Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe | Lil’ Luna

After making this simply delicious vanilla pudding recipe you’ll never go instant again! It’s rich and creamy – a favorite treat!

If you love custards and puddings you’ll love this simple vanilla pudding recipe. Be sure to also check out our Homemade Chocolate Pudding too!

Two glasses filled with vanilla pudding recipe topped with whipped cream and strawberries.

A Classic Creamy Dessert To Love! 

Pudding is not just a tasty treat for kids, I love puddings and custards! I also use it in several tasty treats like our Dirt Cake and Sand Pudding Cups.

Can you buy it from the box? Of course – but homemade is always delish and perfect when you don’t have pudding boxes handy.

Why we love it:

  • Easy. It’s a simple dessert to make and whips up in a flash.
  • Simple treat. Easily top it with some Whipped Cream or eat it plain, it’s just as good!
  • So tasty. While it does require a little extra effort than a box pudding, the added flavor is worth it!
  • Crowd pleaser. When you need a simple dessert that everyone will love give this recipe a try!
A white bowl filled with cornstarch and sugar.

Ingredients

  • granulated sugar
  • cornstarch
  • milk The higher the fat content the thicker and creamier the pudding will be so I stick with 2% or whole milk, but 1% or skim can be used. For a dairy-free vanilla pudding substitute the milk with almond milk or coconut milk. Note that the flavor and texture will differ but it is still a delicious dessert for those who stay away from dairy.
  • large egg yolks
  • salted butter
  • pure vanilla extract – Use a quality vanilla extract. The better the flavor of the vanilla the better the pudding will taste. Or use an equal amount of vanilla bean paste instead of extract. The paste will produce a bit more flavor and produce some specks in the pudding.
Whisking milk and eggs in a white bowl.

How to Make Vanilla Pudding

  1. COMBINE. In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in cold milk and egg yolks and mix to combine.
  2. HEAT. Pour this mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a boil. Continue stirring and let boil for 1 minute.
  3. COOL. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.
    • Stirring occasionally, let the mixture cool, and serve warm or chilled.

Toppings + Variations

  • Top the pudding with a dollop of Whipped Cream. 
  • Add fresh berries like strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and sliced bananas.
  • Top with white chocolate shavings.
  • Pair the vanilla with other flavors such as almond extract or orange.
  • Sprinkle on some graham cracker crumbs or crunched cookie crumbles.

Recipe Tips

  • Lumpy pudding. Do not pour hot milk into the dry ingredients as hot liquid can cause the ingredients to clump together. Instead, pour cold milk and then bring the mixture to a boil. 
  • If pudding develops lumps, strain it through a fine mesh sieve or whisk the pudding vigorously to try and break up any pieces.
  • Avoid pudding skin. Let the pudding chill in one bowl or pour it into separate serving dishes. Top every exposed pudding with a piece of plastic to prevent a skin from forming. 
  • Egg whites. Don’t toss the egg whites. Store them in a container in the fridge and use them to make a breakfast Omelette or Frittata.
  • Thickener. If after cooking the pudding and chilling it in the fridge it is still runny, return the pudding to a saucepan and gently reheat it over medium-low heat. In a separate bowl, combine about 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold milk. Slowly pour the cornstarch slurry into the warm pudding. Stir and simmer to activate the cornstarch.
Whisking butter into a thickened mixture in a bowl.

Storing Info

  • Make ahead of time. Make this vanilla pudding recipe from scratch 1 day ahead of time and store it in the fridge, place a piece of plastic directly on top of the pudding.
  • STORE. This leftover recipe for homemade vanilla pudding can be covered and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • FREEZE. While you can freeze pudding it will not thaw well so instead use popsicle molds to make some vanilla pudding pops.
Three glasses filled with vanilla pudding recipe topped with whipped cream and strawberries.

For More Vanilla Recipes:

Vanilla Cake

1 hr 5 mins

Recipe Video

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

5 mins

Recipe Video

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

4 hrs 45 mins

Recipe Video

Vanilla Crème Anglaise

8 hrs 30 mins

Recipe Video

  • In a medium bowl, sift together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in cold milk and egg yolks and mix to combine.

  • Pour this mixture into a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a boil. Continue stirring and let boil for 1 minute.

  • Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla until butter is melted.

  • Stirring occasionally, let the mixture cool, and serve warm or chilled.

Make ahead of time. Make this vanilla pudding recipe from scratch 1 day ahead of time and store it in the fridge, place a piece of plastic directly on top of the pudding.
STORE. This leftover recipe for homemade vanilla pudding can be covered and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
FREEZE. While you can freeze pudding it will not thaw well so instead use popsicle molds to make some vanilla pudding pops.

Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 115mg, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 200mg, Fiber: 0.1g, Sugar: 24g, Vitamin A: 353IU, Vitamin C: 0.3mg, Calcium: 172mg, Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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