What is Japanese Milk Pudding? (And how to make it)

What is Japanese Milk Pudding? (And how to make it)

Feb 17, 2023 Tags 

Japanese puddings or “purin” are one of the best tasting in the world, but the Japanese milk pudding sometimes puts ice cream to shame. That’s how good it is. Pudding is a sweet and creamy dessert that has become a staple in Japan’s culinary culture. Made with a combination of milk, eggs, and sugar, it is a dessert known for its smooth texture and rich flavor.

Often served chilled, the pudding has a delicate, custard-like consistency that makes it a perfect treat for any occasion, from a simple snack to a special dessert. While it is known as custard, flan, and creme caramel in some countries, pudding is known as Purin in Japanese. It sounds similar because it is simply the Japanese pronunciation of the word. But its origins and variations can be explored and can be an exciting journey to discover.

We talked about Japan's dairy production before and the best Milk Candies in Japan, but in this article, we will delve into the history and different variations of Japanese milk pudding, as well as explore traditional and modern ways to enjoy this beloved dessert.


Why is Japanese Milk pudding popular?


Japanese Milk Pudding


Milk pudding has been sold for a long time in Japan, and even though it is easy to make at home, the commercialized version is sold in many stores and supermarkets. Children and adults indulge in this delicacy, so it is in high demand. Another reason Japanese milk pudding is popular is that it has such a creamy, velvety taste that makes people come back for more. It can also be taken at any time of the day as a snack, dessert, or a fun treat for when you’ve been working too hard. 

One famous brand that people swear by is the Hokkaido milk pudding. It is made with Hokkaido creamy, rich milk that has a hint of vanilla. Many people that have tried the pudding have recommended it to tourists who visit Japan. Even on Twitter, some users have posted about their variations of the milk pudding and advised others to try it. In the next step, you will learn how to make the pudding yourself.

Hokkaido Milk Pudding


Japanese Milk Pudding Recipe


Japanese Custard Pudding




  • ⅛ ounce of gelatin (powdered) for that jiggly feel.
  • 1 ½ cups of whole milk (the better the quality, the tastier your pudding will be)
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Cream
  • Milk bottles: use these instead of plastic bottles because the pudding is hot immediately after it is made. Alternatively, you can use almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk if you are sensitive to whole milk. 




  1. Mix the gelatin powder with warm water and make sure it has completely dissolved.
  2. Pour the milk, sugar, and cream into a sauce pan and place it on low. Stir continuously to prevent lumps.
  3. Make sure the sugar gets dissolved, then add the gelatin mixture.
  4. The aim isn’t to let the mixture boil, so keep an eye on the heat.
  5. After a few minutes, pour the mixture into the small milk bottles and refrigerate for at least 6 hours. 
  6. Some people add a layer of caramel, and some toppings, so let’s cover that as well. For the caramel glaze, you will need 50g of white sugar and 4 tablespoons of water. 


Step-by-Step Process for Caramel:


  1. Mix the sugar and half of the water, then pour into a pan.
  2. Set the heat to medium or low but do not stir. Tilt the pan to mix it. 
  3. When the mixture becomes a golden brown color, add the rest of the water.
  4. Let the mixture become darker before taking it off the heat.
  5. You should pour the caramel first into the pudding container, then follow with the milk pudding, and lastly, the toppings.  
  6. For toppings, you can use: blueberries, strawberries, heavy or whipped cream, chia seeds, coconut flakes, or even chocolate glaze; the possibilities are endless. 



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What Are The Flavors Of Japanese Milk Pudding?


There are several types of Japanese pudding, and these are categorized by the process used to make it and the way it is served. Mushi Purin is steamed and firmer, Yaki purin is baked, Katame Purin is turned over so that the caramel sits on top, and Nameraka Purin is the type that is served in a container. 

When it comes to flavor, extra layers can be added to the Japanese milk pudding for a unique look and feel. Some people enjoy just toppings, while others would like a bit more complexity, so they add a jelly layer. Whatever it may be, one thing is certain, it would taste amazing. Check out different ways of adding flavors to Japanese milk pudding. 

Literally, add the cherry on top of the caramel and whipped cream for a luxurious look. 


Japanese Sakura Milk Pudding


This sakura jelly layer would have a floral, minty taste. Sakura leaves are edible, so it is not just added for aesthetics. 


Japanese Matcha Milk Pudding


Green tea or matcha is a popular additive to many staple dishes in Japan. Milk pudding can be made with matcha powder for a green look, and match glaze can be added on top. 


Japanese Milk Pudding with berries


Berries are some of the juiciest fruits in the world, and they go well with just about anything. Adding it to the milk pudding would definitely result in an interesting taste.


Japanese Milk Pudding with Tangerines


I know tangerines with milk pudding seems weird, but why not? It is a juicy fruit. 


That’s all you need to know about Japanese Milk Pudding. If you want to have a taste of this delightful dessert, you can check out our ZenPop snack box deals for a chance to get amazing Japanese monthly snacks.