DIY Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

Confession time. I really love the idea of making as much as possible from scratch. Not only do I know exactly what is in something, but 99.9% of the time, the homemade version contains significantly less processed ingredients (and usually none at all). From body scrubs to taco seasoning mix and hot chocolate mix, I’ve been working on transforming the convenience packages for homemade versions. The truth is, that the from-scratch versions of these things take literally minutes to make and are infinitely cheaper, not to mention healthier. My search for a DIY instant pudding mix spun off of my search for a from-scratch version of a favorite family cake. The problem? The “recipe” was basically a box cake mix with a box of instant pudding and a few other ingredients. I knew I wanted to make the cake from scratch, but boy does that box of pudding do wonders to a cake, right? Makes it so moist and melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. I needed to somehow mimic those characteristics, when lo and behold, I actually found a formula for instant pudding mix!

I was able to throw this together in 5 minutes, and now I have a stash of instant pudding for whenever I see a recipe that calls for a mix. Not only do I not have to run to the store, but I can keep from-scratch recipes just that.

In addition to using it in your own recipes, this would make a great gift for the holidays. Maybe a basket of this, some homemade cocoa mix, homemade vanilla extract, and other goodies. I am working on a chocolate version as well, so stay tuned!

Now just wait until you see what I have up my sleeve. I think you’re going to love the cake that I used this mix in! It’s an oldie but a goodie, and reinvented to be completely homemade. Be sure to check back tomorrow!

One year ago: Deviled Eggs
Three years ago: Pigu (Italian Gougeres)

DIY Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix

Yield: 20 to 25 servings (enough for 5 batches of pudding)

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup cornstarch
¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 whole vanilla beans

Directions:

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt; set aside.

2. Split open the vanilla beans and use the back of a knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the sugar mixture, and again whisk well to evenly combine, using a fork or the back of the spoon to break up any chunks of vanilla bean seeds. Cut the empty vanilla bean pods into two or three pieces each.

3. Place the vanilla bean pieces into an airtight container or jar, and add the sugar mixture. Seal it, and then give it a few good shakes to distribute the vanilla bean pieces evenly. Store in a cool, dry place.

To make pudding: Combine 2 cups of milk with ½ cup of the instant pudding mix in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 3 to 5 minutes). Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert)

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213 Responses to “DIY Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 17, 2012 at 12:18 am

    This is awesome! I see recipes that call for pudding mix all the time and sometimes I’d like to just add what I’d call a “sprinkling” of pudding mix, not necessarily a whole packet. And now…I can. THANKS! for this post!!

    Reply

  2. Jay on April 17, 2012 at 12:27 am

    this is some brilliant yummy treat
    new to your space..
    excellent posts with stunning cliks
    happy following you..:)
    do stop by mine sometime

    Tasty Appetite

    Reply

  3. Robin on April 17, 2012 at 12:51 am

    This sounds so cool!! I’ve made many cakes but I’ve never made a cake that called for a box of instant pudding… Sounds interesting, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing your version and I plan to try that out as soon as I get the chance!! Thank you for this post!

    Reply

  4. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 17, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Can’t wait to see the cake you made!! :)

    Reply

  5. Sharon on April 17, 2012 at 3:31 am

    This is great! On a side note, is there anything that can be done with the leftover vanilla beans so they don’t go to waste?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Hi Sharon, Once your batch is done, you could use the vanilla beans to make your own vanilla extract, or put them in a container of sugar to make vanilla sugar.

      Reply

    • Angelina on March 12th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

      I put all my scraped vanilla beans into a mason jar with lid and sugar. As you use it replace sugar…. Shake it every other day or so

      Reply

  6. Susan Din on April 17, 2012 at 3:48 am

    This sounds like a delicious Cooked pudding mix, convenient and definitely cheaper. However…it’s not an instant pudding, those just mix with milk and chill and thicken, maybe with agar agar or superfine gelatin or something. I much prefer a cooked-old fashioned pudding though!

