Homemade Vanilla Pudding (Recipe plus Video How-to)

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist

homemade vanilla puddingAh, homemade vanilla pudding ….  truly, one of the ultimate comfort foods!

Kids especially love pudding and a homemade pudding cup makes a wonderful healthy addition to the lunchbox if you make it yourself with wholesome ingredients.

Whatever you do, skip those pudding boxes from the store. They are nothing but white sugar, GMO corn starch, artificial colors and flavors plus preservatives.

Even if boxed pudding is made with good quality whole milk, the end result is not be something that would be of overall benefit.  Kind of like raw grassfed milk served with a bowl of Fruit Loops, wouldn’t you agree? What’s the point in that?

It’s time to ditch the pudding boxes and processed pudding snack cups and learn how to make homemade vanilla pudding the old fashioned way with nothing but wholesome ingredients.

In this video, I show you how my Grandma used to make vanilla pudding on the stovetop. She called it blancmange although she never bothered to set it in a mould as is sometimes done. It serves up wonderful and warm straight from the pot with no need to refrigerate first unless you prefer your pudding served cold.

Video: How to Make Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

Makes 6-8 servings


3 cups whole milk (preferably raw grassfed milk from a local family farm)
2  extra large, free range eggs
1/3 cup freshly ground flour, organic cornstarch, or arrowroot powder (where to find)
1/2 – 3/4 cup sucanat or coconut sugar (where to find)
1 Tbl grassfed butter (where to find)
2 tsp vanilla

*You may substitute whole coconut milk (where to find) for a dairy free homemade vanilla pudding version.


In a large saucepan, combine sugar and flour and milk.  Cook and stir with a whisk over medium heat until the mixture starts to slightly bubble.  Cook for 2 minutes more and remove saucepan from the heat.

In a small glass bowl, beat eggs and then gradually stir in about a cup of the cooked mixture all the while whisking vigorously.  Pour egg mixture into the saucepan and return to medium heat. Cook/stir until nearly bubbly but not a boil.  Reduce heat and cook/stir for 2 more minutes.

Remove pan of homemade vanilla pudding from heat.   Stir in butter and vanilla.

Let homemade vanilla pudding cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Refrigerate uneaten portion and use for homemade vanilla pudding cups for your children’s lunches or for quick at home snacks.

Love pudding?  Try these other recipes.

Egg Custard Pudding
Bread and Butter Pudding
Jello Pudding
Macademia Nut Pudding
Thai Custard Pudding
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Russian Custard
Coconut Milk Pudding

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Comments (144)

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe and tutorial! I’m pregnant and craving pudding! Looked at the jello box at the store and the ingredient list was awful so I put it back and came home to look up a recipe. I thought I would find a recipe but it would be too hard. This recipe was so easy!!!! And everything I used was my organic ingredients!!! It’s cooling now! I can’t wait to eat it all up!!! Thank you!

  2. Melissa Butler via Facebook August 23, 2014 at 2:23 am

    Here in Australia we call this custard & use it has a condiment for pudding, pudding is a self saucing cake that when you bake it it makes it’s own sauce on the bottom.

  3. Maureen Tannert via Facebook July 16, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I use real gelatin and it works :-). Very yummy – haven’t put butter in mine though.

  4. I am a professional Pastry Chef, and I would suggest whisking the starch and 1/4 of the sugar into the eggs, add the rest of the sugar to the milk in to the pot and bring to a simmer. Whisk the starch and sugar into the eggs very thoroughly (use an electric hand mixer if you have one), until the mixture thickens and turns a pale yellow.

    Very slowly whisk the simmered milk into the eggs to temper the eggs. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook the pudding on med heat until it boils, whisking constantly. It MUST come to a boil in order to cook the starch and thicken the pudding.

    I always strain my puddings through a sieve immediately off the heat so I get a completely smooth pudding.

    Don’t add the butter and extract until after it comes off the heat and strained.

    I also always add salt to my puddings, about 1/4 tsp. Tastes flat without salt. Citrus zest is a great addition.

    If your pudding separates after chilling or tastes pasty, it was not brought to a boil to cook the starch.

      • I cooked this for probably 20 minutes total? Had to put it on medium high because it just wouldn’t thicken or bubble at all. Well, after all that the pudding is pretty thin and not really like pudding at all. :( I let it get nice and hot and waited several minutes while stirring after that. Should I try more flour? I used sprouted whole wheat and mine also looks totally different from your picture. Did you use white flour? Mine is brown just like the flour and coconut sugar…

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  6. Could you tell me why coconut sugar or sucanat are healthier? I know white sugar is no good and mostly use honey but I don’t know anything about the sweeteners you mentioned.

  7. My favorite go to recipe for a quick wholesome dessert for the family. I make many renditions, including chocolate and cinnamon honey. Even my 17 yr old stepson, who is more used to conventional sweets LOVES this pudding and has asked me to teach him to make it. Thanks Sarah!

