Vegan vanilla pudding is creamy, sweet, and easy to make from scratch. All you need are 4 ingredients and 15 minutes of hands-on time. With grain-free and refined sugar-free options, vegan pudding is an easy, allergy-friendly dessert!
Why You'll Love It
Cool, sweet, creamy, vegan vanilla pudding - what's not to love? I've always loved pudding, especially vanilla. There's just something so nostalgic and pure about the flavor.
You might think making pudding without dairy and eggs would be difficult. But au contraire, my friend! Pudding is just as easy to make vegan as other desserts, like cake, ice cream, brownies, and jell-o!
Even if you don't consider yourself much of a cook or baker, I promise you can make this dairy-free pudding. It really is easy.
And if you're a fan of healthier desserts or need allergy-friendly options, this recipe has you covered! You can:
- choose between cornstarch (easy to find) OR arrowroot starch (grain-free)
- sweeten it with regular sugar OR maple syrup - heck, you could even use date sugar or coconut sugar, if you want to!
- and make it with a variety of different non-dairy milks
Plus, you don't need any fancy equipment and only about 15 minutes of hands-on time!
- milk - more on this below. I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk most often because we usually have a carton in the fridge, and it has a nice clean vanilla flavor. Oat milk is also great, as is a combination of almond and soy milk.
- sweetener - choose regular granulated sugar for the most classic, neutral flavor. I use this organic cane sugar. Or if you're a fan of maple syrup, it creates a delicious vanilla-maple pudding. Keep in mind it will darken the color of the pudding.
- starch - corn starch is the standard choice for homemade pudding. If you need an alternative, arrowroot starch is a great substitute.
- vanilla - either pure vanilla extract OR a clear imitation vanilla. Beside the difference in color, the two do taste different. Clear imitation vanilla tastes more like the pudding cups you remember from childhood.
Tip: if you're using a store-bought milk, it probably already has salt added for flavor. But if you use a homemade nut milk, I recommend adding a pinch of salt to the mixture.
See the recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
How to Make Vegan Vanilla Pudding
- First, whisk everything together in a sauce pan to dissolve the starch.
- Whisking frequently, slowly bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Now whisk constantly, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into individual serving bowls or one large dish, and refrigerate uncovered until chilled, at least 1 hour.
A skin will form on the surface of the pudding, but I don't mind it. You can whisk the pudding to break it up just before serving if you like.
Most pudding recipes suggest placing a piece of plastic wrap against the surface before refrigerating. I tend not to do that because it's messy and feels unnecessary.
Technically, you can make pudding with any type of milk, but our favorites for vegan vanilla pudding are almond milk and oat milk because they are the most neutral tasting. Soy milk and coconut milk are also great if you don't mind their unique flavors coming through. Cashew and macadamia milk are also good options.
Absolutely. Feel free to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of vegan butter or a big spoonful of cashew butter for a richer flavor. Or use a scoop of peanut butter plus some PB2 to make vegan peanut butter pudding!
Store homemade vegan pudding in the refrigerator and enjoy within 6 days. Freezing is not recommended.
- Use a vanilla non-dairy milk for more of a classic, box pudding mix flavor. My go-to is Trader Joe's unsweetened vanilla almond milk.
- Simmer, don’t boil. Avoid using high heat, and don't allow the mixture to boil, which can scald the milk and cause the pudding to taste burnt. Use lower heat, slowly bringing the milk to a simmer and reducing the heat as needed.
- Whisk frequently at first... and then constantly! As the mixture is coming to a simmer, keep an eye on it and whisk frequently. Once it's hot and starting to thicken, whisk constantly to keep it creamy and smooth.
- Allow enough time for the pudding to chill before serving. Pudding has to chill in order to firm up and set. Allow at least one hour, preferably two.
I hope you enjoy this super easy vegan vanilla pudding recipe. If you give it a try let us know in the comments below!
More Easy Vegan Desserts
Vegan Vanilla Pudding
- 2 ½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk - almond and oat taste the most neutral
- ½ cup organic cane sugar - or ⅓ cup maple syrup
- scant ¼ cup corn starch or arrowroot (tap Metric above for weight in grams) - measure by lightly spooning into the measuring cup
- ½ to 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract, real or clear imitation - use lesser amount if using a vanilla flavored milk
- Combine the milk, sweetener, and starch in a medium, heavy bottom sauce pan. Whisk to dissolve the starch. Whisking frequently, slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- When steamy hot and close to a simmer, whisk constantly and, if necessary, reduce heat so it doesn't boil. Continue whisking and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla. Pour into individual serving bowls or one large dish. Refrigerate uncovered until chilled, at least 1 hour. A thin skin will form on the surface of the pudding, but we don't mind it. If desired, whisk the pudding just before serving to break up the skin and make it creamier.
- Store-bought non-dairy milks usually have added salt, which rounds out the flavor. If using a homemade milk, add a pinch of salt to the pot.
- Use vanilla non-dairy milk (unsweetened) for more of a classic, box pudding mix flavor. My go-to is Trader Joe's unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Or if you have sweetened milk, simply reduce the sugar to taste.
- Simmer, don’t boil. Avoid using high heat. Boiling will scald the milk and make the pudding taste burnt. Reduce the heat as needed.
- Allow time for the pudding to chill before serving. Pudding needs to chill in order to firm up and set.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.