Vegan Wonder

Indulge in Creamy Delights: Egg-Free and Vegan Custard and Pudding Options

When it comes to indulging in sweet treats, there’s no reason to sacrifice your dietary needs or preferences. Whether you have a lactose intolerance, egg allergy, or simply prefer a plant-based diet, there are plenty of options for egg-free and vegan custard and pudding that are just as delicious – and sometimes even more so! – than their traditional counterparts.

The Benefits of Dairy-Free Custard and Pudding

Beyond the obvious appeal of satisfying a sweet craving, dairy-free custard and pudding offer a number of benefits:

  • They allow those with lactose intolerance, cow’s milk allergy, or ethical objections to dairy products to enjoy a classic comfort food.
  • They can be a great option for those with egg allergies, as many recipes are based on alternative thickeners.

Plus, there are so many delicious flavors and textures to explore! So whether you’re cooking for yourself or catering to guests with specific dietary needs, read on for a range of egg-free and vegan custard and pudding options that are sure to please.

Egg-Free Custard Alternatives

Custard and pudding may evoke images of rich, eggy desserts, but there are plenty of plant-based options for achieving a creamy texture without eggs. Here are a few of our favorites:

Cornstarch-Based Custard

This simple, easy-to-make custard is thickened with cornstarch. While it may not be quite as creamy as a traditional custard, it’s a great option for those who prefer a stovetop method. To make it, combine milk (any kind), sugar, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Silken Tofu Custard

This protein-packed dessert is smooth, velvety, and surprisingly versatile. To make it, blend silken tofu with sugar, vanilla, and a small amount of soy milk until smooth. You can also add flavorings like cocoa powder or matcha.

Cashew-Based Custard

This rich, indulgent custard is made by soaking cashews and then blending them with milk, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. It can be served chilled or warmed up and topped with fruit or nuts.

Vegan Pudding Options

Pudding is a classic dessert that’s easy to make vegan. Here are a few options:

Chia Seed Pudding

This nutrient-dense and satisfying pudding is made by soaking chia seeds in plant-based milk, sweetener, and vanilla. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid and formed a pudding-like consistency. Toppings like fresh fruit, nuts, or coconut flakes make this pudding even more delicious.

Avocado Pudding

This creamy, decadent pudding is made by blending ripe avocados with sweetener, vanilla, and a little bit of plant-based milk. The healthy fats in avocados make this pudding extra indulgent.

Coconut Milk Pudding

This tropical and refreshing pudding is made by cooking coconut milk, sugar, and a thickener like cornstarch or tapioca starch until it thickens. Let it cool and then chill in the refrigerator. Top with shredded coconut, toasted nuts, or sliced fresh fruit.

Flavor Variations and Toppings

Once you’ve mastered the base recipes, don’t be afraid to get creative with flavors! Here are a few ideas:

  • Chocolate and cocoa-based custards and puddings can be made by adding cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the recipe.
  • Vanilla and caramel infusions can be achieved by adding vanilla beans or extract, and cooking the custard or pudding with a little bit of caramel sauce.
  • Fruit-inspired creations can be made by blending fruit into the base recipe, or by pureeing cooked fruit and adding it as a topping.

Crunchy toppings and garnishes like granola, nuts, and coconut flakes add texture and contrast to these creamy desserts.

Tips for Successful Egg-Free and Vegan Dessert Making

  • When making custard or pudding without eggs, use a thickener like cornstarch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder. A general rule of thumb is to use 2-3 tablespoons of thickener for every 1 cup of liquid. However, this ratio can vary depending on the recipe, so it’s important to read and follow the instructions carefully.
  • Cook the thickener in the liquid over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and comes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, or until the thickener has lost its raw taste. Remove from heat and stir in any flavorings like vanilla, cocoa powder, or matcha.
  • When making pudding with chia seeds, let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid and formed a pudding-like consistency.
  • When making silken tofu custard, be sure to use a blender to puree the tofu until it’s completely smooth. You can also add a small amount of soy milk to help with blending.
  • When making cashew-based custard, be sure to soak the cashews in water for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Drain and rinse the cashews before blending with milk, sugar, and vanilla.

Store any leftover custard or pudding in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Enjoy these delicious, dairy-free, and egg-free desserts as a tasty treat for yourself, or share them with loved ones at your next gathering.