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Easy Vegan Custard Recipe | Homemade Vegan Vanilla Custard

Easy Vegan Custard Recipe | Homemade Vegan Vanilla Custard

This vegan custard recipe is super easy to make and totally delicious. Hot, creamy, sweet custardy perfection – this is a must try for all your comforting dessert needs. Custard can be a standalone dessert, but is also an important addition to those cakes, puddings, ice creams and trifles.

can you make custard with almond milk

Vegan Vanilla Custard

Vanilla and sugar are the most common additions to flavouring custard – and some of the most delicious in my opinion.

Although this recipe uses vanilla extract – I can imagine it would be taken to the next level with vanilla pods. So feel free to replace the vanilla extract with the equivalent in vanilla pods.

For me, vanilla essence is far more accessible and although not quite as heavenly as vanilla pods, still adds deliciousness to this creamy vegan custard.

Vegan vanilla custard is just the tastiest thing – it tastes amazing lathered over a vegan apple crumble or these tasty Vegan Gingerbread Muffins, not to mention as filling for these vegan donuts. These are some of my favourite vegan dessert recipes indeed.

This dairy free custard sauce recipe is gluten free also, depending on what milk you use. Corn starch is naturally gluten free which helps a lot!

This Guide to Plant Based Milks is very helpful in what can seem like an ocean of dairy free milk alternatives. It is important to note that the flavour will be altered depending on what milk you use. We have stuck with a neutral, creamy oat milk.

vegan custard filling

Where Does Custard Come From?

Traditionally, custard comes from Britain – but has since been popularised around the world. The famous “Birds” custard, interestingly was formulated by Alfred Bird in 1837 as his wife was allergic to eggs – the ingredient traditionally used to thicken custard!

If you read the packaging of Birds Custard, you will see it is primarily corn starch!

What Are The 3 Types of Custard?

There are traditionally three types of custard. Those thickened with corn starch or corn flour, those thickened with egg and those thickened with gelatin.

Stirred custard or soft custard, such as this one, would incorporate any of these thickeners. It is the traditional Crème Anglais, which is usually sweetened with milk or cream, thickened with egg and is not too rich.

Crème Anglais is the perfect style custard for drizzling onto puddings, cakes or fruit. We feel we have perfected the vegan version of English Custard which we all know and love.

vegan egg custard

What Is Vegan Custard Made Of?

With a very few simple, basic ingredients that you probably have at home in your pantry, this homemade vegan custard sauce recipe is easily achievable.

Often, freshly shop bought custard contains eggs – which of course as a vegan custard we want to avoid.

I was so surprised to figure out how easy it is to make custard from scratch when I realised we had run out of some one Sunday lunch.

When you actually look at the ingredients of store bought powdered custard – it is mostly just “maize starch” also known as corn flour or corn starch!

Ingredients Required

  • Corn Flour
  • Caster Sugar
  • Vanilla Essence
  • Non-Dairy milk (we use oat milk)
  • Tumeric powder (optional)

Milk and starch are generally the two key ingredients to make custard. This recipe uses oat milk which is fortified with calcium and B12 and a good source of protein.

However some other great plant based milk options would be full fat coconut milk, almond milk or soya milk.

How Do I Make Custard Yellowish?

The tumeric or haldi as it is traditionally called, isn’t used for flavour in this recipe. However it brings that traditional yellow colour, which is totally optional.

But I really love the yellow tint it brings. You only need a pinch of turmeric however, otherwise you will start to taste it. We don’t want a spicy, curry custard!

lactose free custard

Can You Eat Custard On Its own?

Of course! This hot, creamy, yellow, silky deliciousness is perfect in a bowl on its own. Of course it makes those winter vegan puddings even more delightful too!

Custard can be eaten hot or cold – it just depends on your preference. I even enjoy a mix of textures in my dessert bowl – so imagine this hot silky custard, warm chocolate brownie or cake AND a dollop of vegan ice cream. So dreamy!

Custard is delicious smothered over hot apple pastry desserts too. The list is endless! You could even attempt to make a delicious custard tart once it has cooled and thickened.

