Jericalla is a delicious Mexican dessert that sits somewhere between crème brûlèe and flan. Try this plant-based version for a quick, easy, and flavor-packed recipe. It just might become your new favorite treat!
If you like sweet, creamy, and silky smooth desserts, this vegan jericalla is just what you need! You can still enjoy delicious Mexican flavors without the need for eggs or milk.
What is jericalla?
Jericalla is a custard-style recipe popular in Mexico. It's sort of like a cross between flan and crème brûlèe (stay tuned for more details).
There are few ingredients in a typical jericalla recipe, so it is usually a simple treat to make.
First, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar are simmered to infuse the flavors. Once a few eggs are beaten, everything is mixed together and added to ramekins.
The treats are baked using a water bath technique and sometimes broiled at the end for extra flavor and texture on top.
This creamy dessert is from the state of Jalisco, so it can be found all over Guadalajara at restaurants or street vendors.
Is jericalla vegan?
Since the main ingredients in a jericalla recipe are eggs and milk, this dessert is not vegan-friendly.
Instead, we use a combination of silken tofu, cashews, cornstarch, and coconut milk to emulate a similar taste and texture normally found in jericalla.
Although a vegan recipe will never be the exact same as the original, we hope to make a convincing argument!
Jericalla vs flan
Flan utilizes similar ingredients as jericalla, so the preparation is really where they differ.
Flan is baked in a caramel-lined dish, whereas jericalla is not. But, both are typically baked or cooked in a water bath (bain-marie).
Lastly, flan is typically flipped over and eaten on a plate, whereas jericalla is eaten straight out of the baking dish.
Jericalla vs crème brûlèe
Crème brûlèe and jericalla are more similar than they are different.
The main difference between the two is the topping. Crème brûlèe is topped with sugar, which is torched until it caramelizes. There is no topping added to jericalla, but the top of the ramekins slightly char while baking in the oven.
Like many recipes in Mexican history, the origin story of jericalla is creative and fun to learn about.
The most popular version recounts a Spanish nun, who worked in an orphanage in Guadalajara. Supposedly, the children under her care were all malnourished and unwell.
To increase their energy consumption, the nun thought to blend milk, eggs, and sugar together — forming a custard.
Busy with other tasks, one day she became distracted and let the custard burn in the oven! Not wanting to throw it away, she fed it to the children to see if they'd eat it anyway.
Guess what? They loved it!
Jericalla is even said to be named after the region where the nun was originally from — Jérica.
In Jalisco style, most jericallas are served right in the ramekin they are baked in. And although not traditional, jericalla is delicious with fruit or jam served on top.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Taste: with a neutral taste and smooth texture, extra-firm silken tofu makes the perfect egg replacement in this jericalla recipe. Don’t worry if you can’t find the silken variety though — regular medium tofu should do the trick.
Health: tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein. Did you know it contains all 9 essential amino acids? And don’t go believing the myth that it's bad for you. The phytoestrogens prevalent in tofu have proven to be protective against hormone-related diseases like breast cancer.
Taste: adding a rich and creamy element to this treat is full-fat coconut milk. We use it in place of cow's milk for a completely dairy-free version. Plus, the flavor of coconut milk is incredible if we do say so ourselves!
Health: while coconut milk is high in calories, it does contain some very beneficial vitamins and minerals like manganese, iron, magnesium, and selenium. But it's always best to consume calorically-dense foods like coconut milk in moderation.
Taste: warming, sweet, and slightly spicy, Ceylon cinnamon is one of our favorite dish enhancers. Using a whole cinnamon stick will create a more infused flavor, but if powdered cinnamon is all you have then don’t sweat it!
Health: cinnamon is not only delicious, but it’s also one of the healthiest foods out there! It contains a powerful antioxidant, called cinnamaldehyde, which is extremely beneficial in promoting heart health.
Taste: without a healthy dose of vanilla, your jericallas won’t be the same. We use Mexican vanilla for its creamy, sweet, and slightly spicy characteristics. We always recommend splurging on pure vanilla over artificial. You can really taste the difference!
