One of the things I love about homemade mixes is their versatility. Once you have the basic formula, you can keep streamlining, tweaking, or adapting as you find what you find works the best for you. The homemade pudding mix recipe that I’m sharing today is a good example of this too. It can be made in different flavors, different size batches, and best of all, it’s a money saver too!
How To Make A Pudding Mix to Substitute for Store Bought
I first wrote about this homemade pudding mix back in 2012 and adapted my version from a recipe I found in an older, out-of-print cookbook in my collection. The base mixture is a quick and easy combination of dry milk powder, sugar, cornstarch, and just a little bit of salt. The mix can then be customized into different flavors when it’s time to make a batch of pudding.
Since first writing about this mix, I’ve changed the recipe to be a slightly smaller size, and in measurements that were easier for me to cut in half, or double, so it’s easier for me to make larger or smaller batches of my mix if I want to. (If you would like my original recipe size batch, it’s included in the variations coming up below).
One cup of this mixture creates four servings of pudding (of about a ½ cup size) or the equivalent of four store-bought pudding cups.
If you would like to use this pudding mix for a pie, I would recommend making a batch and a half (using 1-1/2 cups of the mix), to make sure you have enough to fill the pie shell.
The base mixture recipe creates 3 cups of mix.
How To Use Your DIY Mix To Make Pudding
When I did some looking online recently at other homemade pudding mixes I was surprised by the amount of recipes that labeled themselves as “instant” homemade pudding mixes, and then guess what the first instruction to use the recipe was? Put in a saucepan and cook. Hello. . . that’s what I call a cook and serve pudding folks. That’s NOT an instant pudding.
So I have not labeled my recipe as instant – BUT – it cooks up so fast it almost feels like it is!
To make this pudding you place one cup of the mix in a small saucepan and then slowly add 2 cups of boiling water, stirring as you add the water. You then cook it over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the mixture has thickened. Usually already after the first couple of minutes the pudding has thickened up and you can remove it from the stove. Then while it’s still warm you’ll stir in a bit of butter and vanilla extract, and it can then be transferred to a bowl or individual cups and put it in the refrigerator to cool and firm up more completely.
This will create a basic vanilla pudding.
Ideas for Size and Flavor Variations
Once you have the basic dry mixture made, you can have fun using it in different ways. I think the best way to use this mix is to make a chocolate version. I cook a half size batch (perfect for two people) and enjoy it with some raspberries on the top. Definitely my favorite!
For Chocolate Pudding *My Favorite*
Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the cup of dry mixture before cooking with the water. Stir in 1 Tbl of butter and a ½ tsp of vanilla extract at the end of the cooking time once the mixture has thickened.
Listed below are some more flavor variations from the original cookbook recipe I adapted this mix from, and a few other ideas I’ve thought about but haven’t personally tested yet.
For Butterscotch Pudding:
Use brown sugar in the place of white sugar when making the original mix.
For Lemon Pudding:
Add 1 Tbl of lemon juice, 1 tsp of lemon zest, and 1 Tbl of butter at the end of the cooking time.
For Richer Flavor pudding:
Use 1 cup boiling water and 1 cup warmed milk
For Chocolate Pie Filling:
Use 1-1/2 cups of the Mix with 3 Tbl of Cocoa Powder. Add 3 cups of boiling water and cook. Add 1-1/2 Tbl of butter and 1 tsp of vanilla at the end of the cooking time.
For Dairy Free/Vegan pudding:
You could try using powdered soy milk or powdered coconut milk instead of the dry milk powder in the base mixture. Use a plant-based margarine option instead of butter and use a little extra vanilla extract than called for in the other recipes.
And finally, I’ve got a couple size variations for you too:
To make a half size batch of pudding:
Use ½ cup of the mix with 1 cup of boiling water. If making a chocolate version, add 1 Tbl of cocoa powder. Add a 1/2 Tbl of butter and 1/2 tsp of vanilla at the end of the cooking time (or 1/4 tsp of vanilla if making a chocolate version).
For a larger batch of the mix:
I’ve revised my original recipe so that it’s now a slightly smaller size. If you would like to make my original larger version use 3 cups milk powder, 1-3/4 cups white sugar, 1 cup cornstarch, and ½ tsp salt. This yields 4 cups of mix.
So as you can see, there’s a variety of ways to use your homemade pudding mix and perhaps you’ll think of your own flavor ideas in addition to the ones I’ve listed here. There’s always more creativity and flexibility when you make your own!
Homemade Pudding Mix
- 2 cups Dry Milk Powder
- 1 cup + 2 Tbl White Sugar
- ⅔ cup Cornstarch
- ¼ tsp Salt
- Combine the dry milk powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Store in a covered container. This will yield 3 cups of mix.
- To make a batch of pudding: Place one cup of the mix in a small saucepan. Slowly add 2 cups boiling water, stirring as you add the water. Then cook on the stove over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened.
- To make vanilla pudding: Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon of vanilla at the end of the cooking time once the mixture has thickened. Then put in the refrigerator to cool.
- To make chocolate pudding: Add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the cup of dry mix before cooking. Stir in 1 tablespoon of butter and a ½ teaspoon of vanilla at the end of the cooking time once the mixture has thickened. Then put in the refrigerator to cool.
Note: This post was originally published April, 2012 and was updated March, 2020. Here are the original pictures you may have found floating around on Pinterest. I used to keep my mix in little baggies!
More Handy Homemade Mixes: