This dairy-free coconut custard recipe was originally submitted by reader Kristen Abbott, as a submission to one of our recipe contests many years ago. Kristen plays up the coconut side of dairy alternatives with a sweet coconut infusion and topping.
Dairy-Free Coconut Custard with a Sweet Coconut Infusion and Topping
We’ve updated this recipe, and also have some tips to add on possible ingredient substitutions. These options allow you to adjust the sweetness, increase or decrease the coconut flavor, and perhaps save a little money!
- Coconut: Kristen makes this dessert on the sweet side. If you want it a little less sweet, you can use unsweetened shredded coconut instead of sweetened.
- Coconut Milk: You can substitute lite canned coconut milk for the vanilla coconut milk beverage for a richer finish. Empty one (14-ounce) can of lite canned coconut milk into a glass measuring cup. Add water or milk beverage to reach 2 cups, and use in place of the milk beverage.
- Vanilla: Kristen loves vanilla! She uses a heavy hand with this natural flavor. This might be too much for some people, in taste and in price (vanilla has gone way up in price!). Feel free to reduce the amount to 1 teaspoon or even 1/2 teaspoon. Or omit it altogether and use 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract for a truly coconut forward dessert.
Special Diet Notes: Dairy-Free Coconut Custard
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.
For gluten-free dairy-free coconut custard, you can substitute 2 tablespoons non-GMO cornstarch for the flour.
What about egg-free? If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone! See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? Custard without eggs is pudding. But you can enjoy a custard-y vibe with this vegan crème brulee recipe.
- ½ cup + 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, divided
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups vanilla coconut milk beverage
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Put the ½ cup coconut in a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Toast the coconut for about 4 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.
- In a medium sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the milk beverage.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat, and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 7 minutes.
- Whisk in the vanilla extract and remaining 1 cup shredded coconut, and remove the pan from the heat.
- Divide the custard between 8 serving cups and sprinkle each with about 1 tablespoon of the toasted coconut.
- Serve the dairy-free coconut custard warm, or refrigerate it and serve cold.