Homemade vanilla custard is an easy-to-make and decadent dessert that your whole family will love! Made with simple ingredients, my homemade custard recipe takes about twenty minutes to prepare and a few hours to chill and set up.
It’s perfect for a dinner party or just to treat your family to a delicious dessert.
My homemade custard recipe is a family favorite in our house and never fails to bring smiles to the table. Another family favorite is my classic rice pudding.
I’ve made a lot of different custard recipes over the years and this is my favorite. It’s similar to pastry cream, but richer. It’s also thinner so it can’t be used to stuff cream puffs or to use inbetween cake layers. It’s simply a creamy delicious pudding.
Ingredients to make Homemade Vanilla Custard
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make my homemade vanilla custard. In Chef Speak, this is called the “Mise en Place,” which translates to “Everything in its Place.”
Not only does setting up your ingredients ahead of time speed up the cooking process, it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
Can I use whole eggs to make the custard?
You could, but I wouldn’t advise it. The whites of the egg will change the texture and may end up getting gritty, and then you’d need to use a fine mesh strainer to get a creamy custard.
How to make Vanilla Custard
- Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch to a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the egg yolks, whole milk, and light cream (or heavy cream if you’re feeling decadant) to the mixture.
- Whisk until well combined.
- Place a saucepan over medium-low heat and pour the egg mixture into a medium saucepan.
- Cook the mixture for 10-12 minutes (or until thickened), whisking continuously to keep the mixture from scalding.
*Mix until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the pan from the heat, then add the butter and vanilla extract.
- Stir to combine.
- Pour the custard into a medium bowl and cover it by placing a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, leaving no space between the plastic and the custard. This prevents a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate the custard for 3-4 hours (overnight is best) before serving.
You can use real vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste instead of the extract. Both will give you those delicious vanilla speckles in the custard and give you a more prominent vanilla flavor.
*If you use a vanilla pod, scrape the vanilla seeds out of the pod using a knife.
Serve the delicious homemade vanilla custard with homemade whipped cream and fresh berries or fresh fruit of your choice.
Store any leftover custard in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Vanilla Custard is a decadent dessert that uses simple ingredients. It’s made with a combination of eggs, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cornstarch. Eggs are responsible for the custard’s thick and velvety texture, which is further thickened by using cornstarch.
Custard and pudding recipes are almost identical. They both use eggs as the thickening agent, whereas custard also uses cornstarch to make it firmer than most puddings. Pudding generally won’t include cream, which is sometimes added to custard to make it richer.
Yes, it is. Most creme brulee recipes will include more cream than a typical custard, so it is a richer dessert. Creme brulee also includes a hardened caramelized sugar topping.