Fast and fuelling has been the name of the game lately, and these dairy-free maple cream custard cups have been filling that need for me. I made my first batch of these during my pre-natal meal prep frenzy as an easy make ahead, single serve snack that could be easily frozen and quickly thawed for those early days with the new baby.
I am no longer in the early days with my baby, but time is never on my side it seems between balancing work and home life. These custard cups remain a staple. I love that they are rich in the most important fats — the ones that keep our brain functioning and our nervous system nourished.
With this recipe I do a rare thing, which is to separate the egg white from the yolk. I set aside the egg whites and use them in pancakes, breads or muffins, measuring a quarter cup of egg white for every egg needed in a recipe.
Custard Recipe Basics: It’s All In The Yolk
Let’s start by establishing that egg yolks are nothing to fear. Dietary cholesterol does not cause heart disease. This we know for sure. For one thing, dietary cholesterol makes up only 15% of the cholesterol in our body, and the rest is produced by every cell. So most often when cholesterol levels are high, we need to explore why. Most often, cholesterol levels go up as a protective mechanism in the body – whether it be due to toxicity, free radical damage, dehydration, stress or any number of other reasons. Secondly, cholesterol is the parent hormone to all other hormones and we need this for optimal brain function, adrenal function, thyroid function, stress response, reproduction and postpartum, finding our hormonal equilibrium.
This is important: high cholesterol can be an indicator of other issues in the body that can increase the risk of heart disease, but cholesterol itself is not the cause. It’s a symptom.
Moving right along, let’s talk about egg yolks. Egg yolks contain vitamins A, D, E and K and omega-3 fats. The yolks are also rich in folate and vitamin B12. And let’s keep tooting the yolk horn as they contain choline, a super fuel for the brain and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin – both vital for vision.
For this recipe, we’re combining those egg yolks with full fat coconut milk, along with warming, grounding spices making this custard the ultimate in comfort food, in every sense of the phrase.
Dairy-Free Maple Cream Custard Cups (with Flavour Options)
- Total Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 tsp gelatin
- 6 125ml glass mason jars or ramekins
- In a small bowl, whisk together four egg yolks and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg.
- Bring to a low simmer, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add 1/2 cup of the coconut milk mixture to the egg yolks and whisk briskly until well combined (about two minutes).
- Pour the egg yolk and coconut milk mixture into the pan and whisk until combined. Continue to whisk until mixture starts to thicken and coats your spoon (about 5 minutes).
- Transfer warm mixture to your high speed blender or food processor and mix in the gelatin.
- Pour mix into your mason jars or ramekins and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least four hours before serving.
Freeze This Snack For Later
These custard cups freeze really well. Just add the lids to your jars and once set in the fridge, transfer to your freezer. Remove from freezer about 30 minutes before you wish to enjoy.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 15 mins
- Cuisine: Snack
Note: The recipe as written above is the one that I created and tested. Variations using agar, chia etc. have not been tested and therefore, I do not know if or how it will work. If you want to give your own modifications a try, let us know how it works out in the comments below.
17 responses to “Dairy-Free Maple Cream Custard Recipe”
Definitely trying this out! You mentioned flavour options in the recipe title, do you have them somewhere? Like chocolate ? Also, could maple syrup be swapped with honey. Thanks
This looks soooo delicious. One question, I know you and Josh are big fans of the Great Lakes gelatin products. What is the difference between the gelatin collagen (green jar) and just the gelatin (orange jar), should I invest in one over the other?
Hi Ludivine. The collagen is processed differently to make it more digestible. It also dissolves easily in water – so we use it in recipes that don’t need thickening, like smoothies and elixirs. For recipes like this custard or homemade jello, we use the gelatin.
Yummy! I’ve been making pretty much the same thing lately – my body loves it. The custard filling to my low carb/fat fueled Nanaimo bars is really similar too. I use a sweetener like monk fruit and/or stevia instead of maple syrup, then add half cup of coconut oil and half a cup of cocoa butter to help it firm up as it cools. I used decaf instant coffee to flavour…. next time I’m trying mint/matcha.
I cannot have chicken eggs due to allergies. I can definitely substitute 4 quail eggs to every chicken egg, or duck eggs in the spring during their laying season, however I am wondering if you have any egg-free suggestions or other substitutions that would work in this recipe.
This is delicious! I made it a few times with agar and it worked well. I also put cinnamon in it too. I have it plain or with fresh berries. Thanks!
Hi! Did you use agar in place of the collagen? Same amount? Thanks!
I flavoured the custard with 1 tbsp dried lavender flowers in the coconut milk while it was simmering and let it steep for about 15-20 mins before straining and adding to the whisked egg yolks. A great non dairy alternative to the lavender creme brulee my son loves….it was delicious!
I’m planning on converting this to a coconut custard pie for Thanksgiving!
Just wondering if there is a vegan option for gelatin?
I’ve only created and tested this recipe with gelatin. There may be vegan options that work, like agar or chia – if you try one, let me know if it works out!
Both my blender jar and my food processor pitcher are plastic. So I’m concerned about putting hot foods in them. Would this recipe work if I whisked the gelatin into the egg/milk mixture IN the saucepan?
Hi Daun! I would wait until the mixture cools down a little bit before adding it to your blender or food processor. If it’s warm – not boiling hot – it should be fine. You could try whisking the gelatin into the pan but it might not get quite and incorporated and smooth. However, you could give it a try and let me know how it goes!
If I were to use this as a donut filling, would I need to refrigerate the donuts or is it shelf stable since it doesn’t contain dairy?
This recipe isn’t shelf-stable, as it has a lot of liquid in it. So I’d keep this in the fridge or freezer, along with anything you make with it.
Suggestion for Egg free please? Thank you
Hi Laura! I haven’t tested this recipe without the egg yolks, so I can’t say for sure what would work. You could try mixing 1-2 Tbsp arrowroot/tapioca starch and few Tbsp water for thickening – let me know if you try it and how it goes!