Christmas/ Desserts/ Sauces

Cardamom Custard

Cardamom custard

This is an eggless custard infused with cardamom and vanilla. It’s creamy, buttery, and rich. Perfect for pouring over apple or mince pies.

I imagine that quite like myself, many of you are also custard fans.

On a cold wintery night I can’t imagine anything more comforting than an apple crumble and warm custard. Perhaps the comfort is derived from the nostalgia, or maybe just the deliciousness.

But either way, in the words of Joey Tribiani, “What’s not to like? Custard? Good!”

We’re all familiar with the traditional custard that’s buttery, creamy, and rich. We’ve probably all had the classic vanilla flavoured custard too.

This recipe holds true to the classic but with a whole other layer of flavour. The simple addition of cardamom in custard creates something that is truly unique.

This recipe is a no-egg custard and very easy to adapt into a vegan custard.

Cardamom Custard

I do love a good vanilla custard, but I love a cardamom custard even more. The addition of cardamom adds an almost herbal warmth with notes of mint and citrus.

It’s a common spice used across many parts of Asia and the Middle East. It’s a spice that I’ve grown up around absolutely love.

This cardamom custard pairs beautifully with any dessert that you’d normally serve with custard. Be it a simple sponge cake, apple pie, apple crumble, or mince pie. The list is endless, feel free to pour this over anything.

It’s even great on its own. I serve this custard with my Masala Chai Cake fairly often and it’s always a hit with my friends and family.

As this custard contains no eggs (this is my diet), it’s suitable for all and can be easily made vegan with just a few simple substitutes. I actually make this with vegan butter and oat milk more than I make it with dairy.

I can guarantee that it is equally delicious either way. In fact I think I might actually prefer the oat milk version. But I love oat milk anyways.

I’m not sure if I’m a huge fan of cardamom

That’s also fine! If for any reason you’re not a cardamom fan you can easily just omit it here. Thus creating a perfect vanilla custard instead. Omitting the cardamom does not impact the texture in any way, just the flavour.

So rest assured it will be fine.

cardamom custard

This recipe is:

  • Eggless
  • Easy to make
  • Pantry friendly
  • A one pan custard
  • Easy to turn into a vegan custard

Will this Cardamom Custard work without eggs?

It will and if it puts you at ease, I’ve been making custard this way for over 10 years. It works beautifully and you end up with a smooth, rich, creamy custard.

The three key ingredients here are the:

  • Whole fat milk/oat milk (preferably a barista blend)
  • Cornflour – sold as corn starch in the US
  • Butter/vegan butter

When replacing the eggs in a custard we need to replace what it actually does. And this rule applies for all eggless baking really.

In a custard the eggs thicken, emulsify, as well as add richness. Hence we use cornflour/corn starch (for US readers) for thickening, which works very well. The cornflour also adds a lovely shine to the custard.

The butter in this recipe helps to add richness that the egg yolk would have otherwise provided. And finally the whole milk does the same job too. We’re aiming for a rich custard in order to replicate the egg based version.

As custards generally require fat in order to produce the creamy richness. Please do not skip the butter. You won’t miss the eggs with this recipe at all, I promise.

What you’ll need:

This is not the full recipe – the full recipe is at the end of this blogpost

You’ll require:

  • Whole fat milk/oat milk (preferably a barista blend)
  • Cornflour – sold as corn starch in the US
  • Butter/vegan butter
  • Vanilla bean paste – or extract/essence
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Ground cardamom – from the green variety, not the black
  • Turmeric – for colour (optional)

It’s honestly only a handful of ingredients that you’ve probably always got on hand. And you can never go wrong with a pantry friendly recipe that comes together in under 10 minutes.

How to make this Cardamom Custard

1) Place all ingredients except the butter in to a saucepan
2) Then whisk to combine until the cornflour has completely dissolved

3) Next, place the saucepan on a medium heat and mix continuously
4) The custard will begin to thicken and change colour (if you’ve added the turmeric)

5) Once the custard has thickened to your desired consistency, turn the heat to low and add the butter. And then mix to combine
6) And finally pour over your dessert of choice

Frequently asked questions

Can this Cardamom Custard be made vegan or dairy free?