    Reply

    • nygthe shadow on April 19th, 2012 at 8:47 am

      thank you for saying what i was thinking. :)

      Reply

    • Melanee on July 1st, 2014 at 3:02 pm

      THIS is NOT an instant pudding mix such as the kind Jello makes — just add milk, stir, done. This is a cooked mix. To make a mix instant, you need a product called Instant Clear Jel. Example: “Homemade Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
      Substitute with this for any recipe calling for a 3.5 oz box of instant pudding.
      For chocolate, add extra sugar with the cocoa: use 1/2 cup cocoa and 3/4 cup sugar. Add an extra 1/4 cup of milk or so because of the extra dry ingredients.
      1/3 cup instant dry milk*
      2 cups cold milk*
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/3 cup Instant Clear Jel
      1/4 tsp salt, optional
      Combine dry ingredients.
      Add 2 cups cold milk and 1-2 t. vanilla; mix well.
      *Note: A secret of using instant clear jel is to mix it with the dry ingredients first before adding liquid; it’s less likely to clump. You can just shake it, or use a mixer, blender, stick blender.” from http://preparedness365.blogspot.com/2011/09/clear-jel.html
      sold by amazon and by King Arthur’s – Instant clearjel

      Reply

      • Augustina Ragwitz on December 13th, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        If your end product is going to be cooked (like adding to a cake recipe) then it doesn’t matter whether you use instant or cooked pudding. However, if you’re using the pudding for a cold application like a pastry cream filling, icing, or vanilla sauce (as is often done in German cooking) then you’d want it to be instant. Thanks for providing the recipe, I use Clearjel for pies and think it’s awesome! I never thought of using it for an instant pudding mix :D

        Reply

  7. Kiri W. on April 17, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Perfect! One should always have some at hand :)

    Reply

  8. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 17, 2012 at 6:39 am

    What a great idea! I love this!!! This is so creative, I would never of thought of making instant pudding. Nice recipe!

    Reply

  9. Katrina on April 17, 2012 at 7:04 am

    I love vanilla pudding! Great idea!

    Reply

  10. Erika - The Teenage Taste on April 17, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I’m not going to lie, I use instant pudding mix a lot. But to have something homemade that is ready in the same amount of time is awesome! Great idea! :-)

    Reply

  11. Hannah on April 17, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I live in the UK where I can’t get instant pudding like in the US. There are so many cake recipes that call for instant pudding and I just can’t make them. Now I can! Looking forward to the cake tomorrow and the chocolate version of the instant pudding in the future!

    Reply

    • Tom on April 23rd, 2012 at 6:38 am

      Surely, you can just buy Angel Delight?

      Definitely going to make a big jar of this! Hmm, I wonder how you would make it butterscotch flavour.

      Reply

      • wanda on September 19th, 2012 at 5:06 pm

        use brown sugar instead of white and get butterscotch pudding

        Reply

    • Laura on April 14th, 2014 at 10:09 am

      I am from the UK too and was looking for a substitute to replace the instant vanilla pudding. But now I am wondering where I can get powdered milk? Do you know of some place that sell that?

      Reply

      • Michelle on April 16th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

        Hi Laura, King Arthur Flour sells powdered milk, but I don’t know if they ship to the UK.

        Reply

      • Ana Holbrook on May 5th, 2014 at 5:23 am

        Hi Laura you can find powder milk in Tesco.

        Reply

  12. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids on April 17, 2012 at 8:26 am

    What a great idea! I like to know what is going into our bodies, too, so I love to make as many things as possible, too. I am so excited to make up a jar of this pudding. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  13. Lisa Broadley on April 17, 2012 at 8:27 am

    I think I’ll wait for the chooclate version which hopefully turns out!! So to clairfy, the vanilla bean pieces that are cut up stay in the jar the whole time???

