dessert, you don't need eggs. You can make that cake or brownie mix into a vegan-friendly dish. All you have to do is simply substitute the egg with an alternative — there is no shortage of substitutes for eggs after all. Need to swap egg whites? Whip up some aquafaba instead. Need only the yolks? Soy lecithin is an excellent alternative. What about replacing an entire egg? Chia and flax seed are the saving graces of vegan baking.

Substituting eggs is fairly easy, especially if it's generic baking like cakes, cookies, and brownies where the egg is one of several ingredients. Things start to get more tricky though when you need to substitute eggs in a dish like a crème brûlée that very much depends on them. While it may require a few more steps than just blending some tofu or mashing up a banana, it is possible to substitute eggs in a crème brûlée too.

A recipe on Go Dairy Free recommends using a combination of coconut milk, coconut milk beverage, and cashew butter as well as arrowroot starch and agar flakes to make a vegan crème brûlée without eggs. Though this isn't a simple one to one substitute where you can swap a single ingredient for the eggs, it's an effective way to replicate everything that eggs add to a creamy crème brûlée.

Use a combination of ingredients to substitute the eggs

Substituting an egg is pretty easy, but knowing why an egg is used in a particular recipe will help you find more appropriate alternatives to replicate its properties in more tricky dishes. To replace the eggs in a crème brûlée, for example, you'd need a substitute that would replicate the egg's creaminess and its gelatinous properties.

This is why, this recipe uses a vegan fat combination of full-fat canned coconut milk, coconut milk beverage, and cashew butter to bring the rich creaminess that eggs and heavy cream would to the dessert. To help the crème brûlée set into a custard-like consistency without any eggs, the recipe uses a mix of arrowroot starch and agar flakes as setting substitutes.

Similarly, another recipe by Bianca Zapatka uses a mix of coconut milk and another plant-based milk to replicate the thick texture of heavy cream and uses agar with cornstarch instead of arrowroot to help the crème brûlée set without the help of egg yolks. The recipe even uses a pinch of turmeric to substitute the golden tinge of the yolks. Make your own fat mixture using nut butter, coconut milk, and plant-based beverages to make the crème brûlée thick and creamy. Use starch and gelatinous ingredients to help set it. Add a dash of turmeric for color, and voila! You'll have a vegan egg-free crème brûlée using simple but clever egg substitutes.