We don’t call this recipe easy for nothing. This simple, delicious pudding comes together with just a handful of ingredients and a little stirring. You mix sugar, cornstarch, and a bit of salt, then whisk in milk and egg yolks. It cooks over medium heat, until thickened, then—off the heat—you stir in butter and vanilla extract. Strain, let it cool in the fridge, and you’re done. The hardest part is waiting for it to set before the kids—or you—can devour it.
This recipe was featured as part of our Homemade Vanilla Extract project. For more, check out our Tapioca Pudding, Easy Rice Pudding, and Mango Pudding.
- Yield: 2 cups (4 to 6 servings)
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 20 mins, plus at least 2 hrs chilling time
- Active: 20 mins
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 1/4 cups whole milk
- 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Place a mesh strainer over a 4-cup measuring cup or bowl with a spout and set aside. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan and whisk until incorporated. While constantly whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and remaining milk.
- Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until the pudding begins to thicken and just starts to bubble, about 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and switch to a rubber spatula. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, until the pudding makes visible ribbons when drizzled over the surface, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted and completely incorporated. Pour the pudding through the prepared strainer. Immediately transfer it to 4 (4-ounce) ramekins or resealable containers. Lightly press a piece of plastic wrap on top of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.