How to Make Custard

Learn how to make custard with tips from our Test Kitchen experts.

Not to be confused with pudding, custard is a comforting old-fashioned treat that’s commonly seen on a restaurant dessert menu or in a bakery.

But you don’t have to trek to a fancy restaurant for a spoonful of this silky-smooth dessert. Custard is way easier to make than you think! The recipe only calls for three basic ingredients (plus a couple spices) that you likely already have in your kitchen.

FAQ: Does custard have eggs?

Yes, a custard is any liquid that is thickened with egg (even liquids other than milk or cream like lemon curd). This differs from custard’s dessert cousin, pudding, which uses a gelatinized starch as a thickening agent. More in a pudding mood? Take a look at how to make pudding the old-fashioned way.

How to Make Custard

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg

Tools

Directions

Step 1: Mix the Custard

Mixing custard in a measuring cup with a whiskTaste of Home

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar and salt until fully combined.

Test Kitchen Tip: Mix the ingredients in a bowl with a spout or a measuring cup so that it can be poured into the cups more easily.

Step 2: Prepare the Custard Cups

Pouring custard from a measuring cup into custard cupsTaste of Home

Divide the custard mixture evenly between four lightly greased 8 oz. custard cups. Then, sprinkle some cinnamon and nutmeg on top of the custard.

Test Kitchen Tip: For a silky-smooth custard, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer before adding to the cups.

Step 3: Set-up a Water Bath

Pouring a water bath for custard cups in the ovenTaste of Home

Transfer the custard cups to a 13×9-in. baking pan. Slowly pour hot, but not boiling, water into the pan until it is 3/4 in. deep.

Test Kitchen Tip: To prevent any water splashing on the custard (or all over your kitchen floor) add the water to the pan while it sits on the oven rack. Then, just push the rack in and close the oven door. Here are 15 more kitchen tips that will make you feel like a pro.

Step 4: Bake

Bake the custard, uncovered, at 350° for about 50-55 minutes. You’ll know the custard is done when a toothpick or knife inserted in the middle of the cup comes out clean.

Once the custard has set, remove them from the oven and immediately transfer the cups to a cooling rack. This will prevent the custard from overcooking in the water bath’s residual heat.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Allow the custard to cool until the cups can be handled, then dig in! You can serve this custard either warm or chilled, on its own or topped with fresh fruit. Custard can also be a component in other recipes, like galaktoboureko, a Greek dessert.

Try More of Our Favorite Custard Recipes
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Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.