Vegan Custard or Pastry Cream

Vegan Custard is as simple as it sounds. Everyone knows what a traditional custard is. It’s an egg-based cream that we can find in a multitude of preparations.

In Italy, we don’t differ between custard and pastry cream: for us, it’s always crema pasticcera. In this article, we often use these two terms as synonyms even if we know that in English they are not. Apologies!

You can eat the custard as it is or, more frequently, use the pastry cream as a base ingredient for other sweet preparations.

Vegan Pastry Cream is a plant-based and cruelty-free alternative. It’s absolutely delicious and similar to the traditional custard. You can successfully use it in every preparation that includes custard.

Our recipe is 100% egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free.

It’s a cheap and quick recipe to make at home. The ingredients are soya milk, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract (recommended but optional).

Even if the original custard was not created in Italy (but in France), this is nowadays a basic ingredient for many Italian traditional desserts.

Vegan Custard ingredients: soy milk, cornstarch, sugar, turmeric.

Recipes with Vegan Custard

As we said before, you can use Vegan Custard in any recipe that would include the traditional custard.

Stay connected because next weekend we’ll publish a traditional Italian dessert that includes custard. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Instagram so that you don’t miss any future recipes!

5 Italian Recipes with Vegan Custard (Pastry Cream)

Once you have your creamy Vegan Custard you may be looking for tasty recipe ideas that include it. Here is a list of 10 traditional Italian desserts that include custard.

  1. Vegan Grandma’s Custard Pie (Torta della Nonna)
  2. Vegan Cream Filled Donuts (Bombe alla Crema)
  3. Vegan Lecce Pies (Pasticciotti)
  4. Vegan Fruit Pie (Crostata di Frutta)
  5. Vegan Cream Filled Croissant (Cornetto alla Crema)

Origin of Custard

The traditional custard (made with eggs) was not created in Italy but in France by François Massialot.

He is the author of the book Le cuisinier roïal et bourgeois. It’s considered, by the cuisine scholars, one of the first culinary dictionaries and it includes the crème pâtissière (custard/pastry cream).

Later on, the English translated his works in The Court and Country Cook (1702), sharing his recipes with many chefs and cooks in the World.

It is now a basic ingredient of many culinary traditions, including the Italian one.

Vegan custard represents an evolution of this recipe. It mimics its look and taste and you can use it in every recipe that includes custard.

Vegan Lemon Curd

Starting from Vegan Custard you can easily make Lemon Curd.

It’s originally from England but it is also used in Italian recipes – where it’s called crema al limone.

Just follow the additional step in the recipe to have your plant-based Lemon Curd!

Vegan Custard / Pastry Cream

Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Servings 450 g
Plant-based custard and pastry cream.


  • pot
  • whisk
  • cling film


  • 500 ml soya milk (16.9 fluid oz)
  • 90 g sugar (2.82 oz)
  • 50 g cornstarch (1.76 oz)
  • a pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract – optional
  • 1 lemon zest (only for lemon curd)


  • In the pot, add the sugar and the cornstarch. Gradually add the milk while whisking.
    Add a pinch of tumeric for the colour and 1 tsp of vanilla extract.
    If you wish to make Lemon Curd, also add the zest of 1 lemon. If you want to make simple custard or pastry cream, just skip to the next step.
  • Cook at medium heat until the cream thickens, continuinig to whisk to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • Now leave the custard to cool down covered with some cling film in contact with the surface of the custard.


In the fridge: 3-4 days in Tupperware. When needed, you can blend it with a hand blender to make it creamy again.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: british, english, French, Italian, Vegan
Keyword: cheap, dairy free, easy, egg free, gluten free, lemon

Get in Touch!

If you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag @myitalianvegan on socials. We would love to see the result!

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to leave a comment in the section below. We love hearing from you!

About Vegan Lemon Scallopini

If life gives you lemons, make scallopini!

Vegan Lemon Scallopini is a very simple recipe with a strong personality. The main character is, obviously, the sour taste of lemons.

In our plant-based recipe, we swopped the meat with tender seitan. The sage gives extra flavour.

This quick, easy and relatively cheap dish can easily save your meal!

In Italy, we serve it as a secondo (second course).

Ingredients: slices of seitan, four, lemon, oil, salt, pepper, sage leaves.

Origin of Scaloppini

The word scaloppina came from the French escalope that stands for sliver of meat.

Lemon Scaloppini originated from Milan. Scaloppini are nowadays prepared, with different condiments, in the whole country.

The Italian name is scaloppine al limone, whereas in English they’re either called scallopini or scaloppini.

Slices of seitan in lemon sauce in the background; detailed fork with a piece of seitan in the foreground.

10 Scaloppini Vegan Condiments Ideas

You can accompany your scallopini with different sauces, according to regional traditions. Here is a list of 10 yummy condiments you can try after the lemon one (or in case you don’t like lemons).

  1. Lemon Scallopini
  2. Scallopini alla Pizzaiola
  3. Scallopini with Mushrooms
  4. Scallopini with Basil Pesto
  5. Orange Scallopini
  6. Scallopini with Courgettes (zucchini) and Mint
  7. Scallopini with White Wine (add vegan butter and pepper)
  8. Scallopini with White Wine and Onion
  9. Zaffron Scallopini (use vegan cream)
  10. 4 Vegan Cheeses Scallopini

Vegan Lemon Scallopini

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 people
Thin slices of seitan in a lemon sauce.


  • pot
  • pan
  • sieve/skimmer
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • zester/fine grater (optional)
  • lemon juicer (optional)


  • 250 g seitan (8.8 oz)
  • 2 untreated lemons (medium size)
  • 1 l vegetable broth (33.8 fl oz)
  • 60 g flour (any kind) (2.1 oz)
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • extra vergin olive oil
  • fresh sage leaves


  • In the pot, heat up the broth. Then slice the seitan and blanch it in the boling broth for 10-15 minutes. Drain the seitan but don't throw away the broth (you may need it later).
  • Add the flour onto the plate and start flouring each slice of seitan, on both sides.
  • Zest and squeeze the lemons, then leave them apart.
  • Heat 4/5 Tbsp of oil in the pan, then add the garlic cloves (peeled) and some sage leaves (save a few for the garnish). Allow to flavour for about 1 minute.
  • Now add the seitan, the lemon juice and the zest (save some of the latter for garnish). Add salt and pepper to taste and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. If needed, add some broth. The final result should be a creamy and soft seitan.
  • Garnish with the remaning zest and sage leaves. Serve warm. Enjoy! 😋


In the fridge: 2-3 days in a Tupperware.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Vegan
Keyword: cheap, easy, lemon, limone, quick, scallopini, scaloppine, scaloppini
Slices of seitan in lemon sauce on a plate. Decorated with lemon slices and zest.
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