Vegan custard makes a great standalone fall dessert. It is also really easy to make a big pot of it for bigger gatherings like Sunday lunch, Thanksgiving and Christmas time.

how do i make custard at home?

Equipment needed

  • Heavy based pan
  • Whisk
  • Electric whisk (optional – this could help for reheating the custard for those who may struggle with a manual whisk)

How to make vegan custard

So with a few simple steps – you can recreate this liquid gold too in no time at all.

  1. Measure out a pint of plant based milk.
  2. Take 1/3 cup corn starch and scoop out 1/3 cup of the dairy free milk from the pint. Whisk the corn starch and milk together to form a paste.
  3. Then stir in 1/3 cup caster sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and a pinch of turmeric to this mix.
  4. Then, add the remaining milk to a saucepan and turn the heat on to medium. Whisk through the cornstarch paste we have just made.
  5. Heat this on a medium heat, whisking or stirring constantly. On this medium heat, it will begin to bubble. The delicious vegan custard will soon begin to thicken and will be ready to serve!
  6. Do a taste test to ensure it is to your liking. I find this recipe quite sweet – but follows the usual proportion of starch to sugar.

Tips For Making Vegan Custard

  • Make sure you heat the custard on a gentle, medium heat and continue to stir so it doesn’t create lumps. Don’t get distracted from stirring – and be patient, it will eventually thicken.
  • A pinch of tumeric or haldi is just enough. Adding too much will alter the flavour and make it taste quite pungent, more like a curry sauce! The colour of the tumeric deepens into a brighter yellow colour as the custard develops
  • This is a fairly sweet dairy free custard recipe, using the usual starch to sugar ratio, however if you want to try adding more or less to your palette then it should still work just fine.

Storing and Cooling Down Custard

Custard can tend to cool down with lumps and start to develop a dry, cracked skin on top. This can be avoided by stirring continuously as it cools down.

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Decant the custard from hot pan into a bowl. Give it a stir and pop it in the freezer. Every now and again, while it’s cooling down – open the freezer to stir it vigorously.
  2. Alternatively, you can place the bowl of custard into a basin of cold water, continuing to stir. Just ensure there is enough water for the bowl to be submerged without the water at risk of spilling into the custard

You can store the custard in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it for longer than that as it will lose it’s freshness.

Can You Freeze Custard?

Although custard is at risk of splitting when freezing, it is still possible to freeze it. You can freeze custard for up to 3 months. Follow the instructions for cooling it down to avoid lumps.

Make sure additionally to divide it into the portion size you wish, as it will not be re-freezable.

Store it in an appropriate freezer friendly container. Label the container and place the date on there to be sure of it’s 3 month use by date.

Some people freeze custard into ice cube portions, which work great for things like baking doughnuts and milkshakes.

Be aware that freezing custard may cause it to split, however following our reheating technique can return it to creamy custard status.

Allow the custard to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before proceeding to heat it, as directed below.

vegan custard cream recipe

Reheating Leftovers

Leftover custard can certainly be re-heated. I would avoid using the microwave as it requires a gentle heat. It can look slightly different, almost lumpy if not whisked/stirred frequently during the cooling process.

Fear not however, it is a few simple steps to restore it to it’s creamy goodness.

  1. Place the leftover vegan custard into a heavy based pan, and turn on a low, gentle heat
  2. Begin to whisk it generously, adding a tablespoon of dairy free milk to unstick it, ensuring the custard does not stick to the bottom or sides of the pan
  3. As it is warming, you can increase the heat to a gentle medium heat, observe by eye whether you feel it needs any more milk to achieve desired custard creaminess.
  4. When this creamy consistency is achieved and it is warmed through, proceed to how you planned to serve it.
  5. Rinsing the pan immediately with cold water helps the cleaning process.

Do not attempt to re-freeze any leftovers again as it will be difficult to achieve the same consistency again.

Can I Use Maple Syrup?

