Dessert Recipe: St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Pudding

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Every year, on March 17, the Irish celebrate Lá Fhéile Pádraig (St. Patrick's Day), a public holiday, by wearing green attire, attending church services and participating in parades and festivals. Although it's not a legal holiday in the United States, the day remains widely recognized and celebrated by Americans, primarily as a celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture. This St. Patrick's Day, along with your Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage, surprise your leprechauns (also known as "kids") with this recipe for rainbow pudding.

St Patrick's Day Rainbow Pudding

How to Make St. Patrick's Day Rainbow Pudding


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 whole egg plus 3 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (clear if you can) or 1 vanilla bean
  • Gel food coloring (such as AmeriColor) in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple

Directions for Classic Vanilla Pudding

Step 1: Add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan (preferably stainless steel). Whisk the ingredients to combine, then add 1/2 cup of the 2% milk to the sugar mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until combined and thick.

Step 2: Whisk in the remaining milk (2% and whole), cooking over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon for about 15 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil.

Step 3: In a medium bowl, whisk the two eggs until gently beaten. Slowly add about 1 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking as you pour. Then pour the milk/egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk mixture.

Step 4: Cook over low heat for an additional 5 minutes - do not boil. Remove from heat; stir in the butter and vanilla (or vanilla bean).

Directions for Rainbow Pudding

Step 1: Add the pudding to a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic against the surface of the pudding until airtight. This will prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

Step 2: Divide the cooled pudding evenly into 6 medium mixing bowls. Add food coloring to each bowl, corresponding with each color of the rainbow. Stir; add more food coloring (if desired) until desired color is reached.

Step 3: Divide the colored pudding into 6 pastry bags. Alternatively, you can just spoon the colors into bowls, but that can be a bit messier. Snip the end of the red pastry bag off so that there is about a 1/2" diameter hole. Pipe the red pudding into each bowl. Repeat with remaining colors.

What are your favorite St. Patrick's Day treats?

Photo courtesy of

picture of Desiree AllenDesiree Allen is a thirty-something single parent with two children. A native of Denver, Colorado, she lived there until 2009, when she moved across the country to northern New Jersey with her kids. She is doing her best to avoid ‘picking up’ a Jersey accent, but she’s not making promises that she won’t eventually start sounding like some of her new friends. You can find her blogging at Writing to Sanity and tweeting @writingtosanity.



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