Silky smooth, rich and creamy vegan custard is made with just 5 ingredients and gets ready in less than 20 minutes! Perfect as a dessert, as a filling in pies, tarts or as a topping on the cake and fresh fruit salad.
This egg-free and dairy-free custard is super easy to make with a few basic ingredients that are mostly present in the pantry. In this vegan custard recipe, I have used soy milk as it has a mild flavour and lends a creamy texture. Certainly, any plant-based milk would work, however, ensure to use unsweetened milk or else you may have to reduce sugar. Apart from this delicious vegan vanilla custard, try coconut milk custard, almond milk custard for flavour variation.
Recreating a classic custard at home is so easy without eggs, artificial colouring agents and unnecessary preservatives! All you need to prepare a vegan custard recipe is plant-based milk, thickening agent, sweetener and vanilla extract to infuse a lovely flavour. Saffron has been used to impart a light yellow hue to imitate the original custard colour. It is used just to get that lovely colour so ensure not to add too many strands as it would overpower the vanilla flavour. However, it is not an essential ingredient so omit it if you find it too expensive or don’t have it on hand. Alternatively, you could use a pinch of turmeric instead of saffron. This vegan vanilla custard is a great substitute for traditional custard for dairy and gluten intolerant people.
Vanilla vegan custard makes a great dessert and is so versatile that it pairs well with almost anything - fresh fruit salad, puddings, fudge walnut brownies, summer treats and so many others. It's a great vegan filling option in pies and cakes. It could even be used in place of pastry cream. The consistency has to be adjusted depending on how you use it. For filling custard needs to be thick and for toppings, it has to be pouring consistency.
- Milk: I have used soy milk as it has a mild flavour and lends a creamy texture. Feel free to use any plant-based milk.
- Sweetener: Regular caster sugar has been used here.
- Thickening agent: Cornflour (corn starch) acts as a thickening agent.
- Vanilla: I used vanilla extract. You could use a vanilla pod as well but do not use essence.
- Colouring agent: Saffron imparts a lovely yellow colour.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Soak saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water for 5 minutes.
In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and ⅓ cup of milk until smooth and lump-free.
Now, add the remaining milk, sugar and vanilla extract and stir well.
Put the saucepan on the stove, add soaked saffron along with water and bring it to boil over medium-low heat, stirring regularly.
Keep stirring and continue to boil until the mixture starts to thicken.
Turn the heat off and take the saucepan off the stove.
Enjoy hot vegan vanilla custard as is or as a custard filling in pies or cakes.
Colouring agent: Saffron strands could be substituted with a pinch of turmeric.
Milk: Soy milk could be substituted with any plant-based milk.
A pinch of ground nutmeg or ground cinnamon gives it a wonderfully wholesome and amazing flavour.
Try adding strawberry puree for a vegan fruit custard for kid appeal.
Caster sugar could be substituted with coconut sugar or brown sugar. However, the custard sauce wouldn’t have that classic light yellow hue but rather a dark colour.
Tips and Tricks
Too much cornflour could overpower the true flavours and alter the taste of this vegan vanilla custard.
The main purpose of saffron strands is to impart a light colour. So ensure not to add too many. Although there is no harm in adding a few extra strands that infuse lovely flavour and aroma, the saffron flavour might mask the vanilla flavour.
Ensure to add a little milk to corn flour while whisking to remove any lumps. Do not add all milk at once as it might be difficult to remove small lumps.
Keep stirring while boiling to prevent this non-dairy custard mixture from sticking to the base of the saucepan.
Keep an eye on when custard starts to thicken as the thickening process is rapid and you might end up with a dense mass of custard rather than a smooth pourable consistency custard.
You may have to cut down on sugar if you use sweetened milk. Do the taste test and add more if necessary while boiling.
Custard continues to thicken even after the heat is turned off. So ensure to switch the heat off when the custard thickens slightly. After it cools down it will be of perfect consistency.
Place the cling film or baking sheet directly on the surface of the custard to prevent it from forming skin on the top layer.
Is the custard too thick?
A simple solution is to add extra milk and whisk. Ensure to add 2 tablespoons at a time until the custard reaches your desired consistency.
How to thicken custard?
Fix the running custard with a thickening agent. Mix a teaspoon or two of cornstarch with cold milk in a bowl, add it to the custard, put the saucepan back on the stove and cook over low heat stirring regularly until the custard reaches your desired consistency.
The leftover vegan custard could be stored in a fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Let it cool at room temperature and then store in the fridge. If you want to serve hot custard, just reheat the required quantity on the stovetop.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
It's great with fruit crumbles such as this cranberry crisp. Pour it on top just before serving.
This vegan vanilla custard is a great substitute for traditional custard for dairy and gluten intolerant people.
📖 Recipe Card
1 cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon = 5ml
- 2 cups (or) 500ml Soy milk unsweetened
- 2 Tablespoons (or) 28 gms Corn Flour/Corn Starch
- ⅓ cup (or) 77 gms Sugar adjust to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3-4 threads Saffron
- 3 Tablespoons Hot water
- Soak saffron strands in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water for 5 minutes.3-4 threads Saffron, 3 Tablespoons Hot water
- In a saucepan, whisk cornstarch and ⅓ cup milk until smooth and lump-free.2 cups (or) 500ml Soy milk, 2 Tablespoons (or) 28 gms Corn Flour/Corn Starch
- Now, add the remaining milk, sugar, vanilla extract and stir well.2 cups (or) 500ml Soy milk, 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ⅓ cup (or) 77 gms Sugar
- Put the saucepan on the stove, add soaked saffron along with water and bring it to boil over medium-low heat, stirring regularly.
- Do the taste test and add more sugar if necessary
- Keep stirring and continue to boil until the mixture starts to thicken.
- Turn the heat off and take the saucepan off the stove.
- Enjoy hot vegan vanilla custard as is or as a custard filling in pies or cakes.
Keep in Touch
Do let me know if you make this easy vegan custard recipe. I love hearing from you all. If you like this recipe kindly consider rating it using stars in the comment section or in the recipe card to help more people find this recipe online.