Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts

Creamy Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream

4.59 from 29 votes
My Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream recipe uses vanilla pudding powder — but you can use chocolate, or pumpkin, or butterscotch to make this creamy no-machine ice cream, too! 
A waffle cone bowl filled with vanilla pudding ice cream, topped with chocolate, sprinkles, and a cherry.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: This Homemade Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream is the perfect, easy project for little bakers on a hot day! And the best part is, more people can enjoy it because it requires no ice cream maker and is egg-free! So, a homemade ice cream party is the perfect kick-off to summer! In fact, why limit it to just a kick-off when you can have this every day. 

  • Like my other homemade ice creams, this recipe requires only a few key ingredients, such as milk and heavy whipping cream. But there is one secret ingredient here, and it’s likely one you may have stored away in the back of your pantry: vanilla pudding powder!
  • This recipe whips up in no time; the hardest part is waiting for the ice cream to freeze before you can enjoy it!

IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was improved and updated on 5/16/2024, to include explanations of key ingredients and substitutes, a NEW STEP-BY-STEP tutorial VIDEO, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and more Pro Chef Tips. 

Table of Contents

A tub with scoops of vanilla pudding ice cream in it, next to toppings.

What Is Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream?

Vanilla pudding ice cream is a frozen dessert characterized by its creamy texture and rich vanilla flavor.

  • Unlike traditional ice creams made with a custard base, this homemade ice cream recipe is made by combining a cooked mixture of whole milk, granulated sugar, and “cook and serve” vanilla pudding powder with whipped heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract.
  • The pudding mixture is cooked until thickened, then cooled and folded into the whipped cream. The resulting mixture is frozen until firm, producing a smooth and indulgent treat with the classic taste of vanilla pudding, but in a frozen form.
  • You can also use chocolate pudding powder, pumpkin, or butterscotch pudding powder too!

What You Need To Make Pudding Ice Cream

Key Ingredients, Substitutes and Why for Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream

  • Whole milk

    • Whole milk provides the base liquid for the ice cream.
    • It has a milk fat content of around 3.5% which contributes to its richness and creamy texture.
    • Alternatively, you can also use half-and-half, or plant-based milk such as oat milk, almond milk, cashew milk, and coconut milk.
  • Granulated sugar

    • Granulated sugar sweetens the ice cream and enhances its flavor.
    • Sugar also lowers the freezing point of the mixture, helping to prevent it from becoming too hard when frozen.
    • Alternatively, you can also use sugar substitutes such as honey, maple syrup, stevia, allulose sugar, or corn syrup.
  • Vanilla pudding mix

    • Vanilla pudding powder adds flavor and helps thicken the ice cream mixture.
    • It provides the classic vanilla taste associated with pudding desserts.
    • Alternatively, you can substitute cornstarch with vanilla extract, custard powder, or instant pudding mix for vanilla pudding one of the cook-and-serve pudding mixPlease read along for the detailed instructions.
  • Heavy whipping cream

    • Contributes to the creaminess and richness of the ice cream.
    • When whipped, heavy cream adds air to the mixture, resulting in a lighter texture.
    • Alternatively, you can also use COLD coconut cream. Refer to our Diary-Free Coconut Ice Cream Recipe for the method.
  • Vanilla extract

    • Vanilla extract enhances the vanilla flavor of the ice cream, providing additional depth and aroma and a more pronounced vanilla taste.
    • It also lowers the freezing point to prevent creamy ice cream from freezing rock hard.
    • Alternatively, you can also use Vanilla Bean Paste.

How To Make Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream

Grab that packet of “cook and serve” pudding and keep your ice cream maker stored away; here is how you make vanilla pudding ice cream (get all the measurements below):

  • Make the pudding base:

    • Heat the milk and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until it comes to a simmer.
    • Add a cup (8floz/240ml) of the hot milk mixture to the pudding powder and whisk it until smooth.
    • Pour the pudding mixture into the pot with the milk.
  • Cook the pudding base:

    • Cook over medium-low heat until it thickens. Set aside and let it cool down completely
  • Assemble the ice cream base:

    • Whip the heavy cream and vanilla extract with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks have formed.
    • Fold the cooled pudding mixture into the whipped cream until it is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Chill the ice cream base:

    • Pour the ice cream into a freezable container and pop it in the freezer for at least 6 hours.

How Do I Store Homemade Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream?

You can store your homemade ice cream in a freezable container for up to 8 weeks!

A bowl of my vanilla pudding ice cream recipe with a cherry on top.

What’s the Difference Between 2-Ingredient Ice Cream, Traditional Ice Cream, and Gelato?

Each of these frozen treats has its own unique characteristics based on their ingredients, preparation methods, and textures.

  • 2-Ingredient Ice Cream:

    • Ingredients: Typically made with just condensed milk and heavy cream.
    • Preparation: This type of ice cream is incredibly easy to make since it doesn’t require an ice cream maker. You simply mix the condensed milk with whipped cream, freeze this condensed milk mixture, and you have a creamy, sweet treat.
    • Texture: It tends to be quite creamy and smooth, but may lack the airiness and density of traditional ice cream or gelato.
  • Traditional Ice Cream:

    • Ingredients: Made with cream, milk, sugar, and often egg yolks.
    • Preparation: Traditional ice cream is churned in an ice cream maker, which incorporates air into the mixture, resulting in a light and fluffy texture.
    • Texture: It’s typically rich, creamy, and dense due to the higher fat content from the cream and egg yolks. Traditional ice cream tends to have a firmer texture compared to 2-ingredient ice cream.
  • Gelato:

    • Ingredients: Gelato typically contains milk, sugar, and flavorings. It has less cream (or sometimes no cream at all) compared to ice cream, resulting in a lower fat content.
    • Preparation: Gelato is churned at a slower speed than traditional ice cream, which introduces less air into the mixture, resulting in a denser texture.
    • Texture: Gelato has a smoother and denser texture compared to traditional ice cream. It’s served at a slightly warmer temperature than ice cream, which enhances its creamy consistency.

