This recipe for vegan custard is the creamy, silky smooth answer to all your plant-based dessert prayers.
Homemade custard can seem like quite the culinary hurdle, and the idea of making it without dairy or eggs can seem like an impossibility. Thank goodness for the godsend that is cashew nuts and coconut cream! Honestly, what would vegans do without these two ingredients?
Cashews give this vegan custard its velvety texture, not to mention a slightly eggy flavour, while coconut cream adds creaminess and helps the custard set. Stir in the seeds from a single vanilla pod just before removing the custard from the heat, and suddenly all the flavours come together.
Serve the custard warm for the perfect accompaniment to all your favourite desserts, or let it cool and thicken and use it as a filling for tarts and pastries.
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
First and foremost, the cashews need to soak in boiling water for a minimum of one hour before you start. If you have the foresight to plan ahead you can soak them the day before.
Secondly, I have two words that you probably don’t want to hear – patient stirring. Most of the sorcery in this recipe for silky smooth vegan custard is in the method! Don’t be tempted to turn up the heat or take a break from stirring. This custard is thickened with cornstarch, which tends to form lumps if left to its own devices, so keep the heat low and give your non-dominant arm a little workout! You will be rewarded with the dreamiest, creamiest vegan custard ever!
I’ve included all the additional notes for this recipe for vegan custard at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 250g / 8.8oz raw cashew nuts
- 350g / 12.35oz boiling water
- 60g / 2.1oz cornstarch
- ⅛ tsp. fine sea salt
- 150g /5.3oz caster sugar
- 1 x 400ml / 14oz tin coconut cream
- 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
Submerge the cashews in boiling water and set them aside for 1 hour (the longer you leave the cashews to soak, the smoother the custard will be – if you have the foresight, soak the cashews the day before).
Transfer the cashews, water, cornstarch, salt, caster sugar and coconut cream to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth (if you have a small blender, you can add the caster sugar and coconut cream straight to the pot instead).
Pour the blended mixture into a large pot and place on the hob on low heat. Stir the custard continuously for 15-20minutes or until the custard has thickened and easily coats the back of a spoon. Continuous stirring will prevent the custard from burning or getting lumpy, use a rubber spatula to prevent a skin from forming on the bottom of the pot and contributing to lumps.
Add the seeds from the vanilla pod and vegan butter to the custard just before removing it from the stovetop and stir until the butter has completely melted.
Serve the custard immediately while it’s still hot.
NOTES: Vegan Custard
I highly recommend you use the seeds from a vanilla pod for this recipe. Not only does it give the custard a gorgeous fresh vanilla flavour you’ll also get that beautiful vanilla speckle.
If you can’t find fresh vanilla pods, then try vanilla bean paste.
If possible try and find a brand of coconut cream that goes solid at room temperature, as this will help the custard set. Try shaking the tin of coconut cream at the store, and if it sounds solid rather than liquidy, it’s a match.
What to do if your custard goes lumpy?
If you have a few small lumps in your custard, don’t worry too much, they might not look great, but they don’t affect the texture.
If you have a lot of lumps, you can sieve your custard or reblend it. However, if you reblend the custard, you will have to thicken it again. Wash your pot, add the custard and stir continuously on low heat until you achieve the desired consistency.