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Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding

After my first bite of budino, it was launched into the top tier of my favorite desserts ever. With the rich pudding, delicious caramel and hint of salt, you can only imagine why. This recipe is perfect to make ahead, adding the finishing touches just before serving to anxious guests!  

Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding | Kita Roberts

What is Budino?

Have you ever had budino? It’s an experience unto itself. It comes out unassuming and presents itself as a modest cup of thick pudding. It’s appearance notably underwhelming when lined up against sensual cheesecakes or delicate pastries. Served in a cup or glass, it looks more akin to one of Grandma’s standby dessert mixes then a restaurant quality finale. But, you have it set in front of you, what else are you to do?

The spoon slides it’s way through the creamy caramel topping and into the thick pudding base. It’s not even the prettiest of desserts to stare at with it’s haphazard dollop of whipped cream on top. In that moment, you have prepared yourself for an underwhelming bland taste with a promise of burnt sugar from the caramel. Your first bite…

Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding | Kita Roberts

In that instant, the budino melts on to your tongue. The texture is perfectly smooth, not runny. There’s no hint of cornstarch, every egg has been tempered flawlessly for a rich finish. The flavor, unexpected, is an upscale version of childhood lunch box fantasy that a mature palette can appreciate. The soft subtle caramel mixing with the notes of vanilla and just enough salt, bring this dessert instantly into the running for the best yet. It’s simple cookie bottom adds just the right amount of texture to the whole experience and you take a moment to savor.

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To enjoy that bite and the elements that make this simple pudding dish so sublime. You know this is the first of many budinos to come. And the quest begins to discover the simple nuances of this dessert to your own kitchen.

Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding | Kita Roberts

Pudding is amazing when done right. Use these recipes for inspiration to think outside the plastic cup!

Salted Caramel Butterscotch Pudding Recipe
Chocolate Whiskey Pudding
Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Cinnamon Spice Glaze

If you’ve tried my Salted Caramel Budino recipe or any other recipe on please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivoreTwitter Facebook.

Yield: 8 servings

Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding

Salted Caramel Budino | AKA Italian Pudding | Kita Roberts

With the rich pudding, delicious caramel and hint of salt, this Budino is a high class dessert. This recipe is perfect to make ahead, adding the finishing touches just before serving to anxious guests!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


For the Cookie Crust bottom

  • 1 cup chocolate wafer coookies, crushed
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/8 teas kosher salt

For the Budino

  • 3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs dark rum
  • 1 tbs kosher salt

For the Salted Caramel Sauce topping & Whipped Cream

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbs heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbs light corn syrup
  • 4 tbs chilled unsalted butter, diced into small cubes
  • 1/4 teas kosher salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teas vanilla
  • 2 teas sugar
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For the Cookie Crust bottom

  1. In a bowl, combine the cookie crumbs with the butter and salt. Mix with your fingers or a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set aside 2 tablespoons for later in an airtight container. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom of 8 small 8 ounce mason jars. Set aside.

For the Budino

  1. Heat 2 1/2 cups milk in a small saucepan to a gentle simmer; Set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring gently until the sugar dissolves. Stop stirring and increase the heat to medium high. Cook until a candy thermometer temps between 210 and 220 F. Remove from heat. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks quickly in a large bowl. Carefully pour in the hot milk and then the cornstarch, whisking constantly. Lastly, whisk in the caramel. Pour the mixture back into the heavy bottomed sauce pan and cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat to 175 F and the pudding thickens (3 to 7 minutes about). Off heat, stir in the butter, rum, and salt. Strain the mixture if needed and divide among prepared ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly onto the surface of each pudding and chill until set, at least 4 hours.

For the Salted Caramel Sauce topping & Whipped Cream

  1. Split the vanilla bean down the center and scrape the seeds out carefully. Add the bean to the measuring cup of heavy cream and allow to sit for a few minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, stir the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a clean heavy bottom saucepan and allow the sugar to dissolve over medium heat, stirring. Stop stirring and increase the heat to a boil over medium high. Allow the sugar to cook for 5 to 8 minutes, for a rich deep amber color, watching closely as to not burn the sugar). Off heat, carefully stir in the vanilla cream. It will bubbly up rapidly, just keep whisking rapidly. Return to medium heat and whisk until creamy, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and salt until nice and smooth. Allow to cool before transferring to an airtight container.
  3. Spoon 2 tablespoons caramel sauce over each budino. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle some of reserved cookie crumbs over each.

For the Whipped Cream

  1. Beat the cream in the bowl of your stand mixer over medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and sugar and increase the speed to medium high. Whip to soft, moist peaks.

To serve

  1. Spoon the caramel sauce over each of the prepared budinos. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbles over each.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 551Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 221mgSodium: 1124mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 1gSugar: 45gProtein: 9g

Nutrition information provided is an estimate from For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.



Tuesday 31st of August 2021

For the budino, it's 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, not 1 tablespoon!


Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Attempting to make this and have gotten stuck. How much water do I add to the brown sugar for the budino step? Thanks


Friday 4th of June 2021

Hi Bonnie, I am just seeing this! Oy! It was 3/4 cup water. I will be updating the recipe to reflect. Thank you so much for the catch!


Thursday 31st of December 2020

How much water? The ingredients don't mention water


Wednesday 27th of May 2020

While making the budino and the caramel, you state to add the water and sugar. However, you don’t list water in the ingredients stating how much water in each scenario?


Sunday 31st of March 2019

What are measurements for the water listed? Two places...!

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