Brei [German homemade pudding]


brei What Brei is

Brei is a German dish and is pronounced “Bry”. It rhymes with “dry” or “cry”.  Since the I is the last letter of the two vowels, the I is the long sound and the e is silent.

My older siblings have fond memories of this dish from their childhood. My oldest brother Daniel shared his memories of his mother making this dish in the 1930s. He described it as a homemade pudding made with milk and sugar, and thickened with cornstarch. “We’d put brown sugar over it and eat it that way.” Daniel recalled a conversation with his mother as the sun was setting and the clouds were low and he was eating brei. He remembered the “secure, comfortable feeling I had about that occasion”in the kitchen.

Recently a friend told me that this homemade Brei was her favorite food as a child. She often carried it in her lunchbox to school where her friends did not know what it was.

For folks in my home community, it makes sense that it was a staple, and thus a comfort food for families. During the depression, most folks in my community had milk because of their herd of cows. Plenty of milk to fix Brei and only a handful of other ingredients were necessary! When tummies were empty, this dish was a simple fix before bedtime or as a snack.

Some folks consider Brei to be a type of baby or pureed food. Still others consider it a porridge or a custard.  While Brei favors a pudding, it’s not quite as thick as pudding, probably because there are no eggs in Brei. No matter what you call it, Brei2 is a down-home comfort food.


breiThe recipe

Brei [homemade pudding]

My Windowsill
A home-cooked pudding that is simply delicious and comforting. Serve with brown sugar on top or maple syrup.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine German
Servings 8


  • 4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Maple Sugar or brown sugar and milk for on top


  • Heat 3 1/2 cups milk to almost boiling.
  • While the milk is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt.
  • Mix with 1/2 cup milk.
  • Add cornstarch mixture to hot milk.
  • Stir constantly as it thickens and just comes to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  • Serve warm or cold with maple sugar and milk.

Pinterest Brei

1  Family Jaunt of Memories by the Floyd J. Miller family, Lulu Online Printing, June, 2009. p. 56.

Ibid. p. 445

Cream Puffs

cream puffs

cream puffCream Puff nostalgia.

I had cream puffs as a child and even as an adult. But it’s been years since I’ve made them. Recently, on a trip back to my home community, I savored these delightful bit of pastry with pudding. They were a gift from a cousin to my sister following surgery.

I came home and thought about these for days, until I decided to make my own. Seriously, these cream puffs are such an easy dessert to make and will be applauded by any who eat them. You can make the pudding in this recipe for the filling, or you can use a store-bought pudding to save time. Naturally, I think homemade is best.

cream puffsMaking the cream puffs

Whipping the puffs up is simple and easy. By the time your oven is heated and ready to bake, you will have these puffs on the tray ready to go into the oven. Be sure not to overbake them. This recipe calls for a 30-minute bake in a 425 oven. My convection oven finishes them quicker, so be sure to watch as they bake.

To make the process easier, you can make the pudding a day ahead. This give it time to cool and you won’t be waiting for the pudding to cool so you can fill the puffs. You can drizzle chocolate on the top or serve them plain.

This recipe come from the tried and true Mennonite Community Cookbook. I grew up with this cookbook as a part of my mama’s kitchen. How easily we forget about the main-stays of our childhoods! You can click on the link below to get this cookbook.


The cream puff recipe

Cream Puffs

My Windowsill
An easy, light dessert with a pudding inside that is creamy and light. Easy to mix up and bake; then fill the center with your choice of pudding or whipped cream.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 -15


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs separated
  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  • Place butter and boiling water in saucepan.
  • Keep on low heat until butter is melted (you can do this in the microwave)
  • Sift flour and salt together.
  • Add all at once to the boiling water and butter
  • Stir until the mixture leaves the ides of the pan and forms a ball
  • Remove from heat
  • Add unbeaten eggs, one at a time
  • Beat thoroughly after adding each egg
  • Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheet, about 2 inches apart
  • Bake at 425 for 30 minutes OR until beads of moisture no longer appear on the surface
  • Makes 12-15.
  • When cool, slit in the side and fill with whipped cream or the following recipe.
  • Warm 1 1/2 cups milk -
  • Mix sugar, flour, and salt together
  • Add 1/2 cup milk to dry ingredients and make a smooth paste
  • Add paste to warmed milk and cook until thickened, stirring constantly.
  • Slowly add beaten egg yolks and cook 2 more minutes
  • Remove from heat and add vanilla.
  • Cool.
  • When cooled, add stiffly beaten egg whites and blend into mixture.
  • You can do this in a double boiler, the microwave, or on a stovetop.
  • cups milk and add sugar, flour, and salt
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup milk to

Credits for cream puff photos

The pictures of the cream puffs with the chocolate is of the ones my cousin made. On a whim, she topped it with some leftovers she had at her house. Usually, she says, she melts chocolate chips with a little bit of cream until it is the right consistency.

pinterest cream puffs

click on the photo of the book to find the link for the cookbook.

Homemade (Microwave) Pudding

microwave pudding

microwave puddingThis homemade pudding recipe can be used for pies, graham cracker pudding, or for just eating plain. You can make it vanilla or chocolate, and you can use brown sugar instead of white to give it a butterscotch flavor.

The ingredients are what you will have in your kitchen, and you can know exactly what is and is not in this pudding. You can control the amount of sugar if you want to decrease it a little, especially if you will be adding ingredients like bananas or graham crackers.

