Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe
This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.
Has making a homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe been on your to-list for a while now? It’s time to jump right in and enjoy this simple treat! Serve in a bowl or with some homemade Vanilla Wafers. Either way, this is a deliciously frugal treat!
Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe
I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make my own pudding for a while now. Since I’ve had to give up most corn it’s been hard to find a recipe that isn’t full of cornstarch.
This recipe is simple, takes a few minutes, and is very yummy, much better than store-bought pudding! Instant pudding mix doesn’t even hold a candle to fresh, homemade pudding.
I ended up making this for our Valentine’s Day dessert once and putting little chocolate hearts in it to make it fancy.
In some of the pictures, my pudding didn’t have a pure yellow/white color because I used raw sugar but any sugar should work. This recipe will make 2 servings.
Vanilla Pudding Ingredients
- Milk. Whole milk is best in this recipe. For dairy free, use canned coconut milk.
- Sugar. I have used raw sugar in this recipe but white cane sugar works best for a better color in the pudding.
- Flour. This is your thickening agent. You can use cornstarch or another kind of starch if you want to in place of flour or you can also use all purpose gluten free flour to make this gluten free.
- Vanilla. I use my homemade Vanilla Extract in this recipe. Store bought is totally fine too.
- Butter. This helps give it a richer flavor. Use a butter alternative for dairy free. Use unsalted butter if you have it, otherwise leave out the salt if you use salted butter.
Instructions for Making Homemade Pudding
In a saucepan, before you turn the heat on, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt.
Whisk in the milk.
Whisk together until all the lumps are out and then turn on the heat.
Heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Let it simmer for about 1-2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl or container and let it chill for at least an hour.
Ways to Top Your Pudding
I put these in fancy glasses (above) to make a special treat for me and the hubby! To make the chocolate hearts on top just lay out a piece of waxed paper, melt some chocolate chips and pipe them onto the paper in a heart shape. Let them dry or stick them in the fridge for a bit until harden and use as a fancy topper for your dessert.
You could also top your pudding with whipped cream if you prefer.
More toppings could be:
- Fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- Sliced bananas
- Powdered sugar
Gluten Free Vanilla Pudding
If you want to make this recipe gluten free it’s quite simple! Just replace the flour for potato starch or gluten free all purpose flour. (Potato starch will add less flavor though so that would be the better way to go if you have it on hand!)
Dairy Free Vanilla Pudding
You can also make this recipe dairy free! Just replace the butter with coconut butter or a butter alternative and the milk with your favorite dairy free milk such as coconut milk.
Love chocolate? I have a yummy Chocolate Pudding Recipe here. If fruit flavors are more your style, this Banana Pudding recipe (no cook!) is super yummy. And although it’s not a true pudding recipe like these, this Old Fashioned Bread Pudding Recipe is always a favorite.
Need to print this Easy Vanilla Pudding Recipe? Grab it below!
Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 Tablespoon butter
In a saucepan, before you turn the heat on, mix together the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in the milk. Whisk together until all the lumps are out and then turn on the heat. Heat until the mixture starts to simmer. Let it simmer for about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Pour into a bowl or container and let it chill for at least an hour.
Questions about Making Pudding
Is vanilla pudding the same as custard?
No, custard contains egg yolks and is a baked dessert. Pudding is cooked but not baked and does not always contain eggs.
What is pudding really made of?
Most boxed pudding mixes contain a large amount of sugar and starch. Of course, homemade pudding contains those ingredients as well but usually in a smaller ratio.
What meat is in pudding?
If you are wondering if gelatin is in pudding (not technically meat but still comes from an animal) the answer is that it is not. Of course, I can’t check all of the labels in the store, but it’s definitely not an ingredient in homemade pudding and not necessary for thickening.
Do you have a special homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe your family enjoys? Have you tried this recipe?
This Homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe was originally posted on Little House Living in February 2011. It has been updated as of December 2022.
Yummy!!!! That sounds sooo good!! Can’t wait to try this!! Thanks for sharing!!
Could you use lemon (or any other) flavor in this?
I don’t see why not 🙂 If you try it make sure you let us know how it turns out!
This also didn’t set for me so i tried what you did and yum!
I wanted to share that I made this the other day and for some reason it didn’t really set up for me. However, I still love the flavor and thought it reminded me of rice pudding. I decided to cook up 1/2 cup of rice and add them together. It was delicious! I added a little cinnamon on top, too. My kids and hubby even gobbled it up. Thank you!
My son has celiac, rice, corn, and milk allergies………going to try this with almond milk and almond or coconut flour….hope it works b/c he is ready for some “sweet” snacks
How long does this last?
I usually don’t store puddings for longer than a few days in the fridge. They tend to get watery.
By me they tend to be eaten, usually while still warm. Storage is never a problem!
Made a double batch and added one egg yolk right from the start and continued to whisk till it was thick turned out nice and rich and thick added one cup of sweet coconut it is delicious😊
I have not made your recipe yet. However, I read reviews about the pudding not setting up- I make a pudding very similar for a chocolate pie- have been making it for 40 years. I found out that if I let it get “globby” meaning like there must be something wrong – I just keep stirring and then I know it will set up. It has worked every time since then!
What if doesnt thicken?
What did you add for a thickener? How long did you cook it for? Any mixture will need to bubble for a bit to get thicker once you add the thickener to it.
Yummy made these plenty of times with arrow root flour n coconut milk n almond milk 🙃😝😛
made it with sweet and vanilla almond milk and it turned out good it is not as good as regular milk but if you need that option it’s good a little runny it’ll probably thicken up in the fridge but I like it warm, it looks more like gravy because you don’t have the eggs to give it the yellow color God Bless
I changed 3 things — I doubled the recipe, omitted vanilla because I don’t have any, and used 1/4 (white) sugar + 1/4 brown sugar instead of 1/2 cup white sugar. Thought of brown sugar because I needed some source of flavor since I didn’t have vanilla. I think we all know brown sugar adds some magic that white sugar simple can’t 😉 It tastes great and the texture turned out great so I don’t understand why it didn’t set for others. I didn’t add any egg or anything else. Just followed the recipe, made the 3 changes above, and whisked it while cooking and until about 5 minutes after removing from heat. Feel free to try it this way 👍🏻
I made this yesterday and it turned out really good. I made this with chocolate milk though because I had some that was getting ready to expire. I cut the amount of sugar in half. Was a little too sweet so I added an extra pinch of salt. This is a great recipe to use up extra milk. I will definitely make it again.
This recipe is amazing I’ve tried so many ways to make a vegan pudding with cornstarch and it would always end up slimy, but this recipe with vegan butter and almond milk is just divine I can’t thank you enough 🥰
Are you supposed to melt the butter?
The butter will melt into the warm mixture. You might want to warm it up if your butter happens to be frozen.
Thanks so much.. This was the easiest, quickest, and best tasting recipe I’ve ever used. This will be my go-to recipe from now on for vanilla pudding!!
Very delicious. Easy… and SOO much better and healthier than out of a box. Used it to make my husbands favorite peanut butter pie! A keeper.
I use this often almost always double it so we cab have twice. A trick I learned from an Amish friend. When you add the butter ,stir in a package if unsweetened lemon Koolade! No curdeling and thrifty!