Vegan Custard with Vanilla & Almond Milk (Dairy-Free)

creamy vegan custard in a black pan next to some lemons
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If you love creamy and healthy plant-based treats, this citrusy vegan custard infused with coconut milk and vanilla is right up your alley! Better than any traditional pudding, this delicious treat is easy to make and ready in 5 minutes.

Thankfully, vegans don’t have to miss out on custard. A good vegan custard easily satisfies your sweet tooth while fulfilling all your plant-based dessert desires!

Even though this vanilla custard is completely eggless and dairy-free, it tastes fantastic and makes for a decadent, glamorous addition to any sweet treat.

In fact, this vegan custard is so versatile that it can be enjoyed on its own as a thick and creamy pudding, filled into pies or tarts, poured over pancakes or crêpes or eaten with fruit or ice cream.

While it might seem like a calorie-rich recipe, our dairy-free custard is made with almond milk instead of cow’s milk and thick cream — we also made it eggless and really low-sugar, which further decreases the calorie content while not compromising on flavor at all.

This delicious vanilla pudding or sauce lifts any dessert, is undetectably vegan, can be made in advance and only uses a slight amount of rice syrup for sweetness.

You can enjoy this egg-free goodness warm or cold together with your whole family, even when following a healthy lower fiber diet or trying to lose some weight.

It’s a beginner-level recipe that takes only 5 minutes and mostly budget-friendly staple foods to make — but let’s check out whether vanilla custard is usually a vegan-friendly recipe.

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Can Vegans Eat Custard?

Traditional custard recipes are made with dairy milk, cream and eggs — so it’s basically the furthest thing from plant-based.

However, it’s totally possible to make vegan vanilla custard by swapping the dairy milk for a dairy-free alternative like coconut milk or almond milk and using a powdered thickener in place of the eggs.

There are many reasons why everyone should choose an easy vegan custard recipe over any traditional one. Not only is it better for the animals and our planet to follow a plant-based diet, you can also enjoy a rich and creamy dessert that loves you back!

Instead of sugar-laden custards that are super high in saturated fat (which we should cut down to 10% of total calories or less, according to US Dietary Guidelines), our dairy-free and eggless custard is lower in overall calories while containing almost no added sugar and saturated fat!

Here’s what else we love about this whole food plant-based recipe.

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The Best Vegan Custard Recipe

  • Simple beginner recipe
  • Slightly sweet & heavenly creamy
  • Naturally egg-free & dairy-free
  • Perfect vanilla and lemon balance
  • Versatile & customizable vegan dessert
  • Can be made in advance
  • Weight loss-friendly
  • Undetectably vegan & healthy

This wholesome vegan recipe allows for a light, creamy and slightly citrusy vegan custard that doesn’t leave you feeling unwell.

It takes just 5 minutes to make and a handful of ingredients, so let’s take a look at the steps that get you there!

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

How to Make Vegan Vanilla Custard

To make this easy vegan vanilla custard, you need 7 ingredients. Most of them are pretty much normal staple foods — except for the arrowroot powder, which is responsible for the typical creamy texture.

There are a few ways to thicken vegan custard — some recipes prefer to use cornstarch or agar powder, both of which are vegan substitutes for gelatin.

You can find some tips for how to swap it further down the article. Here are the rest of the ingredients!

  • 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.
  • Vanilla Extract & Syrup — for the traditional vanilla custard flavor; you can use any vegan sweetener you like here!

All you need to do is mix the arrowroot powder with some cold coconut milk in a small pot, then heat it up and add the rest of the ingredients. 

Make sure to whisk or stir constantly to avoid lumps or burning and keep the temperature at low to medium heat.

After a few minutes, the mixture will thicken and you’ll be left with a creamy and healthy vegan vanilla custard!

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

Tips for Dairy-Free & Egg-Free Vanilla Custards

Let’s talk about a few tips and questions around making delicious vegan custard! If you’re not looking for the traditional vanilla flavor, you can add some more lemon zest for a fresh and zingy lemon version.

Turn it into a velvety chocolate custard by stirring some cocoa powder into the arrowroot and milk mixture before heating it up — this makes for a really creamy and healthy vegan chocolate pudding, but it does require some more added sweetness.

We kept this recipe low-sugar by using just a hint of rice syrup, but any vegan sweetener works here.

Feel free to increase the amount of sugar or sweetener if you want more than just some subtle sweetness in your vegan dessert — depending on what you serve it with (e.g. sweet ice cream), a small amount might be enough. 

Temperature & Stirring

While this vegan custard doesn’t call for any eggs, there are a few key steps to get right. The arrowroot powder needs to be stirred into cold plant-based milk and whisked well to ensure there are no lumps.

Also, the vegan custard sauce requires constant stirring and some patience until it becomes nice and thick — don’t set the heat above medium while cooking it.

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

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 and a dollop of vegan cream cheese!

Almond Milk or Coconut Milk?

These two vegan milk alternatives are our favorite choices when it comes to whipping up our favorite dairy-free custard. 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

How to Use Vegan Custard

This vegan vanilla custard is perfect for any tart, cake or pie! We love making easy no-bake fruit tarts with this creamy goodness — or serving it over some dairy-free ice cream.

You can enjoy it as a healthy eggless pudding on its own, top it with fruit, or pour it over pancakes and crêpes. We’ve also had it with a handful of granola!

More Easy Vegan Dessert Recipes

Intrigued by our dairy-free vanilla custard? We have some more tasty, easy and healthy vegan dessert recipes around our blog you might want to try next.

Let’s hop over to the 5-minute vegan custard recipe — we hope you appreciated our tips and ideas to create the perfect vanilla custard.

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 in a black pan next to some lemons

Easy Vegan Vanilla Custard

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

This heavenly creamy 5-minute vegan custard recipe is naturally egg-free and dairy-free, slightly sweetened and super easy to make! Our vanilla custard is versatile, secretly healthy, light and citrusy. Perfect to make no-bake fruit tarts!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup low-fat coconut milk (60 ml)
  • 1 cup almond milk (240 ml)
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp rice syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder

Instructions

  1. Put the arrowroot powder into a medium saucepan and mix it with the coconut milk until smooth
  2. Add the almond milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest to the medium saucepan, whisk to combine and place over medium heat.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring continuously, then turn to low heat and continue to stir until the mixture thickens and turns into a cream.
  4. 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.

Notes

  • 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!

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 19mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated automatically, their accuracy is not guaranteed. Just focus on whole plant-based foods and eat until satiety!

Did you make this recipe?

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Alena Schowalter is a Certified Vegan Nutritionist (CPD) who has been a vegetarian since childhood and vegan since 2012. Together with her husband, she founded nutriciously in 2015 and has been guiding thousands of people through different transition stages towards a healthy plant-based diet. She’s received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy and social work. Alena enjoys discussions around vegan ethics, walks through nature and creating new recipes.
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