Fine Desserts

Classic Homemade Vanilla Pudding

4.8 from 39 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

4.8 from 39 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


  • 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


  • 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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35 Comments and Reviews
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Ruth Garavalia
Ruth Garavalia
6 months ago

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

Maryam Saban
Maryam Saban
6 months ago

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

6 months ago

Made these today , they are really yummy

6 months 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… I am not even sure I could get that here…..Maria

5 days ago

Can I use veg oil instead of butter?

18 days ago

Hi Gemma,
Will this work in a Boston Creme donut?
Going to make your baked donuts this weekend, wish me luck 🤞

Thanks a million!

2 months ago

Hi I’ve made your simple pastry cream out of your book the cream was amazing and loving your book how would you make a ice slice I’m not sure what they call them in the states but it’s custard fill not sure what pastry with icing on top? I used it to make Portuguese tarts but used short crust pastry instead of puff pastry will use puff pastry next time. Thank you for replying to all my questions x

6 months ago

So deliciously easy! I will keep my mother’s recipe in the file box and make this one from now on. I did not have any vanilla paste when I made it. Can’t wait to make it again with that extra vanilla boost. Thank for this recipe.
PS … It was delish warm too. I got to lick the spoon!

george basden
6 months ago

Can skim milk be usde instead of whole milk?

6 months ago

Excellent as usual! It came together so easy. I follow the directions to a T. Now I will try it as you recommended to another Bold Baker, instead of eggs add a little more milk and cream. My Grandson is highly allergic to eggs.
Oh, and you mentioned Irish butter. I live in Egypt and we get butter from Ireland. Is there a certain brand your parcel to?
Thanks for this vanilla recipe. I’ve been so hungry for it. Next up is your chocolate soup.
Be safe.

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!

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