52 In Dessert/ Video

Purin (Custard Pudding) Recipe

Purin is a flan-like cold custard dessert in Japan.  The name “Purin” obviously comes from “pudding” (perhaps more obvious in Japanese), but it is not the same thing as the gooey pudding in the US at all.  It has a firmer texture similar to Mexican flan and also has caramel sauce on top.   It is a very basic sweet but everyone in Japan adores it.

There are a lot of western (mostly French) cake shops everywhere in Japan.  Some cake shops sell more delicate and sophisticated concoctions, and others simpler, everyday snack types.  Wherever you go, though, you will definitely find Purin in most shops in Japan.  There are often millions of new cakes and other desserts to choose from there, but people always come back to something they ate in childhood.  Purin is exactly like that.  It is a comfort dessert for Japanese people.

There is an instant Purin mix you can buy at grocery stores in Japan, and it’s very popular, too.  Add some milk, mix and chill, and there you are, easy Purin.  This is a different kind of Purin though.  Gelatin is used in this type of Purin.  Because of the gelatin, it has a texture more like Jello rather than egg custard.  It is very easy to make and tastes good in its own way, but we think baked custard is much better.

You can make Purin at home, from scratch, and that’s the best kind.  It’s really not hard to make at all.  Ingredients are so simple, only milk eggs, sugar and some vanilla. Our Purin is baked in a water bath in the oven, so it is hard to overcook.  It may be a little more work to make than going to the store, but the outcome is not comparable to the store-bought.  Try our Purin, and I’m sure you will like it!

Purin Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings


  • 1 cup (200g) sugar
  • 3 Tbsp (50ml) water
  • Custard
  • 2 cups plus 1 Tbsp (500ml) milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


    Caramel Syrup
  1. In a heavy pot, put in sugar and water, but do not stir. Put it on the stove at medium heat until the water and sugar turns to dark brown. Pour the syrup into 8 small (3" diameter x 2" high) pudding cups or ramekins (may have some leftover).
  2. Custard
  3. Heat milk until just before boiling. Whisk together eggs and sugar, and add hot milk very slowly to avoid eggs curdling. Strain the mixture to make the liquid smooth, and add vanilla. Pour the mixture over the hardened syrup.
  4. In a baking pan such as 13x9x3, place purin cups, and pour hot water around the cups (not in the cups!) about 3/4 up the side of the cups.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 40-45 mins or until custard sets.
  6. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or preferably overnight. You could decorate with whipped cream and cherries before serving if you wish.

Purin (Custard Pudding) Recipe

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  • Edison Chiu
    October 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Where did you get your individual baking cups? I can’t seem to find it.

    • Noriko
      October 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I don’t remember, but bought at some kitchen store. You can use ramekins too.

      • Ashley Joy
        March 19, 2016 at 5:55 pm

        I’m trying to making this recipe but I only have a small oven. What would happen if we are not using a 13x9x3 baking pan? Would it limited the amount of water I should put in it? And the amount of cups I could put? If so what time should I put the pudding in the oven? Would it be 30-35 mins or just the regular mins? I’m truly sorry for the many questions it’s just that I want to be able to make a dessert for my family that they will enjoy.

        • Noriko
          March 22, 2016 at 4:53 pm

          Ashley Joy,
          as long as the hight of water comes up to more than half of Purin molds, it’s ok.

    • Rowena
      July 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      I got mine at the Dollar Store. 4 glass cups for $1.00. I’ve used them in the oven using the Bain Marie technique (bath water).

  • Chelsea
    January 9, 2014 at 1:39 pm

    Love this recipe! Thank you so much for posting it and for the helpful video. I am waiting patiently for mine to cool. I look forward to eating them!

    Thank you Noriko and Yuko,


    • Noriko
      January 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      hope you like it!

      • Chelsea
        January 17, 2014 at 1:59 pm

        It was very good but I think I made the caramel a little too dark. Next time I think I will try and get the caramel a little bit lighter. =)

        Thank you again!

        • Noriko
          February 1, 2014 at 11:52 am

          I love my caramel to be dark and bitter…Glad you liked the recipe!

  • Yadira Aguilar
    January 24, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Could I use a muffin/cupcake tray in place of the pudding cup? I know it would mean having to take out all the purin at once, but would it work?

    • Noriko
      February 1, 2014 at 11:32 am

      I’ve never done that way…if you did, let us know!

  • Dawn
    February 21, 2014 at 3:04 am

    hi! should i use a powdered sugar or the table sugar? and can i use soy milk instead?
    thanks ^_^

    • Noriko
      February 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      granulated sugar, which is I believe “table sugar.”

  • Mary
    March 28, 2014 at 9:31 am

    Do you have to invert ramekin or can the Purin be left in ramekin and served?

    • Noriko
      March 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      either way is fine.

  • Faith
    April 9, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Made it and the pudding was delicious! I loved the texture and taste of it, although I think the vanilla extract was a bit too overpowering and the taste of the egg didn’t really shine through.

    By the way, I tried to make the caramel but it didn’t melt completely even though I put it on the heat for a good number of minutes. Are there any tips to mastering the caramel? Thank you so much!!

