Food & Drinkrecipes

In the Kitchen With: Kristina’s Vanilla Rosemary Pudding

by Kristina Gill

I must admit it has been a bit of a strange summer weather-wise. Temperatures in Rome, while normally excessive and hot, have been pretty pleasant. All the same, still I’m mindful of the fact that maybe turning on the oven isn’t exactly what people would like to do in summer. As I was flipping through a Culinary Institute of America pastry cookbook, the idea of a vanilla rosemary pudding came to me, and I thought it would be the perfect no-bake dessert. The taste of rosemary is very soft, and the pudding is not overly sweet. The optional hazelnuts on top add just a little crunch. I am always on the look out for great dessert bases to customize to my own tastes, and I can see using this to layer with fresh or dried fruit, cookies, and other nuts.  Let us know if you give it a try and add your own spin! -Kristina

About Kristina:  I am the food and drinks editor here at Design*Sponge.  I am also a freelance photographer.  I currently reside in Rome, Italy, where I am working on my first cookbook with Katie Parla on Roman cuisine.

See how easy it is to make vanilla pudding after the jump!


Vanilla Rosemary Pudding


  • 2 1/3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup plus one tablespoon sugar (if you like very sweet desserts, add one or two tablespoons more)
  • pinch of salt
  • one 6″ sprig of rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons of whole roasted hazelnuts (optional)


1.  Bring approximately two-thirds of the milk, one half of the sugar, pinch of salt, and the sprig of rosemary to a simmer in a saucepan.  Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 15 minutes.

2.  While the rosemary steeps, in a large bowl mix the cornstarch with the remaining sugar, then pour in the remaining milk, mixing with a whisk to combine.  Add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth.

3.  Remove the rosemary sprig.  Heat the milk and rosemary mixture to a strong simmer, stirring constantly with a spoon.  Working quickly, use a ladle or cup with long handle to pour a third of the mixture into the yolk mixture to temper it so that the eggs don’t scramble.  Be sure to whisk constantly while you pour.  (I find it easiest to pour the hot milk into something with a spout).

4.  Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan on the stove, stirring with a whisk covering as much of the pan as possible so that the mixture doesn’t stick or burn.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the stove immediately, and stir in the butter and vanilla.

4.  Divide the mixture into small cups or bowls.  This recipe makes 4-6 servings.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

5.  Coarsely chop the hazelnuts, and distribute evenly over the puddings before serving.




Why I love this recipe:  We have so much rosemary in our yard, it’s the only living plant we have.  Everything else is weeds.  Any time I see a recipe that could use rosemary, I jump at the chance!   Not wanting to turn on the oven, a pudding in summer seemed like the perfect low-fuss dessert.


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  • Love it! I am always searching for new pudding recipes – I like them so much better after a meal than heavier desserts like cakes. Have you ver tried “bunet”? It is a chocolate-amaretto pudding, traditionally made in Torino, in Northern Italy…definitely worth the trip from Rome!

  • @chelsea – thank you! I hope you like it. Use best quality vanilla!
    @francesca – unfortunately I’ve never tried it! And I was in Turin not too long ago. I wish I had known about it then. Thanks for letting me know!

  • I saw this recipe and knew I had to make it immediately. My pudding is currently chilling in the fridge, but the warm stuff I licked off the spoon was phenomenal.

  • I will try this with lemon verbena, and maybe lavender, too (separately of course!). Thanks for the inspiration.

  • I CANNOT stop gushing about this pudding! Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and I’m always looking for ways to put it in sweet things. Knowing I’d want to share it, I made a double batch on Sunday using soy milk (I’m sensitive to dairy) and it turned out great! Definitely trying this recipe with other herbs in the future. Yum yum yum.

  • Hi Emily- that’s wonderful! Could you share with us how you incorporated the soy milk? It’s always useful to know how to adapt the recipe to ingredients which have different properties than the original ingredients. Did the cornstarch thicken the mixture ok on its own in absence of butter and milk? Thanks!

  • This pudding is simply delicious! It has just the right amount of rosemary flavour to give it a special, classy touch. I prefer using vanilla beans, for this I sliced one and let it simmer with the milk/rosemary mixture. It turned out great, thank you so much for this brilliant recipe Kristina! Greetings from Germany, S.