Creamy Vegan Custard (Easy & Healthy)

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by Alena Schowalter
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This 6-minute vegan custard recipe is so easy to make, deliciously creamy and a healthier alternative to traditional versions. It’s smooth, light and so crowd-pleasing!

If you love creamy and healthy desserts, this citrusy vegan custard infused with coconut milk and vanilla is right up your alley!

Better than any traditional pudding, it’s a decadent, glamorous addition to any treat that will surely satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth.

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It’s undetectable vegan, really versatile and can be used to make no-bake mini tarts, poured over crêpes or served with ice cream.

This vegan almond milk custard is our favorite healthier dessert, right on par with this quick date caramel.

It’s a low-sugar recipe that can be enjoyed hot or cold by the spoonful!

glass jar on a white table containing creamy vanilla custard

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Slightly sweet & heavenly creamy
  • Undetectably vegan & healthy
  • Ready in about 5 minutes
  • Perfect vanilla and lemon balance
  • Versatile & customizable vegan dessert
  • Meal prep-friendly

Our vegan custard requires only 5-6 ingredients to make, each of them carefully chosen to create the perfect result! Let’s take a look.

white table with some lemons and several small bowls containing plant based milk, sweetener and vanilla

Ingredients needed

  • Coconut milk — we used the low-fat variety because it’s creamy enough for us, but that’s up to you!
  • Almond milk — pairs wonderfully with coconut milk but can be replaced with cashew or soy milk.
  • Lemon juice & zest — these offer some freshness and balance out the sweet vanilla flavor.
  • Rice syrup — this light sweetener makes for a lovely color & taste!
  • Vanilla extract — for the traditional vanilla custard flavor.
  • Arrowroot powder — that’s our thickener for this recipe!

In terms of kitchen equipment, you need a medium-sized saucepan, whisk and measuring equipment to make this custard.

How to make vegan custard

  1. Mix the arrowroot powder with cold almond milk. This step is essential to avoid lumps!
  2. Add all ingredients to a saucepan and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then turn down the heat.
  4. Stir until the mixture thickens and turns into custard.

After a few minutes, you’ll be left with heavenly creamy vegan custard which you can use right away!

white table with a black pan containing homemade vegan vanilla custard and a wooden spoon

Storage & serving suggestions

This vegan vanilla custard is perfect for any tart, cake or pie! It can also be enjoyed on its own as a pudding or topped with fruit.

We’ve also served it over vegan apple crumble and with this skillet cookie cake!

Use it to make eclairs, custard cream cake or fill doughnuts with it — the sky’s the limit.

Once cooked, this vegan custard needs to be chilled if you want to store it in the fridge. Transfer it into a lidded container and keep it for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator for later use.

Tips & FAQs

Temperature & stirring

The arrowroot powder needs to be stirred into cold plant-based milk and whisked well to ensure there are no lumps.

It also requires constant stirring and some patience until it becomes nice and thick — don’t set the heat above medium while cooking your custard.

If you do end up with some lumps, simply pour the sauce through a sieve before chilling or serving.

white table with lemons and no-bake vegan tarts that are being filled with vegan custard

Thickener options

You can make your vegan custard as saucy or thick and pudding-like as you want by simply adjusting the amount of arrowroot powder in this recipe.

If you cannot find this powdered thickener at your local store, you can swap it for some cornstarch, potato starch, agar powder or tapioca, but all of these will result in slightly different consistencies.

Depending on your personal preference, using one over the other makes a lot of sense — just start with the thickener you have on hand and go from there.

For a really thick and creamy vegan custard, use high-fat coconut milk or our homemade almond creamer!

Almond milk or coconut milk?

These two vegan milk alternatives are our favorite choices when it comes to making this recipe.

However, you can pretty much use any other type, such as soy, cashew or oat, when following this recipe.

Full-fat coconut milk can make for a richer vegan custard pudding, and using vegan milk alternatives that have added sugar naturally results in sweeter custard.

white table with 3 mini tarts which are being decorated with fresh blueberries

Suggested swaps

Feel free to omit or reduce the lemon zest and juice to make your custard sweeter. You can also add more rice syrup or swap it for white sugar!

If you mix the arrowroot powder with cocoa powder and milk before heating your custard, you can create an easy and delicious velvety chocolate custard or pudding! Be sure to add more sweetener to balance out the cocoa.

Can vegans eat custard?

Vegans can’t eat traditional custard because it’s made with cow’s milk, cream, and eggs.

However, it’s really easy to make vegan custard by using a few food swaps: almond milk instead of cow’s milk and arrowroot powder instead of eggs!

Follow our delicious recipe and never look back.

More vegan desserts

We have more tasty, easy and healthy vegan dessert recipes on our blog that you need to try next.

