Vanilla Pudding

  • Yield : 6 to 8 servings (about 4 cups)
  • Prep Time : 10m
  • Cook Time : 10m
  • Ready In : 20m
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  • 4 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 large egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Stir-ins (optional), see below for suggestions


Step 1

Heat 4 cups of the milk in a large saucepan over medium heat until steaming.

Step 2

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the egg yolks and the remaining 1/2 cup milk.

Step 3

Whisk half of the hot milk into the egg mixture until smooth, then gradually whisk the egg-milk mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture boils. Continue to cook, whisking constantly, until it has thickened to a puddinglike consistency, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Step 4

Cool slightly, stirring a few times to prevent a skin from forming. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and refrigerate until completely cooled and thickened, about 4 hours.

Step 5

Before serving, whisk the pudding vigorously until smooth and creamy.

Step 6


Step 7

Cookies and Cream: Crush 20 chocolate wafer cookies, stir some into the pudding and top with the rest.

Step 8

Fresh Berries and Gingersnaps: Fold in 2 cups of fresh, mixed berries and top with about 12 finely crushed gingersnaps.

Step 9

Vanilla-Banana: Fold in 3 sliced bananas. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Fold in 24 crushed vanilla wafer cookies and top with more sliced bananas.

Step 10

Rocky Road: Fold in 1 cup each mini marshmallows and toasted chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. Sprinkle with more chocolate chips.

Step 11

Peanut Butter* and Jelly (See Cook's Note): Fold in 1 cup quartered red grapes and 1/3 cup each chopped roasted peanuts and peanut butter chips. Top with whole grapes.

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