This Vegan Lemon Pudding is the best comforting dessert: the moist, fluffy lemon sponge pairs beautifully with the sweet and tangy lemon sauce. It’s easy to make, and perfect for Easter! It’s gluten-free and refined sugar free too.
How is the lemon sauce made?
The lemon sauce is made using shop-bought custard powder.
This is my favourite custard powder – it’s vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free, and contains just 4 simple ingredients!
Not only does this custard powder act as a thickener, making the lemon custard extra creamy, but it also adds a lovely colour without having to use something like turmeric.
What can the custard powder be replaced with?
If you can’t get hold of a shop-bought custard powder, you can replace it with the same amount of cornflour (cornstarch) or arrowroot, which will result in a similar texture, though the colour will be considerably less yellow.
To add yellow colour, I would suggest adding a tiny pinch of saffron, which I much prefer to turmeric as it has a much milder flavour.
What type of plant-based milk is used to make the lemon sauce?
You can use any type of plant-based milk, though results do vary depending on which you choose: cashew, oat or coconut milk make a super thick and creamy sauce, whilst almond milk will be less creamy. I like to use rice milk as it creates a sticky lemon curd-like consistency which I love.
How to make this Vegan Lemon Pudding
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Measure out the rice milk in a measuring jug.
- Pour the milk into a pan, leaving behind a few tablespoons of milk in the jug.
- Heat up the milk.
- Add the custard powder to the remaining milk in the jug and mix well, ensuring it has dissolved completely.
- Once the milk in the pan is steaming, add approximately half of the hot milk to the bowl with the dissolved custard powder, mix well and transfer the custard powder mixture to the pan.
- Mix well and keep stirring on a low heat for around 5 minutes, until thickened.
- Add the lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Pour into a baking dish – I used one measuring 26 cm (10 inch) by 18 cm (7 inch) and 7 cm (2 1/2 inch) tall.
- Mix together the ingredients for the sponge in a glass mixing bowl.
Tip: Use a measuring jug to measure out the plant-based milk.
- Carefully spoon the mixture over the lemon sauce in the baking dish.
- Smooth over the top of the batter.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Tip: Make sure to just insert it into the sponge part, as it will come out wet if you insert it all the way down to the saucy bit at the bottom.
- Best enjoyed immediately!
- Tastes especially good with some vegan vanilla ice cream.
Substitutions you can make to this recipe:
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, vegetable oil, olive oil etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, oat milk, soy milk, cashew milk, rice milk etc.
- If you don’t need the pudding to be gluten-free, you can replace the gluten-free flour with plain flour.
- The ground almonds can be replaced with ground walnuts.
- For a nut-free version, use ground sunflower seeds instead of ground almonds and use a nut-free plant-based milk.
Substitutions to be careful of:
I would recommend making the lemon sauce with rice milk – see recipe notes for details.
Tips for baking with lemons
- For optimum lemon flavour, I would recommend using fresh lemons (not ones that you’ve had sitting in your fruit bowl for weeks!) and organic ones if possible.
- You have to be careful when baking with lemon juice as the acidity and lemon flavour can really vary depending on the lemons you use.
- I would recommend tasting the lemon juice you’re using and adjusting the amount of lemon juice you use accordingly.
- For the lemon zest, make sure you use unwaxed lemons.
How long does this Vegan Lemon Pudding keep for?
- This Lemon Pudding is best eaten straight out of the oven while it’s still warm and the lemon sauce is still runny.
- It does keep covered in the fridge for up to a couple of days, but the sauce won’t stay runny.
More vegan lemon desserts:
- White Chocolate Lemon Cake
- Lemon Drizzle Cake
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Lemon Bars
- Lemon Cookies
- Lemon Crumble Bars
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Vegan Lemon Pudding (Gluten-Free)
For the lemon sauce:
For the lemon pudding:
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 200 ml (4/5 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
- 6 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest (use unwaxed lemons)
- 10 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds (almond meal) ***
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
For the lemon sauce:
- Measure out the milk in a jug or measuring container
- Pour the milk into a pan, leaving behind a few tablespoons of milk in the jug
- Heat up the milk in the pan
- Add the custard powder to the remaining milk in the jug and mix well, ensuring it has dissolved completely
- Once the milk in the pan is steaming, add approximately half of the hot milk to the bowl with the dissolved custard powder, mix well and transfer the custard powder mixture to the pan
- Mix well and keep stirring on a low heat for around 5 minutes, until thickened
- Add the lemon juice and maple syrup
- Taste and add extra lemon juice or maple syrup, if desired
- Transfer the sauce into a baking dish – I used one measuring 26 cm (10 inch) by 18 cm (7 inch) and 7 cm (2 1/2 inch) tall
For the lemon pudding:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, lemon zest, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Carefully spoon the mixture over the lemon sauce in the baking dish
- Smooth over the top of the batter
- Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean – make sure to just insert it into the sponge part, as it will come out wet if you insert it all the way down to the saucy bit at the bottom
- Best enjoyed immediately! Tastes especially good with some vegan vanilla ice cream
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a couple of days – although the sauce won’t stay runny
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