I wish to know what would be the difference between using only egg yolks in a pudding, compared to using whole eggs?

Yes, there are other questions on this site, asking what is the difference between yolks and whites, but I wish to know if it would be different in a pudding.

(I mean this type of pudding pic)

(link to example recipe)

  • 2
    What, exactly, do you mean by "pudding"?
    – Marti
    Aug 28, 2015 at 15:40
  • 1
    In a pudding with starch, the egg yolks are there for flavor, mouth feel, and maybe as an emulsifier if there are extra fats.
    – papin
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:09
  • The edit is not specific at all, there are different types of pudding which look like that. Please post the recipe.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:38
  • 1
    @rumtscho, I am getting really confused. How many different types of pudding, that look like that are there?
    – mathgenius
    Sep 8, 2015 at 12:22
  • 1
    I can think of 5-6 types of recipes, and the difference between them does have consequences for the answer of your question. This is why I asked for a recipe: if you can't determine the type for yourself, we'll do that for you, based on your recipe.
    – rumtscho
    Sep 8, 2015 at 12:29

1 Answer 1


Depending on the recipe and procedures, there will be no discernible difference.

So, yes, you can use whole eggs for this type of recipe. I was trained to do this by a well respected chef, and I still use whole eggs for several of my egg based items (eg. Creme Anglaise, Creme Patissiere, etc).

Here is an example recipe that appears to be quite safe in its procedures which can easily be applied to your recipe: https://www.melskitchencafe.com/the-best-vanilla-pudding/

Personally, I would use them at ratio 1:1, so as your recipe has 3 eggs yolks I would use 3 whole eggs.

For procedures:

  • After heating the milk, split the hot milk in half amounts.
  • Temper the whisked eggs (that already have some cold milk mixed with them) by slowly whisking in one half of the hot milk, and put the egg mixture aside.
  • Cook the remaining half of the hot milk with the cornstarch and sugar (etc).
  • Once the cornstarch mixture has thickened and simmered for several minutes, while whisking, slowly add it to the tempered egg mixture.
  • Put the complete mixture back on the stove over moderate heat.
  • While stirring to ensure the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom, raise the temperature of the mixture until you can see faint wisps of steam above the mixture (this could be difficult to see).
  • Once you see the faint wisps of steam, you must be careful as this is the point where the eggs will begin to thicken.
  • Cook the mixture without scrambling the eggs. (So just light bubbling simmer is enough, no need to try to boil profusely)
  • I've attempted to use whole eggs in my custard/pudding before, and since the whites cook around 140F, they always curdle. Most of the custard recipes I follow specify a final temperature between 170-180F, which exacerbates the issue. I'll have to give your procedure a shot.
    – kitukwfyer
    Dec 27, 2021 at 12:24
  • the best advice i can give is to ensure that you are always stirring so that the mixture doesnt have time to cook the eggs on the bottom before the temperature of the mixture is enough to begin thickening. here is image of my favoured utensil (the flattened side gives wider scraping of the bottom of the pot): img.muji.net/img/item/4549738886310_1260.jpg
    – Mr Shane
    Dec 27, 2021 at 14:35

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