Overall, while 2-ingredient ice cream offers convenience and quick, simple preparation, traditional ice cream and gelato offer more complex flavors and textures due to their respective ingredients and preparation methods.

What Can I Use Instead of Vanilla Pudding Mix?

There are a few alternatives you can use to achieve a similar flavor and texture in your vanilla pudding ice cream recipe:

  • Cornstarch + Vanilla Extract:

    • Combine cornstarch with a small amount of vanilla extract to create a thickening agent with vanilla flavoring. Start with about 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch for the recipe you provided, and adjust as needed to reach the desired consistency. Add vanilla extract to taste.
  • Custard Powder:

    • Custard powder is similar to pudding mix but often contains additional flavorings and coloring agents. Substitute an equal amount of custard powder for the vanilla pudding mix in the recipe.
  • Instant Pudding Mix:

    • If you have instant vanilla pudding mix but not the cook-and-serve variety, you can still use it in the recipe by adjusting the method slightly. Instead of cooking the pudding mix, mix it with the COLD milk and sugar for roughly 2 minutes until it’s soft-set. Then chill in the refrigerator before folding this chilled pudding mixture into the stiff-peak whipped cream.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream

  • If you can’t find ‘Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding mix’ at the store, you can easily order it on Amazon.
  • Birds Custard Powder can also be used to make this ice cream.
  • If the ice cream seems a little hard to scoop, allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly.
  • To make different flavors, you can use different flavored pudding mixes, like chocolate, raspberry, or caramel!
  • To store your ice cream, you can use disposable pint ice cream tubs.
  • To level it up, feel free to enjoy it with different mix-ins for extra crunch, such as Oreos, chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips; or toppings,  such as Chocolate, Raspberry or  Butterscotch Ice Cream Sauce, our signature Salted Caramel, or Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sauce for peanut butter fans.

More Homemade Ice Cream Recipes

IMPORTANT NOTE: This recipe was improved and updated on 5/16/2024, to include explanations of key ingredients and substitutes, a NEW STEP-BY-STEP tutorial VIDEO, answers to the most frequently asked questions, and more Pro Chef Tips. 

Watch The Recipe Video!

Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream Recipe

4.59 from 29 votes
My Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream recipe uses vanilla pudding powder — but you can use chocolate, or pumpkin, or butterscotch to make this creamy no-machine ice cream, too! 
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Freeze for 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 30 minutes
My Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream recipe uses vanilla pudding powder — but you can use chocolate, or pumpkin, or butterscotch to make this creamy no-machine ice cream, too! 
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups (12floz/360ml) whole milk
  • cup (2 ½ oz/71g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla pudding powder*
  • 1 cup  (8floz/240ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat the milk and sugar together until it comes to a simmer.
  • Add about a cup of the hot milk mixture to the pudding powder, whisk until smooth.
  • Pour the pudding mixture into the pot of hot milk and cook over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens, about 2-3 minutes. . Set aside to cool down completely and thicken even. (Place over a bowl of ice to cool quickly if needed)
  • Whip the heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract together on high speed using an electric mixer until stiff peaks have formed.
  • Fold the cooled, pudding mixture into the whipped cream until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.
  • Pour the ice cream into a freezable container for a minimum of 6 hours to freeze.
  • Once frozen, scoop and enjoy. If it seems a little hard to scoop allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly. Store in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

Recipe Notes

  • If you can’t find ‘Cook and Serve Vanilla Pudding mix’ at the store, you can easily order it on Amazon.
  • Birds Custard Powder can also be used to make this ice cream.
  • If the ice cream seems a little hard to scoop, allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly.
  • To make different flavors, you can use different flavored pudding mixes, like chocolate, raspberry, or caramel!
  • To store your ice cream, you can use disposable pint ice cream tubs.
  • To level it up, feel free to enjoy it with different mix-ins for extra crunch, such as Oreos, chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips; or toppings,  such as Chocolate, Raspberry or  Butterscotch Ice Cream Sauce, our signature Salted Caramel, or Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sauce for peanut butter fans.
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Deirdre StLuke
Deirdre StLuke
2 years ago

I used instant pudding powder in your 2 ingredient ice cream. OMG!! Amazing!!! Makes it so creamy!

Carissa
Carissa
3 years ago

Any idea of the nutritional information like calories?

Lazy K
Lazy K
3 years ago

I’ve been adding pudding mix to my ice cream for years! I highly recommend it. “Store in the freezer for up to 8 weeks. ” HA! This ice cream will be GONE long before that!

SantMcCallum
SantMcCallum
16 days ago

I just made this. Have to wait for end results but licking the spoon was good. I only got a pint and a half. Measured everything carefully. ???

Natasha Polchlopek
Natasha Polchlopek
21 days ago

At what point in the recipe would the custard powder be included. What’s it a substitute for?

Priscilla
Priscilla
4 months ago

How about sugar free pudding ice cream for diabetics?

Antonio
Antonio
1 year ago

Heloo Emma. I have tried this recipe : Vanilla Pudding Ice Cream. But when I finished cook the mixture of milk-sugar-pudding powder and cooled for 1 hour, the mixture became harden. So is it better I pour the hot mxture of milk-sugar-pudding powder into whipping cream before it become harden ?

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

Nutritional facts please😊

Julie Weaver
Julie Weaver
1 year ago

Can you use less sugar and more pudding powder?

Vicki shell
Vicki shell
1 year ago

Can you use this recipe in a ice cream maker

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

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