The next time you get a hankering for vanilla pudding whip up a homemade batch and relish each delicious creamy, from-scratch bite!
This delicious, creamy, wonderful homemade vanilla pudding used to be bundled in the same post with the equally delicious, creamy, wonderful chocolate pudding.
Either way, homemade pudding is the only way to go and is easy as can be so the next time you get the hankering for vanilla pudding.
Whip up a homemade batch and relish each delicious bite!
The Best Vanilla Pudding
- 2 ⅔ cups whole milk, divided
- ½ cup (106 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Over medium heat, bring 2 cups of the milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. While it is heating, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium, heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the remaining 2/3 cup milk, a little at a time so lumps do not form, then whisk in the egg. Once the milk is boiling, very gradually add it to the cornstarch mixture in the bowl, whisking quickly the whole time.
- Return the mixture back to the saucepan, stirring constantly with a silicon spatula, whisk or wooden spoon. Once it comes to a simmer, cook it for one minute longer (which will cook the cornstarch and egg fully). Large bubbles will pop at the surface and the pudding will become very thick. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Strain the pudding through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps or pieces of cooked egg into a medium bowl (you can omit this step if you don't have a fine mesh strainer – just try your best to whisk quickly during all the combining/cooking steps to avoid little bits of cooked egg).
- Cover the pudding with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the pudding, and refrigerate until chilled completely through.
Recipe Source: adapted from Smitten Kitchen
38 Comments on “Vanilla Pudding”
I like that this only uses 1 egg, unlike some other vanilla pudding recipes I found. Egg prices are so high right now!
This is the simple recipe I’ve been looking for. No butter and no separating the egg yolk. So good! Next time I’m making a double batch!
Used the recipe for banana pudding, the kind with vanilla wafers, it was quite tasty and I don’t think I will buy boxed pudding again. It was easy to make with on hand kitchen ingredients
Thanks for posting and the lovely picture with it! I used all of your ingredients except I substituted vanilla bean paste for double the flavor and I wanted the bean specks. Something a bit different. I must mixed all the dry ingredients in the pan, added the milk, egg and vanilla, whisked it all together put it on the stove top and cooked until thick whisking constantly. No lumps or clumps. It was divine. Sorry for the spelling on “I must”…should be “I just”. For some reason I cannot highlight and correct. Oh, I also added 2 TBS of butter for flavor.
We loved how thick and creamy this is! Used 2%, because it’s what I had. Blended the egg and milk in my Ninja…no egg bits or straining necessary!
Is there a milk free version? Has anyone tried almond milk?
So we just made the vanilla pudding. It is finished and we are putting the saran wrap now. Does it go in the fridge now (it’s still very hot)??
Yes, you can pop it in the fridge to cool!
Okay, THIS is my new favorite vanilla pudding recipe.
The 1/4 cup cornstarch makes it. ( other recipes use less)
I only had 2% milk on hand so I added butter at the last step to give it the creaminess that whole milk would’ve given.
Hello. I’m looking to make a homemade vanilla pudding in a recipe to sub for a recipe calling for instant pudding. Silly question but just wondering would this size of pudding be comparable to just one small box of instant pudding (3.4 ounce pack) or a larger (5.1 ounce) or what? Just trying to adjust the other ingredients called for if need. Thank you!!!
Hi Susan, I’m not sure. This makes about 3 cups of pudding so you’d have to check out the servings on the boxes of pudding to see which is more the equivalent of this homemade quantity.
The recipe was a success. Make sure you watch the milk. Once it heats, it comes to a boil quickly. The next time I make this, I will mix sugar, cornstarch, salt and 2/3 cup of milk before I heat milk.
Mel, I need to go non-dairy. I have almond, oat, and coconut milk. Can you help me make your delicious pudding using one of these milks? What adjustments or additions would be necessary? Thank you SO MUCH!
Hi Faye, I haven’t tried this pudding with alternate milks so you’d probably just have to experiment!
I just made this pudding last night and my husband deemed it “the best vanilla pudding I’ve ever made!” It’s fantastic and very easy to make.