This recipe has been made specifically with caster sugar so I don’t suggest subbing in more liquids as the proportion of liquids to cornstarch has been calculated correctly.

However if you are confident in working with cornstarch and feel you can even it out – go for it!

Yield: 4-6 servings

Vegan Custard Recipe | Vegan Vanilla Custard

Vegan Custard Recipe | Vegan Vanilla Custard

This vegan custard recipe is super easy to make and totally delicious. Hot, creamy, sweet custardy perfection – this is a must try for all your comforting dessert needs. Custard can be a standalone dessert, but is also an important addition to those cakes, puddings, ice creams and trifles.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 pint of non-dairy milk
  • Pinch of turmeric

Instructions

    1. Measure out a pint of plant based milk.
    2. Take 1/3 cup corn starch and scoop out 1/3 cup of the dairy free milk from the pint. Whisk the corn starch and milk together to form a paste.
    3. Then stir in 1/3 cup caster sugar. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence and a pinch of turmeric to this mix.
    4. Then, add the remaining milk to a saucepan and turn the heat on. Whisk through the cornstarch paste we have just made.
    5. Heat this on a medium heat, whisking or stirring constantly. On this medium heat, it will begin to bubble. The delicious vegan custard will soon begin to thicken and will be ready to serve!

Notes

  • Make sure you heat the custard on a gentle, medium heat and continue to stir so it doesn’t create lumps. Don’t get distracted from stirring – and be patient, it will eventually thicken.
  • A pinch of tumeric or haldi is just enough. Adding too much will alter the flavour and make it taste quite pungent, more like a curry sauce! The colour of the tumeric deepens into a brighter yellow colour as the custard develops
  • Do a taste test to ensure it is to your liking. I find this recipe quite sweet – but follows the usual proportion of starch to sugar.
  • Store this vegan custard in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • It will appear lumpy when still cold. You can reheat this gently in a pan, stirring continuously and I suggest adding a drop of milk to unstick it.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 39mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 3g

this depends on serving size - this nutritional estimate is based on 6 smaller servings

What Can I Use Instead Of Custard?

Obviously you are on a dairy free custard recipe page, however if you are looking for other sweet condiments, we have some great accompanying recipes such as this Salted Caramel or Caramel Sauce.

If you wanted something a little less sweet, you could try our Homemade Soy Greek Yogurt.

Try this easy vegan custard recipe today – don’t forget about it the next time you are baking a vegan cake that it might pair well with. Make sure to add it to your vegan recipe book of classic vegan desserts too!

We would love to hear your feedback on our much loved vegan custard recipe. Please consider leaving a comment or rating below.

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Laura

Friday 29th of July 2022

This recipe is really easy to follow and super tasty. My kids really enjoyed this vegan custard, will make again.

liam edwards

Saturday 25th of June 2022

Fabulous recipe, I’ve tried it and is absolutely delicious

Nedwards

Saturday 25th of June 2022

10/10 so yummmmy

Skye

Saturday 25th of December 2021

Hi there!

I was wondering if you had to bake the custard afterwards if you were using it for a tart or just cool it in the baked tart shell. If you do need to bake it in the oven, how long would you say to bake it for?

Thanks!

yumveganlunchideas

Monday 28th of March 2022

Hello Skye, ooh I have not tried this before so tricky to say - have you experimented with it yet? I would verge more towards allowing the custard to cook in the shell as it might coagulate more if baked - but this is just an estimate! Would be great to know how you do. Best wishes Gill

Trinity Christianson

Friday 17th of December 2021

Hi, Does this have to be refrigerated? I wanted to use it in vegan eclairs but don’t want to have to refrigerate them so I can use it in my home based baking business but can only sell stuff that doesn’t have to be refrigerated lol 😁

yumveganlunchideas

Monday 28th of March 2022

Hi Trinity, Sorry for the delayed response. I reckon the consistency would stay if it was stuffed in an eclair just fine. Perhaps you could do a trial run and let me know how it goes? A home based baking business sounds awesome, as does a custard stuffed vegan eclair! Yum! Best wishes Gill

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