easy homemade vanilla pudding in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Easy Vanilla Pudding

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Growing up I ate a lot of instant pudding. It was yummy and simple to make. This easy vanilla pudding from scratch recipe is so delicious and much better than the instant kind.

If you are a fan of desserts and like pudding, give this recipe a try. It does take longer than instant pudding to make, but it is so worth it! Also, you can combine it with some whipped cream to make a yummy pastry cream to fill eclairs or cream puffs.

Homemade easy vanilla pudding is a classic dessert that is sure to impress your pudding loving friends and family. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

In order to make this easy pudding you just need a handful of simple everyday ingredients:

  • Milk – I use whole milk, but 2% and 1% will work as well. Almond milk will work too! But you will use a bit less of it.
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch – This will thicken up the pudding.
  • Salt
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract

Step 2: How to make vanilla pudding

Hand whisking together the dry ingredients for the homemade vanilla pudding, in a glass bowl.

In a small bowl combine the cornstarch, sugar, and salt and whisk them together. You may also use a fork if you like.

Step 3: Heat the milk

Now, add the milk to a medium sauce pot and place it on your burner on the stovetop. Set the heat to medium (350F/176C).

Stir the milk occasionally and heat it up until you see little bubbles form on the edges of the milk.

Step 4: Complete the vanilla pudding

Vanilla pudding dripping off the back of a white silicone spoon.

Now add the cornstarch and sugar mixture a little at a time, stirring in between until it dissolves. Repeat this process until it is all incorporated.

Continue stirring and cooking the pudding until it thickens and it coats/sticks to the back of a spoon. This is how you can tell it is finished.

Step 5: Flavor the vanilla pudding

Once the pudding has thickened remove it from the heat and add the butter and vanilla extract. This adds lots of flavor. Stir the ingredients in until the butter melts and they are both well incorporated.

Vanilla pudding in a white bowl on a wooden table.

Next, pour the pudding into a few serving bowls and allow it to cool at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.

Then cover it with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will keep the vanilla pudding from forming a layer of skin on the top. Place the pudding in the fridge and allow it to chill for at least an hour before serving.

Homemade vanilla pudding in a white bowl on a wooden table with a spoon.

When you are ready to serve it, remove the plastic wrap and dig in. You can also serve the pudding warm if you like. Enjoy!

If you are a fan of chocolate, you can also make this chocolate pudding if you like.

How long does homemade vanilla pudding last?

If stored covered in the fridge, the pudding will last 5 to 6 days.

easy homemade vanilla pudding in a white bowl on a wooden table.
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5 from 16 votes

Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding

If you are a pudding lover, you need to try this from scratch vanilla pudding. It is super easy to make and tastes so much better than instant pudding. If I can do it, you can do it!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Cooling time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: creamy, smooth, sweet
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 223kcal
Author: Matt Taylor


  • pot
  • spatula or wooden spoon
  • metal spoon
  • serving containers
  • Plastic wrap


  • 2 cups of milk whole, 2%, 1% (500ml) Almond milk works too, but only use 1 1/2 cups of it.
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 100g
  • 3 Tbsp. of cornstarch 23g
  • 1/4 tsp. of salt 1g
  • 1 Tbsp. of butter 14g
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract 5ml


  • In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt.
  • Add the milk to a medium pot and heat it on the stovetop with medium heat until bubbles form on the edges.
  • Stir in the cornstarch mixture a little at a time until it dissolves completely. Continue stirring and heating the milk until it thickens up and becomes pudding. The way you can tell if it is thick enough is it will stick to the back of a spoon and not fall off easily.
  • Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and butter. Scoop or pour the pudding into serving bowls and allow it cool for 15 minutes or so at room temp. Then cover the bowls with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. Or you can eat the pudding warm. Enjoy!


How to Make Vanilla Pudding | Easy Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe


List of nutritional facts for vanilla pudding
Tried this recipe?Mention @WPRecipeMaker or tag #wprecipemaker!


Calories: 223kcal

Do you like this recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it.  If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.

Here are a few more recipes you may like:

Pan-Fried Asparagus

Easy Sweet Cornbread

Easy Apple Pie

3-Ingredient Fudge

Bacon and Cheese Quiche

Easy homemade vanilla pudding pin for Pinterest
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  1. 5 stars
    OMG! Matt you’ve done it again. I’ve made your chocolate pudding several times and sadly only about half makes it to the refrigerator. I made this vanilla version with just 68g of sugar and it was the right amount for my taste. Thanks for a great recipe, Matt. Much appreciatedπŸ’›
    Note: this one seems a little runnier than the chocolate version. I think the cocoa is acting as a starch in the other one. I’ll try adding some more cornstarch next time. I like the consistency of the chocolate version more. Thanks again 😊

    • Hi Ruth!! So glad you made this and liked it. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ You can also try cooking it a little bit longer to thicken it up a bit more. But yes, a little more cornstarch will help to get your desired thickness. πŸ™‚

  2. Christopher St James

    Was there any substitute for the Butter melted in after the heatIng process? I was going to use Cornaby’s E-Z Gel Powder instead of Cornstarch. That works in Cold liquids too instead of Cooking! Thank you. Maybe liquid Coconut Oil?

  3. 5 stars
    Absolutely the best vanilla pudding recipie. Walked hibby through the recipe and sent it to him. Now he can make it when I am not home. He said “This was too easy. Your kidding me right?” He kept a small bowl out to try warm. A+++++ ty Matt!

  4. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    5 stars
    It looks so easy to make! This is a nice dessert to enjoy. I will follow your recipe to the letter. I can’t wait to try this yummy treat!

  5. 5 stars
    I have NEVER had this before, but man, it sounds delicious. I love vanilla too!

  6. 5 stars
    I have to admit, I have not been brave enough to try homemade pudding. This looks like something I could handle, though!

  7. 5 stars
    Oh wow! This is such a great pudding recipe. Love that we can make it at home.. can’t wait!

  8. 5 stars
    I love your Easy Vanilla Pudding recipe. It’s a nice base if you want to add other flavors or just combine it with another dessert. I’ll do it tonight.

  9. 5 stars
    Such an easy vanilla pudding recipe and I am so excited to make this today for everyone. I’ll go ahead and prepare my ingredients, thanks!

  10. There is nothing better than homemade pudding. I’ve not tried to make vanilla yet. I’m going to try out your recipe!

  11. If you know how to make an excellent classic pudding, you are better equipped to change some of the ingredients to your dietary needs. Pudding is still one of those traditional favorites;)

  12. 5 stars
    I love how simple this recipe is! I make homemade pudding all the time, and this one is so quick.

  13. 5 stars
    I can’t wait to try this recipe. Honestly, before now, when I made “homemade” vanilla pudding, it was Jell-O. LOL

  14. 5 stars
    Yay! Finally vanilla pudding not from a box that’s easy to make and doesn’t require you to be a rocket scientist.

  15. Julie Blanner

    5 stars
    Love this! Never using store bought again. So creamy and delicious!

  16. 5 stars
    I can not believe this is was so simple; never again am I buying vanilla pudding, this tastes amazing.

  17. 5 stars
    I love this pudding! My picky kids love it too! I will be making this again! Thanks!

  18. Elly Selamat-Hosni

    Thank you for sharing plenty of recipes that are simple and not as daunting to make. You have a fan in me πŸ™‚ Take good care and hope all is well!

  19. Elly Selamat-Hosni

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing plenty of rexipes

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