Wholesome Cook
5 Ingredients or less

Coconut Custard in Three Tasty Flavours (Dairy Gluten and Egg Free)

This simple Coconut Vanilla Custard is delicious, low in sugar and easily customisable for dairy, egg and gluten intolerances. It also makes a perfect base for naturally flavoured strawberry and chocolate custard versions.

Coconut Custard

Just the other day I received an email from S, Mr Chipconnoisseur’s older sister, asking for help with some allergy-friendly recipes as she had recently been diagnosed with a bunch of intolerances. Hi S *waves*

Now “a bunch” is probably an understatement as she basically can no longer have wheat, gluten, dairy, almonds, eggs, soy, legumes, yeast and peanuts. When I looked at the list, most of the substitutes I had in mind went straight out the window. Silken tofu could no longer be used in place of eggs because it’s made from soy, most flourless cakes required almond meal, and even my favourite vegan chocolate contains carob, which believe it or not is a legume!

Coconut Custard

As I needed to make custard for another recipe I was working on, I decided to put myself in S’s shoes and give it a go without using dairy, or eggs, or wheat (some corn flours are wheaten!), or soy. Almond milk was out too.

And so, I made a coconut cream and egg version for us, then an experimental non-egg, non-dairy etc version for S. The result was surprisingly good! The egg version obviously had a richer taste and colour from the yolks but, if faced with the prospect of do or die, I would be happy to have a bowl of the egg-less custard any day. If you are used to the yellowy colour of custard, add a tablespoon or so of carrot juice to the coconut milk. And try to use coconut milk with fewest ingredients that does not contain any ‘numbers’.

Oh and have fun with some flavours too… Vanilla is obviously the base, but why not try chocolate by adding some cocoa or strawberry purée for a fruity version instead.

So, dear reader, what would be the first food you’d try to make if one day you found out you have developed an intolerance to basically all the foods you’ve grown to love?

Coconut Custard

Coconut Custard
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

Coconut Custard in Three Tasty Flavours (Dairy Gluten and Egg Free)

This is a pouring consistency custard. For an egg-free version, use 1 teaspoon of (wheat-free) corn flour for each egg yolk. If you are used to the yellowy colour of custard, add a tablespoon or so of carrot juice to the coconut cream.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time15 minutes
Servings: 2 -4


For the Vanilla Coconut Custard:

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp xylitol or 1-2 tablespoons unrefined sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk mixed well
  • 3 tsp egg yolks or 3 tsp corn flour for egg-free version
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 2 tbsp corn flour


To make the Vanilla Coconut Custard:

  • Place water and xylitol (or sugar) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and boil the mixture for about 2 minutes.
  • In a bowl or jug, whisk together coconut milk, vanilla bean extract, egg yolks and corn flour, making sure there are no lumps.
  • Remove suacepan from heat and pour coconut milk mixture. Place back on the heat, and keep whisking slowly until the mixture thickens and just comes up to the boil.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool a little before transferring to your serving dishes.

For flavoured versions:

  • Once the custard is cooked and slightly cooled, add cocoa powder or strawberry puree and whisk to blend the flavour through. Divide between serving dishes and chill.
Tried this recipe?Mention @wholesomecook or tag #wholesomecook


Subscribe to receive Recipes to your Inbox:


Anne S September 24, 2012 at 10:03 am

Oh my, I have no idea what I would do. But wow, this sounds and looks amazing really, Love the flavours too.

Minxie September 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

You are a fantastic sister in law! Question. Since coconut milk tastes quite sweet would you recommend omitting the sugar also?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

You definitely could! I mean between the coconut milk and vanilla bean paste the custard is quite sweet. Feel free to make it sugar free!

Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers September 24, 2012 at 10:19 am

Yum! That looks wonderful!!

Susan @ food.baby September 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Wow what a daunting list of intolerances! The custards look lovely though and definitely worth a try.

Pat Rowden September 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm

hi name is pat saw your post sounds so cool i have intolerances also mine is wheat glutin dairy nuts and more but the custard sounds so enjoyable may try it thankyou so much, yours pat Rowden from elizabeth s.a. if you would like some recipes from me for home made bread that i do or home made cake very nice let me know ok bye for now pat.

