French Pudding Recipe

Several of these traditional French pudding recipes were made famous by Chef Francois Tanty, the celebrated 19th century royal chef to Napoleon III and other crowned heads of Europe.

Whether it's the old fashioned Charlotte Russe, the Pudding Diplomate with Sambayon sauce, or the classic Creme a la Versailles, you'll impress your friends by preparing these desserts with the sweet taste of Old France.

Traditional French Pudding Recipes

La Cuisine Francaise (1893)

French Charlotte Russe PuddingClassic French Charlotte Russe Pudding
(Source: ©belchonock/

Charlotte Russe

This is a quick and easy French pudding recipe, but the result always looks spectacular and the pudding tastes just as spectacular as it did at royal banquets.

1 quart cream, 1 pound lady fingers, 1/4 pound sugar.

Easy Charlotte Russe recipe preparation:

  1. Line the bottom and the sides of a cake mold with lady fingers.
  2. Whip 1 quart cream (thick cream), and when the cream is whipped sprinkle the sugar over it; mix carefully; pour in mold; let cool a little while, and knock out. Proportions for five persons.

Pudding Diplomate / Diplomat Pudding

6 ounces raisins (Malaga 2 ounces, Sultana 2 ounces, Corinth 2 ounces), 2 ounces lemon, or orange peel, 1/4 pound lady fingers, 5 eggs, 1 tablespoonful cornstarch, 2 glassfuls milk, 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls rum, 4 tablespoonfuls sugar.

Pudding Preparation:

  1. In a cake mold put a row of dried grapes (if possible, Malaga, Sultan or Corinth), and dices of preserved orange peel, then a row of lady fingers, then a row of grapes and so on, the last row being a row of lady fingers. Don't fill the mold.
  2. Make a sauce with 5 eggs, 1 tablespoonful cornstarch, 2 glassfuls milk, 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls rum, 4 tablespoonfuls sugar, and mix the whole.
  3. Pour this sauce in the mold, put in a bain marie [double boiler] and bake in an oven (not too warm).
  4. Knock out the pudding on a dish and serve with a Sambayon sauce (see below). Proportions for five persons.

Sambayon Sauce

2 yolks, 1/2 tablespoonful cornstarch, 2 tablespoonfuls sugar, 1 tablespoonful rum, 2 glassfuls cream.

Sambayon sauce preparation:

  1. In a saucepan beat together 2 yolks, 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, 2 tablespoonfuls sugar, 1 tablespoonful rum, 2 glassfuls cream till thick enough.
  2. Warm sauce, but don't allow it to boil.
  3. Pour it on the pudding. Proportions for five persons.

Creme au Chocolate

1/2 pound chocolate, 1 quart milk, 6 tablespoonfuls sugar, 2 tablespoonfuls cornstarch, 6 yolks.


  1. Break 1/2 pound chocolate and put it, while beating with a whip, in 1 quart boiling milk.
  2. Mix apart 6 yolks with 6 tablespoonfuls granulated sugar in a saucepan and pour the chocolate and 2 tablespoonfuls cornstarch in while stirring.
  3. Pour this cream in a buttered mold and let cook in a bain marie (double boiler) for 1/2 hour.
  4. Knock out on a dish and serve iced.
  5. Make a chocolate sauce as follows:

Sauce for Creme au Chocolate:

1/4 pound chocolate, 1 glassful water, 1 tablespoonful cornstarch, 1 glassful cream or milk, 4 egg yolks.

  1. Melt the chocolate in 1 glassful water.
  2. Place the yolks in a saucepan with 1/2 glassful cream, and warm a little; add 1 tablespoonful starch mixed with 1/3 glassful cream, and add the chocolate while stirring; warm again, but don't let boil; cool and serve with the Creme au Chocolate. For five persons.

Creme au Cafe

Prepare this classic French pudding recipe the same as Creme au Chocolate, but use 4 tablespoonfuls coffee for the cream and 2 tablespoons coffee for the sauce.

Creme a la Versailles

Despite its longer preparation time, this is THE classic French pudding recipe to consider for a very special occasion when you want a traditional French dish. Master it, and you're sure to impress your guests.

One quart of milk, half a cupful of sugar, half a teaspoonful of vanilla extract, half a teaspoonful of salt, seven eggs, two tablespoonfuls of water.

Put the sugar in a small frying pan and stir until a very light brown. Add the water, stir a moment longer, and mix with the milk. Beat the eggs and salt with a spoon. Add this mixture and the vanilla to the milk.

Butter a two-quart Charlotte Russe mold lightly, and put the custard in it. Put the mold in a basin of warm (not hot) water and bake slowly until the custard is firm in the center.

It should take forty minutes; but if the oven is quite hot, it will be done in thirty minutes. Test by putting a knife down into the center, for if the custard is not milky, it is done.

Set away in a cold place until serving time. It must be ice-cold when eaten. Turn out on a flat dish, and pour caramel sauce over it.

Traditional French Pudding Recipe

Second Edition of the Neighborhood Cook Book (1914)

Steamed French Pudding With Cinnamon

Suet Substitute

Freeze an equal amount of shortening until firm, then pulse it in a food processor to create nugget-sized pieces. Butter can NOT be used.

One cup suet, one cup molasses, one cup sour milk, one and one-half teaspoons soda, one teaspoon cinnamon, one-half teaspoon each cloves and salt, one cup chopped raisins, one-half cup currants, two and one-half cups flour.

Steam pudding four hours.

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