Put down the instant pudding mix. This creamy and flavorful Homemade Vanilla Pudding couldn’t be easier or more delicious! Serve this pudding on its own or with cookies, berries or whipped cream. VIDEO below.
It’s time homemade pudding gets the attention it deserves. Pudding has to be the most underrated dessert ever. It’s not as fancy or decadent as a pot de crème, mousse, or crème brûlée. It’s comforting, nostalgic, and uncomplicated, and that’s what I love about it!
If you have only ever had boxed/store-bought pudding, you are missing out. Yes, this takes a little more effort than peeling back the foil on a plastic cup, but once you taste this, you will never go back to that stuff again. You probably have most (or all?) of these ingredients in your kitchen right now. Check out how easy it is.
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Homemade Vanilla Pudding
- Milk: Whole milk is the base of the pudding. Feel free to swap up to ½ cup milk for half-and-half for a richer pudding.
- Sugar: Regular granulated sugar sweetens the pudding. Nothing fancy here!
- Thickener: Egg yolks and cornstarch thicken up the pudding. It will thicken as it cooks on the stovetop, and it will continue to thicken as it cools in the fridge.
- Vanilla extract: This is what makes our pudding taste like vanilla. Use the best extract you can get – its flavor is coming through in every bite.
- Butter: Just a touch of butter is whisked into the hot pudding. This adds a touch of richness that takes this pudding over the top. Don’t skip it!
The pudding ingredients get whisked together and cooked on the stovetop for about 10 minutes. Then strain it and place it in the fridge to chill. Easy peasy!
One of the fabulous things about homemade pudding is its versatility. You can serve it on its own, or you can pair it with berries, whipped cream, cookies, or sliced bananas. It’s great layered in a trifle, or topped with fruit sauce. Note: you can also just place a huge bowl of pudding in your fridge and steal a bite (or two) every time you open the fridge door. ← Not a bad idea.
This is a classic, comforting dessert that I come back to time and time again – and I hope you will too!
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Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2-¼ cups whole milk
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1-½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally (every minute or two), until the mixture is bubbling all throughout (this took 7-8 minutes for mine). Once bubbling, continue cooking for one to two additional minutes, whisking once or twice, but not too vigorously (this can break down the binding properties). At this point the pudding should be thickened but still pourable, it will thicken more as it cools.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. OPTIONAL, to remove lumps: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl. Skip this step if you don't notice any lumps in your pudding.
- Transfer the pudding into a large bowl or into individual serving bowls. Cool until it is lukewarm, then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours or until chilled.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.
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