Basic Vanilla Pudding

by Laura Silber

All these pudding recipes were adapted from a base recipe in the Fanny Farmer Baking Book. The simple cooking method, heating everything in a saucepan over a medium flame, is the same for all the puddings. Dairy and non-dairy options are offered within the recipe where appropriate. For extra-smooth pudding, you may choose to pour the hot pudding through a sieve before chilling. Each recipe fills either six ramekins, one serving bowl, or one eight-inch pie crust.


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups dairy milk, soy milk, or hemp milk
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or non-dairy margarine, cut into bits.
Basic Vanilla Pudding

Elizabeth Cecil

Combine all ingredients except the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to thicken substantially. Reduce heat to low, and continue to cook and whisk until bubbles begin to pop on the surface. Give the pudding one more minute on the heat, whisking vigorously, then remove from heat and pour immediately into a big bowl, either directly or through a sieve. Toss the butter or margarine bits into the pudding, and whisk until thoroughly melted and incorporated (this will instantly reduce the temperature of the pudding and arrest the cooking process).
Pour into a serving bowl or ramekins and chill thoroughly before serving.

Recipe yields 6 servings.