You know what happens when a classic pudding and gingerbread flavor come together to make one delicious dessert? Magic --- and holiday magic at that, which is the best kind. But, really, imagine a rich, creamy custard filled with warm gingerbread spices. Sounds amazing, right? You definitely need this gingerbread pudding on your holiday table.
Besides being a tasty, festive treat, I’m a huge fan of this gingerbread pudding's versatility. I typically serve this pudding as pictured, and it's always a hit. This homemade pudding is so luscious on its own that it doesn't require much to impress.
But if you want to get creative, this gingerbread pudding can transform into many different desserts. Try layering cubed pumpkin bread with this pudding and whipped cream for a fun holiday trifle or pouring it into a ginger snap crust for an easy no-bake pie. This gingerbread pudding also makes an amazing cake or cupcake filling. Whether you serve this gingerbread pudding traditionally or as part of a larger dessert, you can’t go wrong with this recipe.
Bonus: If you love this gingerbread pudding, make sure to also put my gingerbread tiramisu on your holiday dessert list!
Let's get into the details. To start, we bring whole milk, heavy cream, dark brown sugar, molasses and cornstarch to a simmer. Some pudding recipes tell you to bring the mixture to a boil, but that could potentially turn into a huge mistake. Trust me. I learned from experience.
Before making a homemade vanilla pudding for the first times years ago, I saw several reputable recipes call for boiling the milk and cream, so I brought the mixture to a boil when it suddenly curdled on me. What? Why? I didn't understand.
After turning to Google, I discovered boiling milk can cause it to separate. Instead, you should keep a milk mixture to only simmer for stability. That would've been good to know, huh? At that point, the pudding was unsalvageable. I had to toss that batch and make another. All that food wasted. Sigh.
Fortunately, I discovered the secret to making a curdle-free pudding, so the next batch was great. But don't be the old me. No one wants curdled pudding.
In a separate bowl, we whisk together plenty of egg yolks with our gingerbread spices and vanilla extract. Once the cream mixture simmers, we spoon in a little at a time with our yolks. This prevents our eggs from scrambling when we return everything to the stove. We don't have to scoop in the entire cream mixture --- just enough that it warms the yolks.
Now we return everything to the stove and cook until it thickens. Once the mixture reaches a pudding consistency, we turn off the heat, add a little butter for good measure and refrigerate for a few hours. We're now ready to dig in and enjoy the most festive pudding you'll ever taste. True story.
When it comes to pudding, you can't go wrong with an imperial stout, which is my favorite type of dessert beer. The high alcohol content gives imperial stouts residual sweetness that makes them perfect with desserts. Specifically, I recommend Southern Tier Brewing Choklat Oranj Stout. And, yes, that's the correct spelling. Weird spelling but delicious beer. The chocolate and orange flavors complement the gingerbread flavor nicely.
When I serve this gingerbread pudding with wine, I always default to a tawny port. The dried fruit and caramel-like notes match beautifully with the molasses, and those rich flavors are delicious with the spices.
I hope you get jolly with a batch of this delicious gingerbread pudding.
P.S. See that cute, little gingerbread house in the background? That's my favorite Christmas decoration from my childhood. A few years ago, my mom gave it to me, and I always get so excited to put it on my mantle during the holidays. You can remove the roof to find a candle inside that smells amazing, but I never burn it because I want to preserve it. Isn't the holiday season the best? ❤️?
Looking for Some More Holiday Favorites?
- Gingerbread waffles
- Cranberry-apple cider sangria
- Spiced-brandied cranberry sauce
- Soft gingerbread men cookies with vanilla-orange icing
- Gingerbread toffee
- Gingerbread ice cream
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- 1 ½ cups whole milk
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons salted butter cut into small cubes
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together whole milk, heavy cream, dark brown sugar, cornstarch and molasses. Constantly whisk over medium heat until it reaches a simmer, and the mixture slightly thickens. Remove from heat. The cornstarch will initially look lumpy, but keep whisking, and it'll smooth out. Do not boil.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with vanilla extract, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves for about three minutes. Add a ladle of the cream mixture to yolks and whisk constantly. Once it's incorporated, add another scoop and repeat once or twice. Pour the cream-egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream and return to heat. Continue to whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency.
- Remove from heat and add cubed butter, stirring to help it melt. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into another bowl, directly cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled. Enjoy!
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.