Substitute for Custard Powder: Save Time With These 10 Options

It’s important to always have a backup plan for every situation, including the cooking process. So that when you run out of an ingredient, you can easily pick up an alternative. If you are a lover of recipes that require custard powder, make sure you have a substitute available at all times. 

Having an alternative option available will save you money, and the time and stress of rushing down to a grocery store to restock on custard powder. Not sure of an alternative to get? Keep reading to discover 10 custard powder substitutes you can use for your recipes. 

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What Is Custard Powder?

Custard powder is a combination of milk, sugar, and egg powders. Some commercial custard powders also include cornflour, riboflavin, salt, and several flavors. Colors are added to the mix to give it varied flavors.

You can use custard powder to make custard as well as other savory recipes and desserts. It serves as a tasty base and topping for several desserts and dishes.

Custard Powder Substitutes

1. Milk and Eggs

Since the main ingredients in custard powder are milk and egg, you can use them as substitutes for custard powder in your baked goods and dishes. Milk and eggs are ingredients you most likely have ready in your kitchen. 

All you need for this substitute are 2 cups of cold milk, 3 large eggs, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to give it flavor, and ⅙ teaspoon of salt.

Start by adding the milk to a saucepan and heating it. Remove the pan just before the milk boils, and allow it to cool for about five minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to the milk and whisk them together.

Get about 5 6-ounce cups and fill the cups till they are one inch away from being full. Divide the milk mixture into the cups evenly and bake it for about 10 minutes. Once done, use it in place of custard powder in your recipes.

2. Baking Soda

This is not a common substitute for custard powder, but it works just as fine. Baking sodas are made from sugar crystals and will do a good job in your recipe. Simply use equal parts of baking soda in place of custard powder in your recipe. 

3. Pastry Cream

Using pastry cream as a substitute for custard powder in your recipe will produce a great effect. Similar to custard powder, pastry cream is a combination of eggs, milk, cornstarch, and sugar. It is an even better custard powder substitute for fillings, toppings, and puddings. 

To get the same vanilla taste vanilla custard powder gives your desserts, you can add vanilla extract or vanilla beans into the pastry cream. Cook the mixture on a stove for a few minutes to get a full vanilla flavor blast. 

4. Dry Pudding Mix

Dry vanilla pudding mix is an excellent substitute to use for your recipe when you run out of custard powder. It has similar thickening agents to custard and can give you the same level of consistency. With its vanilla flavor, dry pudding mix is the perfect fit for your fillings and desserts. 

You can also try other flavors or unflavored options for a unique dash of goodness. Use equal parts of dry pudding mix in place of custard powder as required in your recipe. You can skip adding food coloring, as the vanilla pudding mix will be yellow, making it the perfect custard powder substitute.

5. Cornstarch

Cornstarch is one of the key ingredients in custard powder, and that alone makes it a great substitute. As the name implies, cornstarch is the starch that comes from corn grains. It is the thickening agent in custard powder, therefore you can look forward to the same consistency for your recipe.

Use equal parts of cornstarch in place of custard powder in your recipe. Remember to add vanilla extract, milk, and sugar to get the perfect taste and flavor you need for your recipe. This is the perfect fit for your crème brûlée or flan recipes. You can add food coloring to give it the hue of custard. 

6. Tapioca Powder

Here’s another great option you can try in place of custard powder. Tapioca powder is the powdered version of tapioca powder but doesn’t need to be soaked. Tapioca has a similar consistency as cornstarch, as it is a thickening agent itself. 

Use equal portions of tapioca in place of custard powder as much as your recipe requires. Add a small amount of vanilla extract or vanilla beans to the recipe to give off a blissful vanilla flavor. For small dishes, a teaspoon of vanilla extract is ideal. Use more for large dishes.

Additionally, you will need some food coloring to add a yellow hue to your tapioca powder, as it usually comes in white or off-white color. 

7. Water Chestnut 

Water chestnut contains plenty of starch and its powder is a good substitute for custard powder. The flour is made by peeling, boiling, drying, and grinding water chestnuts. Water chestnut flour is an excellent thickening agent. 

Use equal parts of water chestnut powder in place of the amount of custard powder that your recipe needs. Add a teaspoon or more of vanilla extract to get the right flavor for your dish. It serves as a great substitute for custard powder for desserts.

8. Cornflour With Cornstarch

Mixing cornflour with cornstarch is a superb way of using the custard powder alternative in your recipe. This mixture will do the trick for you as cornflour is similar to custard powder. Cornflour has a similar yellow hue to custard powder and is perfect for making flour-based recipes.

Cornstarch serves as a thickening agent for your cornflour. Add them together along with vanilla flavor in place of custard powder in your recipe. Remember to add a pinch of salt to it for taste. For a tasty delicacy, use this combination for your bread or banana pudding.

9. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is a thickening agent that is commonly used in making custards. It is a starch that will give you the same consistency that custard powder can offer your recipe. Measure equal parts of arrowroot powder in place of custard powder. 

Add in some vanilla excess, extract, bean, or as much as you want in your recipe to achieve your desired result. Don’t forget to add yellow food coloring to get the right hue for your custard powder substitute. 

10. Potato Starch

Potato starch is a unique ingredient that will work just fine as your custard powder substitute. It has the same consistency as custard as it is a thickening agent itself. Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a small amount of food coloring, and equal parts potato starch to replace custard powder in your recipe. 

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Why Does Custard Powder Need Substitutes?

There are several reasons why custard powder needs substitutes. The most common of all is the fact that you can realize that you no longer have custard powder available while preparing your dish. An alternative like eggs and milk that you can easily find in your kitchen becomes the hero of the day.

A substitute can also give you the tasty flavor you need for your dish, so why not?. For the sake of allergens, you may not even be able to use fresh custard in your recipe. The only thing to do is go for substitutes that don’t include any allergens. 

Even when you decide to take the trip down to the grocery store to get more custard powder, you may not find it. You have no choice but to use an alternative or cancel the dish. Furthermore, substitutes save you the time and cost of going to a grocery store. 

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Does custard powder contain only cornstarch?

No, it doesn’t. Aside from cornstarch, custard powder contains other ingredients including milk, vanilla essence, yellow milk coloring, milk powder, a bit of sugar, and salt. These other ingredients are responsible for the sweet flavor and taste of custard powder.  

Can you make custard powder?

Yes, you can. You can create your custard powder at home with simple ingredients you already have. The ingredients you should look for include: vanilla extract, milk, salt, cornflour, and so on.  

What does custard powder do in baking?

Custard powder helps to add a delightful flavor and taste. You can use custard powder as toppings, fillings, and dessert. You can use your custard powder to make donuts, fruits, and so on. Likewise, you can also add it to recipes like creme Anglaise, crème brûlée, and so on.


If you ever find yourself in dire need of custard powder for your recipe, use any of the alternatives recommended. Some of these substitutes require the use of food coloring and other minor ingredients.  

Some of the substitutes include cornstarch, dry vanilla pudding mix, tapioca powder, arrowroot powder, potato starch, cornflour, pastry cream, and baking soda. You can use any of these as a substitute for custard powder if you have it available.

Thanks for reading. 

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