I have a pleasant surprise for you! I will show you how to make the best Homemade Vanilla Pudding with simple ingredients, and it is far better than store-bought. Not only that, but you can be creative with this recipe and make it your own. I’m sure that you and your family will appreciate and enjoy this dessert. No worries, this recipe is so simple you can make it every day. Please watch the Recipe Video below.
Homemade vanilla pudding from scratch
When I was a kid, I was addicted to store-bought vanilla pudding, one is made from cornstarch and artificial flavoring, where I live, it’s called custard powder, and the other type is the one sold in small cups.
You won’t imagine how thrilled I was when I first made it at home, and that was it. I never looked back at the store-bought ones. Of course, if you offer me some, I won’t say no, but I’m no longer fond of that after-taste associated with the store-bought pudding.
I hope you watch the recipe video to see what I mean when I say this recipe is straightforward. Below I will also suggest substitutes and alternatives that make it easier for you.
Vanilla pudding ingredients
Whole milk – It’s best to use whole milk because it has a mild flavor and is almost not found in low-fat and skim milk. You can use almond milk instead, but it burns fast, so make sure to keep the heat low when cooking the pudding.
Heavy cream – Honestly, the vanilla pudding is much flavorful and creamy when adding heavy cream, but you can use half and half instead.
Sugar – I used fine white sugar. Do not use brown sugar for this recipe; the flavor will be completely different than what we are looking for.
Cornstarch – We use a small amount of cornstarch to help us set the pudding without adding extra eggs.
Egg yolk – This is where the creaminess comes from. Use large egg yolks. If you have medium eggs, use four egg yolks instead of the three mentioned in the recipe below.
Vanilla – This ingredient is the star because it gives a fantastic flavor to the pudding. Always choose good quality vanilla. Go for vanilla paste if you are serving the pudding in a glass or transparent bowl, it will make look elegant.
Unsalted butter – Butter adds richness, and it boosts the flavor of the vanilla; it also contributes to that silky smooth glossy look.
Homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe
Get all the ingredients ready, and let’s get cooking!
- In a saucepan, add the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt. Mix them well and cook them on medium heat. The goal here is to make this mixture simmer and not boil. Make sure to stir the milk mixture to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and burn.
- Meanwhile, in a heat-proof mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the cornstarch until smooth.
- Gradually add the hot milk to the egg mixture while whisking; this is called tempering the eggs. It prevents the eggs from cooking and turning into scrambled eggs.
- Now return the mixture to the saucepan and cook on medium-low heat until it thickens. Do not cook on high heat. The cornstarch needs time to cook, and high heat might burn the pudding.
- Continue stirring the mixture even when it thickens until you see bubbles popping from the middle of the pudding, and this means the cornstarch has cooked.
- Turn off the heat, add the butter and vanilla to the pudding, and keep mixing until the butter melts completely.
- The pudding might look all smooth and glossy, but sometimes small bits of cooked eggs might exist at the bottom of the saucepan. It is best to run the pudding through a strainer before pouring it into a serving glass or bowl.
- When the pudding comes to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, you can also serve it warm.
- If you are serving the vanilla pudding cold, it’s a good idea to serve it with some whipped cream, crushed nuts, or even crushed cookies.
Tips for making vanilla pudding
- You can change the flavor to coconut by using coconut milk instead of whole milk.
- Use a heavy bottom pan to prevent the milk and pudding from burning, and the heat distributes evenly.
- You can use this pudding in making trifle.
- Serve it with fruits or pour it over fruit salad; I’m sure the kids will love it.
How to store homemade vanilla pudding
The best way to store the pudding is by refrigerating it, cover the pudding with plastic wrap, and keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing; dairy-based desserts like puddings, custards, and crème caramel do not freeze well. Their taste and texture change, and it won’t taste pleasant.
If you liked this homemade vanilla pudding recipe, you would enjoy:
Homemade Vanilla Pudding
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 ½ tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- In a saucepan, mix the milk, heavy cream, sugar, and salt. Stir the mixture occasionally on medium heat until it simmers. Do not let boil.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs with cornstarch until smooth. Pour the simmered hot milk over the eggs while whisking. Keep whisking and adding the milk.
- Pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and cook on medium heat until it thickens. Continue stirring to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- When the mixture thickens, and you can see a few bubbles appearing in the middle, this means that the cornstarch is fully cooked. Remove from heat.
- Add the butter and vanilla to the pudding and mix until the butter melts and you get a silky and glossy mixture.
- To be on the safe side and make sure that the pudding is silky smooth, run it through a strainer to get rid of any cooked bits of eggs.
- Pour the pudding into individual glasses or serving bowls. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the pudding allowing it to touch the surface of the pudding to prevent forming of skin. Otherwise, you can cover the bowl or glass with plastic wrap without touching the pudding.
- Allow the pudding to come to room temperature, serve it warm or refrigerate it and then top it with either whipped cream or nuts before serving.
- Serve with fruits or pour on fruit salad.
- Keep stirring the pudding while cooking or the bottom will burn, which will change the taste of this dessert.
- Storing method and period mentioned in the post.
- Use four egg yolks if you have medium size eggs.
- Substitute whole milk with almond milk or coconut milk.