This homemade coffee pudding is a home run. If you love coffee desserts you’re in luck because this easy recipe delivers tummy warming comfort with a jolt of caffeine. And it’s ready in 20 minutes!
Homemade coffee pudding is a grown up version of a classic comfort food
Think pudding is bland and boring? Think again. Coffee is definitely in the elite group of favored flavors on this blog, and I live for that epic first cup of coffee every morning. I’m always looking for ways to sneak that epic experience into other foods. When you taste this warm from the pan it’s an eyes rolling back in your head moment. I live for those, too.
Ps and by the way, this dreamy caffeinated pudding will smooth over any and all of the day’s troubles. (Move over pint of ice cream ~ coffee pudding is the new official break up food.)
In the world of recipe development things don’t always go smoothly from initial idea to perfect outcome, and so it was on my third attempt that I settled on the perfect formula. This one is soft and silky, with just the right intensity of coffee flavor. If you love coffee, this should be on your menu plan this week.
What you’ll need for coffee pudding
It’s a few whole ingredients that bears no resemblance to the laundry list of chemicals on a package of instant pudding…
- milk ~ I use whole but you can use low fat
- cream or half and half ~ this adds richness but to save calories and fat you can substitute more milk.
- ground coffee or instant coffee
- egg yolks
different ways to infuse coffee flavor into pudding
All of these involve infusing the milk and cream before starting to cook the pudding on the stove
The way I do it: I heat up my milk and cream until hot (not quite scalded) and stir in some Starbucks ground coffee. I let it steep for a few minutes, then strain. For this method you need a very fine mesh strainer to remove the grounds. I used a nut milk or jelly straining bag.
If you have a French press you can heat your milk and cream, add it to the pot, stir in the coffee grounds, let it steep for a minute or two, then press to remove the grounds. This avoids having to strain your milk.
You can also use instant coffee or instant espresso powder. Just stir it into the hot milk and cream, no need to strain. The downside is that I think instant coffee has a slightly ‘off’ taste that I don’t care for. The best I’ve found is the Starbucks instant coffee packets, but if you’re a real coffee lover, I’d go with actual ground coffee beans.
Tips for cooking pudding (on an electric stove especially)
Our new house unfortunately has an electric stove, and it’s the first time I’ve ever had to cook on one. Until I can replace it with gas, I’ve had to relearn some techniques, especially with recipes like this homemade pudding.
- patience is your best friend, so start off on medium heat while you whisk everything together well.
- once your pudding starts to heat up, switch from a whisk to a silicone spoonula. This will help you scrape the bottom and sides of the pot efficiently so nothing sticks or scorches.
- Stir continuously, don’t take any breaks.
- the real action starts once you sense the first thickening. Stir swiftly and if you feel any lumps forming, raise the pan off the heat while you stir them down. Raise and lower the pan on and off the heat as the pudding comes to a bubble.
- once the pudding has come to that first bubble it’s basically done. If you feel it’s still a little thin you can gently boil for a few more seconds, stirring vigorously.
- Don’t skip the final strain (a standard mesh strainer will do,) it will catch any stray lumps and insure that your pudding is super silky.
Some of my favorite desserts are puddings!
- Scandinavian Rice Pudding
- Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding
- Brownie Pudding
- Meyer Lemon Pudding
- Vanilla Bean Pudding
- Milk Chocolate Mousse
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup half and half, or heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp ground coffee (more to taste)
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- Heat the milk and half and half or cream until hot and steaming (but not simmering.) You can do this in the microwave or on the stove. Remove from heat and stir in the coffee. Let sit 3 minutes. Note: using more coffee grounds and steeping longer will produce a darker, stronger coffee flavor.
- Strain out the coffee grounds using a very fine mesh strainer like multiple layers of cheesecloth or a nut milk or jelly bag. You can even use a coffee filter. Set the milk aside.
- Rinse out the saucepan and add the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch. Whisk until smooth, then whisk the milk in and put over medium heat. Heat, whisking or stirring constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Note: I like to switch to a silicone spoonula so I can scrape the sides and bottom of the pan constantly to avoid scorching.
- Once the pudding has come to the boil and thickened, pour it immediately through a regular mesh strainer, pushing with the back of a spoon to get it all through, leaving any small lumps behind. Stir in the butter and vanilla and mix until the butter is melted and the pudding is smooth and glossy. Spoon into 4 individual cups or small bowls and let cool a bit before chilling in the refrigerator.
- Serve topped with sweetened whipped cream.
notes and variations