Top 7 Alternative to Custard Powder

The Checkers Custard powder is a popular ingredient used in many desserts. It is typically a mixture of cornstarch, sugar, and flavorings, that when combined with milk and heated, produces a creamy and smooth custard. If you love custard, you’re not alone. However, what will you do if you’re preparing a creamy dessert and discover that you’ve run out of custard powder? Well, there are numerous alternatives to custard powder. 

Some of these options are already on your kitchen shelf, so you can easily pick them up and make your dessert without having to go to the store. If you are a lover of the Checkers custard, and you’re asking;

  • Are they alternatives to the custard powder?
  • What are the nutritional value of these options?
  • How do I prepare such an alternative and get a similar feel to the checkers’ custard powder?

This post will address all of these and more. Hence, be sure to carefully read through this piece.

Top 7 Alternative to Custard Powder

The following is our list of the top substitutes for custard powder.

#1. Cornstarch And Vanilla Extract 

Cornstarch and vanilla extract can be used as an alternative to custard powder in various recipes. When used in custard recipes, cornstarch thickens the mixture and gives it a creamy texture, comparable to custard powder. Similarly, adding vanilla extract to a cornstarch custard will give it a delicious vanilla taste while also complementing the custard’s sweetness.

Moreover, to substitute custard powder with cornstarch and vanilla extract, you can start by mixing cornstarch with sugar and a small amount of milk to form a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan until it’s hot but not boiling, then gradually pour it into the cornstarch paste while whisking continuously. 

Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove it from the heat, stir in vanilla extract to taste, and let it cool slightly before serving. This homemade custard offers a delicious alternative to custard powder, with the added bonus of customizable sweetness and flavor.

#2. Arrowroot Powder 

Arrowroot powder is a versatile and natural alternative to custard powder in various kitchen applications. Typically, the powder is derived from the roots of the arrowroot, this fine white powder is known for its neutral flavor and high starch content. Furthermore, arrowroot powder is pure and free of artificial ingredients, making it a popular choice among those looking for a more natural option.

One of the key benefits of using arrowroot powder instead of custard powder is its capacity to thicken sauces, soups, and desserts without changing their consistency. It has great binding qualities, resulting in a smooth and creamy texture similar to custard but lighter and more delicate. This makes arrowroot powder ideal for thickening fruit fillings, puddings, and other creamy desserts where a smooth texture is desired.

Additionally, arrowroot powder is gluten-free and easily digestible, making it suitable for people with gluten sensitivities or those following a gluten-free diet. It is also a good source of various nutrients like potassium, iron, and B vitamins, adding a nutritional boost to dishes. 

#3. Wheat Flour 

West flour usually serves as a thickening agent in various dishes, including custards. When used as a substitute for custard powder, flour can help achieve a similar thick and creamy consistency. Hence, using flour as an alternative will result in a delicious and satisfying dessert.

To prepare flour as a substitute for custard powder, make a roux by combining equal parts flour and butter in a pot over medium heat until a mixture forms. This roux can then be used as the basis for custard-style desserts. In addition, you can make a tasty and creamy custard-like mixture by combining milk, sugar, and flavorings such as vanilla extract or spices.

#4. Cornflour

If you’re looking for a simple alternative to custard powder, you can consider using cornflour. Generally, cornflour can be the silent hero in the kitchen, ready to step in and save the day when custard powder is unavailable. Likewise, it’s a versatile ingredient with a unique ability to thicken and add a silky-smooth texture to dishes, similar to custard powder.

Furthermore, cornflour can also be converted into a handmade custard-like sauce by blending it with milk, sugar, and vanilla flavors. This quick and simple method lets you enjoy the creamy pleasure of custard without the need for certified custard powder. Thus, if you’re making dessert, cornflour is a dependable and tasty option for custard powder.

#5. Instant Pudding Mix 

One of the reasons why instant pudding mix is a perfect alternative to custard powder is that it brings convenience to the kitchen. It’s a blend of powdered ingredients such as milk solids, sugar, flavorings, and thickeners that can be made into delicious puddings with just a whisk and cold milk.

Imagine that you’re hosting a last-minute dinner party, and the dessert dilemma hits. The instant pudding mix will immediately save the day! With just a few scoops of mix and a splash of milk, you can whisk up a dessert that tastes like it took hours to prepare. So, if you’re seeking for a sweet creamy delight to enjoy on its own or to add to your favorite baked products, check your cupboard for some instant pudding mix.

#6. Tapioca Powder

Tapioca powder, derived from the cassava root, serves as a versatile alternative to custard powder in diverse kitchen settings. One key distinction lies in their ingredients.

So while custard powder typically contains cornstarch, flavorings, and coloring agents, tapioca powder is made solely from cassava starch. This makes tapioca powder a natural and gluten-free option, ideal for individuals with dietary restrictions or preferences.

When compared to custard powder, tapioca powder tends to produce a slightly lighter and less creamy texture, which can be appealing in desserts where a lighter touch is desired. So the next time you’re craving a creamy custard, reach for the tapioca powder! 

#7. Water Chestnut Flour 

If you’re gluten-sensitive and you’re looking for a good alternative to custard powder, you can easily go for the water chestnut flour. Typically, water chestnut flour can be considered a very good substitute for custard powder due to its unique properties and nutritional benefits. Likewise, water chestnut flour contains minerals such as potassium, fiber, and vitamins B and E. 

Similarly, water chestnut flour has a fairly sweet taste that can enhance the taste of custard dishes without the need for added sweets. When utilizing water chestnut flour in custard recipes, keep in mind that the preparation technique may differ slightly from that of custard powder.

Meanwhile, due to its gluten-free nature, water chestnut flour may not thicken as much as custard powder. As a result, cooking processes may need to be adjusted or thickening agents added. In addition, water chestnut flour is made by mixing it with water and castor sugar. After you’ve blended the ingredients, boil the batter for a few minutes. Once boiled, you’ll get a soft, creamy batter that’s ideal for cakes, cookies, ice cream, and custard.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Alternative to Custard Powder

How do you substitute custard powder?

To substitute custard powder, use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for every 2 tablespoons of custard powder. Mix them together until smooth and use them in your recipe as directed. You can also adjust other ingredients to taste if needed.

How do you thicken milk without custard powder?

To thicken milk without custard powder, create a smooth paste using 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch or flour mixed with a small amount of cold milk. Gradually whisk this paste into warm milk in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until it thickens. Finally, you can use the thickened milk as required in your recipe.

How do you substitute custard powder for eggs?

To substitute custard powder for eggs, use 2 tablespoons of custard powder mixed with enough liquid (like milk or water) to make a paste for each egg in the recipe. You can always adjust the amounts to match the number of eggs needed. 

Can I use baking powder instead of custard powder?

No, baking powder cannot be used as an alternative to custard powder. 
Baking powder is a leavening agent used to make baked goods rise, while custard powder is a mix of cornstarch, flavoring agents, and coloring used primarily for making custard-based desserts. Hence, they serve different purposes in recipes and cannot be used interchangeably.

What ingredient makes the custard thicker?

Cornstarch is the primary ingredient that makes custard thicker. 

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