Skip to Content

25 Vanilla Pudding Recipes (All Types)

Homemade healthy vanilla pudding with bourbon macerated strawberries.

Vanilla pudding recipes are all over the internet, and we’re here for them all. Whether you make your vanilla pudding from scratch or use a pudding mix, there is a lot to love about the humble vanilla pudding. You can count on that pudding mixes make it super easy to pull together yummy dessert recipes.

From cakes to pies, banana pudding to cheesecake, it seems like there’s nothing you can’t do with pudding. Are you ready for the yums? Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents Show

1. Let’s start with this masterpiece that involves decadent bourbon-infused strawberries.

Close-up shot of vanilla pudding with bourbon macerated strawberries.

=> Click here for recipe

We are head over heels in love with this vanilla pudding that’s made with cornbread crumbles and bourbon macerated strawberries. Although you could call this recipe a crumble, we’re loosely using the word “pudding” to describe it. This dessert could also be considered a custard or creme.

However, call it what you want. It’s just yummy regardless of the semantics. This is a from-scratch recipe, and you need whole milk, heavy cream vanilla extract, egg yolks, white sugar, and a vanilla bean.

The strawberries can be frozen or fresh, and you need bourbon whiskey and brown sugar to prepare them.

2. You know you want some cheesecake.

Vanilla cheesecake pudding on a bowl.

=> Click here for recipe

Cheesecake is so incredibly creamy and smooth, and when you make it with pudding, it helps the cheesecake to set properly. Do you need another reason to love this cheesecake? It’s also a no-bake recipe.

For the crust, you can get super creative and use crushed wafer cookies, a shortbread crust made with flour, butter, and pecans, or even chocolate graham cracker crumbs. Want a unique twist? Try gingersnap cookie crumbs. I’m swooning here.

Be sure you get your cream cheese to room temperature so that it whips up beautifully and turns out smooth. Top with any type of chopped nuts.

3. If it’s good enough for Robert Redford, you know we all want to try it.

Vanilla chocolate cake spread on a steel grid.

=> Click here for recipe

It’s unclear whether or not Robert Redford has ever made this vanilla pudding dessert or even eaten it. In fact, some folks say that this dessert got its name because it’s just as sexy as Robert Redford. We don’t know where the name came from, but we are 100% here for the dessert.

It’s made with not just vanilla pudding but also chocolate pudding. You need just two cups of milk to make this dessert because you want the pudding to be nice and thick. The cream cheese filling is made with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and cream cheese.

4. When you can add sweetened condensed milk to a recipe, you know it’s going to be decadent.

A glasses of banana pudding on wooden table with fresh picked bananas.

=> Click here for recipe

Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (or a generic version) is so scrumptious that you can eat it right out of the can by itself. You can also cook it in a slow cooker (in the can!) o make a decadent caramel sauce. How can you go wrong with something this perfect?

And when you use sweetened condensed milk with vanilla pudding to make the world’s best banana pudding, well, you’re just showing off (in a totally amazing way). We have also seen this recipe made with some cream cheese thrown in. You also need bananas, vanilla wafers, whipped cream, and fresh lemon juice.

5. How about a strawberry cream pie?

A portrait shot of piece strawberry cream pie.

=> Click here for recipe

We love finding a recipe for using fresh berries (frozen berries work, too), and this pie makes good use of fresh strawberries. Here’s another reason to love this pie: it’s a no-bake wonder. This strawberry cream pie has the consistency of a no-bake cheesecake, but it’s not made with cream cheese.

Vanilla instant pudding provides all of the creamy goodness. Whipped topping is used to make this strawberry pie, and sour cream and milk add even more creaminess. You can make this pie with any type of berries, including blueberries or raspberries.

You’ll need to freeze it for a couple of hours to let it set.

6. This strawberry dessert is just a trifle delicous.

Easy Strawberry Trifle with Pound Cake served on a clear glass.

=> Click here for recipe

If you have a trifle dish, you know you love a good excuse to pull it out and use it. Trifle desserts are just gorgeous, in addition to being delicious. This strawberry trifle may be the easiest dessert you ever make because you can start with a store-bought pound cake or firm cake you make from a mix.

The most time-consuming part of this trifle recipe is macerating the strawberries with sugar, but even that doesn’t take very long. While your strawberries are waiting for you, slice a poundcake into similarly-sized cubes. Mix up your pudding, and you’re ready to start making layers.

