Paleo Maple, Pumpkin Custard Cups

paleo pumpkin custard

For those who enjoy the flavors of fall, are afraid of baking (no ovens, tempering or whipping involved) and/or have an allergy to nuts, grains, gluten, dairy and/or eggs, this recipe has your name written all over it. Essentially, the only people who can’t eat this Paleo treat are vegans, but that’s just because they won’t.

Yield: 6 Servings


  • 14 oz. can pureed pumpkin
  • 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • 1/3 c maple syrup, grade B (It’s cheaper and more flavorful)
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1 T gelatin powder (I used the Great Lakes brand)
  • 1/4 c luke warm water


In a small sauce pot, whisk together the pumpkin, coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla. Right when it’s about to come to a simmer, remove it from the heat.

While the pumpkin mixture is heating up…

In a cup or small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over luke warm water and stir to combine, making sure there are no lumps. Let it firm up. Whisk the semi-solid gelatin mass into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour the pumpkin custard into ramekins or any fancy dish you’d like. The smaller the dish is, the faster the custard will be ready for consumption.

Press a small square of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pumpkin custards, not over the top of the ramekin, directly on the custard (doesn’t hurt to reiterate, right?). This keeps a ‘pudding skin’ from forming on the top.

Refrigerate, to allow the custard to set-up and get firm.

You should be able to serve and eat in around 4-6 hours.


48 responses to “Paleo Maple, Pumpkin Custard Cups”

  1. I just bought some pumpkin puree and was wondering today when I would use my can of coconut milk. Problem solved! 🙂 Excited to try this recipe out.

  2. Yuummm this is delicious! I added all the classic pumpkin pie spices to it as well. Tasted just like eating the filling :)!!! Really got me in the mood for Thanksgiving!

    1. it does, doesn’t it! why didn’t i think a/b writing that. oh well. glad you enjoyed and were able to put your own spin on it!

  3. Sandra Mort

    If you have a basic bone broth and simmer it to concentrate it, like a demi glace, do you think you can make it with that instead of the powdered gelatine, cinnamon and maple syrup? For a more savory version? Maybe with some curry powder.

    1. hard to say, just b/c the gelling strength may be too high or too low, depending on the concentration of the broth. but i suppose, it should work, taking into account the fact that homemade stock ALWAYS gels in the fridge. i’m interested to hear how this goes if you try it.

  4. Haven’t tried the recipe yet, so maybe I’m misunderstanding. But when I make butterscotch pudding, I make sure to keep the top uncovered so that a skin will form. That’s the point. It’s the best part. Is there something weird about this particular recipe that makes the skin bad somehow? To me, it seems like the skin has a bit stronger taste, so if you like the taste of the pudding, you want to savor the skin.

    1. if you like the thick, tough skin on top of pudding, then by all means, go for it. i don’t and it’s just not proper technique. do whatever you like.

  5. Yum. I have now been craving pumpkiny sweets for about a week and really need to make this.

  6. I love pumpkin! I really have to try this. I may go all out and use a fresh pumpkin since they are in season anyways.

    1. ohhhh, very cool. let me know how that goes trey!

  7. I am thrilled to have found this recipe! My daughter is on an elimination diet right now with no dairy and eggs, and the pumpkin custard I usually make is a baked one with eggs. We just reintroduced coconut, so she can eat this for breakfast tomorrow. I know it will be good because I’ve tried several of your recipes and they are all amazing. Thanks so much!

    1. aw, thanks bethany. so happy to hear this.

  8. Lisa Madden

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I made this today exactly as you laid it out and the custard is delicious. I may have to resurrect my baking activities now that I see all the delicious recipes on the site.
    Thinking about going back to the fridge for another ramekin….

    1. glad you enjoyed lisa. thanks!!

  9. Mmmm. I have the custard in the fridge waiting to set. I took a swipe from the pot and it was delicious! I did add a dash of ginger though.

  10. I’ve ony got light cocnut milk right now, is this alright to use for the custard or will it not firm up right if I try it?

  11. Lisa Madden

    Chrissy, I just made another batch this time using the lite coconut milk. I will keep you posted. It might taste a little less rich and creamy but let’s see.

  12. Lisa Madden

    The custard set perfectly using the lite coconut milk. It tastes slightly less rich is all. Bon appetit!

    1. thank you for testing this recipe out for me lisa!

