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Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding is as yummy as it sounds. Seriously…what a dreamy word – butterscotch is!

If you’re looking to try more pudding recipes, Homemade Chocolate Pudding from Scratch and Creamy Vanilla Pudding are the perfect recipes to make your tummy happy.

Close-up of The Best Butterscotch Pudding Recipe in a clear glass bowl

Butterscotch anything has to be one of my top favorite flavors of all time.

What amazes me is that I’ve never made a butterscotch recipe for myself – ever in the history of my life.  How can that be possible?

While browsing through my enormous pile of recipes to make, I came across this one.  Well, you had me at Mollie.

If you don’t know who Mollie Katzen is – let me enlighten you.  She is a famous vegetarian chef that has written a series of cookbooks.  Her most famous cookbook is the Moosewood Cookbook.

I seriously love her recipes.  Hungarian Mushroom Soup is one of her other recipes I featured on my blog.  I tweaked the recipe a bit – it had way too much parsley in it – but that recipe is a keeper.  You can find it here.  

Butterscotch pudding is a cure-all for many things in my book.  Have a bad day?  Have a little pudding.  Too much to do?  Slow down and enjoy the yummy taste of butterscotch.

Now here’s the kicker.  All these years and I’ve never made myself homemade butterscotch pudding – yet it is so darn simple.  There’s a total of six ingredients in this recipe – the most exotic one is vanilla extract.

Who the heck knew that this pudding would be one of the easiest recipes I have ever made?  Not me that’s for sure.

Ninety-nine percent of the time I have the ingredients on hand…without making a special trip to the store.  I bet you do too.

So let’s get to this amazing recipe, so you can wind down, get cozy and treat yourself to a sweet snack at the end of the day.

History of Pudding:

The history of pudding is a bit murky.  The word “pudding” has been used to describe the dessert we’ve come to love, and it also described savory and salty dishes made of meat according to Wikipedia.  

Meat puddings were made out of ingredients mostly in liquid form that are then encased and boiled or steamed to set the contents.  (Doesn’t that sound yummy?) Today haggis, Yorkshire pudding, and Black pudding originated from that tradition.  

Historians agree that dessert puddings (classified as custards) have been around since the Middle ages according to Food Timeline.  

Somewhere around the 1840’s, the difference between American pudding and European custard became known.  At that time, alternatives to the traditional boiled puddings changed due to the creation of custard powder – invented by Alfred Bird, an English chemist.  Cornstarch also made it’s debut and gave cooks another way to thicken dishes.

The earliest reference to chocolate pudding was in 1730 in the cookbook The Complete Practical Cook by Charles Carter.   Some of the ingredients listed in the recipe is Orange-Flower water, ginger, nutmeg, and  cinnamon.  Wealthy people enjoyed these sweet bowls of heaven.

If you can’t get enough pudding, there’s an annual Banana Pudding Festival located in Centerville, Tennessee.  The annual event is the first weekend of October.  You can find out more about the festival here.   

Creating a Cozy Life Group

Since you you found this recipe for butterscotch pudding, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 57,000 like-minded souls.

It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Here’s how to make Homemade Butterscotch Pudding:

Ingredients for Homemade Butterscotch Pudding: 

2 cups of milk 

1 tablespoon butter 

3 tablespoons DARK brown sugar 

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/4 teaspoon salt 

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Directions for making Homemade Butterscotch Pudding:

1)  Combine the milk, butter and brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan.

2) Place it over medium heat until it is hot to the touch. DON’T LET IT BOIL.

3) In a medium bowl, pour in half the milk mixture from the saucepan and add the cornstarch.

4) Whisk vigorously, until the cornstarch is dissolved.

5) Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and return it to the heat.

6) Let the mixture come almost to a boil, whisking frequently.

7) Lower the temperature to simmer and cook for five minutes, whisking often. It will become thick and shiny.

8) Pour the pudding in a serving bowl and let it cool to room temperature.

9) Once it has cooled, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Printable Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding Recipe in a clear glass bowl
Yield: 4 servings

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Homemade Butterscotch Pudding is so easy to make with six ingredients you probably already have on hand in your pantry. Creamy deliciousness in every bite.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons DARK brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk, butter and brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Place it over medium heat until it is hot to the touch. DON'T LET IT BOIL.
  3. In a medium bowl, pour in half the milk mixture from the saucepan and add the cornstarch.
  4. Whisk vigorously, until the cornstarch is dissolved.
  5. Pour the cornstarch mixture back into the pan and return it to the heat.
  6. Let the mixture come almost to a boil, whisking frequently.
  7. Lower the temperature to simmer and cook for five minutes, whisking often. It will become thick and shiny.
  8. Pour the pudding in a serving bowl and let it cool to room temperature.
  9. Once it has cooled, cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Now that you’ve had time to read through the recipe – easy right?  Yep.  This is something you can whip up at a moment’s notice and have a delicious dessert in no time.