  8. I just have to share that after trying this I was inspires to make a pumpkin version for the fall! I omitted half the vanilla, and at the end added one cup of pureed pumpkin and two tsp of pumpkin pie spice. So delicious and festive tasting!!

  9. Bethany Sheridan Ficks via Facebook September 20, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    I am so sad that I am out of eggs! We are going to pick some up in the morning, so this will be the first thing I make with them.

  10. @Mark I make with low glycemic coconut sugar and it isn’t a regular thing so I feel good about it. To tell you the truth, I’m a bit concerned about giving my kids stevia in any appreciable amounts due to the potential infertility link. I need to do more research on that but for now I’m not comfortable with it.

  11. Rachel Yoder via Facebook September 20, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    we have been making a version of this all my life. its so good! we like to use half flour and half cornstarch/arrowroot for best results and texture.

  12. Laura Waldo via Facebook September 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    My son requested “old fashioned” Tapioca this evening. Little pearls are soaking overnight and we’ll be enjoying tiny bubbles tomorrow evening.

  13. I’ve just made this pudding with low pat cream instead of milk, `and I’m going out of my mind with how good it is. If you let it burn a bit you’ll have caramel pudding! Also, I only used 2 tablespoons of sucanat, otherwise it is unpleasantly sweet for me. Berkeley Farms sells a pasteurized cream that is not ultra-pat. I drink my milk raw, but since raw cream is $11 per pint, and I can get 1/2 gallon of decent cream for $8 it makes it possible for me to make this every week. I figure the extra benefit of the decent quality cream makes up for the fact that it’s not raw and by the time you cook it it’s not raw anymore anyway. Good nutrient dense snack for people with limited budgets :-) Can always make a raw fruit sauce from extra thick raw kefir on top for enzymes :-)

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  15. Pyrex users beware- my dish exploded when I made this the other day. I then attempted it in a pan, and it was delicious!

  16. Hi Sarah,

    I made this recipe yesterday night whit raw milk/coconut sugar and arrow root, warm it was really thick and delicious but this morning when I open the fridge the pudding was soo liquid in the dish ! Is it normal, could we had gelatin or did I made some mistake?

    Thanks to let me know

  17. What great timing! Just a couple of days ago, I was thinking about how nice it would be if I knew how to make real pudding! Thank you so much! This is the first time I’ve seen any traditional foods blogger mention this food!

  18. OOPS What did I do wrong? It taste ok but it appears rather doughy??? and you can feel the same texture in your mouth. I use white wheat for the flour. I added 2Tbls of cocoa and that made it just enough chocolate.

  19. I am having a very hard time finding low temp pasteurized milk. Whole Foods just has the same milk as my regular grocery store. I’m stumped where to go next. I would love to make this, my kids would gobble it up.

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  21. Oh Sarah, I hope you or someone gets a chance to answer this question. I store milk kefir grains in a jar of milk in the refrigerator and I’m wondering if I can add that milk to the clabber bottle when I replace it for the grains. I have been throwing it out but that is so wasteful so I started a jar of that rejected milk in case I had the chance to ask this question. I just started to clabber my milk. Before, I made kefir than used that in recipes. Now that I know I can use clabbered milk, I just go for that but I want to keep my grains for occasional kefir use and the milk they are stored in has to be replaced when it separates in the jar. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to throw it away and can use it in other things. Is that true? Thanks

  22. YUM!!!! We make this a lot at home but not now since we are on GAPS so we miss it! The guys esp really like it (what is it that they say about nursery desserts?). We almost always make ours with all yolks though and it is extra tasty. Love that you are teaching folks to make this!

  23. Shannon Otto via Facebook February 16, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I made a chocolate honey pudding today with my boys, we had it for desert, drizzled a little cream on it too! yum!

  24. I have a question about the sugar. Is Raw Sugar ok to use? In my area we have severely limited options when it comes to certain products and was wondering if raw sugar was a decent substitute or not.

    Thanks for such a wonderful and informative blog. 😀

  25. This recipe looks so wonderful but I have a question I’m afraid to ask. Here goes:

    I am just starting my journey to healthier eating. I don’t have most of the organic/coconut/arrowroot type of ingredients just yet in my pantry and can’t afford to at the moment. However, this first step in my journey has me trying to cook with real foods at home and escaping more and more from the store-bought, fast food world we live in. My goal is to get more comfortable cooking recipes such as this one and then, when we are able to afford better, more healthy ingredients, make the switch with those ingredients.

    After all of that, will I still be able to make this recipe and others like it if I’m not using the exact same ingredients? If I’m using white sugar instead of sucanat or (in other recipes) white flour instead of coconut flour or vegetable oil instead of coconut oil or whatever? I’d like to be able to have success when I first start off on this venture so it spurs me on to even better, healthy living.


    • Melissa,
      I hope I’m not stepping on Sarah’s toes here.
      You are headed in the right direction girl! I started out very similar to what you’re describing – the desire to change, learning, wanting to try things but not having the resources to change out my pantry in one shopping trip (or two or three or….).
      At minimum if you make it with white flour, white sugar and GMO cornstarch you are stepping away from the “unpronouceables” as Sarah put it. And you’re learning the technique of making the product. (better to waste white sugar than expensive sucanat!)

