Butterscotch Pudding

October  8, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes 4-6 servings, depending on the size of the vessel
Author Notes

Pudding is the ultimate comfort dessert for me. You can go from zero to pudding in less than 30 minutes, plus a few bites of warm pudding fresh from the pot will tide you over until the rest of the batch cools. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large egg yolks
  1. Gather four-six glasses or serving dishes and place them on a baking sheet. Make enough room in your fridge that it will fit comfortably.
  2. Combine the milk, cream, vanilla bean and scraped seeds, salt, and ¼ cup of the brown sugar in a medium pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. In a medium, heat-safe bowl, whisk the remaining ½ cup brown sugar and cornstarch to combine. When the milk/cream mixture comes to a simmer, whisk the egg yolks into the sugar (don’t do this too far before the milk is ready – the sugar can pull moisture from the egg yolks and make a grainy, unpleasant texture).
  4. Gradually pour some (about 1/3) of the milk mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to combine. Return the mixture to the pot, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, over medium low heat.
  5. Switch to a silicone spatula and continue to cook, stirring the base and sides constantly, until the mixture comes to “first boil” - small bubbles may appear around the edge of the put, but continue to cook until a large bubble (or a few) appear in the very center of the pot. The pudding should be thick and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat, remove the vanilla bean with a fork or tongs.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared glasses or serving dishes. If you’re anti-pudding skin, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the puddings to prevent a skin from forming (if you secretly love pudding skin like a select few of us out there, skip this step).
  7. Chill the pudding until it’s fully cooled and even thicker, at least 2 hours (and up to overnight).

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sexyLAMBCHOPx
  • Linda
  • Kathrina Deegan
    Kathrina Deegan
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

3 Reviews

Kathrina D. June 23, 2019
How does one make butterscotch without butter? So I tweaked the recipe to include browned butter and it came out beautifully. So far, out of all the butterscotch pudding recipes, this was close to one of the easiest and most flavorful.
Linda February 28, 2022
so how much butter did you use to tweak it to perfection?
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 22, 2016
Is it possible to make this recipe in a large glass trifle bowl instead of individual servings? If so, can I triple the reciple to accomadate the larger serving bowl?