Health: vanilla is full of healing properties — much of which stems from the compound vanillin. Diseases such as arthritis and gout may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of vanilla.
If you have questions about this vegan jericalla recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: simmer the coconut milk, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and cane sugar together, then let the mixture cool while you prep the other ingredients.
Step 2: strain the mixture into a blender along with cashews, tofu, cornstarch, and turmeric (for color). Blend on high until nice and smooth.
Step 3: transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Heat over medium-low until it thickens. Make sure to stir constantly so the bottom doesn't burn.
Step 4: transfer to small ramekins in a casserole or baking dish. Pour in hot water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Broil on high for 5 minutes, or until the tops are charred to your liking.
Step 5: once the ramekins have cooled completely, cover and transfer them to your fridge to chill for 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve plain or with some fruit if you'd like. Happy eating!
If you don't finish all your jericallas on the first go around, just follow these instructions to keep them fresh.
Once fully cooled, cover ramekins individually and your jericallas will last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
If stored properly, your jericallas should freeze for 1-2 months. You can keep the individual ramekins inside a freezer-safe bag (with the air removed). Alternatively, remove each jericalla from the ramakin and freeze them together.
💭 Pro tips
We'd like to share some tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with this recipe:
- Water bath temperature. Make sure the water is already hot before pouring it into your baking dish.
- Let it cool. Although this dessert can be eaten warm, it's best to let it chill so it firms up a bit.
- Broil or torch. If your oven doesn't have a broil function, try using a kitchen torch to achieve similar results. Alternatively, set your oven to 500 degrees F and leave it cracked to "broil" the jericallas.
- Infuse it with flavor. If you'd like to create a different spin on your jericalla, try adding orange, almond, or coconut essence to this recipe.
🍴 Tasting notes
Although not traditional, this plant-based jericalla is our preferred version. It's:
If you try this jericalla recipe, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
- 4-ounce ramekins
- Casserole dish
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk ($2.22)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ($0.44)
- 1 cinnamon stick ($0.05)
- ½ cup cane sugar ($0.04)
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 8-12 hours ($0.86)
- 12 ounces extra-firm silken tofu ($2.02)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch ($0.04)
- ⅛ teaspoon turmeric ($0.01)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the coconut milk, vanilla, broken-up cinnamon stick, and cane sugar to a simmer for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the mixture sit for another 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime, add soaked cashews, drained tofu, cornstarch, and turmeric to a blender. Strain the coconut mixture in as well (discarding the cinnamon). Blend on high until smooth, about 60 seconds.
- Preheat your oven to broil, then transfer the mixture back to the saucepan. Heat over medium-low while stirring constantly until thick, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer to small ramekins in a casserole or baking dish. Pour in hot water until it reaches halfway up the ramekins. Broil on high for 5 minutes, or until the tops are charred to your liking.
- Once the ramekins have cooled completely, cover and transfer them to your fridge to chill for 4-5 hours or overnight. Serve plain or with some fruit if you'd like. Happy eating!
- If you can't find silken tofu, use a regular medium or firm block instead.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more tasty Mexican desserts, check out our:
- Carlota de limón to try a sweet, tangy, and creamy icebox cake you won't be able to get enough of!
- Arroz con leche for tender rice cooked down in soy milk and flavored with orange zest and cinnamon.
- Strawberry tamales for light and fluffy vegan tamales mixed with fresh strawberries and topped with sweet jam.
- Fresas con crema for a vegan take on Mexican strawberries and cream that's both healthy and delicious.
In order to achieve a similar consistency in your jericalla recipe, it's necessary to use full-fat canned coconut milk.
While using silken tofu is preferred in this jericalla recipe, you can use regular medium or firm tofu. The texture will be slightly different, but still tasty. Just make sure to press the tofu to get rid of excess water.
We have only tested this jericalla recipe with cane sugar, but you can try other granulated sugars like regular sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar. Leave a comment if you have success with any alternatives!
Instead of cornstarch, you can use a 1:1 ratio of arrowroot powder.