Stovetop Butterscotch Pudding Recipe

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • The mellow sweetness and subtle caramelization of toasted sugar are a perfect match for butterscotch.
  • Malted milk powder adds a rich and vaguely nutty flavor.
  • White chocolate adds body without making the custard too thick.

This rich and silky pudding is best served warm, when you're snuggled down on the couch in your PJs, but it's not half bad all thick and wobbly from the fridge as a midnight snack. In either case, its creamy consistency depends in part on white chocolate; our favorite supermarket brand is Green & Blacks, which has a strong vanilla flavor that doesn't distract from the combination of toasted sugar and malted milk that gives this pudding its butterscotchy character.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 15 mins
Serves: 5 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 2 ounces white chocolate with a strong vanilla flavor, such as Green & Black’s (1/3 cup; 55g)

  • 3 1/2 ounces quick-toasted sugar (1/2 cup; 100g) (see notes)

  • 1 ounce malted milk powder, such as Carnation (1/4 cup; 25g)

  • 1/2 ounce cornstarch (4 teaspoons; 15g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight

  • 5 large egg yolks (about 1/3 cup; 3 ounces; 85g yolk)

  • 12 ounces milk, any percentage will do (1 1/2 cups; 340g)

  • 1/4 ounce vanilla extract (1 1/2 teaspoons; 7ml)


  1. Roughly chop white chocolate, place in a medium bowl, and suspend a large single-mesh sieve over the top. In a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, whisk together toasted sugar, malted milk powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add egg yolks and just a splash of the milk. Whisk until no lumps remain, then whisk in the remaining milk.

  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with the whisk until quite warm, about 4 minutes. Increase to medium heat, and gently whisk until the custard thickens, about 3 minutes, then continue cooking and whisking a minute longer. Immediately strain into the prepared bowl, pressing with a flexible spatula until the custard passes through. Add vanilla extract and stir until no longer billowing with steam. Serve warm, or refrigerate up to 1 week in an airtight container; stir before serving cold.

Special Equipment

Medium bowl, fine-mesh sieve, 3-quart stainless steel saucier


This recipe works great with quick-toasted sugar, but if you have some lightly toasted sugar leftover from blind baking a pie, you can use that too. For a simple variation, this recipe can also be made with a semi-refined cane sugar or a 50/50 blend of white and light brown sugar, for a flavor that's a little more molassesy but lovely in its own way.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
295 Calories
11g Fat
38g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 5
Amount per serving
Calories 295
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 5g 26%
Cholesterol 231mg 77%
Sodium 206mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 147mg 11%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 245mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)