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Italian Cream Custard
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4.34 from 3 votes

Zuppa Inglese

I know you'll enjoy my version of a classic Italian dessert. Using vanilla and chocolate pastry creams, raspberries and Italian ladyfingers it's easy to see why Zuppa Inglese is loved by Italians all over the world.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
refrigerated2 hrs
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian dessert, pudding
Servings: 8
Calories: 661kcal
Author: Chef Dennis Littley


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 ¾ cups sugar divided
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • tsp sea salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbs vanilla
  • 1 ounces bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
  • zest of one orange
  • cup dark rum
  • 2 cups heavy cream chilled
  • ½ tsp ground vanilla bean
  • 36 Italian ladyfingers
  • 2 cups raspberries optional


pastry creams

  • Place the milk, ½ cup of sugar, cornstarch, eggs, vanilla and salt in a stainless steel bowl, mix well with a wire whip and place over a pot of boiling water and continue to whip until mixture thickens.
  • Separate mixture into two bowls
  • Add chocolate to one bowl to make a chocolate cream, mix well until chocolate is fully melted and incorporated into cream
  • refrigerate for at least an hour.


  • Bring 3 cups water,1 cup of the sugar and orange zest to a boil in a saucepan. Boil until reduced by about half.
  • Remove from heat, stir in the rum, and let cool completely.


  • whip cream with the remaining ¹⁄₄ cup sugar, and ground vanilla bean until it forms soft peaks
  • divide whipped cream in half, then divide half of the whipped cream into two parts and fold one part into each of the chilled pastry creams.
  • using a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish *, make a layer of ladyfingers and brush with the sugar syrup to moisten (use more than you think you need!)
  • Spread the vanilla pastry cream on top
  • Add layer of Raspberries
  • top with another layer of ladyfingers, then brush with sugar syrup
  • Spread the chocolate pastry cream over top in an even layer, then spread with the whipped cream.
  • crumble any leftover ladyfingers over the top.
  • Chill for at least two hours or overnight*


*letting the zuppa sit overnight will allow the flavors to build, giving you a more flavorful dessert! *These make wonderful individual desserts, use your favorite dessert glasses.


Calories: 661kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 258mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1350IU | Vitamin C: 8.3mg | Calcium: 150mg | Iron: 2.5mg