Vegan Vanilla Custard Recipe


Serve this Recipe for a Vegan creamy and versatile dessert as a pudding, tartlet filling or sandwiched between split Cream Scones with fresh strawberries.

Makes about 2 cups


  • ⅓ cup sugar.
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons cornstarch, sifted.
  • Generous pinch sea salt.
  • 1 cup nondairy milk.
  • 1 cup coconut milk (soy creamer is a fine substitution).
  • Seeds scraped from 1 inch of vanilla bean, or 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract.


  1. In a heavy medium saucepan off the heat, combine sugar, cornstarch, and sea salt.
  2. Whisk in ¼ cup of the coconut milk to make a slurry. Slowly pour in the remaining coconut milk and nondairy milk, whisking vigorously as you go. If using the vanilla bean, add it now.
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir constantly until the custard begins to thicken. I prefer a flexible spatula for this, as it reaches into the corners thoroughly.
  4. Before the mixture thickens, you’ll have cooked it 4 to 6 minutes, and then steam will begin to rise across the surface. Suddenly, the custard will appear creamy and will cut a swath (see note below). Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer at a simmer, lowering the heat if necessary.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract, if using it. Transfer it to a medium bowl and allow it to cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir occasionally to redistribute the heat, then press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
  7. Chill until completely cold, at least 2 hours and up to a day, before serving.

Lemon Custard

Reduce vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Add 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and an extra pinch of sea salt with the vanilla.

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