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Custardy Corn Pudding, Dairy-Free

dairy and gluten free corn pudding

Golden sweet corn seems iconic at Thanksgiving, a symbol of the harvest. Corn side dishes are a pleasant foil to other more hearty, starchy fare on the Thanksgiving table.

Thanksgiving is all about traditions — traditions of family, traditions of gratitude and traditions of food.

For some families, Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without a creamy corn pudding. But if you’re having turkey on the table, you need a pareve, non-dairy side, not a corn pudding rich with butter, cream and milk.

This gluten-free, pareve corn pudding — inspired by a Cook’s Illustrated dairy recipe — has a creamy, custardy texture that comes from coconut milk (the richer canned coconut milk, not the boxed, more watery coconut milk drink). The coconut flavor is subtle, with the standout taste being the taste of crisp corn. Fresh corn kernels cut off the cob work best, but since it’s hard to find fresh corn in November, frozen corn works too.

The eggs give the pudding a light, soufflé-like consistency, studded with nuggets of golden corn. It may seem fussy to bake the pudding in a water bath, but we tried this recipe both with and without a water bath. We found that using a water bath (baking the dish set in a larger pan surrounded by hot water) is the way to go. It insulates the soufflé, cooks it evenly and gently, and prevents it from falling and deflating.

Now that’s something to be thankful for.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6 to 8 ServingsServings


  • 2-1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (13-1/2 ounce) can coconut milk (light or full-fat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, beaten lightly


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish. Note that this dish will need to fit in a large baking pan or roasting pan, with hot water that comes halfway up the outside.

If corn kernels are frozen, defrost and drain well. Boil about 2 quarts of water and set aside for the water bath.

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add corn kernels. Cook, heating corn and evaporating any liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, salt, sugar and cayenne.

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of cold water to dissolve. Whisk the cornstarch liquid into the corn mixture, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl to cool slightly.

When corn mixture has cooled slightly, gradually stream in eggs, whisking them into the corn mixture. Pour into prepared casserole dish. Place casserole dish in larger baking pan or roasting pan. Fill outer baking pan with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the casserole dish.

Bake in preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes, until pudding is mostly firm, center jiggles slightly, knife inserted in the center comes out clean and top is lightly browned around edges. Remove casserole dish from water bath, and serve warm.

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