Puddings & Custards

Sweet or savory, find the best in puddings and custards right here! Get recipes for velvety custard pies, creme brulees, and trifles as well as indulging bread, banana, and rice puddings that merely puts a dent in this selection of pudding and custard recipes.

Staff Picks

Butterscotch Pie with Pecan-Shortbread Crust

For a crust with the texture of a pecan sandy, nuts are blended into an easy, buttery press-in tart dough. The filling, made with a simple combination of brown sugar, milk, and egg yolks, is a nostalgic nod to butterscotch pudding. Using a rectangular fluted tart pan gives this stunner a more graphic look, and makes it a snap to cut into small servings—so family and friends can feel free to try every option on the dessert table.

Pumpkin Custard

Essentially crustless pumpkin pie, this custard relies on nonfat evaporated milk for its silky texture and rich flavor.

Chocolate Mousse

Rating: 3.5 stars 397
Chocolate mousse is the ultimate dessert for any chocolate lover. We like to make ours using bittersweet chocolate, which is high in pure chocolate (at least 35 percent cocoa solids) and makes for a deep chocolate flavor. (Plus, it's also a great eating chocolate.) If you prefer semisweet chocolate, which has more sugar and fewer cocoa solids than bittersweet, know that it can often be substituted in recipes without significantly affecting the flavor or texture.

Classic Bread Pudding

Classic bread pudding is just how you remember it: perfumed with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, and dotted with raisins.

Creme Caramel

Rating: 3 stars 163
These individual creme caramel desserts will be an instant classic. So sweet and creamy, everyone will want seconds, trust us. 

Banana Cream Pudding

This fabulous version of the favorite Southern dessert boosts the banana flavor by infusing it into the homemade vanilla pudding, in addition to the traditional slices layered throughout.  

Easiest Rice Pudding

Rating: 3 stars 354
The starch in Arborio rice -- typically used for risotto -- makes this pudding extra creamy.

Steamed Persimmon Pudding

Rating: 3.5 stars 104
Two kinds of persimmons are recruited for steamed pudding; soft, ripe hachiyas are used in the batter, and oven-dried slices of fuyu -- resembling orange flowers -- form a ring around the dessert. The pudding is full of golden raisins, pecans, and candied ginger and warmed by brandy's sweet heat.

Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding

Rating: 3.5 stars 339
Rediscover homemade pudding's comforting simplicity, then see how versatile it can be. Choose one or the other, or make them both! Use this basic recipe to create the following flavor variations and desserts: Chai-Cinnamon PuddingMocha-Chip PuddingRum-Raisin PuddingPeanut-Butter Chocolate ParfaitsBoston Cream Pie, and Raspberry Napoleons.

Favorite Creme Brulee

Rating: 3.5 stars 138
The allure of creme brulee, French for "burnt cream," is in the textural contrast between the brittle caramelized topping and the smooth, creamy custard beneath.

Creme Brulee

Rating: 3.5 stars 709
One of Martha Stewart's favorites, creme brulee's seductive secret lies in the contrast between the brittle caramelized topping and the smooth, creamy custard beneath. French for "burnt cream," creme brulee is best served immediately after caramelizing its sweet, sugary surface.

Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

Rating: 3 stars 204
Although this dish is a great way to use up old bread, it can also be made with fresh bread. Serve it with a scoop of mango ice cream.From the book "Lucinda's Authentic Jamaican Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).
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Inspiration and Ideas

Spotted Dick
One of the most popular British puddings is spotted dick. The latter half of the phrase was a nineteenth-century British word for plain pudding; the spots are typically raisins, but we used dried currants. (The dessert also goes by spotted dog.) In this recipe, the time-honored suet (beef fat) is swapped for butter. Vanilla-specked creme anglaise is on top.
Noodle Pudding
Rating: Unrated 38
This baked pudding is also called kugel. It's made with noodles and often eaten during Jewish holidays. Serve it as a side dish with meat and vegetables.
Chocolate Creme Brulee
Rating: 4 stars 136

This chocolate-centric creme brulee retains the creaminess and caramelized-sugar topping of the classic version. Though caramel and chocolate are considered sweets, the real secret to their allure is an undercurrent of bitterness, a natural component of cacao and burned sugar.