Homemade Vanilla Pudding Cups

5 from 1 vote

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Homemade Vanilla Pudding Cups that are easy to make and tastier than pre-packaged pudding cups. They are such a cute and fun dessert to make and filled with wonderful vanilla flavor!

I started making homemade pudding cups a year or so ago and we love them. I’ll whip up a batch of pudding, stick them in the half-pint wide mouth jars with the lids and then pop them in the fridge. They make a perfect snack and save on plastic. Win-win!

Make homemade vanilla pudding with milk or half-and-half, egg yolks, corn starch, and sugar! It’s easy, and so cute as pudding cups, just serve the pudding in individual cups! Sprinkles don’t hurt anything.

jars of homemade vanilla pudding
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Homemade Vanilla Pudding

You know those little puddings in a cup? My kids think that they love them. They always ask for them at grandma’s house and when they have them, they never eat them. They are so yucky and packed with a million different ingredients. And why aren’t they refrigerated?! That is just odd isn’t it?

Between the fake flavors and the gloppy texture half of the contents in that magical little cup end up in the trash (sad, but true). But the appeal of eating those little individual puddings is always there.

Cue homemade vanilla pudding cups! Making your own vanilla pudding at home is really simple and tastes delicious. The texture is smooth, creamy, and it’s just plain good. Once you taste the difference of homemade, you won’t go back to the store bought version. 

left side is a picture of ingredients for vanilla pudding, top right picture is a pot of ingredients for vanilla pudding, and bottom right picture is of a pot of vanilla pudding

How long does it take for pudding to set?

It typically takes about 3 hours to become firm in the fridge.

What can I use if I don’t have half and half?

You can replace 1 cup of half and half with a mixture of butter and whole milk. Add 1 Tablespoon melted butter to about a cup of milk to make this substitute.

jars of vanilla pudding

Why is my homemade pudding grainy?

The pudding can turn out grainy if you weren’t constantly whisking  it. You can try adding a tiny bit of cornstarch to create a smooth, silkier texture. Remember to whisk continuously but gently. 

How do I serve homemade vanilla pudding?

There are so many ways to enjoy homemade vanilla pudding. You  can package the pudding in individual servings dishes topped with sprinkles. Or you can serve the pudding with crushed up Nilla wafers. You can also serve it with berries or whipped cream. 

jar of vanilla pudding with rainbow sprinkles on them

More pudding recipes:

If you’ve tried this Homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation.

jars of homemade vanilla pudding
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Vanilla Pudding Cups

These Homemade Vanilla Pudding Cups are such a cute and fun dessert. Better yet, they’re easy to make and filled with wonderful vanilla flavor!
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Chilling Time: 3 hours
Total: 3 hours 12 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
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  • In a medium sauce pan add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  • While whisking, slowly add the half-and-half until till combined.
  • Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine.
  • Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly but gently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the butter and vanilla, stir to combine. Pour the hot pudding into six 1-cup wide-mouth mason jars, filling the jars an inch from the top. Add a flat lid and then screw on the ring to close the jars.
  • Refrigerate until the pudding is set, about 3 hours.
  • Eat the pudding right out of the mason jars. Add sprinkles before eating for extra smiles.


  • You can swap the half and half for 3 cups of whole milk.
  • You don’t have to add this to individual jars, it’s just fun. You can place the pudding in a large bowl to serve instead of 6 individual containers. 
  • You can use salted butter, just omit the salt in the recipe. 


Serving: 1 of 6 servings, Calories: 348kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 152mg, Sodium: 140mg, Potassium: 201mg, Fiber: 0.04g, Sugar: 31g, Vitamin A: 688IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 164mg, Iron: 0.4mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Check out these sweet treats too:

I know you’ll love these Homemade Vanilla Pudding Cups for a dessert, after school treat, or just for fun!

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Recipe Rating


  1. Ericka says:

    Does the pudding not get a film on it in the little mason jars?

    1. Melissa says:

      The steam from the pudding seemed to keep it a bay when the lid was put on while it was still hot. It does get a little bit of a film but it wasn’t worth putting a layer of plastic in the jar in my opinion. You could totally press some plastic wrap on the top before sealing though. It’s up to you.

  2. Jwalisha Amin says:

    Do we have to use liquid cornstarch or powdered cornstarch?

  3. Shelley Anderson says:

    This pudding is De-lish! And my favorite part was putting them in the tiny mason jars. They are the perfect size for lunchboxes and we are trying to get away from using so much plastic. Thanks for posting!

  4. Samantha says:

    I’m from Australia and I’ve never heard of half and half, I’m presuming this is an American product. Is it like cream? What could I substitute? I really enjoy your blog and would like to try the recipe but not sure what to use instead of half and half, please help.

    1. Melissa says:

      Half-n-half is half milk and half cream, so use half cream and half whole milk! Done! You’ll love it! We love this pudding!

  5. Alicia says:

    HOw long will it last in the fridge?

    1. Melissa says:

      It will last 3 or 4 days. It starts to get watery after that for some reason.

  6. Johanny says:

    The pudding tasted great, but was very runny. What did I do wrong?

    1. Melissa says:

      Did you use the half and half or try milk? Also, if you don’t cook it long enough it’ll be runny! What do you think?

    2. Johanny says:

      I used half and half, and I thought I cooked it for the allotted time. Will try again! Thanks Melissa. By the way, have really been enjoying the blog!

    3. Johanny says:

      Melissa, I should have asked before. Do you have a link or location that I can find all of the previous 12’s? Some really great recipes that I would love to try, but haven’t been able to get back to them.

      thanks again!

    4. shinehima says:

      Hello I want to know your jar size and where do you buy it? It’s so cute,

    5. Melissa says:

      It’s a half-pint (1 cup) wide mouth Ball jar. They are my FAVORITE and I use them allll the time. Great for packed lunches and little leftovers too.

  7. makeupgeekviolist says:

    I tried this today and it turned out great! I crumbled some chewy chocolate chip cookies over the top and it was heaven in a bowl!

    1. Melissa says:

      Woohooo! And that DOES sound like heaven in a bowl. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Teresa says:

    This looks so fabulous. Vanilla pudding is my favorite. I would love to make this for my family, but do not want to use something as rich as half and half (although I am sure it is wonderfully creamy). Have you tried to substitute 2% or 1% milk? Do you think I would have to up the cornstarch or maybe it would be just more of a looser pudding. Any thoughts? Thanks so much. I am new to your blog and just love exploring it! Thanks.

    1. Melissa says:

      I make this with 2% a lot! I just do 50% more corn starch. The texture isn’t quiet as velvety but it is still delicious! Enjoy friend!

  9. Wendy | Around My Family Table says:

    What a clever idea! My kids are always asking for those pudding cups, and I bet these are so much better!

  10. Jenn Q says:

    I have never made my own pudding before. This looks like such an easy recipe!

    1. Melissa says:

      I’ve only been making homemade pudding for a few years, but once you start you just can’t go back to anything else 🙂 It’s soooo good!