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Yep! It just continues to infuse the vanilla flavor.

      Reply

      • missy on April 17th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

        so you sift them out when you are using the mix in something or cooking it as pudding?

        Reply

        • Michelle on April 18th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

          I just leave them in the jar until I’m done with the mix. They’ll continue to infuse the pudding mix while in there. You don’t use them for the pudding, but they provide flavor.

          Reply

          • Kara on September 17th, 2013 at 9:17 am

            Thanks for making me feel not so dumb! haha I thought I was the only one who didn’t understand this small part!

            Reply

            • Megan on October 10th, 2013 at 8:58 pm

              No, Kara, you weren’t the only one! I kept reading it thinking I missed something – straining, sifting…. Glad you asked!

            • Jenny on November 19th, 2013 at 1:36 pm

              I had the SAME question. Thanks for the clarification.

          • Kristine on December 2nd, 2014 at 4:37 am

            How long does the pudding mix keep for?

            Reply

  14. Claire on April 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Awesome! There have been so many recipes that I’ve wanted to try – but don’t – because of the instant pudding factor. This solves it!

    Reply

  15. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on April 17, 2012 at 8:49 am

    wow, this is really cool! I never thought of this as something you could make yourself, not sure why haha

    Reply

    • Best Embroidery Designs on November 4th, 2014 at 3:57 am

      This sounds so cool!! I’ve made many cakes but I’ve never made a cake that called for a box of instant pudding… Sounds interesting, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing your version and I plan to try that out as soon as I get the chance!! Thank you for this post!

      Reply

  16. Sisters Playing House on April 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Thank you for this – will be trying it out for sure. I use vanilla pudding in several things that I make and I have a guilty conscience about using the packaged stuff.
    Check us out: http://www.sistersplayinghouse.blogspot.com

    Reply

  17. Jess @ Floptimism on April 17, 2012 at 9:09 am

    This is amazing! I see so many dessert recipes that call for instant pudding mix and I always have to sadly pass them up because I’m so turned off by ingredients like that…but if I there’s a homemade version I don’t have to do that anymore! Thanks!

    Reply

  18. Tracey on April 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

    This is genius!! So many times I see a recipe that calls for just a little bit of pudding mix and I end up not making it because I don’t want to buy a box just to use a small portion then have it sit in my pantry. I need to make this asap then revisit all those recipes I pushed aside :)

    Reply

  19. Heidi on April 17, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Making your own pudding mix is a fine idea, but this is NOT instant pudding. If you have to cook it, it’s regular, cook and serve pudding. And you absolutely have to cook it with all the corn starch. It might not even work in a cake mix, since you aren’t incorporating enough moisture to counterbalance the starch. Sorry to be a wet blanket, but you can’t call this instant.

    Reply

    • Shirlene on April 17th, 2012 at 10:05 am

      I agree it should read homemade cook and serve because there is a difference.

      Reply

    • Kris on April 17th, 2012 at 12:21 pm

      I agree…this looks exactly like my own recipe for Blanc Mange (a cooked pudding) but with some skim milk powder.

      Reply

    • Lana on April 21st, 2012 at 10:32 pm

      If you look at a box of Jell-O instant pudding mix, the first two ingredients that are listed are sugar and modified cornstarch. Using regular cornstarch, instead of modified, means that you DO have to cook it. However, this is probably fine for use in a baked product.

      Reply

  20. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 17, 2012 at 9:21 am

    This is cool, it will make a nice gift to my friends!

    Reply

  21. Paula on April 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

    This is got to taste wonderful when mixed up, especially with the vanilla beans in the mix! Looking forward to seeing the scratch cake you make with it.

    Reply

  22. Michelle on April 17, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Thank you so much! I too am on a quest to try to make everything from scratch, but I still have a few doctored mix recipes that I have been unable to duplicate. This will definitely help out!

    Reply

  23. Jill on April 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I never even thought of making your own instant pudding mix. What a great idea!

