This dairy-free maple custard recipe was shared with us way back in 2006 by a reader. But today, we’re giving it a big update! This dessert is more of a cross between a simple baked custard and a flan, since the maple syrup is drizzled on the bottom, and the custard is inverted onto a dessert plate to serve. Nevertheless, we have options listed below for alternate serving methods and ingredients.
Dairy-Free Maple Custard that Turns Dessert Upside Down
Looking for simpler presentation? Craving more maple flavor? Looking for the best ingredient substitutes? We have quick answers!
- Maple Infusion: You can substitute maple syrup for some or all of the sugar in the custard if you want more intense maple flavor. If going this route, we recommend using half maple and half sugar for the best flavor.
- Serving Options: You can simply serve this dairy-free maple custard in the ramekins, if preferred. There will be an infusion of maple syrup at the bottom. Alternatively, you can drizzle the maple syrup over top of the custard before baking (rather than pouring it on the bottom).
- Refrigerate for Firmness: If the custards aren’t firm enough for your liking, let them cool completely to room temperature, and then refrigerate them for an hour or more. They will set up a bit more.
- Starch Alternative: Cornstarch does produce the most seamless results. But for corn-free, you can substitute arrowroot starch.
- Best Milk Beverage: We like to use a richer milk beverage, like coconut milk beverage or even lite canned coconut milk. But most varieties will work well.
Special Diet Notes: Non-Dairy Maple Custard
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. Just be sure to choose the milk beverage that suits your dietary needs.
What About the Eggs? If you confuse eggs with dairy, you’re not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy? In theory, you could substitute aquafaba for the eggs, but it won’t set up as well. If you simply omit the eggs and add more thickener, it becomes vegan pudding, not custard.
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons non-GMO cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 cups plain or unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and place 6 (6-ounce) ramekins in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and salt.
- Heat, but do not boil, the dairy-free milk beverage. Slowly pour it into the egg mixture in a thin stream while whisking constantly.
- Pour 1 teaspoon maple syrup into each of the ramekins. Tilt the ramekins to coat the entire bottom.
- Evenly divide the egg mixture between the ramekins.
- Pour hot water into the baking dish until it is about ½ inch from the tops of the ramekins.
- Very carefully, transfer the baking dish with your ramekins to the oven. Bake the custards for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a butter knife inserted near center of a custard comes out clean.
- Remove the ramekins from the water. Run the butter knife along the custard edge, carefully invert the custard onto a serving dish, and serve warm. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the custards, then unmold, and serve cold.