This dish serves four.  Or maybe just one, if you had a really bad day.  Right?

Tips on making Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

1) Don’t leave the saucepan unattended!  I stayed right where I was supposed to be stirring the mixture like I was supposed to.  Milk can burn easily.

2) Have everything out and ready to go.  This is a quick recipe, you don’t want to be fumbling around for ingredients.  I’m a fumbler.  This time I changed my bad habit and I’m glad I did.

3) Give the pudding a few minutes on the counter to cool off  before putting in the refrigerator.  

4) Let the mixture get cold in the refrigerator no matter how tempted you are to dive in.  It’s a dish that’s better cold.  You know it, I know it…but your stomach has other ideas.

5) If you want to avoid having the layer of skin that forms at the top of pudding, place a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of pudding in the bowl.  This prevents the skin.  

6) Use whole milk or 2% milk, otherwise your pudding will be too thin.  

How long does butterscotch pudding last in the fridge? 

You’ll want to keep butterscotch pudding from scratch covered in the refrigerator.  It will last 3 to 6 days.

Add-ins for Homemade Butterscotch Pudding

  • Crush your favorite cookies and sprinkle the crumbs on top of the pudding for a fun add-on.
  • Chopped candied nuts add a little crunch to your bowl of pudding.  
  • For a festive touch, you can add sprinkles to the pudding to celebrate a beautiful day.  
  • Mini chocolate chips would add a fun twist to your pudding.  
  • You can add drizzles of chocolate sauce, caramel, or even vanilla sauce to take your butterscotch pudding up a notch.  
  • Shave milk, white, or dark chocolate on top of your pudding.
  • I know someone that likes to add Kettle corn to the top of her butterscotch pudding for a sweet and salty topping.  
  • How about sprinkling your favorite spice on top of your pudding?  Cinnamon and nutmeg are a couple of options.
  • I love it when you get served pudding in a cup, and there’s a cookie sitting on the rim.  Simply cut a cookie half-way up and slide it on the edge of the rim.  
  • Layer homemade pudding with pieces of pound cake and cookie crumbs.  Top with whipped cream.  

How to serve classic butterscotch pudding 

  • I like to use ramekins to serve pudding.  You can find my favorite ramekins here. 
  • You could also use clear glass drinking glasses to serve this vanilla custard pudding and top with whipped cream.
  • Small mason jars are the perfect vessels for old-fashioned vanilla pudding.   
  • If you have a fun collection of mugs, you can also serve your pudding in those.  

We’ve reached the end of Homemade Butterscotch Pudding.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Let me know in the comments below how you liked this easy  Homemade Butterscotch Pudding recipe. 

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge Style Facebook group.  You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Pin this recipe below on your recipe board on Pinterest.  

Thanks for stopping by.  I’m so happy you found us!  

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CindyKay Clark

Sunday 5th of May 2024

Thank you for this easy recipe. I used raw milk and brown coconut sugar and I doubled the recipe. I plan on making homemade whipped cream from raw cream to go with it.

Kelly Morse

Wednesday 8th of May 2024

You're very welcome! Those substitutions sound delicious! - Kelly

Stacy Baker

Saturday 23rd of March 2024

Is there any way to make this a bit less sweet without sacrificing the butterscotch flavor? My 90-year-old Dad loved it, but said it was a tad too sweet.

Kelly Morse

Monday 25th of March 2024

Hello Stacy! You can reduce the sugar and it should not change the flavor too much. I love that you made this recipe for your dad! - Kelly

Carol

Monday 6th of November 2023

Could you use it to make a pie ?

Kelly

Tuesday 7th of November 2023

Hello Carol! You can use this recipe to make pie. - Kelly

Lisa

Sunday 8th of October 2023

No eggs? I’ve never seen a pudding recipe without eggs - usually yolks. I’m trying to get rid of some eggs, so I was just wondering. 😂

Kelly

Monday 9th of October 2023

Some butterscotch pudding recipes have eggs. This one came out of an old cookbook. It was what the original butterscotch pudding recipe was.It definitely tastes different than butterscotch pudding recipes with butterscotch chips and eggs! I hope that helps. - Kelly

Tracy

Sunday 20th of August 2023

I used the 3 tablespoons of Dark brown sugar as the recipe calls for and the pudding still looks and tastes like vanilla pudding.

Kelly

Tuesday 22nd of August 2023

Hello Tracy!

This pudding is the original old-fashioned way they made butterscotch pudding. Recipes that use butterscotch chips has more of a butterscotch flavor - but I wanted the original recipe. I'm sorry you didn't like it! - Kelly

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