    Reply

  24. Winnie on April 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Is there any way to make this vanilla pudding in the microwave? I love the idea of always having some instant pudding on hand, but only have a microwave to cook (college student).

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Winnie, I am not aware of a way to cook this in a microwave, unfortunately.

      Reply

      • Peggy on July 13th, 2012 at 4:40 pm

        Any pudding can easily be converted to microwave. Just stir and continue cooking until thickened about 1 min intervals. Usually between 4 to 6 min…depending on wattage of microwave and size of batch.

        Reply

    • Jo-Ellen on May 3rd, 2012 at 12:42 am

      Mix the milk and mix and microwave on high, stirring every two minutes, until the mixture comes to a full boil.

      Reply

    • Kris on May 3rd, 2012 at 6:05 pm

      When I make cooked puddings in the microwave (which I do at least twice a week, I do love my warm pudding!), all I do is whisk together the dry ingredients, add the milk, whisk well and microwave on high for 2-4 minutes checking every minute or 2 minutes to see the consistency. It’s super easy!! I make my own no sugar-low fat pudding this way to stave off cravings for more indulgent fare midweek. 1/3 cup Splenda, 1/4 cup cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 cups of milk. After it’s cooked you can add your flavourings (or add cocoa with the dry ingredients).

      Again, it’s super easy!

      Reply

      • Carol on June 8th, 2014 at 3:02 pm

        Thank you! As a diabetic, this is great!

        Reply

  25. Erin @ Brownie Bites on April 17, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’m also becoming slightly obsessed with using as many homemade, from scratch ingredients as I can. The more I read ingredients lists from processed foods, the moreI want to avoid them. Ick!

    Reply

  26. Georgia on April 17, 2012 at 9:58 am

    This is a great recipe you’ve made.

    Makes 5 batches – take the total volume/weight and divide by 5 and put 1/5 in each cake mix? I think rather than doing the vanilla bean, I might just put 1/2 teaspoon extra of vanilla extract into the cake mix.

    I guess to make other flavors (butterscotch, etc), you could add extract flavorings to create them.

    Reply

  27. Laura Dembowski on April 17, 2012 at 10:00 am

    This is so awesome! I too love making everything possible from scratch. In this day and age it is so rare to find other people who are as dedicated to homemade goods without preservatives. It’s a great way to make treats kind of healthy, so you can enjoy them without any guilt. Thanks so much for sharing : )

    Reply

  28. You are so absolutely right about pudding mixes making the difference in some of these cake recipes! I’m like you and try to make things from scratch so I at least know how to pronounce the names of the ingredients. Vanilla pudding is definitely a must-have recipe. Thank you so much for providing this.

    Reply

  29. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on April 17, 2012 at 11:10 am

    How cool! Never thought of making my own pudding mix. Great idea, and I can only imagine how much better it is than store bought!

    Reply

  30. Jeanine - the Baking Beauties on April 17, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Genius!! Thank you!

    Reply

  31. MomWhatsForDinner on April 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    This is really great! I don’t buy pre-packaged food so this is really helpful! Thank you!

    Reply

  32. justginster on April 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    awesome! i’ve been on a pudding kick recently, making pudding pops now that the weather’s warming up. any suggestions on quantities and ingredients to make other flavors?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      I am working on playing around with a few (chocolate first!) so stay tuned!

      Reply

  33. Cassie on April 17, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    This is perfect. I am a huge fan of making things like this from scratch. There are so many unnecessary ingredients in the store-bought varieties! Thank you for this.

    Reply

  34. The Mistress of Spices on April 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Brilliant! I love making the famous Bacardi rum cake recipe, which does call for a box of vanilla instant pudding. Good to know that I can make my own!

