The Best Vanilla Pudding

This delicious, creamy, wonderful homemade vanilla pudding used to be bundled in the same post with the equally delicious, creamy, wonderful chocolate pudding. I’ve since split them out to accommodate being able to save each separately to Ziplist.

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

Yield: Makes about 3 cups of pudding

The Best Vanilla Pudding


  • 2 2/3 cups whole milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg


  1. 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.
  2. 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

14 Responses to Vanilla Pudding

  1. Brittney says:

    Just made this but replaced the milk with eggnog and cut out the vanilla. It was pretty festive 🙂

  2. Suzanne says:

    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”.

  3. Mim says:

    I loved this pudding, just like the one my mum used to make 🙂

  4. Mim says:

    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

  5. Evelyn says:

    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! 🙂

  6. elizabeth says:

    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

  7. Meg says:

    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:)

  8. Laura says:

    I always use 2% milk and it works fabulously! I love this recipe!

  9. Laura says:

    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.

  10. Missy says:

    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.

  11. Dawn says:

    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.

    • Mel says:

      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.

  12. Mazey says:

    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.

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