7. When you want a fancy dessert, try this easy tiramisu.

A close-up shot of tiramisu with fork.

=> Click here for recipe

Tiramisu is famously challenging to make, not to mention time-consuming. However, you can easily pull together a dessert that will wow your guests when you make tiramisu with vanilla pudding. Like many of the recipes on our list, this is a no-bake dessert.

What makes this dessert extra special are the ladyfingers that are soaked in coffee. They’re absolutely decadent. Traditional tiramisu is made using eggs, and this is an egg-free version, so that’s an added bonus if you’re avoiding eggs.

The cream cheese gives this tiramisu an almost-cheesecake flavor, and the dark cocoa powder adds some chocolatey goodness.

8. Who wants some peanut butter pudding pie? We do!

Peanut butter pie with whipped cream on a plate.

=> Click here for recipe

There are people who love peanut butter, and people who just like peanut butter. However, almost everyone eats peanut butter (except folks who are allergic, of course). This peanut butter cream pie checks off a lot of dessert boxes.

First of all, it’s easy because you’re using instant pudding and a pre-made pie crust. Second, well, peanut butter. You can make variations of this pie, too.

Use sugar-free pudding for a lower-calorie version. You can also use chocolate pudding instead of vanilla pudding for a chocolatey peanut butter sensation. Here’s our favorite idea: Use cheesecake pudding for a cheesecake peanut butter pie.

9. We are a little bit in love with these funfetti vanilla pudding pops.

Sweet chocolate and vanilla pudding pops on a white plate.

=> Click here for recipe

How did funfetti cake become so popular? We’ve not researched the history, but we are all about funfetti anything. These pudding pops are so easy to make, and they’re an excellent project to do with the kids.

Your biggest problem will be keeping the kiddos patient while they wait for these yummy pops to freeze and set. If you have ever made pudding pops, you know how easy it is. All you have to do is mix up your pudding and freeze it.

But if you add some sprinkles to vanilla pudding, you have these yummy little funfetti pudding pops.

10. You can also try these pudding pops that have the best of both worlds: vanilla AND chocolate.

A top view shot of easy vanilla chocolate pudding pops.

=> Click here for recipe

We love chocolate pudding pops, and we love vanilla pudding pops. But the good news is that you don’t have to choose. With these fabulous pudding pops, you use both vanilla and chocolate pudding.

And they’re super easy to make. No fancy ingredients are needed at all. Just pudding mix and milk.

You can make these fancy by layering them in various ways or even swirling the puddings together. Feel free to add some add-ins if that’s your thing. Here’s how to remove them easily from popsicle molds.

Simply run just a little bit of warm water over the outside of the mold.

11. Salted caramel creamy pudding dessert? Sign us up!

Vanilla pudding dessert with berries and caramel.

=> Click here for recipe

One thing we love about vanilla pudding is that it’s basically a blank slate (albeit, one with tons of flavor). You can add so many things to vanilla pudding to send it over the top. This vanilla pudding dessert is layered with fresh strawberries, vanilla pudding, vanilla cake, and salted caramel sauce.

Sprinkle crushed strawberries on top. Nom. You can use just about any type of fruit to make this dessert.

Also, you can make a pound cake or other vanilla cake from scratch or buy a pre-made store-bought version to make this even easier.

12. Here is an amazing take on a classic Oreo cake.

A piece of oreo pudding dessert on a white plate.

=> Click here for recipe

Did you know that there’s a cookies ‘n cream flavored pudding? That sounds amazing. However, why not go with a classic Oreo cake instead?

We love an Oreo ice cream cake, and that’s how the famous cookies ‘n cream ice cream got its start. This recipe combines Oreos with chocolate pudding, vanilla pudding, cream cheese, and cookies for a decadent and dreamy wonder. For this layered Oreo cake, you make a homemade crust out of crushed Oreos and butter.

You need to bake the crust for about 20 minutes and allow it to cook before assembling the rest of your cake.

13. Fresh blueberries, cream cheese, and vanilla pudding make for a dreamy concoction.

A delicious blueberry pudding dessert on a glass.

=> Click here for recipe

This blueberry pudding dessert is a bit more complicated than some others on our list just because it requires some stovetop cooking (not much, though). You need to mix water, cornstarch, and sugar in a saucepan, along with some of the blueberries to give it some color. This delicious mixture is poured over the cream cheese mixture.