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Thanks Pat, That bread sounds really good actually. I may drop you a line for the recipe :-)

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 24, 2012 at 6:39 pm

What a difficult situation – my heart goes out to her. Your custard must have sent her over the moon with glee :)

Steph September 24, 2012 at 8:29 pm

I made this for dessert tonight in chocolate and vanilla swirl, and it was amazing. Thank you for a fab recipe.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella September 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I much prefer the idea of coconut milk to soy milk for custard. They look fantastic!

Sara September 25, 2012 at 2:46 am

Loving this! Coconut sounds like an awesome base for custard, and it’s great to have allergy-free recipes in my toolbox when I need them! :)

ROBYN LITTLE September 25, 2012 at 3:25 am

I would be very unhappy to develop an allergy to anything other than offal! Never tried strawberry custard, but I like the sound of it.


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Your comment really made me laugh Robyn. I am with you. I grew up eating raspberry custard so the strawberry version is really close to my heart.

Courtney September 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

I love how friendly this is to those with allergies – your sis in law is very lucky! And you can never go wrong usin coconut milk!

Asmita (@FoodieAsmita) September 25, 2012 at 10:28 pm

Yummy custards!

Bam's Kitchen September 25, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Loving this recipe adaptation to every intolerance Lactose, eggs, nuts and so many issues but a beautiful yummy recipe to boot! So what flavor was your favorite chocolate or strawberry?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook September 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

I think I liked strawberry because it reminded me of the raspberry flavoured custard I used to have as a child. Very yummy!

rsmacaalay September 26, 2012 at 4:33 pm

This would be a good alternative for those who dont take milk, nice one Martyna.

Nami | Just One Cookbook September 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Hmmmm! What a beautiful shot! I don’t know which flavor is my favorite and have to try them all. I love that you used coconut milk. You always make nice allergy-free recipes, Martyna!

cassmob October 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Fructose intolerance introduces a whole other set of complications and would eliminate the coconut milk as well. Your recipe looks great and I’m sure S was thrilled someone made the effort to accommodate her allergies.

SM October 4, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Great recipe! I tried it today for one of my children who has a list of intolerances longer than her arm (gluten, dairy, yeast, sugar, cocoa etc…). It was very easy to make, took about 10 minutes all up. And it was definitely a big hit – with all kids. Thank you!

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook October 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Great to hear that everyone liked it and you’ve found it easy to make SM – it’s one of those recipes that eventhough made with unusual ingredients it tastes really, really good.

Amanda October 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

This recipe sounds great :) can’t wait to try it out. Just wondering, how long do you think it would keep in the fridge for?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook October 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

I’m guessing 3-4 days, but probably best to consume within a couple. Enjoy :-)

Rayzel Lam December 27, 2012 at 6:06 pm

It’s fantastic to see you trying to find something like this for someone with so many allergies- I am actually in the same boat- except sadly I’m even allergic to coconut. But I too can’t have almond flour, coconut flour, anything coconut actually (oil,cream,milk etc.), egg yolk, even the sugar alcohols. Pretty much the only things I’ve found that I can “bake” with, if you can even call it that, are flaxseed meal, chia seeds, cocoa powder, egg whites, dairy (in small amounts) and stevia (which I think we all know stevia doesn’t do too well in baked goods). I make it work but definitely leaves much to be desired. I’m used to it now, but I totally feel that no matter how many or what the allergies, it’s worth spending the time to come up with something at least half-decent that fit the “desert” category since we all need something tasty at times. Thanks for posting- found this recipe through pinterest btw. :)

Stephy January 3, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Made this tonight and it was fantastic! great warm and cold! It probably doesnt even really need any sugar

Suzan February 9, 2013 at 1:18 pm

This is great! Thanks for sharing…any thoughts on a replacer for the corn flour? I am in S’s boat and can’t have corn in addition to the wheat, dairy, soy, eggs… :(

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook February 10, 2013 at 6:24 am

Hi Suzan, you could use potato starch in the same amounts or if you are after an organic and unprocessed substitute, try using Kuzu root. It comes in the shape of little “rocks” that dissolve in water, just as corn flour does. I found it in a good quality organic grocer / health food store. You may need to play with the ratios, but I’d say to use 1/3 less kuzu than cornflour. Let me know how it goes. :-)

Lesley August 13, 2017 at 6:10 pm

Made tonight & used tapioca flour as can’t use Cornflour, it was great. Thank you.

