Updated date:

The Best Homemade Vanilla Custard Recipe

MissMerFaery is a published author, online writer and home educating, work-at-home mum of two.

A lovely custard is a great way to end a meal or satisfy a sweet tooth!

A lovely custard is a great way to end a meal or satisfy a sweet tooth!

Why Should I Make Homemade Custard?

It's easy to throw together a pre-made custard or make one by using a powder, but there's nothing quite like a homemade pouring custard. It tastes a million times better than packet custard and is so easy to put together. Not only this, but you'll have the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself when everyone raves over their custard!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

15 min

20 min

4 servings


  • 150 ml full-cream milk
  • 150 ml single cream
  • 1 vanilla pod or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 15 g caster sugar (super-fine sugar)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tbsp cornflour


  1. Add the milk, cream, and vanilla in a saucepan. Gently heat the mixture until it starts to boil.
  2. Separate your eggs and beat the yolks with sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Do this until everything is smooth.
  3. Once the milk and cream start boiling, remove the pan from the heat and discard the vanilla pod. Add everything to the bowl with eggs and sugar. Make sure to stir the entire time so that the eggs don't scramble!
  4. Pour everything back into the saucepan and set it to the lowest heat you have. Stir everything continuously and watch to make sure it doesn't boil. If it starts overheating, take the pan off the heat for a few seconds (while stirring the contents) and then put it back on the stove.
  5. The custard should start thickening pretty quickly. You'll know it's ready if you coat the back of a wooden spoon with the custard. If you see a thin layer and a trail left by running a finger along the spoon, it's ready. If it runs straight off the spoon, it's not ready yet.
  6. Make sure to read the tips and tricks I'll share with you below!

Have you ever made Homemade Custard?

Tips and Tricks to Making Custard

Here are five ways to experiment with the custard recipe!

  • For a thicker custard, use four egg yolks instead of three.
  • For a plain custard (this recipe is vanilla), leave out the vanilla pod or extract.
  • For a fine custard, omit the cornflour.
  • For a healthier custard, use 300ml full-fat milk and no cream.
  • For an indulgent custard, use 300ml single cream and no milk.

Keep these tips in mind to help you make the tastiest custard possible:

  1. The problem people face when making a proper custard is the fact it curdles as soon as it overheats. Even on low heat with constant stirring, the custard can easily get too hot and become horribly lumpy. That's why powdered custard is so popular. However, I use cornflour in this recipe to stabilize the mixture and reduce the chances of curdling. The custard will have a slightly less-than-perfect consistency than true fine pouring custard, but it tastes just as good!
  2. If you want to make a perfect fine-pouring custard, omit the cornflour and keep a very close eye on your custard to ensure it doesn't overheat. Stir continuously and take the pan off the heat each time you think the mixture is getting too hot.
  3. Whether you use cornflour or not, the custard can still curdle. But don't panic! I've had mine curdle many times, and it usually happens when I'm trying to multi-task and stop stirring (gasp!) for a few seconds. Just take it off the heat and stir vigorously to the point of beating it with your spoon until it's smooth again. Then just put it back on the heat and carry on. If the worst happens and it still ends up lumpy, don't despair, it will still taste great!
  4. One of the great advantages of making your own custard is that you can tweak it to your personal taste. If you like it strong, you can add more vanilla. If you like it thick or runny, you can adjust accordingly. If you want to make it a different flavor altogether, you can add orange, cinnamon, or anything else!
  5. There is, alas, one downside to proper homemade custard: you can't freeze it. If you want to freeze your custard or make custard ice lollies, you'll need to use custard powder. A store-bought tub works nicely for custard lollies.
Try adding variety to your custard with a homemade fruit crumble!

Try adding variety to your custard with a homemade fruit crumble!

Inspiration for Homemade Custard

My favorite accompaniment for homemade custard is fruit crumble. You can see custard poured over my famous apple and blackberry crumble in the photo above!

You can add other desserts to jazz up custard such as:

  • Apple pie
  • Fruit tart
  • Sticky toffee pudding

Or, if you're a custard addict like my other half, who needs anything with the custard??Also, if you want to start home cooking seriously, Rachel Allen's cookbook is a great resource. She has a great writing style, and her recipes are delicious (at least, every dish I've tried so far have been successes!). She includes a basic custard recipe along with three variations: vanilla, orange, and cinnamon. Yum!