What’s the cream cheese mixture, you ask? It’s a decadent blend of cream cheese, pudding mix, lemon juice, and milk. The crust is made from crushed vanilla wafers, and you don’t have to bake it as you sometimes do with crusts.

14. With a tray of fresh fruit and this vanilla pudding fruit dip, you’ve got a healthy treat.

Creamy vanilla pudding with raspberries on top.

=> Click here for recipe

For years, we’ve been making the popular cream cheese fruit dip. It’s made with cream cheese, whipped cream (or marshmallow cream), powdered sugar, and a little bit of cherry juice for color. Well, now you can make fruit dip using vanilla pudding mix.

When you make your fruit dip with pudding mix, you can skip the powdered sugar and the whipped cream. That’s a win, particularly if you don’t have those ingredients in your pantry. All you need to make this fruit dip is vanilla pudding mix, cream cheese, and milk.

Oh, and don’t forget the cherry juice if you want some color.

15. Fancy a bit of toffee? Here you go!

Sweet vanilla pudding dessert close-up.

=> Click here for recipe

Who doesn’t love toffee? It doesn’t make an appearance in American kitchens very often, but when it does, it’s a surefire hit. If you’ve got toffee bits, you can use them for this vanilla pudding dessert.

However, most people just use crushed Heath bars, which are made with chocolate and toffee. The ingredients list for this dessert is crazy short. All you need are vanilla pudding mixes, a can of whipped cream, milk to make the pudding, and crushed Heath candy bars.

All you do is pour your prepared pudding into a dish, top with the whipped cream, and sprinkle the Heath bits on top.

16. Bring the tropics home with an easy no-bake coconut pie.

Coconut cream pie on an outdoor patio table.

=> Click here for recipe

Anytime we can use coconut in recipes, we feel like we’re sitting on a patio in Hawaii, soaking up the breeze. This coconut pie will take you away, guaranteed. For this recipe, you need frozen whipped cream, instant vanilla pudding mix (2 boxes), milk, coconut extract, and unsweetened coconut.

The mixture will be poured into a graham cracker crust. Then, you’ll sprinkle toasted coconut on top when you’re done. While we were reading this recipe, we had a brainstorm.

How about using coconut milk for part (or all) of the 2% milk? It would be yummy! You can also use sugar-free coconut syrup.

17. Feed your inner child with some pudding cookies studded with M&Ms.

Top view shot of homemade vanilla pudding cookies.

=> Click here for recipe

When you add pudding to cake or cookies, it makes these baked goods super moist. That’s why you see some cake mixes advertising that they have “pudding in the mix.” These homemade from-scratch cookies are perfect for making a batch of super moist cookies for your kids (or the kid in you).

They’re loaded with both chocolate chips and white chocolate chips, then studded with M&Ms. That’s a lot of yummy chocolate! If you want, you can also sprinkle these cookies with some colorful sprinkles.

Wouldn’t these be pretty made with holiday M&Ms, too? Imagine them in cute little gift bags.

18. Who’s down for some French silk pie, but made with vanilla pudding?

A portrait shot of whole vanila silk pie.

=> Click here for recipe

Few things are more decadent and sinfully delicious than French silk pie. This recipe may just make the cut. It’s like French silk pie, but you use vanilla pudding instead of chocolate pudding.

The crust is made from melted butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs. You can make it homemade or use a store-bought crust. Both are delicious.

This pie gets tons of creaminess from not just the vanilla pudding but also from cream cheese, whipped cream, and sweetened condensed milk. I told you, it’s sinful. Of course, you can also use this perfect recipe to make chocolate French silk pie.

19. You’ve probably had lemon lush or chocolate lush, but allow us to introduce you to strawberry lush.

A piece of strawberry shortcake on a white plate.

=> Click here for recipe

It started with lemon lush. Old-time cooks used lemon-flavored pudding to make a delicious layered dessert that included a shortbread crust (made with butter, flour, and pecans. This crust was topped with layers of sugar-sweetened cream cheese, pudding, and whipped topping.

After lemon lush, someone thought it would be a good idea to make chocolate lush (they were right, it was a good idea). Well, now we’ve found this recipe for strawberry lush and we’re beside ourselves. To make strawberry lush, you need vanilla pudding mix, strawberry cream cheese spread, strawberry jam, powdered sugar, and sugar cookies (or a mix).

