Fine Desserts

Classic Homemade Vanilla Pudding

4.78 from 48 votes
Better than any other vanilla pudding recipe you've had before (especially if it came from a box!), once you've had mine you'll never want anything else!

Hi Bold Bakers!

Chocolate mousse, panna cotta, salted butterscotch pudding, pot de creme are up there with some of my most favorite desserts of all time. I’m talking last-meal favorites! They all have a common thread which is their texture is soft, velvety, and melts in your mouth. This vanilla pudding ticks all the boxes when it comes to consistency BUT the flavor is superior to most puddings out there. Between the salt, vanilla paste, and cream, this is a dessert worthy of last-meal status.

What is Vanilla Pudding?

That is a great question! To be honest, we don’t have puddings in Ireland so until I moved to the states it was new to me. The closest thing we have to pudding in Europe would be a combo of creme anglais and cream patisserie mixed.

At its most basic, Vanilla Pudding is a milk-based custard that is thickened with eggs and cornstarch. But, I added a little something extra into mine to elevate the flavors and make it a little bit more sophisticated. A pinch of salt, some good quality vanilla extract, and some (Irish) butter transforms this from pudding to a very grown-up dessert.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe, topped with red raspberries, perfect for a simple dessert.

What You Need to Make Vanilla Pudding

To make vanilla pudding the equipment is simple:

A close-up of how to make homemade vanilla pudding to show texture and toppings.

How to Make Homemade Vanilla Pudding

This recipe is a fantastic last-minute dessert because you can cook it in under 10 minutes and you make it completely on the stovetop.

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer.
  2. While the milk is coming to a simmer, whisk together the egg, egg yolk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Once the milk mixture is hot, scoop a cupful into the egg mixture and whisk immediately. This step helps to bring the eggs to the same temperature as the hot milk making it easier to add one to the other. Continue adding the rest of the hot milk to the eggs.
  4. Return the pudding mixture back into the original saucepan and place over a medium/low heat.
  5. While continually whisking, mix the pudding until it thickens, roughly 6-8 minutes.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, paste, and salt.
  7. Allow the pudding to cool down before transferring to the fridge.
  8. Serve it plain or add some whipped cream and fruit on top.

How do I Store It?

Store the Homemade Vanilla Pudding in the fridge in a container for up to 4 days. If it has thickened a lot while chilled you can give it a little whisk up to loosen it.

Try These Other Puddings!

And don’t forget to buy a copy of my Bigger Bolder Baking cookbook!

Classic Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe

4.78 from 48 votes
Better than any other vanilla pudding recipe you've had before (especially if it came from a box!), once you've had mine you'll never want anything else!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Better than any other vanilla pudding recipe you've had before (especially if it came from a box!), once you've had mine you'll never want anything else!
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (20floz/565ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) cream (any kind)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/57g) butter cubed
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoons salt

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and cream. Stir and slowly bring to a simmer.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until blended well.
  • Ladle a cup of the hot milk mix over the eggs and whisk immediately. While continuing to whisk pour in the rest of the hot milk into the eggs. This method is called tempering and it prevents you from scrambling your eggs.
  • Return the custard mixture back into your original saucepan and place over medium/low heat.
  • Whisk the custard constantly for roughly 6-8 minutes or until it has thickened. Do not let this mixture boil or it can curdle.
  • Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, vanilla paste, and salt. The last step is to pass the custard through a sieve to yield you a silky smooth pudding and remove any lumps (please don't skip this step).
  • Serve the pudding cold as is or with whipped cream and fruit on top. Store the pudding in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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Ruth Garavalia
Ruth Garavalia
1 year ago

Gemma it doesn’t say how much vanilla paste to add – could you clarify?

Maryam Saban
Maryam Saban
1 year ago

Hi Gemma, the recipe doesn’t specify how much paste/vanilla essence to use. Thanks

Meganrose
1 year ago

Made these today , they are really yummy

Maria
1 year ago

Hi Gemma, this looks delicious…..but I don’t know what a vanilla paste is…..and is there a substitute? I live in Mexico…..so I am not even sure I could get that here…..Maria

Emily
11 days ago

Why didn’t my pudding thicken? It’s really good but it’s still liquid even after sitting in the fridge?

Sue Storey
25 days ago

This a really delicious pudding, have made it today, as I had some Jersey milk, so easy to make. It was a definite hit, as my husband said that I can make it again!

Robert Birch
Robert Birch
1 month ago

This is the BEST vanilla pudding I have ever made!! Rave reviews! Thank you!

PM
PM
2 months ago

Hi Gemma,
Can I use this as a pastry cream? Or do I need to fold in some whipped cream after it’s chilled and ready? If so, how much?

I’ve tried this pudding by itself and it tastes wonderful, so I don’t feel like trying a different recipe.

Thanks

Ericka Nera
Ericka Nera
2 months ago

Hi! what if i only have skimmed milk, can i add more cream to make up for the fat content? if so, how much should i add?

Sana
Sana
4 months ago

Hey gemma! is there an egg substitue in this recipe

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!