Be sure to decrease the cooking time by one minute for each round. It will keep the pudding from becoming lumpy and will actually help it cook evenly. You can use this pudding to make Coconut, Banana, or Peanut Butter pie, or for graham cracker pudding.

This recipe comes from my sister Alice. I hear it’s a favorite of folks in her community and church.

microwave pudding

microwave pudding

Homemade (Microwave) Pudding

My Windowsill
A simple and easy microwavable recipe for homemade - completely made from scratch - pudding.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 whole egg
  • 8 cups milk
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla


  • Mix dry ingredients in one bowl.
  • Beat eggs in a microwavable bowl.
  • Add 4 cups milk and mix well
  • Add 1 cup milk to dry ingredients, then add to milk and eggs
  • Add the rest of the milk
  • Cook in microwave for 6 minutes. Stir
  • Cook in microwave for 5 minutes. Stir.
  • Continue to cook in decreasing minutes each time, stirring between cooking times.
  • When the pudding is thick, add butter and vanilla
  • If using for chocolate pie, add semi-sweet chocolate chips and chocolate wafers, and skip the butter.
  • Cover with a plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming.
  • This makes 3 8-inch pies.
  • Use for Peanut Butter, Coconut, or Banana pie. You can also use this for graham cracker pudding.

microwave pudding

Dirt Cake – Kid Favorite Dessert

dirt cake

dirt cake

Dirt Cake.

If you’re an oreo cookie and pudding fan, you will love this recipe!

Kids can help put this together and it is made from kid-favorite food, so it is bound to be a hit for them as well.

The ingredients can be crushed, whipped, and mixed together in minutes, layer by layer. You’ll need oreo cookies, pudding, milk, sugar, cool whip, and cream cheese. Don’t forget the gummy worms!

As you layer the dirt cake, hide some gummy worms in each layer. If you use a glass bowl, you can make sure the worms can be seen along the sides of the bowl. Kids will have fun with this part!

Another option is to “plant” flowers in the dirt cake. Serve the pudding in mugs or planters and add an artificial flower or leaf.  Kids can help “plant” the flowers.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Dirt Cake

My Windowsill
An easy recipe for a delightful dessert that kids will enjoy. Chocolate lovers young or old will like it as well.
Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 pound Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 stick melted margarine
  • 3 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 2 small boxes instant chocolate pudding you can use one box vanilla and one box chocolate
  • 1 cup powdered sugar I use a lot less
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 12 oz. Cool Whip
  • Gummy worms optional


  • Mix Oreo crumbs, 1 cup powdered sugar, cream cheese, and melted margarine in one bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix instant chocolate pudding and cold milk.
  • Fold in Cool Whip.
  • Layer the cake starting and ending with cookie crumb mixture
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • You can add gummy worms in the pudding.

dirt cake

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

When it’s your birthday, you should be able to choose whatever you’d like for dessert, correct?  The problem is that I have many favorites.  I could make graham cracker pudding, Mom’s chocolate sheet cake, Apple pie, Cream Cheese Fruit Delight, or Sticky Toffee Pudding.

But since I love graham crackers, pudding, and chocolate, I think it will be Chocolate Eclair Dessert.

chocolate eclair dessert

Anybody can make this because it’s so easy.  Anybody can eat it, too – if you like pudding, graham crackers and chocolate.

This really is an easy recipe.  You layer the pudding mixture with the graham crackers and then top it with the chocolate frosting.  Oh, My Goodness.  Is it ever good!

I only use Honey Maid graham crackers. It was one of our prenuptial agreements.  Dave knew long before we were married that if I ever asked him to pick up Graham Crackers, there was only one brand for me.  He has faithfully kept that agreement for over thirty-two years.

Our family was served this at our friend Bethany’s house, and it gave me a hankering to make this again. Like I said, since it’s my birthday, I get to choose.  Bethany used vanilla pudding and when I made it, I used French vanilla.

You can substitute Cool Whip for the Dream Whip if you’d like.  It’s something you’ll have on hand and it’s one less step in putting this dessert together, because the Dream Whip will need to be whipped into peaks.

eclair dessert and Dream Whip

Mix this up and refrigerate it for 24 hours before serving.  Unless you’re in a hurry, of course.

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

Chocolate Eclair Dessert

My Windowsill
An easy dessert that combines pudding, chocolate, and graham crackers. Make it 24 hours ahead and there's no fuss the day you want to serve this.
Prep Time 20 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 1 lb. graham crackers - entire pieces
  • 2 3 1/2 oz. Vanilla or French Vanilla pudding. (Recipe calls for instant; I use cooked)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 packs Dream Whip mixed according to directions OR 3-4 cups Cool Whip
  • 5 Tbsp. cocoa and 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp softened butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. milk


  • Grease the bottom of a 9 x 13 dish.
  • Line with crackers
  • Mix pudding with milk and continue according to directions
  • Blend dream whip according to package directions OR use cool whip and add to the pudding
  • Spread half the pudding mixture over the crackers.
  • Add a second layer of crackers on top of pudding
  • Put the remainder of the pudding on top of the crackers
  • Add a third layer of crackers
  • REFRIGERATE for 2 hours, then put frosting on top of the third layer of crackers
  • For FROSTING: beat ingredients together until smooth
  • Layer on top of crackers
  • Refrigerate for 24 hours before serving


pinterest Chocolate Eclair Dessert