Easy and Quick Vanilla Pudding

Who doesn’t like pudding?! I, for one, absolutely love pudding. Let’s start off with the basics with a super simple vanilla pudding, and work up from there!

Guys, I’m having some technical difficulties.

A couple days ago, I took my computer back from whence it came (i.e., Best Buy). It has been acting up like CRAZY and it was time to take it for repairs! Thankfully, I thought ahead and got the extended warranty when I bought it a year ago. I would have been really up a creek without a paddle, y’know what I’m saying here?

Anyway, there were so many problems that they had to send it out for repairs.


That little computer is my total blog hub. I use it every day.

Thankfully, I have my old Lenovo to work off of. The hinges don’t work, but the computer does!

TL;DR, I don’t have my normal computer so if you send me emails, comments, and the like, please be aware that I am dealing with some computer issues.

With that out of the way…

Hello everyone! I hope you had a fantastic week! I, for one, spent a good portion of my Wednesday trying to make vanilla pudding.

Yes, I said vanilla pudding. Pudding holds a very near and dear place in my heart, and I don’t know why. I remember the first time I learned about instant pudding; I was enthralled by the idea.

You mix milk and this packet, and you get a whole bowl of pudding?! Sign me up!

Instant pudding is definitely still one of my guilty pleasures from time to time, especially when I need to get a dessert together quickly for a crowd.

But then I remember in 9th grade, my Basic Foods teacher told us about the dangers of instant pudding. She told us that the ingredients that are used to make the pudding coagulate so quickly are actually different forms of salt. And if you were to compare instant pudding to cook and serve, you would see that there is a lot more sodium in the instant! Maybe it isn’t the coagulant. I’m not 100% sure.

But still.

So lately, I’ve been using cook and serve in recipes that are being tested. It takes a little bit longer, but I think that the cook and serve pudding tastes WAY better.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think it tastes fresher. It sounds like something that would be in my head.

But it was time to grow, and think outside the box. Literally! It was time for me to make pudding from scratch.

I thought, I couldn’t make pudding. I don’t remember the last time I had made pudding from scratch.

But kids, I made the pudding. It took me a couple of tries, but I got it!

A few things to note before you make your pudding:

1: DO NOT use tapioca starch.

Yes, it is a lot more neutral in flavor compared to other starches. I get it. I tried it. You would think that tapioca starch would be perfect in a pudding.


I mean, maybe I over-mixed the slurry. It could have been human error. Chances are, it wasn’t because I have had this issue before.

The tapioca starch basically gave me phlegm pudding. It had the jiggle of Jell-O, but it wasn’t Jell-O. The flavor was right, but the consistency was all wrong.

Solution: just use corn starch instead! It’s a super simple fix, and it’s an ingredient you probably already have in your pantry!

2:DO NOT leave your pan unattended!

Vanilla pudding is quite easy, but it takes a little bit of patience. It’s very easy to want to just walk away for a little while.

Don’t give into the temptation!

Instead of tempering the egg, we’re going to whisk the egg right into the pan with the milk. Since we have the milk at a low temperature, we’re able to temper the egg with the milk while it’s heating! This means that you have a lesser chance of cooking your eggs with the pudding, and I like that.

The bad news is, you have to keep the mixture moving. I mean, it’s not just the eggs you could cook. You could scorch the milk too!

The keys are frequent mixture movement and low to medium heat. I promise you, if you go slow and steady, you will get some really good pudding, ready to be customized any way that you want!

Giving this delicious vanilla pudding a try? Don’t forget to use #FDLFoods! I love to see what you guys are cooking up!



UPDATE: Upon later inspection of this recipe I realized that I meant to put the vanilla in after the pudding was cooked, not during. 

Easy Vanilla Pudding

Vanilla pudding, when you want it! 20 minutes or less.

  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus more to sweeten as needed)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Heavy pinch of salt
  • Toppings of choice (optional)

In a heatproof bowl, combine salt and corn starch. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, sugar, and egg over medium heat. Whisk frequently.

When heavy steam starts to appear (about 185°F), slowly pour about a half cup of the milk mixture into the bowl. Whisk until no lumps are present.

Pour the milk and cornstarch slurry into the pan and allow pudding to thicken, continuing to stir. When the pudding is thickened, take off the heat. Pour through a mesh sieve to remove any cornstarch lumps. The pudding is probably still going to be thinner than you are expecting, but it will thicken as it cools. Add vanilla and stir.

Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to deter it from creating a skin on top.

When pudding is thoroughly chilled, add toppings if you would like.

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