If you love desserts, this homemade vanilla cream sauce is better than whipped cream :-). This is an old-fashioned sauce for a cake you don't want to miss! Not only is this sauce a winner on cakes and pies, but it is the perfect vanilla sauce for bread pudding!
This creamy homemade vanilla sauce is made from scratch in just minutes. I found this recipe years ago in my Grandmother's recipe box. It is made from simple, wholesome ingredients because fresh is always better than store-bought!
This vanilla cream sauce is so good for desserts. Feel free to drizzle it on some of these Gluten Free Dessert Recipes.
Why This Sauce Is Great:
- This sauce is versatile and quick and easy to make.
- It is the classic vanilla cream sauce recipe that my Grandmother used to make.
- This old-fashioned vanilla sauce is so easy to make that I can say it is foolproof.
Perfect! Made for an amazing dessert drizzled over pound cake and berries. Loved it!"Jackie M., Pinterest
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:
- Vanilla Beans - Let's talk vanilla as it is the most important ingredient for this recipe. Vanilla comes from a pod full of vanilla beans. Each pod has to have the vanilla beans scraped out. Using vanilla beans is the best way to get the pure vanilla flavor to shine in this dessert cream sauce.
- Cornstarch - You can substitute tapioca starch for cornstarch.
- Butter - Use unsalted butter. You can use coconut oil if you are dairy-free.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Step 1: Add sugar and cornstarch to a small pot. Add a little hot water and whisk to blend the sugar sauce.
Step 2: Add the rest of the hot water, butter, and a lemon slice and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Simmer until the vanilla sauce thickens. Use a wire whisk to blend it.
Step 3: Cool and serve. I love that this vanilla cream sauce is made without heavy cream!
You will love serving my easy vanilla sauce over all of your favorite desserts. Try it on my Grandma's Homemade Bread Pudding recipe!
This sauce is naturally gluten free and this sauce can be made vegan if you substitute coconut oil instead of butter. It is perfect for those who have food allergies.
Store this vanilla sauce in an airtight container. It will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
This homemade vanilla sauce also makes a great edible gift!
More Gluten Free Dessert Recipes:
- Gluten Free Chocolate Donuts - These chocolate donuts are easy to make in a donut maker or baked in a donut pan.
- Gluten Free Banana Bread Pudding - The vanilla cream sauce is incredible over this bread pudding!
- Gluten Free Sweet Crepes - These crepes are another great way to use this vanilla sauce.
- Gluten Free Lemon Bundt Cake - If you haven't tried vanilla cream drizzled over a cake, it is one of my favorites.
Homemade Vanilla Cream Sauce
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch * see note
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 slice of lemon
- 1 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla beans or one pod
- tiny dash salt
- In a small sauce pan, add sugar and cornstarch.
- Pour in a little of the hot water and whisk quickly to blend.
- Turn on the stove onto low heat and add the rest of the water, butter, vanilla, and lemon.
- Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
- You can use tapioca starch or arrowroot starch instead of corn starch.
- This vanilla sauce will keep up to 6 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze it up to 4 months.
- Slather this cream sauce on pie, ice cream, and cakes.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
This recipe was updated from an old August 2018 post with more recipe details.
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How does it turn out without the lemon?
I haven't tested my recipe with out lemon.
It is so good and so easy! One thing I changed...cornstarch dissolves in cold water, so I used cold water instead of boiling water (It makes it so much easier). I brought it to a boil after all of the ingredients were added and then let it simmer for a few minutes.
I didn't think to dissolve the cornstarch in cold water, thank you for the tip! I am glad you loved this simple vanilla sauce, Wendi :-).
Thank you for the tip!
Can you can this sauce for longer keeping
Hi Dale, I have never canned anything so I am not sure I can answer your question accurately.
On my. Just found you. My gransmother made hard sauce which we slathered on cherry or BlackBerry cobbler. It was so good. I am making this soon. Thanks for great food memories
I am so glad you found my recipes, Debbie. This vanilla sauce recipe has been in our family as far back as I can remember. I love you slathered it on cobbler!!
If you’re using a vanilla bean versus the extract, how much of the bean do you use?
Hi Shannon, I use a full bean when I use fresh vanilla beans.