    • Noriko
      May 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      you could omit vanilla extract if you don’t like its flavor.
      I don’t know why sugar didn’t melt…was it granulated sugar? Hope you have better luck next time!

  • dani
    June 5, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I’m soooo happy i found your website!! I just got back from a 3 month stay in Japan and i’m seriously going through withdrawals. I can’t wait to try this purin recipe! Thank you!

    • Noriko
      September 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      glad you found us too! We have other sweets like Dorayaki and Kasutera. Try them too!

  • Sarah
    June 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I made it but the purin came out like pudding, not firm like yours. Is it suppose to be like that? Can you eat it like that or is that food poisoning? What did I do wrong?

    • Sarah
      June 16, 2014 at 12:18 pm

      Oh, I also steamed it instead of baking it. Do you think I should steam it again to make it firmer?

      • Noriko
        September 13, 2014 at 11:43 pm

        I’ve never steamed Purin. Did you like it? How long did you cook at what heat?

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 11:45 pm

      as long as the milk mixture is set, it is cooked through. It may not get as hard when you cook in a steamer.

  • Yewmei
    June 18, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I only have a toaster oven and a microwave oven at home, is there still any way for me to bake the purins? Really look forward to cooking it too 🙁

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 11:14 pm

      you may be able to make Purin in a steamer just like Chawanmushi. However, I’ve never tried that and I don’t know how long it need to be cooked…

  • kenboomama
    July 1, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    I tried to make carmel sauce with cane sugar but it didn’t work. Do you think it needs to be white sugar? Is that why it didn’t work?

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      if it’s pure sugar, it should work. I don’t know what you mean by cane sugar because white granulated sugar is also cane sugar. Powder sugar would not work because it contains cornstarch.

  • Joe Zednik
    July 9, 2014 at 6:36 am

    This weekend my Cousin and I are going to make this, wish us luck

    • Noriko
      September 13, 2014 at 8:38 pm

      hope you had good Purin!

  • the guy
    August 9, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    Hi Noriko and Yuko,

    I have a small question. When ever I make the caramel, whenever I add water to the sugar, it ends up becoming hard and sticking to the bottom of the pan and never becomes golden brown. What am I doing wrong?

    Also I tried replacing the vanilla with Banana and it turned out really good.

    • Noriko
      September 12, 2014 at 1:51 am

      the guy,
      do you mix sugar and water first? If you add water to hot sugar, it gets hard. It takes for a while the color becomes brown.

  • Jos
    September 23, 2014 at 1:11 am

    Hi may i know if I can go without sugar for pudding? Maybe replace it with honey or something natural?


    • Noriko
      September 23, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      you may not replace the sugar with honey in this recipe. The honey will change the water content, and then we have to alter the amounts of other ingredients too.

  • Mary Ann
    October 15, 2014 at 10:51 pm


    Can I put the mixture in a bottle? similar to the stores in Japan?

    • Noriko
      October 24, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      Mary Ann,
      as long as they are oven proof containers.

  • Vi
    December 29, 2015 at 4:25 am

    Hi I tried this today and I love it! But I now have a thick layer of caramel stuck to the bottom of my ramekins. Did I put too much? And any pointers on how to get it out??

    • Noriko
      December 29, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      carmel will melt over time (about 2 days), but you will have enough carmel melted over night. You can soak in water to get it out.

      • Vi
        December 30, 2015 at 9:15 am

        Okay, thanks!

  • Lilium
    January 5, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    I made these for my student counsel at my high school, and everyone loved them very much! They asked me to make more. I could have not been more pleased! <3 Thank you so much for this lovely recipe ^~^

    • Noriko
      January 7, 2016 at 9:42 am

      glad you liked our Purin recipe!

  • Jojo
    January 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    Hi Noriko, can i change the white sugar to brown sugar for the caramel syrup?

    • Noriko
      January 18, 2016 at 10:49 pm

      never tried before, but it may work. Good luck!

  • Nirl
    January 17, 2016 at 8:12 am

    It is the same as a “leche flan” here on the Philippines, we sometimes put a drop of lime juice and lime zest to the syrup to add some aroma

  • faith
    February 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Could you use glass cups? ?

    • Noriko
      February 5, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      Yes,as long as they are oven safe.

  • Holly
    February 17, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    I just finished making these. I attempted to half the recipe so we’ll see how this blows over…

    Super excited despite!

  • Kyra
    March 31, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Im really excited to see how this turns out though I had to make it in a cupcake tin.

    • Kyra
      March 31, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Overall the pudding was yummy however the tin ended up burning the caramel sauce and ruined the pudding.

  • Rebecca
    August 24, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Trying this for the first time unsure how the Carmel got the sugar didn’t want to melt n turn brown. Otherwise super excited to see how it turns out

  • Nicole
    October 24, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. I just tried making it today but it tasted very eggy, and there were a lot of tiny little bubbles in it. What might cause this? Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I would love to try making this again. I tried the green tea custard pudding at a Tensuke market and just love it. Thank you so much!

  • Jeannette
    November 1, 2016 at 4:01 am

    Can we make it in a baking tin of aluminium used for cakes

  • Jordan
    December 28, 2016 at 10:59 am

    ummm! my pudding has pores how do i prevent that from happening?
    if use could email me how at

    Thank you! <3