This delicious dairy free custard with oat milk means there's no need to miss out if you or your family can't eat dairy. It's got a lovely creamy texture and a rich vanilla taste, but not a cow in sight!
What you'll love about the recipe
- Virtually indistinguishable from custard made from dairy milk - you can serve this creamy vanilla custard sauce to everyone:). It's also gluten free.
- Really easy to make in 10 minutes, with an all in one process and just one pan to wash up
- It's healthy - this dairy free custard sauce is low in added sugar and fat
- Made from everyday pantry ingredients - oat milk is widely available
Ingredients for oat milk custard
Oat milk. I've specifically used oat milk in this recipe as it's slightly thicker than most nut milks so makes a nice thick rich custard. Oat milk is naturally creamy, and neutral in flavour. And when blended with vanilla, the taste is indistinguishable. I used a supermarket carton of long life oat milk.
(If you've got some left over, you can also make dairy free oat milk porridge. It's even creamier than regular oatmeal! You can also make an oat milk white sauce, oat milk pancakes or try a healthy hot chocolate. And non dairy oat milk freezes well too.)
Egg. A whole egg adds structure, colour and flavour to the custard. Egg is vital in the recipe to thicken the sauce. If you prefer you can use 2 yolks rather than one whole egg.
Cornflour. This gluten free cornstarch also helps to thicken the custard and to stabilise the egg so that it doesn't split (aka scrambled eggs!)
Sugar - there's just 2 teaspoons of sugar in 4 servings of homemade dairy free custard. If you prefer, you can use honey or an alternative sweetener.
Vanilla. For me, vanilla is the flavour which makes custard so addictive! I used vanilla extract for ease, but you could also use half of a vanilla pod if you prefer. The little flecks of vanilla will make the custard look and taste especially delicious.
How to make dairy free custard from scratch
Start by adding the cold oat milk to a cold pan, then stir in the cornflour, sugar, vanilla extract and whole egg. Mix or whisk well until the ingredients are thoroughly blended.
Place the pan on a low-medium heat, and stirring constantly, bring the mixture up to a boil. It'll only take a few minutes, but it's important not to rush. Remember to keep the heat relatively low and keep stirring to make a smooth custard without lumps.
Once the mixture comes up to the boil, it will thicken. Let it bubble gently for 30 seconds or so just to make sure that the cornflour is fully cooked.
Voila, your perfect homemade dairy free vanilla custard is to ready to eat.
You can serve this pouring custard sauce hot or cold. It'll thicken slightly more as it cools, so if necessary you can thin it with a few drops more oat milk.
Of course, creamy dairy free custard sauce goes brilliantly with so many desserts and puddings but it's a match made in heaven with this dairy free apple crumble.
You could also use this recipe as the basis of a custard tart - use this dairy free pastry case and make double the quantity of custard. As the custard cools it will thicken into smooth pastry cream. Top with a colourful selection of berries. It's also perfect in a dairy free healthy trifle - use a dairy free yogurt for the topping. Or try these rhubarb and custard filled muffins.
You can also add a few squares of dairy free chocolate for an easy chocolate custard.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, that is exactly how this dairy free recipe is made. Both the texture and taste of the custard are virtually identical to custard made with cow's milk.
The creamiest non dairy alternative is coconut milk. However, it does have a very distinctive taste which would go well with some desserts but not all. Oat milk tends to be creamier than most nut milks and has a neutral flavour which works well with vanilla.
That depends whether it contains egg. This recipe is a non dairy replacement for real vanilla custard and contains egg to thicken and flavour the custard. For a vegan custard you would need a recipe without egg. You could also use custard powder which is vegan - it's mostly made from cornflour (cornstarch) with colour and flavourings added.
Other dairy free recipes
If you are dairy free, you'll be pleased to know you can bake delicious cakes and desserts using a healthy oil rather than butter. This gluten free rhubarb cake is made with olive oil. And if you make crumble, pastry and scones with oil instead of butter, you can skip rubbing in which saves time:)
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a rating and/or comment at the bottom of the page. Your feedback and questions are much appreciated.
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Dairy Free Custard with Oat Milk
- 200 ml oat milk
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg or use 2 yolks rather than 1 whole egg
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the cold oat milk to a cold pan. Stir in the cornflour, sugar, vanilla and egg. Mix thoroughly.
- Place the pan on a low to medium heat. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. The custard will start to thicken. Allow to gently bubble for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
Please note nutritional information is per serving and is provided for guidance only