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Individual Vanilla Puddings

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 2 cups pudding.

Servings: four (recipe can be doubled).


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 13/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split, or 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, at room temperature

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size per 1/2 cup serving
  • Calories (kcal) : 250
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 120
  • Fat (g): 14
  • Saturated Fat (g): 7
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4
  • Cholesterol (mg): 230
  • Sodium (mg): 200
  • Carbohydrates (g): 25
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 6


  • In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt until well blended. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the vanilla bean, if using. Set the pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, whisking frequently, 3 to 10 minutes, depending on your stove and saucepan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until well blended.
  • When the milk mixture is thickened and simmering, slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes back to a boil, about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. With a fork, fish out the vanilla bean, if using, and use your fingers to scrape any remaining seeds into the pudding. Add the butter and, if using, the vanilla extract. Whisk until well blended. Divide the hot pudding evenly among four custard cups (or pour into a clean medium bowl). Gently press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pudding’s surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours or for up to three days.


It’s important not to forget the salt in vanilla recipes. Without it, the vanilla flavor will be flat and boring.


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Reviews (3 reviews)

  • User avater
    chinamoon | 06/27/2021

    I made this and the flavor was great but for some reason it didn't set. It was more of a soup than a pudding. I've never had a recipe from Abigail Johnson Dodge that didn't work so I can only think that I did something wrong. Anyone have any ideas? I believe that everything was measured correctly. Is it possible that I didn't let it thicken enough when it was on the heat?

  • TheEarlofGrey | 06/18/2017

    Delicious! We topped with in season strawberries, so so good. Also used in a parfait with cherries and crumbled almond cookies - yum. Easy to make. Already have lots of plans for this if I can keep it from the kids long enough!

  • chefdana | 04/20/2008

    Wow, this was great pudding. No one ever suggests vanilla pudding as a standout dessert, but this was a real winner. SO much better than anything you'd make from a box, and fairly easy too. I used vanilla extract, but I can't wait to try it with a real vanilla bean.

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