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bowl of vanilla custard that's dairy-free on white wooden table, top view

Dairy-free Vanilla Custard (Paleo, GAPS, SCD, Keto, Low Carb)

This decadent classic is texture sublimity. You can use the custard while still warm if you want it to be pourable, like Crème Anglaise. Or you can chill it if you want it to set up and be scoop-able, for filling crepes or serving in individual glasses. 
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British, French
Keyword custard, dairyfree, keto, lowcarb, paleo
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 349kcal
Author Megan
Cost $6


  • blender
  • saucepan


Homemade Nut/Seed Milk (the custard base)

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup pine nuts or macadamia nuts for Keto for lowest carbs; or cashews are fine for GAPS and Paleo
  • 1/8 teaspoon or less, to taste stevia powder or 10 drops liquid stevia, okay to omit for GAPS and SCD (optional)
  • 2 pinches sea salt


  • 1 Tablespoon gelatin (Use discount code BEAUTIFUL10 at check out for 10% off your order.)
  • 8 egg yolks (See post under the recipe for suggestions on how to use the 8 egg whites!)
  • 1 Tablespoon sweetener of choice: Keto and Low Carb: use your favorite liquid low carb sweetener; GAPS: use honey; Paleo: use maple syrup
  • 1/2 of a whole vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract


Soaking the Nuts or Seeds

  • Although this recipe is made quickly, allow time for soaking (to create a super-smooth nut milk). Larger nuts need to soak overnight. So plan one day in advance if you're using larger nuts. Seeds like hemp, pine nuts or nuts like cashews only require a short soaking time. Other nuts, like macadamia nuts, need an overnight soaking or a minimum of 6 hours.
  • See Recipe Notes below for How to Soak Nuts and Seeds.

Homemade Nut/Seed Milk (the custard base)

  • Into a high-powered blender, add the following: water, soaked pine nuts or preferred nut/seed, (soaked as designated below in the Recipe Notes: How to Soak Nuts and Seeds), stevia and sea salt. Blend on medium-high speed for one full cycle, or about 50 seconds. This blend will create the best milk ever.


  • Pour 1 cup fresh seed or nut milk into a small saucepan, reserving the rest in the blender. Sprinkle gelatin over the surface, and allow it to bloom 1 minute. Heat over medium heat, stirring, for 2 minutes, until steam forms and the gelatin dissolves, but do not allow the water to simmer. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and allow to cool slightly, 10 minutes.
  • Add it back into the blender with the following additional ingredients: egg yolks, sweetener of choice, the inside scrapings from 1/2 of a whole vanilla bean or the vanilla extract. Blend on medium speed for 30 seconds. Serve warm, or chill, either in individual serving dishes or one larger serving dish.
  • To chill, allow the custard 3 hours to set up.
  • Variation 1 — You can substitute 3 cups coconut milk, raw milk or cream for the homemade nut/seed milk. (Omit the water and seeds/nuts from the ingredients if you sub coconut or dairy milk/cream.)
  • Variation 2 — To make the room temperature or warm custard even thicker, for scooping up wobbly bites on a muffin or cake, add 2 Tablespoons chia seeds, stirring the seeds in quickly and thoroughly. (This is delicious!) Allow the mixture to set up and thicken 10 to 15 full minutes before serving.


How to Soak Nuts and Seeds

  • For every 2 cups of raw seeds or nuts, cover with room temperature, filtered water by two inches, and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
  • Stir well to dissolve the salt. Leave out overnight at room temperature to soak, and ideally up to 18 hours for nuts like macadamia or hazelnuts. Smaller seeds and cashews only need 2 to 6 hours.
  • Drain them in a colander; and rinse them well.
  • The nuts or seeds are now soaked and ready for use in this recipe.
(Short soaking times for cashews are beneficial, whereas longer soaking times will render them slimy. 2 hours to overnight is adequate for cashews [and still helps to reduce phytic acid].)

How to use leftover egg whites

  • For those who eat dairy: Make a thin omelette in LOTS of butter, filled with LOTS of white cheddar cheese. This is delicious! Use sea salt to taste. I like to top mine with microgreens and fresh herbs. (Eight egg whites makes 2 omelettes or 1 large one.)
  • For dairy-free: Make an omelette that's very thin in a large pan. Fill with avocado, freshly chopped garlic, Paleo hummus or pesto and microgreens. Drizzle the top with nut butter and fresh herbs.
  • Make Meringue.
  • Add extra whites to pancake batter.


Calories: 349kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 390mg | Sodium: 221mg | Potassium: 240mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 520IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 2.8mg