    Reply

    • kat on December 6th, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      have you tried this? I too make a Barcardi rum cake recipe… calls for yellow cake mix and vanilla instant pudding… have made it for years. as i get more and more into healthy ingredients, I’m trying to do this homemade… so I want to try it with homemade cake mix and homemade instant pudding… wondering if it turned out good

      Reply

  35. Steph@stephsbitebybite on April 17, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    This is such an awesome idea!! I’ve gotta make this!

    Reply

  36. Asiya on April 17, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I’ve never even knew you could make a homemade pudding mix! Love this idea!! Is there anyway to substitute vanilla bean paste for the vanilla bean in this recipe?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Asiya, You can use 2 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste as a substitute for the 2 vanilla beans.

      Reply

      • Asiya on April 17th, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        Thx for your response! When would I add the paste? It doesn’t seem right to add it to the dry mix.

        Reply

        • Michelle on April 18th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

          I would add it to the dry mix, just be sure to use the back of a spoon or a fork to make sure it’s broken up and evenly distributed. If you prefer not to, then just stir the appropriate substitution into the prepared pudding.

          Reply

          • Asiya on April 20th, 2012 at 10:44 am

            Thank you! Will be giving this a try soon!

            Reply

  37. CJ - Food Stories on April 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I too am concerned about processed food and what we consume. This is a great adaptation for regular, cooked pudding.

    Reply

  38. Courtney @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. on April 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    This is fantastic! I’ve been wondering how to wean myself off of my dependence on pudding mix. Looks like now I wont’ have to! And I don’t have to feel guilty about it. I’d love to try some different flavor variations of this…pistachio pudding anyone??

    Reply

  39. ELAINE on April 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    What is the ratio if I want to use the plain vanilla extract instead of the vanilla bean?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 17th, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Hi Elaine, You would have to add the vanilla extract to the actual pudding, not the mix. I would probably do a 1/2 teaspoon per batch.

      Reply

  40. Marishannon on April 17, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    This is awesome! I can’t wait for the chocolate version.

    Reply

  41. Meaghan @ Countertop Confections on April 17, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    My question is, is this really an instant where you can add it to recipes that call for instant pudding. I am wondering because you said you have to cook it. Doesn’t that mean it is a cook and serve, not an instant?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 18th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      Hi Meaghan, I have used it in place of instant pudding mix for cake recipes, and have not had any issues at all; they turn out fantastic.

      Reply

      • Meaghan @ Countertop Confections on April 18th, 2012 at 5:43 pm

        Thanks, I made the mix last night, may I say it takes not even 5 minutes?! And then I added the mix to M & M cookies. They turned out just fine! Thanks for the great recipe

        Reply

        • Michelle on April 18th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

          Awesome to hear you already used it! Mmm cookies… !

          Reply

  42. Marina on April 17, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    I love this! I also prefer using homemade ingredients so it’s always great to find recipes like this one! Thanks!

    Reply

  43. Anita at Hungry Couple on April 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Now you’re speaking my language. I’m always disappointed when I click on a recipe for a cake that sounds amazing only to find the directions telling me to take a box cake mix and add a box pudding mix. I’d so much rather get some flour, sugar, vanilla, etc., etc. Looking forward to the cake recipe!

    Reply

  44. Living The Sweet Life on April 17, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    How cool!! You do realize, you’ve just changed the foodie world for the better ;) wooo-hoooo

    Reply

  45. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on April 17, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I would never think that making your own pudding mix could be so simple! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try.

    Reply

  46. Tracy on April 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    I so love this!! Can’t wait to make some!

    Reply

  47. Heidi on April 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I love the idea of this. I would love a butterscotch version. My favorite.

    Reply

  48. ellie on April 17, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Love this – now how can we make it CHOCOLATE? ;)

    Reply

  49. Kathleen Dungan on April 17, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    I cant thank you enough for this recipe. This will come in handy when I make the Amish Friendship bread.

    Reply

  50. Alida's Kitchen on April 17, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Great idea! Vanilla pudding is my favorite.

    Reply

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