Bourbon Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce

Rich and decadent is about the only way you can describe this bourbon budino. Easy to make this Italian pudding is a great way to end a meal. You don’t need much of this luscious dessert, but it will be a hit especially for those that love bourbon.

One of my friends absolutely loves budino. We were out at a restaurant and when it came out it was gritty. That was my first introduction to this dessert. Now they did bring us a new one that was absolutely fantastic. So the next dinner party they threw I made this for dessert and they were an absolute hit. If you are or have a bourbon lover in life they are going to love this rich dessert. 

What is budino?

Budino in Italian is pudding. While it is similar to the American version there are some important differences. Firstly the American version is made with milk, sugar and a thickening agent like gelatin, tapioca flour, or cornstarch. Budino is primarily thickened with eggs but cornstarch may be added as well. This will lead to a much richer and creamy pudding compared to the American version. 

Ingredients for bourbon budino.
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Cooking the sugar

just like making a caramel you want to melt sugar and let it darken in color to enhance the flavor. Since this is brown sugar, instead of granulated white sugar, you will want to dissolve the sugar and salt in water. This will help prevent the molasses in the sugar from scorching. The other thing is since this is already brown it is going to be harder to tell if the color changes. One way to be sure is to let all of the water boil out until it becomes syrup like. Once it is deep rich color add the cream. 

Bubbling brown sugar in a pot
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bourbon budino before thickening
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Thickened budino in a pot
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Just keep whisking...

One of the most important things about this is to make sure you keep whisking. You don’t want the cream to scald on the bottom of the pan. If it does you will see solid chunks in the milk and it will change the flavor of the budino and that won’t be pleasant. I have found that adding an additional half of a cup of milk to the eggs before adding the hot liquid helps to prevent the eggs from curdling. then you can add a cup of the hot liquid and stir to mix. 

Top view of many bourbon budino glasses
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Let it thicken

Once the egg yolk mixture has been added back to the pot you want to make sure that you keep whisking and that the heat is on medium. Cooking it too quickly will cause the yolks to seize and curdle. Once the budino starts to boil keep whisking. It will quickly start to thicken. As soon as this happens let it boil for about 2 minutes before removing it from the heat. Then whisk in the butter and the bourbon. If you want to have some of the alcohol in the budino whisk in the bourbon after it has cooled. 

Several jars of bourbon budino with salted caramel sauce.
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Looking for other bourbon desserts?

Jar of bourbon budino with caramel sauce
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Bourbon Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce

An Italian butterscotch pudding with bourbon topped with a bourbon salted caramel sauce.
5 from 18 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 662 kcal


  • Heavy bottomed sauce pan
  • Mixing Bowl
  • Fine mesh sieve
  • 8 8 oz jars with lids
  • Spatula
  • Whisk


  • cup dark brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tbsp salt kosher
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • cups milk
  • 1 egg large
  • 4 egg yolks large
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • ½ cup bourbon caramel sauce


  • In a mixing bowl combine the egg, egg yolks, and cornstarch. Whisk in 1/2 cup of milk and set aside. Combine the rest of the milk and the heavy cream and milk and set aside.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat, mix brown sugar, ½ cup water, and the salt and stir to combine. Cook until the water has evaporated and the liquid is molten, dark brown, and smells caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Whisk in the cream and milk mixture you will have a vigorous reaction and the sugar may seize, this is ok just keep whisking and it will melt into the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add 1 cup of the butterscotch mixture to the egg mixture whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the butterscotch mixture and whisk continuously. Bring to a boil and whisk until the custard is very thick, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and bourbon.
  • Strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps, and divide among eight 8-ounce jars. Cover with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate until completely chilled. Top each budino with 1 tablespoon of the warm caramel sauce.
  • Garnish with additional toppings such as whipped cream, Maldon salt, espresso powder, pistachios, or crushed chocolate graham crackers.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 662kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 6gFat: 49gSaturated Fat: 30gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 256mgSodium: 367mgPotassium: 231mgFiber: 0.04gSugar: 48gVitamin A: 1924IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 165mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimer*
Keyword Bourbon, Budino, Butterscotch, Salted Caramel
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
bourbon budino pinterest pin
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19 thoughts on “Bourbon Budino with Salted Caramel Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    I admit I never tried Budino before but I am so glad I did give it a try, wow, it was sooo good!! I Will definitely make it again pretty swiftly.

  2. 5 stars
    This was my first time making Budino, your recipe was easy to follow and the Budino OMG delicious!! Everyone loved them.

  3. 5 stars
    This bourbon budino was SO good. This was my first time making budino but the easy, step-by-step instructions made it a breeze. We’ll definitely be making this again soon!

  4. 5 stars
    The pudding flavor was incredible, and it was so velvety smooth. LOVED the caramel sauce in this, it made a really wonderful dessert.

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve only ever made American style puddings, but this version with the eggs was much creamier as you suggested it would be. This is certainly my preferred style!

  6. 5 stars
    That salted caramel sauce is my favorite! I mean, I have so many desserts that use it, and none of those ever disappoints! Can’t wait to give this budino a try now!

  7. Sounds like heaven in a little jar! Nothing beats homemade custard and the salted caramel is sublime! I definitely need to make these!

  8. 5 stars
    I’ve never had budino before, only classic pudding but it was amazing! I love any bourbon-flavored desserts and this was so creamy and delicious. Definitely making it again soon!

      1. 5 stars
        We are no strangers to Budino. I love it more than the American pudding. More luxurious and smooth! I can see why these would be a hit. Beautiful presentation, and great flavor. Well done! ❤️ 😋

  9. 5 stars
    Ahhh I saw your post and just had to make my own since I couldn’t get my spoon past my phone screen. Thankfully they turned out just like the ones in your pictures and I was the hero of the house, if only for a day.

  10. 5 stars
    I have never had budino before – it sounds delicious! The salted caramel sauce screams fall for me! Excited to give this recipe a try!

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