Learn how to make a creamy homemade vanilla pudding recipe from scratch. This velvety treat is so much better than what comes from a box and is perfect for making delicious classics like banana pudding.
It only takes a few staple ingredients to make vanilla pudding, plus vanilla bean if you want to take things to another level. Here are the main things we need.
- Milk – Whole milk and cream work together to create a luscious pudding with an incredible mouthfeel. You can substitute the whole milk with 2% or even 1%, but keep in mind it will not have the same velvety texture.
- Thickener – A mix of cornstarch, egg, and egg yolk combine to get the perfect thickness. You can use all egg yolks, but I don’t recommend using just whole eggs.
- Vanilla – Vanilla extract does a good job of creating a delicious pudding, but for the best flavor, I recommend using vanilla beans, if you can find them. Otherwise, substitute with double the vanilla extract.
There’s so much you can do with homemade vanilla pudding. Besides eating it on its own, you can top it with whipped cream, berries, granola, cookie crumbs, and so much more.
It makes the perfect base for banana pudding with some vanilla wafers and fresh bananas. You can also pour it into popsicle molds for creamy and velvety pudding pops.
It is also great used to fill cupcakes or layer cakes. Use it to fill cream puffs for a special treat.
Tips for success
Graininess tends to be an issue when making homemade vanilla pudding. The trick is to introduce the hot milk to the eggs slowly to temper the eggs. I do this by whisking the eggs as I slowly drizzle in the milk half a cup at a time. It is easier to do this with two people, but I manage just fine with one person! If you don’t think you can manage on your own, using a stand mixer to whisk your eggs while you drizzle the hot milk would work very well.
Yes. The cornstarch works as a thickener for the pudding. If you do not have cornstarch, you can substitute with the same amount of flour.
Vanilla pudding will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about three day, but can last up to four or five. I recommend sticking to the three day rule.
Craving something chocolaty? Try my chocolate pudding! If you want to try more base recipes, you can try my salted caramel sauce, pastry cream, and homemade sprinkles!