This creamy custard recipe is delicious! The fresh pod of vanilla that is cooked in the milk makes it super nice. The recipe requires a lot of fast whisking, but the end result is drooling good.

Ingredients for custard

In this creamy custard recipe I use tapioca flour, instead of cornstarch. If you don’t have tapioca, or prefer to use cornstarch, you can easily substitute. For every 2 tablespoon of tapioca, use one tablespoon of cornstarch. If you want to try the flour this is the one that I prefer: Tapioca flour. Another important note is to use an egg that is at room temperature.

Egg yolk ready to add cane sugar

Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Instead of throwing the egg white out, consider saving it to make meringue. Mix in the cane sugar with the egg yolk. Measure out the tapioca flour in advance so it will be ready when the milk is at the right temperature, later in the recipe.

Egg yolk with sugar

The cute measuring spoon, seen in the picture, can be purchased here. Besides being cute, they are sturdy and one of my favorites.

Vanilla pod with vanilla removed from the podI added a fresh organic vanilla pod to the milk being warmed for the custard. Carefully cut it open with a sharp knife and remove the vanilla seeds from the pod. Place both in the milk before bringing it to a boil.

Milk with pod and vanilla ready to bring to a boil

Stirring with a whisk, bring the milk, pod and vanilla slowly to a boil.

Milk with thermometer

The milk has to come to a boil but the temperature needs to be closely monitored. I use this thermometer, which is made specifically for baking and cooking. The temperature of the milk has to be 180 degrees Fahrenheit, but can not get above 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets higher, and you add the yolk mixture, you will end up with scrambled eggs instead of a custard. Thus, the temperature is really important to keep an eye on.

Egg yolk with sugar and tapioca flour mixture

When you see that your milk is getting close to the 180 degree Fahrenheit, quickly whisk the tapioca flour into your egg yolk-sugar mixture. This will help you be ready when the milk reaches the right temperature. 

Milk wished with the egg yolk mixture

When the milk has the right temperature remove it from the heat. Slowly add the milk to the egg yolk mixture in small batches. Whisk it really well to combine everything and avoid lumps in your custard. This will get your arm workout in, so start whisking! After the milk is fully added to the egg yolk, you can return it to the pan and put it back onto a low heat. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes.

If the custard separates you either had it too long on the heat, or the heat was too high. When this happens, take the custard off of the heat and whisk it really, really well. If this doesn’t work, then you can put the custard through a strainer.

Custard simmered for 4 minutes ready to cool down

After the custard has simmered for 3-4 minutes it is ready to eat warm. Alternatively, you can cool it down slowly on the counter. If you choose to cool the custard, it is important to whisk it again frequently to avoid a film forming on the top which can make lumps in the custard. Whisk it every few minutes while it slowly cools down on the counter. When it is fully cooled, you can transfer it to a jar and store it in the fridge. Freshly made custard can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days. 

Custard you can combine with my pound cake recipe and some whipped cream and fruit to create a trifle.


Homemade silky smooth custard.
Cook Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: custard
Keyword: custard, vanilla custard
Servings: 1
Author: Ester van Boesschoten


  • 1 Cup Whole (full fat) milk
  • 1-2 Tablespoon Cane sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoon Tapioca flour or 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • Pinch Salt


  • Crack the egg and separate the egg white from the egg yolk into two different bowls.
  • Add the sugar to the bowl with the egg yolk and whisk them together.
  • Put the milk into a pan and remove the vanilla seeds out of their pod. Add the vanilla and the pod into the milk.
  • Slowly bring the milk to a boil. The temperature of the milk should be 180 Fahrenheit but not higher then 185 Fahrenheit.
  • Just before the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, mix in the tapioca flour to the sugar mixture.
  • When the milk has reached 180 Fahrenheit, take the milk off of the heat. Slowly add the milk mixture to your egg-sugar mixture while whisking really well. Whisking is really important here!
  • When everything is whisked together, without any lumps, add the mixture back into the pan.
  • Let the custard simmer on low heat, for around 3-4 minutes, while constantly whisking.
  • After it has simmered for 3-4 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and remove the vanilla pod from the milk.
  • You can eat the custard warm, or if preferred, let it cool. It is important to stir during the cooling process, otherwise a film will form on top of the custard.