Creamy, southern-style vegan vanilla pudding is rich, thick, and so satisfying. Serve it with your favorite fruit or layer it into a classic banana pudding.
Oh my word, y'all. It took me ages to perfect this vanilla pudding recipe. I tried so many bases:
- silken tofu with ground chia seeds
- firm tofu
- oat milk with ground chia seeds
The thing about vanilla is that it has a delicate flavor. Nothing is there to mask any other tastes, and all of these had other tastes that overpowered the finished product.
I was truly about to give up when I decided to try something different: a classic, Southern-style stovetop pudding method.
And, y'all. It worked! It's so easy, and I can't wait for you to try it.
Important recipe notes
The vegan vanilla pudding uses oat milk as the base with cornstarch to thicken it.
You can use other plant-based milks, as long as they are nice and creamy. I would not recommend homemade milks for this recipe, because the gums or thickeners in boxed plant milks actually work in your favor in this recipe.
If you don't do cornstarch, you can use potato starch instead, same amount. I have not tested this recipe with arrowroot or other thickeners.
If your plant milk is very sweet, you may want to back off on the added sugar. If it's unsweetened, you may want to add another tablespoon.
It is fine to add sugar later on in the cooking process, so start low and add to taste.
The last important thing to know is that whisking is critical! When you add the cold milk to the cornstarch/sugar/salt mixture, whisk well until there are absolutely no lumps.
Once you turn on the stove, whisk constantly, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking, especially at first. The cornstarch is going to want to fall to the bottom of the pan, so you need to keep it moving to get a nice, thick pudding.
It takes about 10 minutes of cooking to get the pudding nice and thick. At that point, turn off the heat and add the vanilla. Adding the vanilla at the end allows it to retain more of its flavor.
How to serve and store it
After you add the vanilla, let the pudding cool for a bit, then either serve or transfer to your storage container. You can eat it warm or let it set up in the fridge. It will firm up more as it chills.
I like to eat this layered up with seasonal fruit. Berries are my favorite, but sliced peaches or nectarines are really nice in this, too.
You can also use this pudding to make the vegan banana pudding of your dreams!
The finished pudding will keep for four to five days in the refrigerator.
Vegan vanilla pudding recipe
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch - or potato starch (see note)
- ¼ cup organic sugar - (see note)
- scant ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups oat milk - or your favorite plant milk (see note)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly pour in the oat milk, whisking to completely dissolve the dry ingredients.
- Turn the stove on low, and cook, whisking almost constantly, for around 10 minutes. Your pudding is done when it reaches that nice, thick pudding consistency. Do keep in mind that it will firm up when you chill it, but it should still be pretty thick at this point.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla extract. Serve the pudding warm or chilled (see note).