This Creamy Vanilla Sauce is an easy and delicious compliment to all sorts of desserts including bread pudding, cobblers, crumbles, crisps and pies and cakes. Or simply spoon it over a bowl of ripe berries (or straight into your mouth, quite honestly)! It is a versatile, luxurious vanilla cream sauce that goes with just about anything sweet!
With a short list of easy-to-find ingredients, you are just 10 minutes away from enjoying this custard-like vanilla sauce. Ready to get started? Keep reading for step-by-step instructions!
Why This Recipe Works
- It is made with wholesome, everyday ingredients you are likely to have on hand and comes together in less than 10 minutes.
- The custard-like vanilla sauce is a welcome compliment to a variety of desserts.
- The sauce is rich (but not overly so) and full of creamy vanilla flavor.
- Half and half is my dairy ingredient of choice for this recipe. You could use whole milk or even cream if you prefer.
- Two egg yolks provide richness without giving the sauce an overly eggy flavor.
- Sugar brings sweetness and vanilla extract the flavor. You could also use a vanilla bean if you prefer!
- A pinch of salt balances out the sweetness of the salt, and cornstarch serves as the thickener.
Special Equipment Needed
How to Make This Recipe
- Combine the half and half, egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornstarch together in a large saucepan. Heat over medium low, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Continue whisking until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
- Serve the sauce warm, cold or room temperature on top of your favorite dessert!
- Be sure to keep a close eye on the sauce while it cooks, ideally whisking it the entire time. Any dairy-based sauce such as this one can easily scorch on the bottom on the bottom of the pan.
Yes! This sauce can be made up to three days ahead of time. Simply store it tightly covered in the refrigerator. It can be served warm or cold so you can either enjoy it straight from the refrigerator OR you can warm it in the microwave or the stovetop.
Really anything that would go well with vanilla ice cream would be an excellent pair with this sauce. Think cobblers, crumbles, pie, cake, bread pudding.....you name it. See a full list of recipe suggestions below!
What to Serve with Creamy Vanilla Sauce
I gave a few general suggestions above, but as far as specific recipes go, consider some of the following delicious options:
- Gingerbread Cobbler with Apples and Pears
- Cardamom Peach Cobbler
- Swedish Apple Pie (pictured above)
- Swedish Apple Cake
- Spice Cake with Dates and Rye (use in place of the caramel sauce)
- Swedish Sticky Chocolate Cake
- Swedish Spice Cake
- Old-Fashioned Norwegian Rhubarb Crumb Cake
- Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Rye Galette
- Pear Cardamom Bundt Cake
- Finnish Strawberry Almond Tart
Looking for more sweet sauce ideas? Check out these blog favorites:
Creamy Vanilla Sauce
- 1 ¾ cups half and half or whole milk or cream
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Combine the half and half, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a large saucepan and heat over medium low. Whisk the mixture constantly until it begins to simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl. Stir in the vanilla extract. Serve warm or cold.
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Absolutely awesome recipe! I have been hunting for a vanilla sauce recipe for years. This reminds me of a sauce I had as a kid. It is delicious! Thank you so much for this recipe. All the others I have tried have been too sweet.
Thank you, Sheila! I'm so glad you liked it. It definitely goes with almost everything!