      Give yourself some grace when your starting out. Sarah, IMHO, is somewhat of an expert and has probaby been eating healthy for a long time so her pantry is full of the best quality ingredients. Someday we too may be able to reach that level but we are all at different stages. I have raw milk and arrowroot but but I cannot source raw butter and I don’t have time to make it. My vanilla is store bought (from Aldi no less). Is my pudding the “best” it could possibly be? Probably not. Is it better than a box mix. You bet!

      You’ll also find there are so many “levels” of real food. Raw milk. Raw milk from only pastured cows, raw milk from pastured Jersey cows. You can drive yourself crazy and give up if you wait until every ingredient is perfect quality before you begin.

      Blessings on our real food journey.

      • Danielle,

        Have to say that was such an excellent response. As someone who teaches healthy living classes…I have found that the best advice is like what you said. Don’t stress over too many changes at once. Take it slow. Baby steps. Enjoy the journey!

        Great words here. Love it.

        Blessings to both of you,


  26. 6:17 pm – watched your video
    6:35 pm – started making the pudding
    6:52 pm – pudding done

    8 pm – I will be eating pudding and packing pudding for my lunch tomorrow

    Thank you for sharing!

  27. Sarh, I have those same pyrex dishes and I have never thought about heating them on the stove top, Duh! That would save alot of dishes esp a pot. I guess you would not cook on high with the glass?
    I am trying the pudding tonight. Looks Yum! i am always looking for ways to use my eggs.

  28. Is this like custard? I’ve recently been wanting hot/warm puddings (very cold in England at the moment!) and I’ve learnt to make custard from scratch to go with my home made pies. Only has milk, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla, though I’ve been substituting the sugar with xylitol as I feel naughty with the pies. Will try this recipe too, it’s thicker than mine. Must try and find coconut sugar. I use rapadura – is that the same as sucanat? it’s just dehydrated sugarcane juice. Thanks for sharing, excuse the many questions!!!

    • dont do a rolling boil for any extended period..really just a high simnmer.. medium’ish should work.. it does kill the enzymes but doesnt denature the protein.. even this you wouldnt want to do on a large scale or for all of your dairy needs; but for a snack now and then, its ok.. at least you are still starting and ending with a whole food, not ultra processed, refined, denatured garbabe.. hope this helps..

      -jason and lisa-

    • hahaha. Probably not, because they’ll take it and eat it for themselves. I’m convinced that’s really what’s happening. :)

  29. My husband is not only allergic to dairy, he’s also allergic to egg whites. What would be the best egg substitute for this recipe and still have it come out right?

  30. I have to say…I can smell it cooking as you work…this looks magnificent. I cant wait to try this out. I have a dairy intolerant toddler…do you think I could also use Almond milk? He is a picky eater..but I bet he would love this as a treat! Thank you so much!

  31. Kimberly Pender Wiezycki via Facebook February 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I recall that I heard that we can make pudding with clabbored milk as well– in other words, if our milk is past drinkable should we use it for pudding so it doesn’t go to waste?

    • Kimberly, I used milk that was past it’s prime (about three weeks old) – not clabbored but definately not something I’d want to drink straight up. It worked beautifully.

    • Thanks for the recipe! I grew up on cornstarch puddings for breakfast, and I still make them for my son. I’m happy that I now have a recipe with more wholesome ingredients, like an alternative to white sugar, and butter. I also love that it contains eggs – my recipes don’t, and I go out of my way to sneak more eggs into his diet.

  32. This looks delicious! We make homemade tapioca pudding, but I think my kids would really love to have vanilla pudding.

    Your pudding recipe reminds me that after my Great-Grandma passed on, my mom inherited some of her old cookbooks. In them were delicious recipes for full-fat, homemade meals and desserts. These recipes call for less sugar than their modern counterparts. My Grammy used to make us custard and cook everything in animal fat. She lived until she was 98. Unfortunately, her last couple of years were full of store bought and assisted living foods that offered very little nutrition (and taste). As soon as she went to assisted living and stopped cooking for herself, I believe her health deteriorated greatly.

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! We’ll make this tomorrow night for dinner, after we get some more good milk. :)

  33. I usually make a double batch and then after it cools immediately put it in little snack cups in the refrigerator. Then, it is so easy to just grab a few and throw them into the lunchbox when you are in a hurry in the morning packing up lunches for school.

  34. Ohhh I just tried a similar recipe last week for the first time, in chocolate, and hubby loved them in his lunches. I think your recipe will be a tad thicker, which we’d like, and I wondered about the arrowroot! Thanks for sharing – this is on my Sunday to-do list!

  35. Kaye Delaney via Facebook February 16, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Wholesome ingredients I hope include organic or raw milk…with all the essential nutrients still intact to heal and energize!

  36. This looks delicious! I bet you could even put in some carob powder and chocolate extract for a chocolate version!! Yum yum – thanks for sharing.


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