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Pink Custard

If you want a trip down memory lane, this is the recipe for you! A retro pudding that tastes divine, pink custard is as quick and easy as it is absolutely scrumptious.

So, go back to your childhood and recreate this classic school dinners pudding. With my delicious twist, it’ll be even better than you remembered! 

Pink custard recipe

If you have a certain fondness for the taste of school dinners, especially the yummy puddings, you’ll love this pink custard recipe. 

We all look back on desserts from our childhood with rose (or pink) tinted glasses. For those who grew up in the 80s, one of the big favourites was pink custard. It tasted amazing when drizzled over chocolatey puddings and fruity pies. Well, that’s the way we remember it.

Lots of these classic recipes were made on the cheap though. Did you ever stop to think just how bad for you some of the old school dinners actually were? That’s why I’ve completely reworked this classic pudding, with a fresh twist that makes it taste so much better.

Of course, if you want the authentic ‘so bad it’s good’ version, I’ll tell you how to whip that up too!

So, if you want to know how to make pink custard, read on for my remix of this 80s lunch time favourite.

Items you’ll need to make this recipe

  • Saucepan – to whip up some delicious homemade pink custard, you’ll need a good saucepan. 
  • Mixing spoon – stirring an important part of making pink custard. So, get yourself a trusty wooden spoon
  • Vanilla pods – adding the inside of vanilla pods to your custard will give it that beautiful vanilla flavour that makes it so heavenly.
  • Vanilla extract – if you can’t get vanilla pods, you can use vanilla extract.
  • Caster sugar – sweeten the deal with some caster sugar.
  • Plain flour – purists will scoof, but you can use plain flour at the beginning of the process for a heavier custard. 
  • Corn flour – if you need a thicker consistency, add some corn flour at the end.
  • Bird’s custard powder – if you don’t have time to create your own, or prefer the old fashioned school dinner taste, you can use the powdered type. You can also try birds mint custard for a minty twist.
  • Ambrosia Devon custard – if you’re pressed for time, you could also try the tinned type. 
  • Pink blancmange – if you want to try the dinnerlady method, go for blancmange. It should be easy enough to pick up some blancmange mix in a supermarket. If you can’t find any, mix in some pink food colouring.

How do you make pink custard?

The way your dinner ladies used to whip up pink custard was quick and simple. Their no-nonsense approach was to make a paste from pink blancmange, vanilla extract, sugar and a splash of milk.

They’d then heat a pot of milk and slowly pour the pink paste into the pot. Voila! You have pink custard, tasty enough to please a hall full of screaming kids!

If you’re wondering what blancmange is and “what’s the difference between custard and blancmange?” well, blancmange is more jelly-like.

My method is a little more classy and a lot more delicious.

This recipe is all about homemade custard. Milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla… simple, fresh ingredients!

The pink colouring comes from a raspberry coulis. When you add it into the mix, the thick yellow custard will transform into a light pink one.

What do you eat with custard?

Chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate! The two go perfectly together. Try a chocolate sponge pudding. Or, if you really love chocolate, add cocoa powder into the custardy mix. Replacing the raspberry with cocoa powder will give you a divine chocolate sauce.    

You could also whip up another classic school dinners pudding. What better way to reminisce than to eat school cake and pink custard? 

If you had fun making (and eating) this retro school dinners dessert recipe, check out these other delicious classics, each of which brings its own unique, irresistible charm. 

  • Chocolate concrete – cheap and easy to make, this retro school dinner recipe is loved by all.
  • Cornflake tart – a buttery, crumbly shortcrust pastry, spread with rich raspberry jam and lashings of sweet and crunchy cornflakes, drizzled with luscious golden syrup… if that doesn’t make you salivate, nothing will!
  • Apricot cobbler – another school canteen classic, this fruity cobbler will make you feel like a kid again. Classic comfort food at its finest.
  • Apple and plum crumble – there’s something so satisfying about this sweet, wonderful winter warmer. Dig in!
  • Cherry crumble pie – this melt-in-your-mouth cherry pie is full of flavour and will tingle your taste buds until you’ve eaten every last crumb.     
  • Rhubarb dump cake – so simple, yet so satisfying, this rhubarb dump cake is a fruity retro pudding that you’ve got to try. Fresh and tangy and full of flavor.
  • Chocolate flapjacks – who doesn’t love a good flapjack? This chocolate flapjack recipe is as good as it gets! Simple yet glorious, it doesn’t get better than a gooey, chocolate flapjack. Bake this recipe once and you’ll be hooked!

What’s your favourite school dinner classic? Let me know in the comments below!


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Pink custard being poured onto a chocolate cake

Pink Custard

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Pink Custard is loved by all who had school dinners during the 1980’s. Enjoy a bite of nostalgia with this modernised recipe using fresh custard with fruit coulis.




  • Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer then remove from the heat.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, until the mixture has gone pale in colour and doubled in size.
  • Temper hot milky mixture into the sugar yolk mixture, by slowly adding hot milky mixture about 60ml (1/4 cup) at a time, whisking to distribute heat. Once half of the milky mixture has been added, transfer mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milky mixture.
  • Place the saucepan over low heat.
  • Stir continuously while adding the raspberry coulis.
  • Continue stirring until the mixture reaches nappé consistency, or 80°C (180°F) on a kitchen thermometer.
  • Remove from heat and serve any way you prefer. It’s great cold too! My kids loved it with this Chocolate Concrete recipe. Enjoy!


  • Use the quantity of raspberry coulis stated in the recipe as a guide. Start off by adding a little at a time and tasting as you go along. Stop when you’re happy with it.
  • Don’t limit yourself just to raspberry though, feel free to experiment with other coulis flavours such as strawberry or cherry.
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: British

Keywords: pink custard, retro dessert recipe, school dinner recipe, 80s dessert

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