Enjoy this 2-step vegan vanilla pudding recipe using just 5 main ingredients and prepared in under 10 minutes! It’s creamy, smooth, and flavorful but completely dairy-free and egg-free. Plus, this pudding can be made nut-free and/or sugar-free too!
Smooth And Creamy, Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding
I have a confession to make – I love all creamy, pudding/custard-like desserts. I’ve already shared recipes for Vegan Chocolate Pudding and my favorite Vegan Banana Pudding; a combination of Vanilla Wafer Biscuits, bananas, vanilla pudding, and whipped cream. Suddenly it dawned on me that I’d yet to share the vegan vanilla pudding recipe on its own, though.
This pudding recipe is super simple, containing just 5 ingredients (8 with my optional extras) and a quick and easy 2-step process (prepare the pudding and chill it! Easy-peasy). The resulting pudding is smooth, light, creamy, and fantastic for enjoying alone, as part of another dessert, or with fresh fruits or fruit compote.
Best of all, this recipe is also super versatile; I’ve included options for nut-free and sugar-free pudding. Plus, it’s the perfect base for tons of different flavors. Check out the recipe notes for fun ways to take this recipe further!
There’s absolutely no reason you can’t enjoy all the flavor and texture of a traditional homemade vanilla pudding, minus the dairy and eggs. Plus, this recipe is perfect for making ahead as a treat you can enjoy throughout the week!
- Plant-Based Milk: I used canned coconut milk (the lite version) which will make the dairy-free pudding creamy and rich. You could also use 2 cups of your favorite plant-based milk (e.g., almond milk or cashew milk, etc.); however, the pudding will turn out less rich and creamy.
- Cornstarch: It will thicken and provide texture to the vegan vanilla pudding (check the FAQ section below for a sub).
- Sweetener: You can use organic sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc., or use monk fruit, Erythritol (Swerve), or another keto sweetener for a sugar-free pudding. Maple syrup should also be fine, though if you find the pudding a little thin, you may want to add a dash more cornstarch.
- Cashew butter: This will add richness to your vegan pudding. Feel free to use any other nut butter, e.g., almond butter, peanut butter, etc. For a nut-free version, use tahini or sunflower seed butter.
- Vanilla extract: You can’t have homemade vanilla pudding without vanilla. If you’re able, you could also use vanilla paste or fresh vanilla from a pod, as it tastes even better!
- Salt: Wonderful for slightly offsetting the sweetness and adding depth of flavor.
- Turmeric: OPTIONAL, for adding color to the vegan custard, similar to ones that contain egg yolk.
For the full ingredients list, measurements, complete recipe method, and nutritional information, read the recipe card below.
How To Make Vanilla Pudding?
Step 1: Prepare The Pudding
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine all vanilla pudding ingredients. Whisk until the cornstarch dissolves, then transfer the mixture to a saucepan.
- Bring it to a boil over medium heat, whisking very frequently.
- Once the pudding starts boiling, turn the heat to low and whisk continuously for about 1-2 minutes. It will thicken and get very creamy.
Step 2: Allow It To Set & Chill
- Remove the pudding from the heat, pour it into glasses/ramekins, cover with cling film to avoid a film, and refrigerate until set (at least 1 hour, overnight is fine too).
- Top with fruit compote (I used cherries) if desired and enjoy.
Don’t skip the cling film tip if you want to avoid a skin forming over the top of the pudding. Lay the cling film directly over the surface of your vegan pudding.
There are tons of ways to garnish and serve this vegan vanilla pudding. This depends on whether you want a light treat or a more decadent dessert.
I love to serve mine with either a fruit compote/coulis or some fresh berries. Then sprinkle with vegan white shaved chocolate, crushed nuts, or shredded coconut. Raspberries and pistachios topped will a little vegan whipped cream is a great combo too. You could also garnish this with granola, syrups, crushed cookies, etc.
Alternatively, you can use this vanilla pudding recipe to create other desserts- like tarts. Simply pour the pudding over the crust – like for these Vegan Cheesecake Tarts – before chilling or using within trifles and Vegan Tiramisu recipes.
Let me know in the comments what your favorite way to enjoy this homemade vanilla pudding is.
Is Vanilla Pudding Gluten-Free?
This vanilla pudding is not only gluten-free, but it is also soy-free, and even paleo.
Can You Make Vanilla Pudding Without Cornstarch?
You can try using arrowroot flour instead of cornstarch, the result should be similar. Avoid tapioca starch, which ends up more ‘gloopy’ than creamy.
Can You Freeze Pudding?
The pudding will store, covered, in the fridge for between 3-4 days. Avoid freezing the pudding as cornstarch doesn’t hold up when frozen and thawed.
Recipe Notes & Variations
- For a nut-free pudding: Use seed butter and nut-free milk.
- For a paleo vanilla pudding: Use paleo-friendly milk (coconut milk works well) and sweetener (coconut sugar, date sugar, etc.). Some paleo eaters prefer to use real vanilla too and avoid the alcohol in vanilla extract.
- To customize the flavor: Add in a little citrus zest or blended berries/fruits for more flavor. Alternatively, add a cheeky splash of liqueur for a more ‘adult’ taste – just make sure to add a touch more starch too.
- You could also easily adapt the flavor with spices; cinnamon, pumpkin spice, etc., or natural flavorings (almond, orange, etc.)
- If you decide to add a liquid sweetener or any additional ingredients that make your pudding too liquidy, NEVER add more cornstarch directly to the hot vanilla pudding in the pan. Instead, create a slurry with the cornstarch and little water first. Then add that to the pudding, whisking well to incorporate it thoroughly.
- Experiment with adding a little vegan butter flavor extract to this vanilla pudding recipe. I know it may sound weird, but it adds a delicious flavor. It’s hard to explain but is addictive.
Other Vegan Dessert Recipes
- Chocolate Keto Chia Pudding
- Strawberry Mousse
- Peanut Butter Mousse
- Vegan Gingerbread Tiramisu Recipe
- Vegan Flan (Easy Crème Caramel Recipe)
- Strawberry Sheet Cake With Pudding (Custard)
If you give this sweet vegan vanilla pudding recipe a try, I’d love a comment and ★★★★★ recipe rating below. Also, please don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.
Vegan Vanilla Pudding
Step 1: Prepare the pudding
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.In a medium-sized bowl, combine all pudding ingredients. Whisk until the cornstarch dissolves.
- Transfer to a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking very frequently.
- Once the pudding starts boiling, turn the heat to low and whisk continuously for about 1-2 minutes. It will thicken and get creamy.
Step 2: Allow it to set and chill
- Remove from heat, pour the pudding into glasses/ramekins, cover with cling film to avoid a film, and refrigerate until set (at least 1 hour, overnight is fine too).
- Top with fruit compote (I used cherries) if desired and enjoy.
Video Of The Recipe
- Milk: I used lite coconut milk (canned). It will make the pudding creamy and rich. You could also use your favorite plant-based milk (e.g. almond milk or cashew milk, etc.), however, the pudding will turn out less rich and creamy.
- Cornstarch: You could experiment with arrowroot flour instead.
- Sweetener: You can use organic sugar, coconut sugar, date sugar, etc., or use Erythritol for a sugar-free pudding. Maple syrup should be also fine.
- Cashew butter: Feel free to use any other nut butter, e.g. almond butter. Use tahini or sunflower seed butter for a nut-free version. You can also leave it out, but the pudding will be less rich.
- Vanilla extract: If you're able, you could also use vanilla paste or fresh vanilla from a pod, as it tastes even better!
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically