Easy Vanilla Pudding from Scratch

Easy Vanilla Pudding from Scratch Recipe

If you’re looking for an easy vanilla pudding recipe that doesn’t come from a box, this one is for you. It only takes a few ingredients, and it’s so much better than anything you can buy in the store. Plus, it’s really simple to make – perfect if you’re a beginner cook.

This easy recipe is made with milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla extract, and butter. This dish only takes 20 minutes to make, and 40 minutes to chill.

There’s something about the creamy, comforting texture of pudding that just hits the spot. Plus, it’s so versatile – you can enjoy it plain or dress it up with all sorts of toppings.

Today, I’m going to show you how to make classic vanilla pudding from scratch.

If you’d like some helpful Tips and Tricks, I have them below the recipe.

Closeup of Homemade Vanilla Pudding in a white bowl.

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding in a white bowl, sitting on a white surface.

If you need to change the amount of servings the recipe will make, click on the number of servings in the section under the “Print Recipe” bar, and move the slider up or down to change the number of servings you want.

Or to double or triple the recipe, click on the 2x or 3x next to “Ingredients”.

Closeup of Easy Vanilla Pudding in a white bowl.

Easy Vanilla Pudding from Scratch

Nesting Lane Indulge
Easy Vanilla Pudding from Scratch Recipe. A classic dessert the whole family will love. Perfect when you want something sweet and creamy. Plus, it's so versatile – you can enjoy it plain or dress it up with all sorts of toppings.
4.99 from 57 votes
Prep Time 0 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Refrigerate 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 5



  • Place a medium sized saucepan over medium heat.
  • In the saucepan, add milk, stirring occasionally, heat until it begins to bubble around the edge of the pan.
  • In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, add sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir to mix well.
  • When the milk is ready, add a small amount of the sugar mixture and stir in until dissolved, Continue add a small amount at a time until all of the sugar mixture is added and dissolved.
  • Keep stirring and cooking until the pudding will cling to, and coat the back of a metal spoon. Do not allow the pudding to boil.
  • Take the saucepan off of the heat.
  • Immediately add in butter and vanilla. Stir to mix well.
  • Transfer the pudding to pudding cups, cover, and place in the refrigerator a minimum of 40 minutes to chill and set.


Note: When cooking the pudding, do not let it boil.


Calories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 29.1gProtein: 3.3gFat: 4.2gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 173mgPotassium: 149mgSugar: 25gCalcium: 115mg
Tried this recipe? Let us know what you think!Mention @nestinglaneindulge or tag #nestinglaneindulge!

Tips and Tricks

Low and Slow: When heating the milk, keep the heat low to medium-low. This prevents the milk from boiling too quickly and allows it to gently warm up, reducing the risk of scalding or forming a skin on top.

Sieve for Smoothness: After cooking, strain the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve into the serving dishes. This step catches any lumps or bits of cooked egg (if you used one), ensuring a silky, smooth texture.

Enhance the Vanilla Flavor: To deepen the vanilla essence, you can use a combination of vanilla extract and a vanilla bean. Split the bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add both the seeds and the pod to the milk while heating. Remove the pod before adding the milk to the dry ingredients.

Whisk Constantly: Keep whisking continuously as you add the sugar mixture to the heated milk. This prevents the cornstarch from clumping and ensures the pudding thickens evenly.

Butter Last: Adding the butter after removing the pudding from the heat (as your recipe suggests) is a fantastic way to add a glossy finish and rich flavor. Ensure it’s fully incorporated before chilling.

Chill Thoroughly: For the best set, chill the pudding for at least an hour or more. This allows the pudding to fully set and develop its flavors.

Creative Toppings: Before serving, add a personal touch with toppings like whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, fresh berries, or a drizzle of caramel sauce for added flair.

Prevent Skin Formation: To avoid a skin forming on the top of the pudding as it cools, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding in each cup before refrigerating.

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding graphic.

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was so easy to put together and it’s delicious! I used lactaid whole milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla and a 1/2 tsp almond extract.

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