Who needs vanilla pudding in a box (and who needs eggs!) when you can easily prepare it from scratch with 4 ingredients? Let's learn how to make vanilla pudding without eggs. Easy, creamy and thick, with a delicate but somehow intense vanilla flavor (and no gelatin needed).
Looking for a vegan vanilla pudding? Find the variation below and in the recipe card!
What is pudding?
I am Italian and we only have one type of pudding here, that we call "budino". The latter is the Italian word for pudding, a sweet dessert.
In the US and Britain, pudding can be different things. Indeed it's used as a generic term for sweet desserts (but it can also be savory). Originally it could be baked, steamed or boiled.
The "newer" kind of pudding instead is formed by mixing milk, sugar and a thickening agent (cornstarch, gelatin, eggs etc) to get a creamy dessert.
What is the difference between custard and pudding?
To put this in extremely simple words: custard needs eggs. That's an essential ingredient to thicken the mixture. A pudding instead can be made without them.
This eggless vanilla pudding recipe is for you if...
I still remember when I was young and my mom used to make us pudding (chocolate or vanilla). Despite me being a HUGE chocolate fan, I still remember her homemade vanilla pudding.
I'm not sure about her recipe, but she did use eggs. In my mind, this made the recipe more complicated so I came up with an egg free vanilla pudding recipe.
This recipe indeed is for you if you for some reasons can't have eggs (allergies?), you ran out of them, you don't have them at hand, you don't like them...
It's also perfect if you're looking for an easy recipe, with only 4 ingredients. YUP. You read that. So let's see what you'll need, shall we?
Simple recipe calls for very simple and basic ingredients.
- Vanilla extract. Use homemade if possible or, if you buy it, purchase a very good one. It's a vanilla pudding after all so we have to taste it, flavor has to be "there". Reason why this has 4 tablespoons for 500 g of milk. Alternatively, try vanilla bean paste. Add less, then try and adjust (store bought extract may be stronger).
- Cornstarch. This will also make it gluten free. Feel free to use all purpose flour instead.
- Milk. Choose your favourite: dairy, non-dairy, almond milk, soy, oat. I like mine with full fat milk for a richer flavor.
- Honey. To sweeten. I like to only use 2 tablespoons in 500 g of milk. You can substitute maple syrup or sugar for honey. Just choose your favorite. I wouldn't recommend using raw brown sugar because it has a distinctive flavor and it may "hide" the vanilla.
What about an almond milk vanilla pudding?
It goes without saying that if you want to make almond milk vanilla pudding, you can substitute almond milk for milk, possibly unsweetened. Honey substituted for maple syrup.
How to make vanilla pudding from scratch
Like I always say, I love easy recipes and this one comes together in literally 5 (maybe 7) minutes.
Step 1. Cornstarch + milk
Into a pot, combine cornstarch and a bit of milk, whisk then gradually add all the rest of the milk. If you add milk and THEN cornstarch you'll get clumps. Not pleasant.
Step 2. Cook + add vanilla and honey
Turn on the heat, at medium high then add honey and vanilla extract, keep stirring with the whisk. When it boils, lower the temperature to medium and cook for about 5 minutes (always stir).
It's important you keep whisking gently, so that the mixture doesn’t clump up or get stuck in the edges.
Step 3. Cool + serve
Add homemade vanilla pudding to glasses or mugs, cover with plastic wrap, then let set in the fridge for about 2 hours. Serve with your favourite toppings or just a sprinkle of cinnamon/nutmeg/cardamom. Or tonka bean, like I did.
Pro tip: How to serve homemade vanilla pudding
I love this vanilla pudding without eggs recipe because it's simple and can be tasted right on its own, or with delicious toppings such as:
- Apples or pears, sautéed with cinnamon and maple syrup;
- Melted milk/dark chocolate;
- Caramel sauce for more sweetness;
- Warm berries with maple syrup;
- Jam or hazelnut spread;
You can also use this recipe to make pumpkin or banana pudding, trifle (layer pudding, sponge cake, berries) and a base for more desserts.
Look how beautifully it holds its shape if served upside-down.
How to store it
This egg-free vanilla pudding will keep in the fridge for about 3 days, covered with some plastic wrap.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you wanna make chocolate pudding from vanilla pudding, just add cocoa powder to the cornstarch (then add milk and the other ingredients). I have tested this by adding about 4.5 tablespoons. Top with melted chocolate before serving. DELICIOUS.
Instead of completely changing recipe, I recommend that you add lemon zest from 2 organic lemons (for this exact amount of ingredients) for an intense lemon flavor, and half the amount of vanilla extract. Easy!
Absolutely yes. I tested this using my microwave: I combined the ingredients into a mug, then microwaved for 1 minutes. Stopped and stirred. Did that once more. Then microwaved for 30 more seconds. Let chill to set.
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- 4 tablespoons Cornstarch - 35 g
- 2 cups Milk - (or plant like almond milk) - 500 g
- 4 tablespoons Vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons Honey - (or a bit more)
- a pinch Salt
Toppings (choose your favorite)
- Apples, sautéed with cinnamon and maple syrup
- Melted chocolate
- Caramel sauce
- Warm berries and maple syrup
- Into a pot, simply add cornstarch and then gradually add the milk and mix with a small whisk. This will prevent clumps.
- Turn on the heat, at medium high. Add vanilla extract and honey, keep stirring.
- When it boils lower the temperature to medium, keep stirring and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add it to glasses or mugs, then let set in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- Serve with your favourite toppings.
In love with simple desserts? Try this super easy crème brûlée without heavy cream and refined sugars - and with an option if you don't have a torch!
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