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Oma's Vanilla Sauce Recipe

white jug of German vanilla sauce

My vanilla sauce recipe is an easy one to make when you're needing that something special to go along with your dessert. This is very similar to Crème anglaise (English cream) and is a light pouring custard that fits perfectly with some freshly baked apple strudel or over some stewed fruit.

There are many variations of the sauce, from using vanilla pods (which, unfortunately, are not readily available everywhere), to using yellow food coloring to replace the yellow from the egg yolks! 

There are three basic ways to make the German Vanillesosse, one uses egg yolks to thicken the sauce, another uses corn starch, and the third uses both. Below, my recipe uses both. 

Oma's Vanilla Sauce Recipe


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cup milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks with cornstarch. 
  • In top of double boiler, combine milk with sugar and bring to a simmer.  
  • In a thin stream, whisk hot milk into the egg yolks and return to double boiler. Cook until sauce is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes. DO NOT let the sauce boil or it can curdle. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Serve hot or cover with plastic wrap right on top of the pudding so that no 'skin' forms and refrigerate.


  • Use 6 egg yolks instead of the 4 if you'd like a thicker sauce.
  • If the sauce curdles, you can try putting it in a blender or you can put it into a cheesecloth-lined sieve. Both methods should give you a smooth sauce to use. 
  • For a richer sauce, use cream instead of milk.

Try this variation ...

Whip 2 to 4 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the cold sauce and serve.

Super Rich Vanilla Sauce ...

After the vanilla sauce has cooled, whip 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Fold this into the vanilla sauce. YUMMY!

A simpler, less rich vanilla sauce ...

Mix together 1 tablespoon flour and 1 egg yolk and gradually stir in 2 cups 2% milk. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar. Bring to a slow simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened to a sauce. Add sugar to taste. 

Serve this Vanilla Sauce with ...

Desserts like Dampfnudeln, Götterspeise, Rote GrützeApfelstrudelbread puddingrice pudding, chocolate pudding, steamed fruit, KaiserschmarrnHefeklösse, etc.

More German Desserts

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Jug of German vanilla sauce

Words to the Wise

"The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it."

Proverbs 10:22 (NLT)