homemade vanilla butterscotch pudding recipe

There is nothing quite like homemade vanilla butterscotch pudding. Creamy and smooth with a silky lightness that can only come from careful cooking, stirring, and babysitting of what can be a finicky dessert to prepare. I encourage you to be diligent and persistent in the creation of your pudding, as the results will be worth your time and patience.

Why did I choose vanilla butterscotch pudding? My dad. My father was my hero growing up. Growing up with six brothers, I was destined to be a daddy’s girl. Working in his workshop, watching him plane large bamboo poles down to eight small pieces that fit perfectly together to create handcrafted fly rods, receiving flowers each and every birthday at school, shopping for prom dresses (despite his embarrassment) and cooking in the kitchen are just a few of my favorite memories. He is an excellent cook, aside from the occasional miss (cream of mushroom soup and butter sandwiches come to mind). My favorite days were the one’s that he allowed me to jump in and cook with him.

Vanilla butterscotch pudding was always a favorite of his, with its light texture and distinct caramel flavor being undeniably appealing. Spooned into small glass dishes, sometimes served plain but preferably with a dollop of whipped cream on top. I encourage you to set aside a Saturday morning and enjoy the process of creating one of my favorite sweet treats.

Vanilla Butterscotch Pudding

Yields 8 servings

Vanilla Butterscotch Pudding Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon Tahitian vanilla extract

How to Make Vanilla Butterscotch Pudding

Stir ¼ cup water and ¾ cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until the syrup turns deep amber color. (During this process if necessary, brush down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush). When you attain that deep amber color, remove from heat. Add the cream, and the mixture will begin to bubble up vigorously. Stir until it’s calmed down and smooth. Caramel sauce! Set aside for later.

Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in the milk. Stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens and boils (this should take about 8 minutes). Remove from heat and whisk into the caramel sauce.

Whisk the egg yolks in large bowl. Gradually whisk 1 cup of the warm caramel mixture into the yolks, tempering the mixture so that is doesn’t become scrambled eggs!

After the 1 cup of caramel is stirred into the whisked eggs, add that combination to the remaining caramel mixture in the saucepan. Whisk everything together and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Gently whisk in the butter and vanilla. Remove from heat.

Divide the pudding among 8 ramekins. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day. Enjoy!