Thick, silky, creamy and luxurious vanilla custard. I’m going to show you how to make it lump-free, without custard powder.
The ultimate accompaniment to all sponge cakes, fruit pies and crumbles!

A mottled blue jug full of custard, sat on a blue plate with a spoon next to it, on a wooden table with a white tea towel in the background

When I was little, Sunday afternoons would always be spent having tea at my nana and grandad’s house with all of the family. My grandad was a keen and adventurous baker and would have apple crumbles, rhubarb crumbles, scones and trifle on the table without fail.
He could always be relied upon to have a big jug of homemade custard, in a Pyrex jug, ready for us all to devour.

This is the famous custard, done the proper way, with lots for everyone, because who doesn’t love custard…

📋 What do we need?

  • Cream Always use double (heavy) cream for your custard, this will ensure the custard is luscious and won’t split
  • Milk Full fat (whole) milk again for that creamy taste
  • Vanilla Extract This will add the essential flavour to your custard, or you can use vanilla essence, vanilla paste or the seeds from a vanilla pod
  • Eggs I used large eggs, but if you don’t have large, just add an extra yolk to the recipe

🔪 How to make Custard

Full recipe with detailed steps in the recipe card at the end of this post.

A close up of a big bowl of custard being whisked on a wooden table
  1. Heat the cream and milk in a pan over a gentle heat.
  2. In a jug, mix the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the hot cream/ milk over the egg mixture, slowly, whilst stirring constantly, then pour back into the pan and heat gently while stirring with the whist, until thick and creamy.

👩‍🍳PRO TIP Try pushing fresh raspberries through a sieve and adding to the custard for a trip down memory lane and that wonderful school ‘pink custard’

Thick, creamy and goes with so many desserts and cakes, and not forgetting the old favourite, bananas and custard 😋

What’s your favourite thing to serve with custard?
Mine has to be the good old sticky toffee pud!

Piece of sticky toffee pudding on a plate, topped with custard. Jug of custard in the background.
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5 from 7 votes

How to make custard

Thick, silky, creamy and luxurious vanilla custard. The ultimate accompaniment to all sponge cakes, fruit pies and crumbles!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 -6
Course: Dessert, Sauces
Cuisine: British


  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) double (heavy) cream
  • 180 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk (full-fat milk)
  • 4 egg yolks from large eggs
  • 2 tsp cornflour cornstarch if you're in the US
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • Heat the cream and milk in a pan until bubbles just start to rise at the edge of the pan (don't boil it).
    180 ml (3/4 cup) double (heavy) cream, 180 ml (3/4 cup) whole milk (full-fat milk)
  • In a jug, mix the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar, and vanilla extract.
    4 egg yolks, 2 tsp cornflour, 3 tbsp caster sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • When the cream is hot, pour into the egg mixture in a thin stream whilst stirring (note: stirring, not whisking fast!) with a hand whisk (don’t pour in the milk all at once or it will scramble the eggs).
  • Once mixed together, pour back into the pan and continue to stir the custard with a whisk over a medium heat until it thickens.
  • If it gets too thick, add a splash of cream.
  • Turn off the heat and serve.


If you stir constantly with a whisk, you shouldn’t get any lumps.
If you do end up with any lumps, simply pour the custard through a sieve.
Can I make it ahead?  
Yes, cover with a piece of clingfilm (so it’s touching the whole of the top layer of custard), so you don’t get a skin on the top, then refrigerate for up to two days.
Reheat, in a pan, stirring constantly, until piping hot.
Can I freeze it?
Honestly? it can be a bit hit and miss, and is likely to split, so I don’t recommend freezing homemade custard.
However, you can freeze the excess egg whites to use another day.
Ingredient swaps
  • Add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder along with the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour to make chocolate custard.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract for a lovely vanilla-almond flavour (works great when served with sponge recipes).
Nutritional information is approximate, per serving – based on this recipe making 6 servings.


Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 174mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Welcome to Kitchen Sanctuary

Hi, I'm Nicky and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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  1. 5 stars
    Easily the best custard I’ve made but would if possible add in the vanilla bean brings it to next level but did it both ways and still perfect . Yum

  2. 5 stars
    beautiful presentation of this recipie! It is delicious and its own special custard moment. Thank you for your work.

  3. 5 stars
    I’ve never made custard before but looking at this recipe I’m going to try and make my own.

  4. 5 stars
    I love custard but my husband will not touch it unless I make caramel custard. To to me it is a treat whenever we eat out. Thank you for this recipe

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious, I usually reach for a tin of custard to accompany our Sunday dessert, but decided to give homemade a try. Was much easier than I thought and so delicious. Will definitely be making this again😋