Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding

Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
267 Calories
7g Fat
42g Carbs
8g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 267
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 10%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 232mg 77%
Sodium 208mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 34g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 100mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pudding is one of those easy, comforting desserts that can be prepared any time of the week and enjoyed as an after-school sweet snack or as a lunch or dinner dessert. If you or your family members must avoid dairy due to an allergy, sensitivity, or dietary restrictions, this recipe for dairy-free vanilla pudding is a good alternative to store-bought pudding cups or mixes.

This recipe calls for almond milk, but you can use another non-dairy milk alternative such as coconut milk, soy milk, or rice milk if you prefer. To produce the richness you expect in a pudding, egg yolks are included, which means this pudding is not vegan.

Keep in mind you need to plan ahead since homemade pudding requires a couple of hours to set in the refrigerator before serving. Feel free to dress up the dessert with fruit, dairy-free chocolate chips, vegan whipped cream, or any spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg) that you like.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and salt.

    Sugar and salt in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. In a small dish, combine the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the almond milk, mixing until dissolved.

    Cornstarch and almond milk mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Add the cornstarch mixture, remaining almond milk, and egg yolks to the saucepan, whisking until combined.

    Cornstarch mixture, almond milk and egg yolk in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Cook the pudding over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and bubbles just begin to form on the surface.

    Cook pudding mixture in saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Whisking constantly, turn down the heat to low and cook for about 1 minute more.

    Thick pudding mixture in a saucepan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Pour the pudding through a fine sieve into a heatproof dish.

    Pour the pudding through a fine sieve

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Stir in the vanilla extract.

    Vanilla extract added to pudding

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming while the pudding cools and thickens. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

    Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Serve and enjoy.

Raw Egg Warning

Consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs poses a risk of foodborne illness.

Recipe Variations

  • Fresh fruit, such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and bananas, can be used as a topper, or you can layer them in a dessert glass with the vanilla pudding.
  • Add crushed nuts or crumble some graham crackers, vanilla wafers, or granola on top for a bit of texture and crunch. Be sure to check any additions to ensure they are also dairy free.
  • Sprinkle the top with spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.
  • Use the vanilla pudding as a pie filling.


  • Unsweetened versions of non-dairy milk alternatives are best, but if you use a sweetened non-dairy milk, be sure to adjust the sugar in the recipe.
  • If you prefer not to use cornstarch, you can substitute it with the same amount of arrowroot or tapioca starch. Combine the thickener with the sugar and salt instead of the almond milk.

How to Store

Unlike store-bought pudding, this homemade dairy-free pudding has no preservatives and will keep in the refrigerator for only two to three days.