Japanese Custard Pudding (Purin)

This baked Japanese custard pudding, known as purin in Japan, is creamy, delicious, and easy to make! 

Purin, or Japanese custard pudding, with caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and mint garnish.

One of my favorite desserts growing up was the simple and humble プリン aka purin. It’s basically the Japanese version of flan, or caramel custard. The pudding portion is creamy, and the caramel on top with its slight burnt sugar bitterness…how can I make that sound more appetizing?! You know what I’m talking about right? Anyways, it’s delicious and pairs so well together.

In Japan, purin is really popular, and you can get it in all forms- anywhere from a trendy cafe to a convenience store. There are also different candies and treats that are “purin flavored”. I’ve seen purin kitkats, pocky, and even gum!

Top view of purin, surrounded by a pool of caramel sauce.

There are two main ways to make purin. Baked/steamed and gelatin. You’ll also want these pans to get the right shape. Today I’m sharing with you the baked method. I also plan on adding a gelatin version, so keep an eye out! The ingredients list is SO simple. Sometimes, the simpler the ingredients are, the yummier the end product.

All you need is sugar, water, eggs, milk, and vanilla. That’s all!

The hardest part of purin is making the caramel, because if you let it go too long, the sugar will burn, but if you don’t let it go long enough, the caramel flavor is too muted. Try and go until it is a dark brown. If it’s too light, it won’t have enough flavor. And guess what? It’s just sugar and water. If you go too long and burn it the first time… well, you can just dump it and try again! Ha! Guess who’s done that before?

Japanese Custard Pudding AKA Purin
Japanese Custard Pudding AKA Purin
Purin that is half eaten, surrounded by a pool of caramel sauce.

I want to tell you something funny. Usually when I make purin, I don’t bother with any type of topping. I just eat it, ya know? But I wanted to put a cute little dollop of whipped cream on top to make it look nicer for pictures. BUT I realized I was out of cream! So, for these pictures, I piped some plain greek yogurt on top! Ha! You can’t even tell can you?! Can I call myself a food stylist now?

If you liked this recipe, (which I hope you do), check out my other pudding recipes!

Purin- This Japanese custard pudding, known as purin in Japan, is creamy, delicious, and easy to make!

32 thoughts on “Japanese Custard Pudding (Purin)”

    • Basically, or like French creme caramel . A lot of Japanese foods are heavily influenced by foreign cuisine!

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  1. I just tried purin sold by a local caterer, and started looking around for a recipe. She puts them in small, 4 oz Ball Jars, and I guess screws the lid on after they come out of the oven. To serve them, you take the lid off, turn the jar over, and give it a thwack. It has a definite flan shape.

    https://www.amazon.com/Ball-4-Ounce-Quilted-Crystal-Jelly/dp/B00RG0IWBG/ref=sr_1_3?hvadid=241617101422&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9052497&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=773250690348715709&hvtargid=kwd-24532213751&keywords=ball+jars+4+oz&qid=1554521846&s=gateway&sr=8-3

    Reply
  2. 3 stars
    Hi, I tried making the recipe and the texture turns out great but somehow it smells really eggy like chawan mushi ?
    Did I make it wrong? Do you have any tips to remove the eggy smell?

    Reply
    • Hi Tania, the recipe is egg based, but with the caramelized sugar and vanilla, it should have a sweet dessert-y smell! Did you by chance forget the vanilla?

      Reply
  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much!!! My son just spent a month in Japan and this was his favorite dessert there! I attempted this tonight for his 17th birthday instead of a cake and it turned out perfect!!!! I didn’t have a backup plan so, I really appreciate this awesome, fail proof recipe. He said it was perfect!!

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  4. Truly if you love Eggs then this is your dish because when I made this it just tasted like eggs and I like eggs but this dish just tasted like it a lot and I didn’t like it.

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    • Yes you should be able to, but I haven’t personally tried it so I couldn’t tell you how long. Maybe you can find a similar recipe for flan and use the times states there?

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    • Sorry, I just re read this, and I meant a glass baking pan. I am not sure about a metal bowl, but a glass oven safe pan should work!

      Reply
  5. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe! Made it last night, and it turn d out very well! Silky and delicious! It was hard it to eat them all in one sitting!

    I used glass and ceramic ramekins, took a little longer (50mins) in the oven. The center was a little runny, so I will keep it in there a little longer next time to make them a little firmer 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s awesome! Thank you for the tip with the glass/ceramic, I am going to add that info into the recipe notes now! And I totally hear you with eating too many. It’s so smooth, I can eat at least three in a row, no sweat.

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    • Hi Amy, are you near a Daiso by chance? They might have it! If not, you can use any oven safe ramekin with a half cup capacity! Even if it doesn’t have the exact same shape, it will still work!

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        • The only concern with that is to get them out of the pan. Usually you just flip the ramekin over to get it out, but if it’s an entire muffin tin of it, the other ones MIGHT come out? Actually, you may be able to do it… as long as you only run your knife along and loosen one at a time. If you try it I’d love to know how it goes! Also, T stands for tablespoon.

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        • So I took a quick look through Daiso, since I bought mine in Daiso in Japan, but it looks like they don’t have it. Boo. You can totally try it in a regular porcelain ramekin though! Or that muffin tin, maybe ;). Sorry I’m not being more helpful. I didn’t realize how hard it is to get the metal tins here!

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  6. When I tried making the caramel sauce, the sugar water didn’t turn deep brown. Instead, it looked transparent and not thick enough. Did I not let it simmer long enough?

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    • Hi Lindsay, yup, you gotta just let it keep simmering until it turns a nice caramel color! Depending on the heat you put it at, it can take a while.

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    • Hi Jackie, I got mine in Japan, but you can often find them at Asian stores that have a section for cooking utensils. They hold 1/2 cup / 4 oz each.

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    • Hi Danielle, I wonder if it has to do with where you placed it in the oven. Was your rack in the middle? How was the texture? If it was silky and tasted good, I wouldn’t worry!

      Reply

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