Super easy recipe for a simple, easy vanilla sauce, great for pouring on desserts and cakes. Serve warm or chilled. Budget-friendly and uses regular pantry ingredients.
This vanilla sauce recipe is super easy to make and we find it often comes in handy when we want a sauce to drizzle over some cake (especially if it's gone dry!) or a delicious apple pie, or we just don't have all the ingredients to hand to make a rich custard sauce. This vanilla sauce is not pastry cream, which is very different and used as a filling for French tarts and many other pastries.
The ingredients listed for this recipe are regular pantry ingredients and really are inexpensive, in comparison to the fancy sauces you can buy ready-made in the stores.
We often use this sauce to drizzle over a slice of vanilla pound cake or as you see in the photos, we've used it on a slice of our raspberry and peach cake. It's a lovely flavor pairing and makes for a simple yet delicious dessert.
We've kept the recipe simple, and budget-friendly. If you wanted to bling this vanilla sauce up and go fancy, you could swap the milk for heavy cream, add 2 more egg yolks and omit the cornstarch, and at the very end, add a knob of butter to give it a real glossy shine.
However, then the recipe isn't so basic and cost-effective. But you have the option there if you wanted to!
500ml or 1 pint
⅓ Cup or 60g Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
2 Cups or 500 ml Milk
2 Egg Yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, and milk.
Stir so there are no lumps and bring to a gentle boil, stirring all the time. As soon as it boils, remove from heat.
2. In a bowl, add the egg yolks and lightly beat. Then slowly pour in half of the milk mixture, stirring as you pour. Return the bowl mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring all the time until it starts to boil.
At this point, have a little taste to see if you have the amount of sweetness to your liking. If you need more, simply add a tablespoon of sugar at a time and taste as you go along.
Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and stir.
Serve warm or transfer to a jug if serving straight away. If making ahead, transfer to a container or bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
If you want a thicker consistency, i.e not a pouring sauce but a setting sauce, perhaps for a pie filling, add an extra tablespoon of cornstarch to the ingredients. The sauce will thicken as it cools so don’t worry if you think it hasn’t thickened enough when it’s still cooking!
Storing vanilla sauce
This sauce will keep refrigerated for up to 5 days, covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container. When you come to use it, it will have firmed up, so if it's gone stiff, add a drop of milk and stir to loosen, then warm up in a pan or serve as is chilled.
We don't advise freezing this vanilla sauce.
Changing the flavors
You can add different flavors to this basic vanilla sauce recipe. For example:
- adding a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder and ½ cup of melted chocolate to the sauce when you're heating it up will give you an inexpensive chocolate sauce.
- swapping milk for same amount of coconut milk
- Adding some almond extract
- adding some finely grated zest of an orange, lemon or lime (don't add any of the fruit liquid)
- adding food coloring if you want to make a pink, blue or green sauce, say for a kiddies party
- adding honey instead of sugar
- The possibilities are endless and we'd love to hear in the comments below if you changed the flavors!
What can you make with leftover Egg Whites?
- Amaretti Style Lemon Cookies - uses 4 egg whites (you can halve the recipe if you only have 2 egg whites to use
- Amaretti Cranberry and Orange Cookies - uses 4 egg whites
- Mini Meringue Cookies - uses 2 egg whites
- Basic Meringue recipe - uses 4 egg whites. Again, you can easily halve this recipe to make less. *Meringues will keep for several weeks in an air tight container or bag.
- Strawberry Angel Food Cake - uses 10 egg whites
- Add the leftover egg whites to an omelette and it will be extra fluffy if you whip the egg whites first.
- Egg Breakfast Muffins - uses 6 - 7 egg whites
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other ingredients? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
- ⅓ Cup or 60g Sugar
- 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 2 Cups or 500 ml Milk
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a saucepan, add the sugar, cornstarch, and milk. Stir so there are no lumps and bring to a gentle boil, stirring all the time. As soon as it boils, remove from heat.
- In a bowl, add the egg yolks and lightly beat. Then slowly pour in half of the milk mixture, stirring as you pour.
- Return the bowl mixture to the saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring all the time until it starts to boil.
- At this point, have a little taste to see if you have the amount of sweetness to your liking. If you need more, simply add a tablespoon of sugar at a time and taste as you go along.
- Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract and stir.
- Serve warm or transfer to a jug if serving straight away.
- If making ahead, transfer to a container or a bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 673Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 410mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 101gFiber: 0gSugar: 87gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate