A flavor perhaps for purists, the simple yet complex taste of vanilla comes through in this frozen pudding pop. Because the vanilla is the star of the show, be sure to use a pure vanilla extract—don’t even think about subbing in the cheap fake stuff. If you feel like getting a little crazy, add in an additional or alternative extract flavor.

Special equipment: You will need freezer pop molds for this recipe. We used these molds, but any kind will work. If yours don’t come with sticks that attach securely, you can buy wooden sticks and insert them 1 hour into the freezing time.

You will also need an instant-read thermometer for cooking the pudding.

This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Pudding Pops project.

  • Yield: About 10 (2-ounce) pops
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 25 mins, plus about 3 hrs freezing time

Ingredients (7)

  • 2 cups cold half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Place 1 3/4 cups of the half-and-half, the sugar, and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface and let stand without disturbing until the gelatin softens, about 3 minutes (it will start to look wavy and wrinkled).
  3. Place the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
  4. Remove the half-and-half mixture from the heat and slowly pour about half of it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly until incorporated. Pour the half-and-half/egg mixture back into the pan and add the gelatin mixture and the butter. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until the butter melts, the gelatin dissolves and no longer feels grainy, and an instant-read thermometer registers 160°F, about 5 minutes. (Do not let the mixture boil or go above 170°F, or the gelatin will not set properly and the eggs may curdle.)
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl and pour the mixture through the strainer. Discard the solids. Divide the mixture among the pop molds and freeze until frozen, about 3 hours. Alternatively, to serve as pudding, divide the mixture among ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours. (To avoid the skin that forms on the surface of pudding, cover each ramekin with plastic wrap and make sure it’s directly touching the pudding.)