Grandma's Baked Custard

Sunday, March 29, 2020
When I make Grandma's Baked Custard, it brings me back to the simple days of good old-fashioned desserts made with everyday pantry ingredients.

Grandma was quite creative making delicious desserts in the kitchen and this recipe brings back many fond childhood memories of her.

This 100 years old recipe is made with just 6 ingredients.

It was a great way to use up a large amount of milk we knew was going to expire soon and nothing went to waste back in the 1960s and when money was tight we used whatever we had.

The custard is done in either ramekin or in one large souffle baking dish (which I prefer) because we never had fancy dishes like those little white cups in our house in those days.

We just love her Homemade Chocolate Pudding or Grandma's Old Fashioned Banana Pudding recipes but her baked custard was the ultimate favorite comfort dessert.

I must say this is a little tricky to make if it's your first time and you must read the tips on scalding milk as the temperature must be perfect when mixing with the eggs.

Do read all the instructions first before attempting a baked custard so the results are perfect!

Once you get the hang of it, you will have mastered what is considered now a gourmet-style dessert served all over the world right in your own home.

Back growing up as a child, these were simple ingredients and we had it often, it takes a little time to bake but so worth it.

Served as is with a little cinnamon or nutmeg baked on the top or sometimes with a dollop of whipped cream and berries, it's just amazing.

Scroll through all the tips and directions before you start and print off this recipe at the end.

baked custard in a large white oven proof casserole dish

baked custard in a ramekin with raspberries and cream on top

Simple Pantry Ingredients

Baked custard always brings a smile to my face when I serve it, simple ingredients a great childhood memory of grandma.

The family has always loved grandma's custard recipe, her recipes were always with simple ingredients most everyone has in their pantry.

Nothing fancy about this one unless you decide to dress it up with some cream and berries at the ends.

However you decide to present this incredible custard, it will win everyone's heart and be remembered as grandma's old-fashioned baked custard dessert for more centuries to come.

A collage of photos on how to make Grandma's baked custard recipe


  • Use ramekins individual cups or a souffle casserole dish
  • A hot-water bath, or bain-marie, insulates the custard from the direct heat of the oven and promotes even cooking so the edges don’t overcook
  • The vessels used to cook the custard do not need greasing
  • Don't overfill the water bath with too much or it will splash on the custard and ruin it, use around 1 inch of water
  • The scalded milk should be around 180 degrees do not boil it
  • The custard is finished when it produces a gentle wiggle 
  • If the inside looks soupy continue baking it another 10 minutes
  • Don't overcheck it while baking losing heat will cause the heat loss and stop baking all together
  • You can test the center temperature with a thermometer. It should read at about 170-175 degrees.
  • The jiggle will solidify into the custard texture we all know and love after a few hours in a refrigerator
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • The knife test: Test for doneness with a thin-bladed knife insert knife about one inch from the center if it cleans when pulled out it done, if not bake one minute longer
  • Why is my custard watery and weeping? this will be an issue if the custard is overbaked or the oven temperature is too high (other issues is if you constantly open the oven door the eggs won't cook evenly) not cooked through will weep, overcooked will look like scrambled eggs

baked custard tested with a clean knife


  1. When it comes to custards, tempering means gradually adding two mixtures together that are hot: hot milk or cream to room temperature eggs that have been whisked.
  2. Milk is considered to be scalded once it exceeds a temperature of 180 degrees F.
  3. Test the temperature of the milk with an instant-read thermometer once the milk has begun to steam and show small bubbles.
  4. If you pour the whisked eggs into a hot pan they begin to cook immediately resulting in scrambled eggs.
  5. This method is a little tricky and even some of the greatest chefs fail with this method.
  6. A slow steady stream of milk while whisking constantly is required to achieve the best results.

baked custard with raspberries on top

Ingredients You Will Need To Make Baked Custard

For exact measurements scroll down to the printable recipe card

  • Milk
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg
  • Optional Topping: whipped cream, fresh berries

a single square dish with grandma's baked custard and nutmeg on top

More Recipes To Try

Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Grandma's Rice Pudding
Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

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Questions or Problems?

Hopefully, you will have great success, don't forget to read my tips first!

If you do have any concerns or questions, leave me a message here or on my Facebook page.

I surely will try and help out any way I can in a timely fashion to get you an answer quickly.


Grandma's Baked Custard

Yield: 6
Prep time: 15 MCook time: 1 hourTotal time: 1 H & 15 M
With just 6 ingredients this old-fashioned style baked custard is the most comforting dessert on the planet. I won't say this is easy to master, however, Grandma always made it perfect so just reading all the tips first will have you on your way to making this perfect. The smooth baked custard takes away standing in front of a hot stove and requires a water bath to ensure great results.


  • 4  large eggs
  • 2/3  cup white sugar
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1 - 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4  cups whole milk
  • 1/2  teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg


How to cook Grandma's Baked Custard

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get a  large enough pan ready to bake the souffle dish or ramekins in with around  1 inch of water and set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs by hand for around 30 seconds adding the sugar, salt and vanilla then set aside.
  4. Heat the milk to 180 degrees and wait to see if bubbles occur on the sides or use an instant thermometer to check the temperature.
  5. Do not boil, this is very important not to ruin the eggs.
  6. Measure 1 cup of the scalded milk and slowly pour this in the egg mixture whisking the entire time quickly.
  7. Slowly keep pouring the remainder of the milk whisking constantly.
  8. Pour the custard into ungreased ramekins or a souffle casserole dish. 
  9. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon or nutmeg or both.
  10. Set the ungreased baking dishes you're using in the water bath.
  11. Bake the custard in the preheated oven of 350 degrees for around 45 minutes for the ramekins or 1 hour for one large souffle dish.
  12. Refer to the tips for baking instructions.
  13. The custard is done when you insert a knife into the center of a cup and it comes out clean and will still be jiggly. 
  14. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours to set up although you can serve this warm as well, its a matter of preference.
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Try Some Other Recipe Favorites!

