Dessert Macaroni and Cheese

Dessert Macaroni and Cheese! Yes, you read that right! A sweet mac & cheese made with cream cheese, blueberries and vanilla, it’s a sweet take on a classic comfort food.

a plate of dessert macaroni and cheese with blueberries

Similar to bread pudding or rice pudding, Dessert Macaroni and Cheese has a starchy base held together by a baked custard. The idea came to me one day and I figured someone must have made this already.

I googled and read all about Mac and Cheese, saw all sorts of variations on the savory dish, but didn’t find any sweet mac & cheese recipes, so decided to give it a try.

Well the first go-round was really strange. I made the traditional white sauce (Bechamel) and instead of adding cheddar cheese, as I would do for a savory mac-n-cheese, I added cream cheese, vanilla and sugar.

It’s not that it tasted bad, it actually tasted pretty good, but the look and texture was so similar to regular mac-n-cheese that there was a sort of cognitive dissonance between what my eyes were seeing and what my mouth was tasting. My husband had exactly the same reaction.

Scroll through the step-by-step process photos to see how to make Dessert Macaroni & Cheese:

flour and butter roux in a pot
Cook the flour and butter together to make a roux for the white sauce. The roux will thicken the milk.
batter for dessert macaroni and cheese
After mixing the cheesecake base, stir in the white sauce and the cooked macaroni. The mixture is very loose, but the pasta will absorb quite a bit of the custard while it bakes

For round two I made the white sauce separately from the cream cheese base. I mixed the cream cheese, sugar and eggs together for a simple cheesecake-style batter, then combined the two with the cooked pasta.

Tossing blueberries into the mix added lot of flavor and moisture, and also gave the eye a cue that this was dessert. This is more important than you can imagine. We eat with our eyes, right?

dessert macaroni and cheeseThe blueberries could be switched out for another fruit, and cinnamon, lemon zest or other flavors could be added to change up the flavor. I definitely recommend putting berries or chocolate chips or anything to make it look like a dessert.

I really like this dish. Dessert Macaroni and Cheese might seem strange at first, but give it a try and let me know what you think.

dessert macaroni and cheese

If you love this dish as much as I do, please give it a 5 star review.

dessert macaroni and cheese
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4.56 from 151 reviews

Dessert Macaroni and Cheese

Dessert Macaroni and Cheese! Yes, you read that right! Made with cream cheese, blueberries and vanilla, it's a sweet take on a classic comfort food.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
12 servings
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  • 8 oz elbow macaroni


  • 2 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ oz all purpose flour (¼ cup)
  • 16 oz whole milk (2 cups)
  • 1 vanilla bean (split or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • teaspoon table salt
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz granulated sugar (½ cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)


  • 1 oz panko breadcrumbs (¼ cup)
  • 2 oz granulated sugar (¼ cup)


  • Heat a large pot of salted water for the pasta and cook 8 oz elbow macaroni to al dente while making the batter for the custard. Drain the pasta and set it aside.
  • To make a roux, combine2 oz unsalted butter and 1 ¼ oz all purpose flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to simmer and thickens to a pale beige paste. Slowly whisk 16 oz whole milk into the roux. Continue to whisk until the sauce has no lumps and is the consistency of thick cream. Scrape the seeds from 1 vanilla bean into the warm sauce with ⅛ teaspoon table salt. Set aside to cool until it's just barely warm or room temperature (see note).
  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Lightly butter a 2 quart casserole dish.
  • On low speed, cream8 oz cream cheese and 4 oz granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until it's smooth. Scrape the bowl so there are no lumps of cream cheese. Add 2 large eggs, one at a time, scraping the bowl after each egg to avoid lumps. Add the cooled white sauce to the cream cheese mixture to form a batter.
  • Add the cooked pasta and2 cups blueberries to the batter then pour the batter into the casserole dish. Combine 1 oz panko breadcrumbs and 2 oz granulated sugar and sprinkle the topping over the custard.
  • Bake until golden brown, slightly puffed, and the custard is set in the center.
  • Just like savory macaroni and cheese, this is best still warm from the oven. Leftovers can be refrigerated and re-warmed.

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Make sure to cook the macaroni "al dente". Leaving the pasta slightly undercooked will allow it to absorb the sauce as it bakes.
If you combine the white sauce with the cream cheese mixture while the sauce is very hot the mixture will look curdled.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 162mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 486IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 1mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. This is an amazing dessert! I love everything about it, especially the blueberries. I’ve made it twice and with no changes at all.
    Best served warm to bring out the flavors.

  2. Thank you for the most delicious recipe i have ever tried in my life. My husband was planning on divorcing me but because of this mac and cheese, I was able to regain his love. We are now pregnant and expecting triplets this upcoming january. When people say a dish can change your life, they are not wrong.

    God bless and long live the blueberry mac!

  3. For the sugar – it says “1/2 cup (4 oz, 112g) granulated sugar”. 1/2 cup of sugar (a volume of sugar) normally weighs around 100g, not 112g. I will be weighing out my ingredients – is the correct weight for sugar 112g or 100g?

    1. 2 grams is less than a 10th of an ounce, so 2 grams in either direction won’t make much difference. I use a conversion of 28.3g per ounce. 4 oz comes out to 113.2. You can either round up to 115 or down to 110. Again, a few grams in either direction won’t make a big difference.

    2. @Eileen Gray, The difference is 12g, not 2g. 12 g is almost 1/2 an oz. I would consider that amount to be fairly significant.

      1. Right, it is 12g, not 2. I misread. That being said, a 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) could be significant in some very finicky recipes like meringues, but for this recipe there is quite a bit of leeway since the sugar does not affect the texture of the significantly.

    3. @Eileen Gray, The 1/4 cup is a volume, not a weight. It may be 4 oz (weight) of water but not of sugar.

      1. Sugar weighs pretty much the same as water. Some people weigh a cup of sugar as slightly less than 8oz. I always get almost exactly 8 oz to a cup of sugar. That is the weight conversion I use for all my recipes. So a 1/2 cup of sugar in one of my recipes is converted as 4oz or about 112g.

  4. Thanks for sharing.
    We actually have an old British recipe which is called macaroni pudding (dessert in the uk)
    My friends never had it but i was lucky enough for my grandmother to learn from her mother. I grew up with it as a kid. It was legit my favourite thing.
    Recipe was basically the same as a rice pudding using eggs, milk, sugar and nutmeg.
    I havnt had it for over 10 years…. I think im going to go make some now

  5. This looks like a great idea! I actually found this recipe because I was watching a documentary on Renaissance food and got curious when I found out that dessert macaroni used to be a thing! They would cook macaroni for 2 hours and serve it mixed with sugar and cinnamon. Crazy, right? 🙂

  6. I just wanted to chime in and thank you for this delicious recipe. I made it to enter in a mac n cheese competition and I won first place for the Judge’s Award, and also first place for the People’s Choice Award. I’ve had dozens of people beg for the recipe. It was amazing. Thank you. The only thing I did different was to add cinnamon to the panko and sugar topping. You mentioned trying different fruits and spices. I’m glad I did. Everyone was raving about it all day. Thank you so much!

  7. I can’t believe you’ve never heard of, or indeed tried this!! I had tried this as a kid. You’ll need to expand your references. It might be a Jewish recipe. Thanks.

    1. Hi Alistair. I’d never heard of a sweet macaroni and cheese and didn’t find any recipes for it. I know there’s a Jewish recipe for noodle kugel which is similar.