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.
  • 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

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 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
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)
  • 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

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

  2. Julie Blanner

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

  3. 5 stars
    I can not believe this is was so simple; never again am I buying vanilla pudding, this tastes amazing.

  4. 5 stars
    I love this pudding! My picky kids love it too! I will be making this again! Thanks!

  5. 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!

  6. Elly Selamat-Hosni

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing plenty of rexipes

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