Yes it can, and with no difference in result. Simply swap the milk for oat milk (preferably a barista blend). And also the butter for vegan butter.

Can it be prepared in advance and reheated?

Yes you can make this custard in advance and reheat. After the custard has simmered to your desired consistency, allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before pouring into a container. Be careful as it will still be warm.

Place clingfilm over the surface of the custard (it should touch the custard) in order to prevent a skin from forming. Then, place the custard in the fridge to cool completely.

To reheat, simply place back in a pan on low heat and whisk back into a smooth custard.

Top tips

  1. Whisk all the ingredients whilst cold and off the heat first. Otherwise you’ll end up with a lumpy custard
  2. If your custard is too thick, simply add more milk. Although if you’re adding a substantial amount of milk you may need to add more sugar and cardamom. As the milk will dilute the flavour
  3. If your custard is too thin, cook for longer until your desired consistency. Bearing in mind it will also thicken slightly as it cools
  4. If you’re a fan of a very thick custard, increase the cornflour to 55g

If you enjoyed this recipe

Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.

You can also tag me on Instagram at @dish_by_rish. Or follow me on FacebookPinterestYoutube, and TikTok to keep up with all my cooking and baking creations.

Until then, happy cooking!

Cardamom custard

Cardamom Custard

This is an eggless custard infused with cardamom and vanilla. It's creamy, buttery, and rich. Perfect for pouring over apple or mince pies.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 8 people


  • Whisk
  • Spatula


  • 800 ml whole milk or oat milk (preferably barista blend if oat)
  • 60 g white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract/essence
  • 45 g cornflour or corn starch for US readers
  • Pinch of turmeric just less than 1/4tsp (optional – for colour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 45 g butter ~4tbsp, vegan butter will work fine


  • First place all the ingredients, except the butter, in to a saucepan
  • Then whisk to combine until the cornflour has completely dissolved into the milk
  • Place the pan on a medium heat and stir continuously, it will take several minutes before it starts to thicken, but the thickening process happens fairly quickly. If you added turmeric the custard will also start to turn yellow at this point
  • Once the custard has reached your desired custard consistency (I recommend thick but pourable), turn down the heat to low and add the butter. Continue to mix until fully incorporated
  • Best served warm


  • See blogpost for more information on vegan substitutes/storing/tips
  • If you like a very thick custard, increase the cornflour to 55g
Keyword cardamom custard, christmas desserts, custard, eggless custard, vegan custard

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  • Reply
    December 26, 2022 at 4:57 am

    5 stars
    Hi Rishi,
    I’m from the US and I made your custard today. First, it is delicious, I love cardamom. I served it over a quick cherry strudel made with store puff pastry and frozen cherries that I cooked down. Just black cherries, no cheese, cream, etc. The custard played so nicely of the strudel, melded and complimented well. It was a hit.
    I made no changes to your recipe, but I did mess up with the measurement conversions, the ratio of milk to corn starch was off resulting in a custard that didn’t thicken enough. I resolved by whisking more corn starch into a small amount of cold milk, then whisking into the hot custard, slowly. No lumps! The end result was the correct consistency. This recipe is going on my quick and easy list, which I needed today. Thank you!
    ( found this recipe on IG)

    • Reply
      December 28, 2022 at 5:06 pm

      Kathy this has literally made my day 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving such lovely feedback. The cherry strudel sounds incredible! The pairing of that with the cardamom custard is such a good idea – I’ll have to try that combination myself! It’s a really forgiving custard and you were spot on with your fix! Great thinking my friend! Once again many thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  • Reply
    Masala Chai Cake - Dish by Rish
    February 1, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    […] You can find my cardamom custard recipe right here. […]

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