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Vanilla Pudding

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Vanilla Pudding is a smooth, custard-like dessert that can be served warm or cold. This recipe for homemade vanilla pudding is creamy and delicious!

vanilla pudding in dishes with vanilla wafers

May 22nd is National Vanilla Pudding Day! Celebrate by making some of this delicious, homemade vanilla pudding. It will only take you 10 minutes to make! You can also bake a vanilla pudding sour cream bundt cake or vanilla pudding sugar cookies. Share your creation on social media by using the hashtag #nationalvanillapudding day, #vanillapuddingday and #recipesforholidays. Be sure to follow all of the food holidays in May by following my May Food Holidays calendar.

“Never spare the Parson’s wine, nor Baker’s Pudding.”

-Benjamin Franklin

History of Vanilla Pudding:

In early medieval Europe, a pudding-like dish of milk, almond milk, sugar and meat or fish was common. It was called “white stew” or “blancmange,” and it was served warm.

By the 17th century, this dish turned into a dessert when they got rid of the addition of meat or fish. Cream and eggs were added in. Gelatin was an ingredient that was added later.

Cornstarch was incorporated into pudding in the 19th century to create the pudding that we know today.

My-T-Fine produced the earliest packaged pudding (made on the stovetop) in the United States in 1918. Jell-O brand instant chocolate pudding came along in 1936. Its popularity was huge, so other flavors like vanilla, butterscotch and more followed.

ingredients displayed for making vanilla pudding

Ingredients needed:

  • 2% milk
  • white sugar
  • cornstarch
  • kosher salt
  • egg yolks
  • vanilla extract
  • salted butter
  • vanilla wafers (optional!)
cooking pudding in a saucepan

How to make Vanilla Pudding:

The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.

In a bowl, whisk together milk, sugar, cornstarch, kosher salt and egg yolks. Pour this mixture into a saucepan, and heat over medium-heat for about 10 minutes, whisking constantly. Be sure to whisk the mixture the whole time. You don’t want the eggs to separate from the milk and create scrambled eggs!

Remove the pan from heat and add in the butter and vanilla extract.

vanilla pudding in 3 glass dishes

The pudding will be thick and creamy and wonderful at this point. Divide it between 6 serving dishes, and refrigerate until it’s well-chilled.

spooning vanilla pudding out of glass dish

Serve with vanilla wafers, if desired. Vanilla wafers are also a fun “hint” to the flavor of the pudding when used as a garnish.

vanilla pudding in glass dishes with vanilla wafers

Crumble a few cookies on top, if you’d like.

spooning vanilla pudding out of glass dish

Enjoy this creamy vanilla delight. It’s amazing. Enjoy!

Fun facts about Pudding:

  • In the U.K., the word “pudding” can be used to describe sweet or savory dishes.
  • Chocolate is the most popular flavor of pudding.
  • Banana pudding is a very popular dessert recipe in the Southern part of the United States.
  • Yorkshire pudding is a common English side dish. It’s a baked pudding made from a batter of eggs, flour, and milk or water, and it’s usually served with roast beef.
  • Jell-O is the largest pudding brand in the United States.
  • In older times, rice pudding was used as a medicine for digestive problems.
  • Pudding is often added to cake batter to help create a light and moist cake.
  • The song, “Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2” (by Pink Floyd) ends with the voice of a Scottish-accented schoolmaster shouting, “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?!”
vanilla pudding in dishes with vanilla wafers

Vanilla Pudding

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Super creamy, delicious homemade pudding!


  • 4½ cups 2% milk
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Pinch of Kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Vanilla Wafers, for garnish (optional)


In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt and egg yolks. Pour this mixture into a saucepan, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes- whisking CONSTANTLY.

Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract.

Divide the pudding between 6 serving dishes, and refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Garnish with Vanilla Wafers.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 205mgSodium: 163mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 0gSugar: 43gProtein: 12g

Nutritional information is figured using a nutrition calculator. It's not likely to be 100% accurate.

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