More Homemade Custard Recipes

Love Custard?

© 2011 Missmerfaery444

Off to enjoy a nice bowl of homemade custard? - Please leave your Comments and Feedback before you go!

Sharon Berry from Michigan on November 01, 2014:

This sounds delicious. I can't wait to give it a go.

Paula Hite from Virginia on August 08, 2014:

So good! and on G+ today!


Peter Badham from England on July 31, 2014:

About 15 years ago I made my first homemade custard, I could never go back to powered or tinned. Your's looks lovely by the way, if I can I like to use a real vanilla pod, and scrape the insides out, but they are expensive.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on July 17, 2014:

This recipe looks and sounds delicious! My father especially loves custard.

Elyn MacInnis from Shanghai, China on July 14, 2014:

Custard is so lovely. And you can do it on the stovetop so it doesn't heat up the kitchen too much.

Lynn Klobuchar on July 02, 2014:

Yum! Planning on using this for a creme brule.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo from Manila, Philippines on April 20, 2014:

I'd love to taste this! I have a sweet tooth.

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 14, 2014:

@Missmerfaery444: You have so many more choices than we do. We have half and half, which is supposed to be half milk and half cream, but sometimes has other stuff in it, unless we hunt down unadulterated. The same is true of our other choice, usually labeled as either "heavy whipping cream" or merely "whipping cream."

katiesnow on April 14, 2014:


Missmerfaery444 (author) on April 13, 2014:

@ecogranny: Yes full cream milk is whole milk, and I think single cream equates to "light cream" in the US? In the UK we have single cream (thinner and runny), double cream (thicker), extra thick double cream (stupidly thick!) and whipping cream. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on April 10, 2014:

Yes, I will try your recipe for sure. In fact, I'm looking forward to it with relish. Pinning it so I don't lose it. I do have a question. Do you know what would be the equivalent terms for "full cream milk" and "single cream" here in the U.S.? I'm guessing whole milk might be comparable to your full cream milk, but not at all sure what single cream might be.

VioletteRose LM on January 07, 2014:

This looks really delicious!

ifriend on October 10, 2013:

very nice! feel like eat the same! thanks for the nice lens!

chat2vishakha on July 31, 2013:

It looks delicious.Thanks for this nice recipe.

poppy mercer from London on July 11, 2013:

I'd never thought of using a little cornflour. That makes great sense, and will definitely make it easier to thicken.

othellos on June 15, 2013:

Nice lens. Your recipe showed me the path to give up the powder stuff (it was easy...I admit). Thanks for sharing:=)

Missmerfaery444 (author) on April 08, 2013:

@debnet: Definitely worth trying Deb - easier than people think and the homemade taste is soooo worthwhile! :)

Debbie from England on April 08, 2013:

I think you've convinced me!! watching Masterchef or whatever leads you to believe it's a difficult thing to do but your recipe looks like something even I could tackle!!

DebW07 on March 14, 2013:

Delicious, thanks for the custard recipes.

Lorelei Cohen from Canada on January 11, 2013:

I like making my own desserts as much as possible because I can then keep them as healthy as possible. It really isn't too much more work than buying the package mixes.

chas65 on July 24, 2012:

All the English desserts that had custard were sooo good. Some of my American counterparts would prefer ice cream, but not me.

mrsclaus411 on June 03, 2012:

Custard is such a yummy treat. Thank you for sharing those tips and tricks.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on November 25, 2011:

Your homemade fruit crumble variation looks divine! Thanks for the recipes and ideas.

Genjud on August 18, 2011:

Oh, I love homemade custard. It is such a treat. I cook mine in the microwave for more instant gratification. Yummy!!!!

Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on April 25, 2011:

Yum, wishing I was off to enjoy a nice bowl of custard.

spritequeen lm on April 10, 2011:

Can't wait to try this! Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing

ohcaroline on April 09, 2011:

Excellent visual and written instructions. :)

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on April 09, 2011:

I love custard! Your directions and photos for making homemade custard are very well done!

anonymous on April 08, 2011:

Looks yummy. I have always loved custard.

Related Articles