11 Custard Powder Substitutes – The Better Options To Try

Custard powder is a key ingredient in many desserts, but sometimes it can be hard to find. Or maybe you just don’t have any on hand and need a quick substitution.

Whatever the case might be, you do not have to rely on custard powder to make custard anymore. There are plenty of substitutes that will give you the same great taste.

This article will discuss the best substitutes for custard powder and how to use them. We are sure you can find at least one of these substitutes in your kitchen.

So, let’s get started.

Custard Powder Substitutes:

  1. Tapioca powder
  2. Pudding mix
  3. Cornstarch
  4. Water chestnut flour
  5. Baking soda
  6. Cornflour with cornstarch
  7. Milk and eggs
  8. Pastry cream
  9. Arrowroot powder
  10. Potato starch
  11. Homemade custard powder

Tapioca powder

Tapioca powder, which is made from the cassava plant and has a silky texture, may be used in place of custard powder. Furthermore, it can be used in place of equal amounts.

I like to add some vanilla extract to enhance the flavor. But you can also add some yellow food coloring to get the classic custard look.

Tapioca powder is also great for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups. It’s gluten-free and has no added sugar, so it’s a healthy option.

Tapioca powder is a versatile ingredient used in many different recipes. Give it a try next time you’re in the kitchen!

Pudding Mix

One popular substitute for custard powder in pudding mix. Pudding mix is similar to custard powder in that it is yellow and has vanilla essence. This means you would not have to add any extra flavor.

To use pudding mix as a substitute for custard powder, simply combine it with milk in a similar ratio. Another benefit of using pudding mix is that it is often easier to find than custard powder.

If you are craving something fancier than the basic vanilla custard, use chocolate pudding mix. It will make the dessert even better.


The conventional custard powder already contains cornstarch. This is what makes cornstarch a perfect substitute for custard powder.

When using cornstarch as a replacement, the ratio is 1 to 1. In other words, for every 1 tablespoon of custard powder, you would use 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

Additionally, you will need to add vanilla extract to your recipe to get the desired flavor. Cornstarch will also make your custard appear more white than custard powder.

However, this should not affect the taste or texture of your custard. Overall, using cornstarch as a substitute for custard powder is a simple and effective way to thicken your custard without changing the flavor.

Water chestnut flour

While custard powder is a common ingredient in many desserts, it can be difficult to find in some parts of the world. However, water chestnut flour is a great substitute that can be easily bought from most markets. And you can the same quantity of water chestnut flour as custard in any recipe.

Simply add sugar, water, and vanilla flavor to the flour to use it. You can then use the resulting mixture in any recipe for custard powder.

Water chestnut flour has several advantages over its more common counterpart. It is lower in calories and fat. And it also has a nutty flavor that some people find more appealing than the taste of custard powder.

Baking Soda

Baking soda may seem like an unusual choice for a custard powder substitute, but it can work quite well. The texture is similar to custard powder’s, but it is white.

To use baking soda as a substitute, simply add vanilla and yellow food coloring to achieve the desired flavor and color. One benefit of baking soda is that it is less likely to cause lumps than custard powder.

Due to its similar texture and effect, use it with a 1 to 1 ratio. In other words, if a recipe tells to use 1 tablespoon of custard powder, use 1 tablespoon of baking soda.

Cornflour with cornstarch

Cornflour is one of the most commonly used substitutes for custard powder. However, it can be an even better alternative for custard powder when mixed with cornstarch.

However, it is important to note that cornflour with cornstarch should only be used as a last resort. It is usually only used as a thickening agent and does not taste similar to custard powder. If you choose to use cornflour, be sure to add vanilla extract to the mixture to improve the flavor.

The ratio of cornflour and cornstarch should be equal. And then, you can use this mixture in the same amount as custard powder.

Milk and eggs

Before custard powder was invented, they originally made custards with milk and eggs. If you do not have custard powder at hand, here is how you can make custard with milk and eggs at home.


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

Homemade Custard Recipe

  1. In a saucepan, heat milk till it reaches a boil.
  2. Add vanilla essence to the milk.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix egg yolks, sugar, and salt till the sugar dissolves.
  4. Now add the milk to the egg and sugar mixture by whisking it.
  5. Now let it set.

Pastry Cream

This next substitute is kind of similar to the egg and milk one. Pastry cream is almost similar to custard. The only difference is that its recipe also calls for cornstarch.

So, all you have to do is add cornstarch into the egg mixture. After that, add that mixture to the milk and follow the remaining steps.

Both of these custard powder substitutes give a similar result. However, after making custard with pastry cream, you might find that the custard turns out thicker than usual. That is because of the thickening nature of cornstarch.

So, try out both of them to see which one you prefer the most.

Arrowroot powder

If you’re out of custard powder and need a substitute, one option is to use arrowroot powder. This powder can be used as a thickening agent in equal proportions to what is called for in the recipe. Additionally, you may want to add vanilla essence and yellow food coloring to get a similar result.

Custard powder is often used to make pudding or pie filling, so arrowroot powder can work as a replacement in those recipes. When thickening sauces or gravies with arrowroot powder, add it towards the end of cooking so it doesn’t become over-thickened.

Potato starch

One unique substitute for custard powder is potato starch. Potato starch is a white powder typically used to thicken sauces and gravies.

When used as a substitute for custard powder, you can add it in a 1:1 ratio. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of custard powder, you would add 1 tablespoon of potato starch.

Additionally, you may want to add vanilla extract to enhance the flavor. Potato starch is an ideal substitute because it is easy to find and store. Plus, it dissolves quickly in liquids, making it simple to use in various recipes.

Homemade custard powder

Did you not like any of the custard powder substitutes? Why not make the custard powder at home then?


  • 62 grams of milk powder
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • ¼ tsp yellow food coloring
  • 50 grams of cornstarch
  • Half a vanilla bean

Mix all of these ingredients well, and your custard powder is ready.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is custard powder just cornstarch?

No, custard powder is not just cornstarch. Custard powder typically contains cornstarch but also includes milk powder and sugar. Additionally, it usually includes yellow food coloring and vanilla extract. This combination of ingredients creates the unique flavor and texture of custard powder.

Can I use flour instead of custard powder?

No, you cannot use regular flour as a custard powder substitute. However, water chestnut flour works as a great custard powder alternative. Use it in the same quantity as custard powder. But don’t forget to add vanilla essence for the classic custard flavor.

Is the custard powder the same as the pudding mix?

No, custard powder is not the same as the pudding mix. However, if you do not have custard powder at hand, use the same amount of pudding mix for a similar result.

In conclusion

Whether you need to make a quick substitution or are looking for an alternative that has a similar taste, we’ve got you covered. Each of the substitutes listed above can be used in custard powder with slight variations in ratios and ingredients. So, next time you’re out of custard powder or just want to try something new, don’t be afraid to experiment with one of these substitutes. Who knows, you might find a new favorite!