Vanilla Bone Marrow Custard Recipe

Heather Dessinger

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bone marrow custard recipe

I’m only half joking when I say that my goal is to give my kids lots of stories to tell about being raised by a weird mom. That’s because I come by my weirdness honestly – via my own mom – and let me tell you, I have stories to tell.

Maybe I will another day. For now, I’ll tell you about the time I tried adding a little chicken liver to my toddlers smoothie and hoped she wouldn’t notice. (She most definitely did.)

And the time one of my kids mistook refrigerated homemade lotion for mayo. (Labels are super helpful. I use them now.)

More recently, I put a new supplement in an amber glass bottle with “X” written on the front because I didn’t want the marketing label to influence any feedback about how it made the family feel. (Spoiler alert: Nothing.)

Fortunately, despite many hilarious failures, mishaps, and dud experiments, I’ve had some wins, too.

bone marrow custard recipe

Sweet Nostalgia

A few months ago I overheard my kids chatting wistfully about the bone marrow custard I used to make when they were little. I don’t remember why it fell out of our dessert rotation, but it did, and I figured now is as good a time as any to bring it back.

I was worried that the reality wouldn’t live up to the memory, but I was wrong. Sweet, rich, and deeply nourishing, this vanilla custard has been gracing our dinner table twice a week for quite awhile now, and my kids can’t get enough of it.

Seriously, when I finally ran out of marrow bones this week, my daughter offered to make the very long drive to pick up more from our farmer. If that’s not a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is.

bone marrow custard recipe

Health Benefits of Bone Marrow

Beef bone marrow is a nutritional powerhouse, so I’ll keep whipping up batches as long as my kids keep asking. There are so many benefits it will take another article to dive into them all, so for now I’ll just cover some highlights.

Beef Bone Marrow:

  • Is a rare dietary source of alkylglycerols (AKGs), which support both the innate (first line of defense) and adaptive (targeted response) immune system. (1) (2)
  • Contains an amino acid called glycine, which plays a vital role in memory, relaxation and sleep. (3) (4)
  • Is rich in collagen, which which plays a huge role in skin’s resilience, suppleness, elasticity and hydration.(5)
  • Also supports liver detoxification via the presence of glycine. The liver is one of the five main detox pathways that help reduce body burden.
  • Contains adiponectin, which is sometimes called The Fat Burning Hormone. Adiponectin is thought to support blood sugar balance by optimizing insulin sensitivity. (6) (7)
  • Also contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), an anti-inflammatory compound that is thought to support healthy metabolic function. (8)
  • Supports joint health via glucosamine (which supports the formation of cartilage) and collagen (the glue that holds our cartilage together)
  • Also supports the integrity of gut mucosal barrier, which is crucial for nutrient absorption and overall health. (9)
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Vanilla Bone Marrow Custard Recipe

Sweet, rich, and deeply nourishing, this vanilla marrow custard is one of the most requested desserts in my home.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 six ounce ramekins
Calories 509kcal
Author Heather Dessinger


  • 4-5 six ounce ramekins
  • large baking dish


  • 2 pounds grass-fed beef marrow bones (I typically use cross cut bones that are shaped like a donut, but canoe cut/lengthwise cut bones will also work perfectly)
  • ¾ cup half and half or coconut cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (Here's how to make it)
  • cup maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp sea salt

Optional Additions

  • fresh fruit for serving (berries, peaches, figs, etc.)
  • fresh herbs like mint or lemon balm


  • Preheat your oven to 400F.
  • Place the marrow bones in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. They should be in a single layer. Roast for 15-20 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Turn off the oven and let the bones cool until they have cooled enough to handle comfortably.
  • While the roasted marrow bones ware cooling, place the half and half, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt into a blender.
  • Turn the oven on to 350F.
  • Use a butter knife to scoop the marrow from the bones and place it in the blender. If desired, set aside the bones and any oil that has settled in the pan to make bone broth. (I always do!)
  • Turn the blender on and blend until everything is well combined, then divide the mixture between the ramekins.
  • Place the ramekins in a large baking dish (or two if needed) and pour enough hot water into the dish to come halfway up the sides of the cups. Bake until the custards are lightly set in the center, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Remove the ramekins from the water – I use a spatula to pick each one up – and allow them to cool for a few minutes before serving. Top with fruit if desired.


*Nutritional estimate is based on half and half (not coconut cream).
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Calories: 509kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 171mg | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 437IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 2mg
bone marrow custard recipe

More Bone Marrow Recipes To Try

Roasted Bone Marrow Butter – Made with marrow, butter and fresh herbs, this compound butter is perfect for spreading over a slice of crusty bread.

Pumpkin Spice Custard With Marrow Infusion – This is the autumn edition of the custard recipe I shared in this article.


  1. Tommaso Iannitti and Beniamino Palmieri (2010) An Update on the Therapeutic Role of Alkylglycerols
  2. Anne-Laure Deniau et. al. (2010) Multiple Beneficial Health Effects of Natural Alkylglycerols from Shark Liver Oil
  3. S E File et. al. (1999) Beneficial effects of glycine (bioglycin) on memory and attention in young and middle-aged adults
  4. Nobuhiro Kawai et. al. (2015) The Sleep-Promoting and Hypothermic Effects of Glycine are Mediated by NMDA Receptors in the Suprachiasmatic Nucleus
  5. Franchesca Choi et. al. (2019) Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications
  6. William P Cawthorn et. al. (2014) Bone marrow adipose tissue is an endocrine organ that contributes to increased circulating adiponectin during caloric restriction
  7. Mingshun Zhang et. al. (2013) Oral Administration of Alkylglycerols Differentially Modulates High-Fat Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance in Mice
  8. Leah D Whigham et. al. (2007) Efficacy of conjugated linoleic acid for reducing fat mass: a meta-analysis in humans
  9. Jingqing Chen et. al. (2021) Dietary Supplementation with Glycine Enhances Intestinal Mucosal Integrity and Ameliorates Inflammation in C57BL/6J Mice with High-Fat Diet–Induced Obesity

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world.