Smooth, creamy, and sweet, this low-fat Pumpkin Pie Vegan Custard is a ridiculously easy alternative to pumpkin pie. Make it in under 10 minutes and chill it an easy option for Thanksgiving or just a quick dessert or snack!
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While that pumpkin pie was pretty dang easy, you still had to bake it and that can be intimidating--and I made my own crust so it was a lil’ scary.
But whether you want an easy fast dessert for fall or you just want to make a small dessert for Thanksgiving, this vegan pumpkin custard is perfect for whatever your needs might be.
Serve it in cute dishes with a dollop of vegan whipped cream and sprinkle on anything you like, whether that’s a dusting of pumpkin pie spice, chopped pecans, or even a few dairy-free chocolate chips!
For us this year, Thanksgiving may just be the two of us. I haven’t quite decided what I’m making yet, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to make these.
One thing I love about these vegan custard cups is that you can easily scale the recipe to make just one, or 6 (or more, in batches), depending on how many people you’re feeding.
It also lasts well for a few days in the fridge, so you can easily prep dessert ahead of time.
Oh, and these simple pumpkin treats also have only a few ingredients and help you use leftover pumpkin (especially if you were like me, ran out, and had to get one of those big cans!).
And vegan custard is not as hard as you think. All we’re doing is blending, cooking incredibly briefly on the stovetop (we’re talking like 3-4 minutes), and chilling. Easy peasy!
So technically these aren’t like “real” custards, where you bake it in a water bath (hello, they use eggs and I don’t), but who cares? These are delicious and easy. And of course, they’re vegan.
I could swim in these things they’re so good. Ready to dive in?
What You’ll Need
Okay, so obviously, you’ll need pumpkin puree. I like to use 100% pure pumpkin puree, as canned pumpkin pie filling can have other additives.
Next up is non-dairy milk. You can use any you like--my personal favorite is oat milk!
I only buy unsweetened non-dairy milk. If you’re using sweetened, I would reduce the amount of maple syrup. Make sure you taste test during the blending process.
Speaking of which, for sweetener I used pure maple syrup. I recommend grade A organic maple syrup because it has the best flavor--I get mine from Costco and I think it’s a pretty good deal!
You can use any sweetener you’d like. You could even throw in pitted dates since we’re blending this up!
For a little extra flavor, I’ve also included a pinch of pumpkin pie spice and just a dash of apple cider vinegar (lemon juice also works).
You could really customize the flavor of your vegan pumpkin custard any way you’d like. Add vanilla for a little bit more pie flavor, add coconut or cashew for a more rich and decadent flavor, or add some chocolate for… well, chocolate.
The last thing you’ll need is a thickener. This takes it from smoothie to custard. I like to use arrowroot powder, but cornstarch would work well in its place.
I experimented with this recipe heavily to find the exact right amount of thickener, but this is subjective. This vegan custard is a GREAT silky but lightly solid texture, but you can add less or more thickener depending on what texture you like.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Pie Vegan Custard
- While you don’t HAVE to blend this (you could just mix everything in a bowl), I find that the texture is much better when it is blended. Some pumpkin purees can be a tad bit lumpy or gritty, and a good blend will take care of this, and also make sure that arrowroot / cornstarch is evenly dispersed throughout the mixture.
- So with that in mind, blend everything up and taste it! I recommend blending everything without the arrowroot / cornstarch first because it can taste a little powdery before it’s cooked. After you’re satisfied with the flavor of your vegan custard, add in the thickener, blend it again until smooth, and move on to the next step.
- The next step is to cook it ever so briefly. Use a spatula to scrape every last bit of goodness out of the blender into a medium saucepan and turn up the heat to medium high.
- Stir it while it is heating up until it becomes very thick (almost like gravy), about 3-4 minutes.
- Now divide the mixture between 2 bowls or cups, cover, and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2-3 days in advance. I like to prep these early in the morning so they’re ready for dessert for dinner. While they do chill fairly quickly, I notice that they firm up just a little bit more if left in the fridge at least 4-6 hours.
- That’s it! Right before serving, top with vegan whipped cream if you like (I love oat milk whipped cream!) or vegan ice cream, a little dusting of pumpkin pie spice, some chopped toasted pecans, or you could go chocolaty with dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.
- Storage: make sure to store your vegan custard covered in the fridge so the top doesn’t dry out. They should last around 3-4 days in the fridge.
More Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes!
While not exclusively for Thanksgiving this vegan pumpkin pie and the recipes below are perfect for a fall gathering -- or less gathering, if we’re talking about the year 2020.
Whether you’re serving this at a small, safe gathering or just at the family table, perhaps over Zoom, I hope you’ll check out some of the below recipes.
- Seitan Turkey
- Mushroom Lentil Loaf
- Vegan Mushroom Gravy
- Quick Vegan Gravy
- Mashed Potatoes
- Butternut Squash Carrot Ginger Soup
- Vegan Cream of Chicken Soup
- Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
- Pomegranate Salad with Pecans, Oranges, and Carrots
- Vegan Cheesy Biscuits
- Vegan Pumpkin Pie
As always, I hope you love this recipe–I know I do and so does Mr. Zardyplants. He was very happy to help with testing the many batches I tested of this. And by testing I mean eating them all of course. He also washed the dishes, so he’s pretty awesome.
This vegan pumpkin pie custard is:
- A great EASY dessert
- And PERFECT for any holiday menu or a fancy dessert packed with fall vibes.
Let me know in the comments below if you make this recipe or tag me @Zardyplants on Instagram so I can see your beautiful recreations! If you tag me on IG, I will share your post in my stories :)
Also, one quick request: if you love how this recipe looks or tastes, please leave me a 5-star rating and a nice comment–ratings help more people find my recipes which helps me keep providing them! Thank you!