Okay. I’ve never made pudding from scratch before. This turned out thick! I don’t mind, but wondered if it was an error on my part, or if it’s supposed to be thick like this? To give you an idea, it would probably cut cleanly as a layer in a pie.
Was that after it was refrigerated or just after cooking?
Yes, after chilling, it will be pretty thick – if you want it less thick, you can use less cornstarch (maybe decrease by 1 tablespoon).
Delicious! My mom loves rice pudding so I added some cooked white rice and a can of crushed pineapples. I also doubled the recipe. She said it was the best, tastiest, creamiest, rice pudding she has ever had. She’s 83, so she must be right! It’s scrumptious just plain too! Thank you for posting this recipe!
Thank you so much, it was amazing!
Omg! The best vanilla pudding! It was so creamy and the flavor was to die for. Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s amazing!!!
Just made this but replaced the milk with eggnog and cut out the vanilla. It was pretty festive 🙂
My son asked me to make tapioca pudding “without the bumps”. I made this recipe in a double boiler so the pudding came out lump free. At the end I added the pudding to one whipped egg white and the result was tapioca pudding “without the bumps”.
I loved this pudding, just like the one my mum used to make 🙂
This is so delicious. I’ve never made homemamde pudding before but this turned out perfect. It reminded me of my childhood. Thank you for another great recipe
Made this for dessert for my boys and husband and it was a huge hit! It tasted so lovely! Perfect directions, awesome results! Thanks Mel! 🙂
hi mel,its been awhile since ive been on your site. (so sorry) I came looking for a quick dessert to make tonight and found the white pudding. I must say,Mel ,you never cease to amaze!!! besides the fact I had all the ingredients on hand it is very easy to make. Its in the refrigerator chilling, as we speak.reading the comments below , my curiosity got the best of me and I gave it a small try.its going to be good,thanks again Mel..
never disappointed with Mel’s kitchen
Holy cow!!! After eating your chicken pot pie crumble for dinner-to rave reviews!- we pulled out the good old trusty snack pack puddings from the fridge for dessert. Classy:) my husband said he didn’t want one because he prefers vanilla and we only had chocolate. I decided to make him this as a special treat. . . . Oh my heck!!! It is to die for delicious!!!! What was I thinking waiting until now to try your your pudding!?!?!? I should have known it would be over the top delicious!! Thanks Mel:)
Can you add mashed bananas to the recipe? At what point would you add them abs how many? My family LOVES banana pudding but not the artificial flavored stuff from a box.
I haven’t tried that, but I’d probably stir them in at the end (and maybe mix the mashed banana with a bit of lemon juice so they don’t brown too much)
I always use 2% milk and it works fabulously! I love this recipe!
This is a delicious recipe! I love that I don’t have to buy the boxes anymore! I’m going to try it with 2% milk! since that is what I have on hand and see if it works.
Having never made real pudding (only the box kind) I gave this a shot. Unfortunately, I didn’t know that pudding can be overcooked and doing that is not a good thing! While waiting for the tell-tale bubbles to appear the pudding thickened too much. The hard blob of pudding “jello” tasted great but could not be called pudding. I will definitely try again once I buy more whole milk.
Would this vanilla pudding work well to use in the vanilla pudding cinnamon roll recipe that you have posted? I love making that cinnamon roll recipe! Every time I make it, everyone raves about how yummy they are. I keep thinking how they may taste even more delicious with homemade vanilla pudding.
Hi Dawn – yes, this pudding works great for these cinnamon rolls (I think someone else in the comment thread tried it). You might have to adjust the flour consistency because the pudding amount might be slightly different.
Both the vanilla and chocolate pudding turned out fantastic. Thank you so much for walking me through my first foray. It all went so smoothly that I’ll never buy boxed again. The chocolate taste is wonderful, even though I forgot the vanilla. So good that I licked (sucked, if we’re being honest) the strainer. haha Since it’s for a party-sized Robert Redford dessert, I used heavy cream and the resulting pudding is nice and thick for spreading. Thank you so much for sharing your pudding wisdom.