  13. […] Maple Pumpkin Custard Cups (from Health-Bent) Need I say anything more? Don’t these sound awesome? Plus they are pretty healthy for a dessert. […]

  14. Anybody thought about trying to somehow use chia seeds for the gelling portion of the recipe?

    1. Robin Harris

      I was wondering about subbing chia seeds for the gelatin, too. just wasn’t sure how much to use

  15. This recipe was a huge hit for me. Everyone absolutely devoured it. Thanks!

    1. glad y’all enjoyed, jason!

  16. I have made this recipe so many times with success every time! A HUGE hit in our house! Now for a strange question … do you think I could use the ginger snaps as a pie crust and this custard as pie filling to make a Thanksgiving pumpkin pie?

    1. oh yeah, for sure! that would be delicious.

  17. So excited to make this for Thanksgiving! We are unable to have maple syrup right now, or any sweeteners. We can do stevia- would the end result be affected by leaving out the maple syrup, or should I add anything to replace the liquid? Thanks!!

    1. nah, you should be fine. may be slightly firmer, but it wouldn’t be anything off-putting.

    2. Debbie T.

      Amy, did you make it with stevia? I will be starting a program that is dairy free, gluten free, grain free and sugar free and wondered how stevia turned out for you? Please let us know!

  18. Yuummm this is delicious! I added all the classic pumpkin pie spices to it as well. Tasted just like eating the filling 🙂 !!! Really got me in the mood for Thanksgiving!

  19. We are eliminating dairy from our son’s diet and he is a HUGE yogourt eater. I was wondering what I would do about that and then made these. He loved them.

    I’m going to try making this custard with different fruits – very ripe banana, apple sauce, pear, berries – and use them as we transition him to no dairy. I’m guessing I will need to reduce the fruit and try and get out a lot of water.

    Thanks for another winner!

  20. Megan keatley u r a genious!!!!!!!!!! not just with this recipe but with all the recipes on your site. I am 10 years old and its so hard to stick to paleo as a kid. u make it easier! Thank-you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. lunden, i think YOU are the genius. 10 years old and already eating paleo!!!!! you are very, very welcome!!!!

  21. I’ve ony got light cocnut milk right now, is this alright to use for the custard or will it not firm up right if I try it?

    1. that should be totally fine.

  22. Oh, wow! This is amazing. Thanks so much for the awesome recipes. I changed it a bit, but definitely got the solid ideas from you. I included a couple eggs, more spices, and used raw milk. My version can be found here:

  23. Can you make this with something other than coconut milk? Allgery to coconut 🙁

  24. We made this for dessert last night, it came out good, but next time I will add eggs and bake it to a more pie filling consistency.

  25. OMG! Thank you for this recipe. I am doing an autoimmune paleo diet and am hosting a potluck Halloween party. I wanted something that I could have that was delicious to prevent me from being tempted by all the un-paleo stuff people bring. I made exactly as written except used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice. It was so awesome – even my non-paleo, sugar addicted husband liked it a lot! Now I know that on Halloween I can have something very special. THANK YOU, THANK YOU

  26. “Essentially, the only people who can’t eat this Paleo treat are vegans, but that’s just because they won’t.”
    Ha! I lol’d at that. I’m very excited to make these, I just got new ramekins and I haven’t thought of anything to use them for. Happy Thanksgiving!

  27. I’ve only begun Paleo a week ago and already kinda board. I made this and it’s in the fridge! I’m so excited. I licked the pot after the bowls were filled . Yumm! I love both coconut and Pumpkin. Thank you so much for putting me back in the kitchen. I made it as is. Can’t have eggs (autoimmune Paleo) so this was perfect!

  28. I feel like you wrote this recipe just for me! I love love love pumpkin/squash and custard, but doing the autoimmune protocol limits most goodies. This is fantastic-I’ve made it three times in the last two weeks! PS-Primal Cravings is my favorite primal/paleo cookbook…and I have then all 🙂

  29. Hi there:

    I used the great lakes gelatin

    did as you said and added 1/4 lukewarm water to the powder

    but it’s not “blooming” . . .

    Isn’t it supposed to get gelatin like? thanks so much for a great recipe.

  30. […] Paleo Maple, Pumpkin Custard Cups – These hit the perfect balance between sweet, buoyant, and pumpkin-y. […]

  31. […] (and might I add, a HORRIBLE pie maker) I knew I had to meet in the middle. I made my old stand by, paleo pumpkin panna cotta and poured it into little phyllo cups I made. It wasn’t pretty but, it did the trick and was […]

  32. […] saw this recipe a few weeks ago, and was thrilled that it meets our family’s current special diet […]

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