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+ servings
single glass cup of creamy vanilla pudding with a spoon and a dollop of whipped cream.
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5 from 3 votes

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe

Once you try homemade vanilla pudding, you will never go back to the box mix. Homemade pudding is made with staple pantry ingredients that you probably have in the fridge right now (milk, eggs, sugar! see, easy stuff guys.) This recipe makes a smooth, creamy, and incredibly flavorful pudding that is perfect with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Chill time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6
Calories: 293kcal
Author: Karen


  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed (you can replace this with granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk cold
  • 2 cups whole milk warm
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Add 4 large egg yolks to a 3-quart saucepan that is not on the stove. (We're just using it like a bowl for now.) Save those egg whites for your next omelette.
  • Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or use all granulated sugar for a stronger vanilla-only flavor), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons cornstarch.
  • Add 1 cup milk and use a hand mixer to beat on high speed for at least 1 minute, until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • In a glass measuring cup (or bowl with a spout), add 2 more cups whole milk. If you are using a vanilla bean, slice the bean in half and use the back of your knife to scrape the seeds into the milk. Stick the now-empty pod into the milk. Microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the milk starts to bubble and foam at the edges. Once it bubbles (keep an eye on it!), take it out of the microwave right away. Discard the pod.
  • Working quickly, turn your hand mixer on medium speed and beat the eggs again. Carefully pour the hot milk into the pot with the egg mixture, with the hand mixer running the whole time. There will be a film on top of the milk that will likely stick to the bowl as you pour - just leave it, don't scrape it in. Do try to scrape in as much of the vanilla bean as you can. You can see in the photos that I poured my hot milk in through a strainer, this was to keep out any larger bits of the vanilla pod.
  • Continue beating the now-hot egg mixture until it is foamy. Move the pot to the burner on your stove and set the heat to medium.
  • Use a whisk (I prefer a flat whisk) to stir the edges and corners of your pot. Do not walk away. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble, it should only take 2-3 minutes. Once it bubbles, whisk vigorously for about 15-45 seconds.
  • Remove from the stove. Use your hand mixer one more time to beat the hot mixture very well. This whips a bunch of air into our pudding, making it light and fluffy.
  • Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, and 1 tablespoon vanilla extract if you did not use a vanilla bean.
  • If a smooth texture is very important to you, strain your pudding through a fine sieve into a new bowl.
  • Cover your hot pudding immediately with plastic wrap. Press it right onto the pudding itself, trying to get any air bubbles out. This will prevent a film from forming on top of the pudding (and then if you were to stir in the film, it makes your pudding lumpy, no thank you.)
  • Refrigerate the pudding for at least 2-4 hours. I cheat and put mine in the freezer for the first 30 minutes to speed things up, but you cannot forget to transfer it to the fridge after about 30 minutes! You can't freeze pudding (it ruins the texture. freezing weakens the bond between the starch and the liquid, so it will thaw out all watery. ew.), so move it to the fridge before any freezing happens. I like to live life on the edge, what can I say.
  • When you are ready to serve the pudding, take off the plastic wrap and lick it when no one is looking. Give your pudding a good whisk to make it smooth again.
    Serve the pudding cold with whipped cream! Add in some Nilla wafers or crumbled graham crackers for a real treat!


Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 478IU | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 0.5mg