Did you follow this recipe and like it? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to rate it. You can also Pin the vegan custard here and tag us on Instagram if you made it — we’d love to see your creations.

Creamy Vegan Custard (Quick & Easy)

by Alena Schowalter
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 6 minutes
This heavenly creamy 5-minute vegan custard recipe is super easy to make with almond milk, coconut milk and a touch of rice syrup. This healthier vanilla custard is really versatile, light and perfect for no-bake fruit tarts!
Serves 4


  • ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk 60 ml
  • 1 cup almond milk 240 ml
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons rice syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder


  • Add the arrowroot powder into a medium-sized saucepan and mix it with the almond milk.
  • Add the coconut milk, vanilla extract, syrup, lemon juice and lemon zest to the saucepan, whisk to combine and place over medium heat.
  • Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then turn to low heat and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and turns into a cream.
  • Serve warm or place in a food container in the refrigerator to chill. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.


  • You can replace the rice syrup with any other sweetener of choice, but keep in mind that dark ones like maple syrup will change the color of the custard filling.
  • Instead of almond and low-fat coconut milk, you can use other plant-based milk alternatives to suit your needs.
  • For a more yellow vegan custard, add a pinch of turmeric powder.
  • Make sure to mix the arrowroot powder with cold plant-based milk and don’t put the head above medium — avoid boiling at this stage!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Nutrition Facts
Creamy Vegan Custard (Quick & Easy)
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed.
Rate and share if you likeMention @nutriciously_ on Instagram or share this on Pinterest!
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Hi, I'm Alena Schowalter — a Certified Vegan Nutritionist who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with my husband, I founded nutriciously in 2015 and have been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages toward a healthy plant-based diet. I enjoy discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature, and creating new recipes. Read more about us here.


  1. Thank you for this recipe!
    I made it with a small mod by using maple syrup instead of the rice sweetener.
    I am not vegan but am dairy free so I served this over nilla wafers.

    Also a heads up is the sweetener isn’t mentioned in the ingredients to be included in your second step of the recipe instructions. I added it with the rest of the thing per your commentary.

    Looking forward to more recipes!
    Thanks again!

    • thanks so much for the feedback, really happy that you liked the recipe! haha, thanks for pointing out that I forgot to mention the syrup in the instructions, just added it.
      feel free to suggest some recipes you want to see on the blog x

  2. 5 stars
    So grateful for this recipe! It does require a bit of patience when compared to an instant box of pudding but it was simple and quick. I love the adjustments and customization available. May just be my new favorite go-to recipe.

  3. Could you tell us how much arrowroot you used to get that thick custard in the photo? It was what I wanted. I followed the recipe and got a stretchy slime. I probably over-cooked it. Maybe you could time how long you cooked it next time to give us an idea of how “patient” to be. Or even better – add a video {: Thanks

    • Hey Jen, so the recipe calls for 1 tbsp of custard but I’ll be sure to try it again and follow what I wrote down very closely, giving you more insight as I go along.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this tonight because I had a hankering for a really processed vanilla custard from my youth in South Africa: ultra-mel.

    I hadn’t found one that was simple and zesty and I stumbled upon your recipe.

    It was delicious. I added a wee bit of date sugar (it tastes like caramel to me) and cinnamon and yum.

    I did chill it first because that’s how I ate it when I was younger.

    I found it a bit too thick though – it was the perfect thickness when hot but firmed up quite a bit when cold.

    I reckon I’d half the amount of arrowroot flour next time so it’s still thinner thickness when cooled.

    Thank you so much, I’m excited about trying some of your other recipes :)

  5. Thank you so much for this lovely recipe.

    It was absolutely delicious. I used cashew nut milk but followed the rest of the recipe and loved it.

    I do loveeee chilled custard and I found a bit too thick for my preference, I prefer a thinner custard.

    I reckon I’ll half the amount of arrowroot next time for sure : )

    Excited to try some of your other recipes!

  6. 2 stars
    I made this exactly according to directions and it did not get thicker than the consistency of whipping cream. I cooked it on low for 15 minutes and thought maybe it would thicken as it cooled, but it didn’t. The flavor was good-very lemony- and if I make it again I will reduce the lemon and double or triple the arrowroot.

  7. HI, thanks for the recipe. I’ve tried it twice with almond milk, coconut milk, stevia, etc. I use the 1 T of arrowroot and stir it into the cold mixture but can not get it to thicken. Any ideas? Thanks, Leigh

    • 1 tablespoon should be a good amount to get the custard to thicken once it’s warm enough and starts to bubble! Do you let it cook for a couple of minutes or longer? Have you tried a bit more arrowroot powder?


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