20. How does a two-ingredient vanilla mousse sound?

Fresh vanilla mousse with cocoa powder.

=> Click here for recipe

Let’s say you have company coming (or you want to please your family), and you don’t have a dessert. We’ve got a great surprise for you. You can whip up homemade mousse with a box of instant pudding and heavy cream.

You can also use this recipe to make any flavor of mousse. Can you make it with half-and-half? Probably, but the consistency won’t be as rich and creamy as it is when made with heavy whipping cream.

Feel free to serve your mousse with a dollop of whipped cream on top and any toppings you like.

21. It’s like chocolate chip cookies, but even better.

Homemade triple chocolate cookie pudding served on a white bowl with spoon.

=> Click here for recipe

Are there people somewhere in the world who have tried chocolate chip cookies and don’t like them? It’s impossible to imagine. These chocolate chip cookies are perfectly chewy but also light and fluffy.

They are super moist because they’re made with pudding. If you want cookies that will stay soft for several days, the secret is to make them with pudding. Who knew, right?

Besides the vanilla pudding mix, these cookies look a lot like regular chocolate chip cookies in terms of ingredients. You need brown sugar, unsalted butter, baking soda, salt, flour, vanilla extract, and any flavor of chocolate chips.

22. Pudding in the mix cupcakes for the win!

A close-up shot of vanilla pudding party cupcakes.

=> Click here for recipe

Here’s all you need to know about these cupcakes: Funfetti for days! There are so many gorgeous sprinkles in these cupcakes, and we are in love with them. Do you need another reason to love these cupcakes?

Well, here you go: Both the cupcakes and the frosting are made with vanilla instant pudding mix. The frosting is a whipped cream topping, so you’ll need that and some milk. Oh, and sprinkles. So many sprinkles.

For the cupcakes, you can make it from scratch as per the instructions. However, it would be easy to adapt this recipe to a cake mix, too.

23. Who knew you could make eclairs in cake form?

Easy layered dessert with nuts served on white plate.

=> Click here for recipe

Eclairs are one of the most beloved baked treats of all time, and now, thanks to vanilla instant pudding, you can enjoy eclairs in the form of a luscious cake. To make this cake, you don’t even need an oven or stovetop. It’s just that easy.

The frosting can be either store-bought frosting or homemade. Either one is perfect. One thing to keep in mind is that you do have to let this cake sit in the fridge overnight so that it sets completely.

It’s just not as good if you serve it the same day that you make it.

24. Here is another recipe that uses both chocolate pudding and vanilla pudding.

Chocolate and vanilla pudding pie close-up.

=> Click here for recipe

Everyone loves a two-for-one deal, and when that means a luscious pie, everyone is a winner. This pie is made entirely from scratch, and it’s made with both vanilla pudding and chocolate pudding. If you want to make this easier, you can always use instant pudding.

We are all about easy. However, going to a little trouble to make homemade pudding can really pay off if you have the time to do it. You can make the homemade pie crust or buy one at the grocery store.

Be sure to add those gorgeous chocolate shavings. They’re as delicious as they are beautiful.

25. We don’t miss cheese and tomato sauce with this special strawberry lasagna.

A close-up shot of strawberry vanilla pudding dessert in lasagna.

=> Click here for recipe

There’s another layered strawberry recipe on this list, and there is also a layered strawberry trifle that calls for cake bits. But this strawberry lasagna is different because it’s topped with chopped pistachios that provide a delightful salty crunch. You can make a homemade pound cake for this recipe, but it’s also delicious with a store-bought cake.

For the fruit, we recommend using fresh strawberries. Frozen strawberries will mess up the texture of the cake. Feel free to make this with any type of berries.

This cake would be great with raspberries and blueberries, for example.

Tips for Vanilla Pudding Recipes

Here are some tips for making better vanilla pudding recipes.

  • To make instant pudding taste like it’s homemade, use canned evaporated milk.
  • For a tropical flavor, use canned coconut milk instead of dairy milk.
  • If you’re making instant pudding, add the pudding mix to the bowl first. Then, add the milk a little bit at a time and stirring before adding more.
  • Add some boozy drama by adding liqueurs like Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlua to your pudding.
  • For a plant-based pudding, you can substitute any type of milk alternative. Just keep in mind that the texture can vary, so do some research if you’re making a substitution.
  • If you make homemade vanilla pudding, consider using half and half instead of milk.