Mary Harris February 18, 2013 at 5:33 am

Glad I found your site, I was looking for a recipe for custard cream for my grandchildren that are gluten, soy, egg, nut and dairy free. Can I use full cream canned coconut milk? Thank you for the recipe.


Martyna @ Wholesome Cook February 18, 2013 at 5:45 am

Hi Mary, yes you can use canned (full cream) coconut milk or try coconut cream for an even creamier consistency. Try getting organic brand as it doesn’t contain any other preservatives or additives. Hope your grand kids enjoy this. :-)

zosia February 23, 2013 at 5:56 am

how much strawberry puree would you add?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook February 25, 2013 at 10:33 am

To taste, but at least a tablespoon :-)

Lisa April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

Thanks very much Martyna, I love your blog & this dessert. My daughter is 7months and I am breast feeding & need to find foods for her that don’t contain dairy, soy, egg or rice. I can’t eat them either as she gets blood in her poo. She’s mostly allergic to rice. But this recipe is great. Do you think it would taste any good with custard powder instead of corn flour?

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook April 9, 2013 at 9:27 pm

I think it would, be sure to check the ingredient label on the custard powder – most will contain eggs, soy and dairy. You could try using potato starch instead of cornflour, or even kuzu (Japanese root veg) that has similar properties to cornflour.

Allergy Cooking with Ease: The No Wheat, Milk, Eggs, Corn, and Soy Cookbook Reviews | WWW.DINFOBLOG.NET September 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

[…] Coconut Custard in Three Tasty Flavours (Dairy Gluten as well as Egg … […]

Catherine November 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Thank you thank you thank you! I thought I had to give up that lovely velvety texture after being told that dairy and soy was making my breastfed daughter ill. I just made the vanilla version, I’m in heaven :-)

Lorraine December 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm


Krys December 30, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Is cornflour the same as cornmeal? HELP. Im trying to make a run to the store in moments! lol

Krys December 30, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Got it..its corn starch lol.. I thought corn meal was too gritty..

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook December 30, 2013 at 3:24 pm

Oh, glad you got it! :-) Enjoy

Eton Mess with Fresh Pansies, Plus 5 Other Edible Flower Varieties | Wholesome Cook April 21, 2015 at 10:23 am

[…] We thought of cupcakes, and brownies, and even some ice cream, but most of these were a little too time consuming for us to make and the flowers would probably not fare too well in the process. Considering they do not impart much flavour, we were more after aesthetics. Then I remembered. I had a box of store-bought mini meringues that we could layer with unsweetened natural Lush yoghurt and ripe Queensland strawberries that are in peak season right now. Eton Mess! All decorated with fresh pansies, of course! If you are allergic to dairy feel free to use coconut or soy yoghurt, or try this coconut custard instead. […]

Gluten-free Macadamia and Lemon Madelines with Cardamom Custard | Wholesome Cook May 8, 2015 at 10:31 am

[…] cardamom and vanilla custard is an optional extra, and of course you can make it dairy- and egg-free from this recipe using a pinch of ground cardamom instead. Either way it’s a luxurious addition to an already […]

Coconut Custard! | nedandzed May 28, 2015 at 2:45 pm

[…] at Wholesome Cook for this recipe which I have tweaked just a little bit. (original found here ; […]

How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Madelines June 12, 2015 at 11:04 pm

[…] cardamom and vanilla custard sauce is an optional extra, and of course you can make it dairy- and egg-free from this recipe using a pinch of ground cardamom instead. Either way it’s a luxurious addition to an already […]

Nicole October 22, 2017 at 7:51 am

could I bake this after if I wanted to make a custard pie? (I am thinking apple custard pie)

Martyna @ Wholesome Cook October 30, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Hi Nicole, you may need to add some flour to this – or eggs, depending on which one you can have to achieve a more set consistency.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.