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Homemade Vanilla Pudding

September 11, 2018
6 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Prep time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I discovered this vanilla pudding because it's the type of recipe where you always have all the ingredients you need: butter, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, organic milk for creaminess, and vanilla. The best thing about this snack—aside from how easy it is to make—is choosing the toppings. My favorite: a tropical fruit mixture. Depending on the time of year, I'll do anything from mangoes or apricots to blueberries and peaches. You can also use this recipe to make a super-simple frozen dessert: icebox pudding cake. All you need is vanilla pudding, pound cake, heavy whipping cream, and your favorite toppings. —Jenny Rosenstrach

What You'll Need
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Homemade Vanilla Pudding
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups organic dairy milk (2% or whole)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Optional toppings: chopped tropical fruit; toasted coconut and blueberries; shaved dark chocolate; fresh bananas and crushed Nilla Wafers
  1. Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a saucepan.
  2. Pour 1/4 cup of the milk into the sugar mixture, stirring to form a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk and the egg yolks.
  3. Cook the pudding mixture over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until thickened, about 10 minutes. Do not allow it to boil.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Scrape the pudding into four individual bowls. (Unless making pudding cake; in that case, just scrape into a bowl.)
  5. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap, pressing the surfaces to make an airtight seal. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 1 hour.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • butterscotch
  • Doğa
  • megan

8 Reviews

butterscotch July 5, 2022
I made this following @AntoniaJames's suggestions--less sugar, a pinch of nutmeg, and more vanilla--and we liked it very much. But even with the sugar decreased to 1/3 cup, we still found it a bit too sweet. Next time, I will try it with 1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon of sugar and see if that improves it. No matter what you do with the sugar, though, it's a great simple recipe, a crowd-pleaser and very quick to put together.
AntoniaJames June 3, 2022
This is one of the best vanilla puddings I've ever made, though I find it a bit too sweet. I'll reduce the sugar to 1/3 cup next time. I added the tiniest pinch of nutmeg (less than 1/8 teaspoon) when I first put the mixed ingredients into the pan. That enhanced the vanilla nicely, so I'll do it again. I also used 2 teaspoons of vanilla, which seemed the right amount. I made the pudding with 2% milk. it did not seem that much less rich than puddings I've made with whole milk or whole milk + half and half. ;o)
Doğa August 25, 2019
This is the best vanilla pudding recipe of all time. I make this recipe almost every week. It's delicious and easy to make. I love it.
megan May 24, 2019
vanilla pudding with stewed rhubarb...yum!
porkphat October 1, 2018
Can this be made with almond milk?
mckenzie September 26, 2018
This was tasty and quite easy. At first I thought it wasn't going to thicken, but then it came together really fast. I'm glad I used a whisk instead of a wooden spoon though because there were a couple of lumps.
Laken September 25, 2018
Definitely trying this tonight! To clarify- you whisk everything together cold, right? And then cook? Thanks!
Erin September 22, 2018
Turned out beautifully silky - love it! Delicious with a dusting of cinnamon on top.