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By Katie Goodman
Maybe you’re thinking: Why rainbow pudding for St. Patrick’s Day?
Well, St. Patrick’s Day folklore often revolves around the leprechaun, a short bearded fellow with a pot of gold. According to legend, the leprechaun’s pot of gold is hidden at the end of a rainbow. Those who find the pot of gold are granted three wishes in exchange for the leprechaun’s release. Since it is impossible to find the end of a rainbow, you’ll never uncover the pot of gold. Instead, you’ll have to test your luck with catching a leprechaun.
Many pudding recipes contain multiple egg yolks, which give vanilla pudding a yellow tint. In this recipe, I’ve opted to use fewer egg yolks than a typical recipe so that it’s easy to tint with food coloring, for a fun St. Patrick’s Day rainbow dessert for kids.
What are you doing to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with your kids? Do you have any fun St. Patrick’s Day quotes to share?

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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


6 small mixing bowls
Clear bowls, small juice glasses (clear), or tall shot glasses
6 disposable pastry bags

Notes: If possible, use gel food coloring instead of the traditional food coloring found in grocery stores. Gel food coloring produces vibrant color results with just a small amount of dye.
If you prefer more yolks in your pudding, try this simple substitution: 3 whole eggs in place of the egg-and-egg-white combination in this recipe. Additionally, decrease the amount of cornstarch to 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons.


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).
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. (See: Tips on Filling a Pastry Bag if you need help filling the bag with less mess.) 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.
About the Author:
Katie Goodman blogs at goodLife {eats} where she shares what she finds good in the kitchen and in life through recipes, family memories, and yummy photography. She also works as a freelance food writer and photographer for various sites. Outside of cooking, Katie loves reading, gardening, visiting family, and attending the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she resides with her husband and two children.

28 thoughts on “Kid’s Kitchen: Rainbow Pudding

  1. This looks super yummy. When I was a kid my mom used to make vanilla pudding and put food coloring in it for us to finger paint with.

  2. God skrive-up, jeg er normal besøgende på, vedligeholde op pæn betjene, og det vil være en regelmæssig gæst i lang tid.

  3. So fun and colorful. Every kid would just love this! I’ve made a rainbow cake before that everyone always enjoys and this is just as neat.
    Cute idea. Thanks.

  4. I used this recipe for making pudding for the first time. Could you perhaps explain what it should look like at each step? I followed the recipe to the letter and still had a liquid consistency after almost an hour of stirring. I ended up adding more cornstarch and it finally thickened. Also, it would have been good to know what it yields… I should have made a double batch. But, it did turn out and I had fun colouring and layering the pudding!! ~ Thanks!

  5. In step 2, if you’re using a gas stove, I would recommend 10 minutes instead of 15. My stove top heat up very fast even though there was practically no flame. But I went ahead and heated the mixture for 15 mins. and the sugar burned a little on the bottom regardless of how much I stirred it.

  6. I followed the recipe exactly and mine did not set up. I waited several hours and it was still a liquid. I’m glad I tried this a day in advance so I can try it again tomorrow. I want to give it to my kids tomorrow night as a special treat.

    On another note, I typically do not give my my kids stuff with a bunch of food coloring, especially red! But, this is a special treat so I feel like its ok if it’s just every once in a whole and in general we do not consume products with a bunch of extra dyes.

  7. Pingback: 50+ Rainbow Treats

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