Grandma's Rice Pudding
Old Fashioned Bread Pudding
Chocolate Filled Pusties

a single square dish with grandma's baked custard and nutmeg on top


  1. That looks so darn good with those fresh raspberries! I want some :-))

  2. This is so creamy and delicious and not overly sweet. Fantastic recipe!

  3. This is so creamy and delicious and not overly sweet. Fantastic recipe!

  4. It may take a little time but it was definitely worth it! Since I love creme brulee, plus anything Grandma makes, I just had to give this a try. Smooth, creamy, lusciously rich and perfect with a creme brulee topping.

  5. I will love your Grandma's Baked Custard, it looks so comforting, I will be making this( and I may not share it)! Thanks so much for sharing your awesome talent with us at Full Plate Thursday,and come back to see us soon!
    Stay Healthy!
    Miz Helen

  6. Hi, I made this custard and it came out delicious...I noticed that it had a good amount of liquid, is that normal? What can I do to reduce the liquid? Thank you

    1. If the eggs aren't cooked enough, proteins don't cross-link enough to disrupt the flow of water, and the custard is thin and runny. Should they be overcooked, the proteins in the eggs begin to coagulate tightly, forming small curds. These curds are wonderful for scrambled eggs, but are unwelcome in a any custard. I use an instant thermometer to ensure that the temperature hits 180 hope that helps

  7. Bintu | Budget DeliciousFebruary 13, 2021 at 8:29 AM

    Sometimes you just need these recipes - good old comfort food that remind us of childhood. This looks so good!

  8. What a simple and tasty looking dessert!

  9. Thanks for the note that mention not to open the oven to check the doneness. I would be tempted to do that 😊!

  10. I love this recipe! I'm always afraid custards are going to be too sweet but this one is just perfect!

  11. I've never made a homemade custard before. This looks creamy and dreamy so I'm going to give it a go!

  12. This custard was so creamy and comforting and was the perfect dessert to make this weekend! I'll definitely be making it again soon!

  13. I love custard and make it all the time. In Irish cooking, hot custard is served over many desserts. I really like this creamy Italian custard

  14. This is my kind of comfort food treat! I just want to dig right in. :)

  15. Love that this is baked and no water bath is required! So much easier!

  16. Oh I haven't had a baked custard in years! I do appreciate the in-depth instructions, makes the whole process a lot easier!

  17. This was amazing. I've tried 4 custard recipes on here and this is the one I've been looking for. I followed your instructions carefully and it came out great!

  18. This recipe is my FAVOURITE go-to easy dessert at home, and I’m someone that bakes a ton. I actually timed the whole process, took me genuinely only 20 mins and comes out perfect every time (I ladle milk in slowly while whisking so never had a problem there). Ingredients are cheap, no fancy equipment necessary, I love this so much. Thanks!!

  19. Drool Drool. Just ran across this on Pinterest and now I'm sitting at work and want sooooo bad! I can tell what I'll be making this weekend. Yes, my grandma made this. Sometimes in a pie crust too and sometimes like over a crust with peaches. Soooo good!

  20. On the way home from my husband’s surgery, he said “Do you know what bounds good? Custard.” It was a big hit. The entire custard was eaten by two of us with one having a large second helping. Certainly comfort food and fond memories of my mom.

    1. thanks for the kind words, hope your husband feels better soon. God bless

  21. Been making it for a cancer patient with no appetite. She loves it and it's nourishing.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to post this heartfelt comment aending special prayers for your loved one

  22. This was my first time having custard in baked form and it was wonderful! Thanks for the great recipe!

  23. This looks and sounds fabulous! Love this recipe. It's a perfect dish for my family.

  24. This classic grandma's baked custard is so creamy and delicious. I could eat it every day.

  25. Delicious, it's like a lower-suger creme crulee with cinnamon on top instead of the caramel layer! Love it!

  26. I am anxious to try your custard recipe. But I have to say - it was like pulling teeth just to locate the recipe! I clicked one go to recipe comment and it took me elsewhere. Way too difficult - sorry

  27. Delicious and I love that the entire process takes under 90 minutes. Would recommend!

  28. How many ramekins for this recipe or what size soufflé dish?

    1. This needs a single one that will be able to hold up to 6 cups. Small indivdual I usually divide into 8 there are links of what I use on the bottom of the page also

  29. I've never done a water bath. Does the water have to be hot

    1. It provides two things moisture to the custard and steam as it backs automaticly

  30. This looks amazing! My husband loves custard. Does this freeze well?

    1. If you freeze custard, it will turn solid like most things in the freezer. Problems arise when you come to defrost it. Chances are it will split and become grainy. I personally wouldn't because of the texture, however if you don't mind eating it a little frozen, it's not bad as an ice cream ..hope that helps

  31. Have made this about 10 times over the past year.Perfect every time, and so easy. I just stick on a pan of water to boil for the water bath, heat the milk in the microwave to 180 ( skim off the skin that forms on the milk), whisk the other ingredients as directed, and it’s done. I set my casserole dish inside a 9”x13” pan, fill the 9x13 with hot water, & bake 1 hour. I have it down to a science! Love this creamy custard with berries. Have also served it with fresh sliced peaches or diced mango. Excellent!

  32. Thank you for such an amazingly perfect custard recipe.


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