11 Best Custard Powder Substitutes

custard powder

Custard is a delightful dessert with its smooth texture and perfect sweetness to compliment it. However, in the US, it is not readily available, so you need some custard powder substitutes to enjoy this flavorsome dessert.

So, read on to know more about custard powder substitutes.

Best Custard Powder Substitutes

Custard makes for a delicious dessert!

People generally use custard powder in their homes, but custard powder is usually not available in the US. In case it is not available, you can refer to the list of substitutes.

1. Tapioca powder

Tapioca Flour

Tapioca powder resembles cornstarch. It has a silky texture and is considered a natural thickener. It is made from the starch of the cassava plant and is immensely popular in Brazil.

It is the perfect substitute for custard powder as this too has a starchy texture and leaves almost a similar flavor. Use this substitute in equal ratio to custard powder and add some vanilla essence according to your taste.

Tapioca powder is white in color. Therefore, you can also add yellow food coloring to resemble the custard color!

2. Pudding mix

Vanilla pudding mix is another perfect substitute for custard powder.

It is already yellow and has vanilla essence, so you do not have to worry about stocking up on these things to make your dessert. You can also utilize chocolate pudding mix to give a different flavor to your dessert. Add a similar ratio of pudding mix to custard powder.

For instance, if the recipe asks for a certain quantity of custard powder, the pudding mix will also be of the same quantity. 

3. Cornstarch


Custard powder is made from cornstarch. It contains a large quantity of cornstarch. Hence it is one of the best substitutes for custard powder.

Since it is white in color, use yellow food coloring to achieve a similar color requirement. You will also have to add vanilla essence to give it a vanilla flavor! Additionally, you can add vanilla beans or vanilla paste to give a different and richer flavor profile.

Keep the ratio of 1:1 and use cornstarch in the same quantity for the best results.

4. Water chestnut flour

Water Chestnut

Water chestnut flour is a unique ingredient to use in place of custard powder. However, it consumes a lot of time if you make it from scratch.

So it is better to buy water chestnut flour from the market and add sugar and water to it! It acts as a thickening agent, and once it boils, you can get a custard-tasting dish.

Water chestnut flour seems like flour. However, it acts as a binder since it has starch properties. Use a similar quantity of custard powder, mix it with water and let it come to a boil.

You may also add vanilla essence to your taste to give it a good flavoring. 

5. Baking soda

Baking Powder

Baking soda is a very unusual ingredient for making custard. However, it would provide a somewhat similar texture. You can use it in the same quantity as custard powder.

You can also try to mix vanilla essence. Or if you want to experiment with another flavor, opt for a different essence! Lastly, add sugar and yellow food coloring to achieve the desired result. 

6. Cornflour with cornstarch

Corn Flour

Cornflour with cornstarch acts as a last resort to substitute custard powder. This mix has a lot of benefits. Cornflour powder has a yellowish undertone, so you do not need yellow coloring. On the other hand, cornstarch acts as a thickener.

Therefore, you can use them both to make the custard. Mix equal quantities of cornflour and cornstarch. Add a teaspoon of vanilla essence for some flavoring or other essences to provide a different and innovative flavor. 

7. Milk and eggs


Custard is made primarily with milk and eggs. However, you can make custard from scratch. It will take a lot more time, but you can have the authentic flavor of the custard.

Homemade Custard Recipe

Custard powder is a substitute for the original version that uses milk and eggs. The yellow color in the powder is an imitation of the egg yolks used in the original version.


  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 940 ml of milk
  • Half a vanilla bean or a teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • A pinch of salt


In a saucepan, add the milk till it reaches one rolling boil, and add your vanilla bean. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and salt till the sugar starts to dissolve. 

Whisk the hot milk into the egg and sugar mixture slowly. Finally, put the entire mixture into the saucepan. This process is a bit tiresome but provides the best substitute.

8. Pastry cream

Pastry cream follows the same process of milk and eggs with some cornstarch. So, you can whisk cornstarch into the egg mixture to get the desired result. This gives the same result as milk and eggs. You can choose between these two recipes and see which one suits you best.

9. Arrowroot powder

Arrowroot Flour

Arrowroot powder is another binding agent that helps in the thickening of the custard.

Arrowroot powder is a starch, so it helps in binding the elements into the custard. Therefore, all you need to do is use arrowroot powder in the equal measurement of custard powder, then add the vanilla bean and yellow food coloring to get the desired results. 

10. Potato starch

Potato Starch

Potato starch is unique and helps in the binding of elements to make the custard. It comes out of potatoes is stored and made into powder. You can use it in making custard by adding the same ratio of custard powder, vanilla, and food coloring.

11. Homemade custard powder

If you have some time to spare, you can try making homemade custard powder. Just follow the next steps and you will have a custard powder in no time.

custard powder

Homemade Custard Powder


  • 62 grams of milk powder
  • 50 grams of cornstarch
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence or half a vanilla bean
  • ¼ tsp yellow food coloring


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a food processor until combined, and you have your custard powder at home.
  2. If you use vanilla essence, make sure it does not create lumps since it is liquid.
  3. You can also use powdered food coloring to prevent lumps.
  4. And if you see any lumps, just break them, and process them again in the food processor.

Related Questions 

Is custard powder just cornstarch?

Custard powder is not just cornstarch. It contains milk powder, cornstarch, flavorings like vanilla essence, yellow food coloring, and a little bit of sugar. Cornstarch acts as a thickener, but the other elements add flavor to it. 

Can I use flour instead of custard powder?

You cannot use flour instead of custard powder, but you can use cornstarch. Add the equal ratio of cornstarch to custard powder to achieve the same result.  

What is custard powder made of?

Custard powder consists of milk powder, sugar, powdered yellow food coloring, vanilla essence, and cornstarch. You can add custard powder to milk to make the custard. 

What does custard powder do in baking?

Custard powder can help you in making custard tarts, donuts, and fruits. You can put the custard in cookies and cakes to give them a custard flavor. You can also use it in Creme Anglaise!

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