Vanilla Pudding

It seems I have developed a bit of a pudding obsession. It started a while back with chocolate pudding. Then, that led to my recent addiction to butterscotch pudding. I’ve made both of those so very many times. Obsessed, I tell you.

Somewhere in between those two puddings was this vanilla pudding, quietly going about its business and not making even a tiny ruckus. It’s shown up time to time as part of other desserts. (And it will show up again, so you might want to stay tuned next week.)

But, I realized that I’d never just extolled this pudding’s virtues all on its own. And that, my friends, is a real shame because this cool, creamy, sweet, delicious pudding deserves to be the center of attention.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding is one of the simple pleasures of the dessert world. Top with whipped cream, berries, chocolate, nuts, coconut, or just about anything!

Like other puddings, you need to plan ahead a bit to make it and have it chilled by the time you want to serve it. But, also like other puddings, you can have it mixed and chilling in short order. Just gather all your ingredients, get whisking, and you’ll have it ready for the refrigerator in about 15 minutes.

I just love that kind of great flavor return on a small time investment. Don’t you?

Homemade Vanilla Pudding is pure comfort food. It's so cool, creamy, and utterly delicious!

While this pudding is perfectly wonderful all on its own, you can easily dress it up with different toppings. I pretty much always top off pudding with a little dollop of sweetened whipped cream. They’re just such perfect companions!

During berry season, I can’t resist tossing some fresh berries on top. But, I also love it with toasted coconut or nuts or chocolate chips or some combination of all of that. That vanilla flavor is complemented by so many different things that the possibilities seem endless!

Vanilla Pudding

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Vanilla Pudding


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup milk
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, vanilla bean paste, or seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • sweetened whipped cream, berries, toasted coconut, chocolate, or any of your favorite toppings for garnish


Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup milk and whisk until smooth. Whisk in egg yolks and the remainder of the milk.

Cook mixture over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens and just starts to bubble.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly while cooking. Continue cooking until mixture thickens (about 5-6 minutes).

Remove pan from heat. Add butter and vanilla. Stir until smooth.

Transfer pudding to a small bowl or to individual serving bowls. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Garnish if desired.

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  1. sara August 21, 2014 Reply

    Yum! I adore vanilla pudding…total comfort food. :)

  2. Linda August 21, 2014 Reply

    LOVE pudding. And it always cracks me up that people equate vanilla with bland when it is one of the more amazing flavors (not to mention exotic given it comes from orchids!) Can’t wait to try this one. I’ve always wanted to try pudding from scratch. I hear it is easy (other than that chill wait time!) Thanks!!

  3. Sometimes a classic, simple, recipe is the way to go. Vanilla pudding is severely underrated and I love how sophisticated yours is!

  4. Ordinary Blogger August 21, 2014 Reply

    A classic but wonderful dessert. You may have set off a pudding obsession for me! 😉

  5. Joanne August 27, 2014 Reply

    I’m pretty sure the only vanilla pudding I’ve had comes pre-prepared in those little plastic cups. This seems like some sort of tragedy. Must have!

  6. Megan October 29, 2014 Reply

    How many cups does this make?

  7. Monica June 1, 2015 Reply

    Can this recipe be doubled? I made it for the coconut cream pie bars which was AWESOME! But my son loved just the pudding so wanted to make a bigger batch.

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry June 2, 2015 Reply

      Hi, Monica. I’ve not tried doubling it, but I think it would work. It make take bit longer to thicken because of the large volume.

  8. Patricia Gutierrez July 3, 2015 Reply

    I made this tonight for dessert and it was SO delicious and easy to make. I slice up fruit and put at the bottom of the dish, top with pudding and chill. The kids loved it. This will be my go-to pudding recioe from now on. Thanks!

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