18 Instant Pot Grandma's Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding

This classic, creamy pudding recipe, with ingredients you already have in your pantry and fridge, is now even easier to make with the help of your Instant Pot. No more standing over the stove and stirring the milk while it heats. No more scorching or burnt tasting pudding. No more tempering your hot milk with your eggs. Old fashioned pudding is richer and tastier than the pre-made or instant boxed stuff. Enjoy pudding alone, with whipped cream, in an puffy Eclair, as a pie (German Chocolate Pie), parfait or trifle. Creamy pudding is a true, classic comfort food.

Milk, vanilla, eggs, butter, cornstarch & sugar

I remember pudding skin. Do you? My dad loved it - I did not. I would peel it off and give it to him. To prevent this skin, my mom would put wax paper on top of the warm pudding. I'd peel of the wax paper and lick it clean...
Chocolate Pudding

My mom had a stove top pressure cooker and if she had an Instant Pot, she would be amazed at what we can make with it today. Are you ready to make pudding in the Instant Pot, mom? Let's do it!

1. Put some ice cubes or very cold water into the insert of your Instant Pot. Let it sit there for a few minutes, dump out the ice water and don't wipe the insert dry.

2. In a large bowl or glass measuring cup, mix together your milk, sugar whisked eggs. I like to use this flat whisk, as it can reach into all the "corners" of the pot. You can use an immersion blender, but be careful not to get the mixture too bubbly or foamy.

3. Pour this mixture into your Instant Pot insert. Cover and select the Yogurt boil setting. The Instant Pot will slowly bring your milk to at least 180°F, the perfect temp for starch to help thicken the pudding. When milk is heated too hot, too quickly, it can curdle, become grainy or gritty.
Instant Pot Ultra with silicone suction lid

You can use the Instant Pot lid, (steam release valve closed, Instant Pot glass lid or any lid that will fit, as you are not using any pressure. A lid from your pots, pans, dinner plate, pie plate, or a flat silicone suction lid pictured above will work. 
4. In a small bowl, mix together your milk & cornstarch until no lumps are visible. Set aside. 

5. When finished, the Instant Pot will beep and display "YOGT."
Remove the lid and select SAUTE LESS, by pushing the SAUTE button repeatedly until LESS shows on the display. The cooker will beep, and display "ON." 
While whisking, slowly pour the cornstarch milk mixture into hot milk. Keep stirring, for 2-3 minutes until mixture begins to bubble.
Using hot pads or silicone oven mitts, remove the insert from the cooker and turn the Instant Pot off. 

6. Add your butter, a little bit at a time, whisking until fully dissolved. Add your vanilla extract

7. Pour your pudding into a fine mesh strainer, set over another bowl. This will catch any eggy bits and ensure a smooth, creamy texture. 

8. Cover surface of warm pudding with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 2 hours. 

Ice Cubes
When you use cold water/ice, this accomplishes two things:
A) It helps bring the milk up to temperature of the milk to 180°F, the optimal temp for starch to swell and thicken the pudding.
B) The water pre-coats the metal surface with water molecules, which prevents direct contact with milk proteins. When you turn on the heat, the protein molecules take longer to contact the hot metal and bond to it. So less protein (milk) sticks to the bottom and prevents scorching.

This is a tip that I discovered while researching and writing my Instant Pot Yogurt Guide for Newbies and recommend using for bringing milk to temp & preventing milk from sticking in my Instant Pot Easy Yogurt recipe.

Yogurt Setting: Most models will have 3 settings (Less/Normal/More). You will want to make sure you are using the MORE/HIGH setting to bring your milk to the correct temperature.
Lux - No yogurt setting (follow the directions in the printable recipe below)
Duo/Duo Plus/Viva/Nova Plus/Smart WiFi - Press YOGURT repeatedly until MORE/Boil shows on the display
Ultra - Turn dial to YOGURT, press dial to select, turn dial to Temp till HIGH flashes, press dial to select, press START. You can also use CUSTOM and select 180°F for your temperature. 
Max - Select YOGURT. Touch the TEMPERATURE field repeatedly to toggle between Boil/Yogurt/Custom. Select BOIL. Touch START. You can select CUSTOM and turn the dial to 180°F.
No Yogurt Setting?
You will need to use the lowest setting of your cooker, which is KEEP WARM to heat your milk. It will heat your milk up to 160°F. After 10-15 minutes, you can switch to SAUTE LESS, pour in your cornstarch and whisk till thickened, about 1-2 minutes.
You can use lactose free or non-dairy milk. You can use any milk percent, as long as you are adding enough cream, butter, or cocoa fats back into the pudding. Pudding without enough fat will seem flat and boring instead of decadent and indulgent.
You can use granulated, brown sugar, or no-sugar alternative equivalent.
Egg yolk contains fat and acts as a thickener. Without cornstarch, the pudding can easily overcook and turn lumpy. Using too many eggs and not any thickener can make pudding taste eggy. Egg yolks act as an emulsifier, which allows butter, cream and other fats to be effectively mixed into the pudding without separation. Use fresh eggs for best flavor.
Cornstarch - other substitutes
A common thickener used in gravies, custard an puddings, the starch granules absorb the water (milk)and help firm up the pudding. Using cornstarch allows heating the milk to a higher temperature without curdling. You can substitute all purpose flour, but may need to cook it longer to get rid of the flour flavor. Arrowroot has a more neutral taste. Be careful whisking with potato starch, as it can clump.   Tapioca flour 2 Tablespoons =1 Tablespoon cornstarch. Rice flour 3 Tablespoons = 2 Tablespoons cornstarch.
Added for fat, flavor and creamy texture.

print recipe

Instant Pot Grandma's Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding
Old fashioned pudding is richer and tastier than pre-made or instant boxed stuff. It only takes a few minutes to make using your pressure cooker. Enjoy it alone, with whipped cream, as a parfait, in trifle, eclairs or in a pie. *Pudding, whipped cream, sliced bananas & vanilla wafers pictured.
  • Ice cubes or cold water
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked
  • 2 cups milk 
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Place ice cubes or cold water into the insert.2. In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the sugar, salt, eggs, egg yolk and 2 cups milk.3. Pour out the ice water; do not wipe the insert dry.4. Pour the milk mixture into the insert and cover the Instant Pot with the lid, or another lid from your pots, pie/dinner plate or silicone lid.5. Select the Yogurt Boil setting for your model. If you don't have a yogurt setting, use the Keep Warm setting for about 15 minutes.6. In a small bowl, mix together the 3 tablespoons cornstarch & 3 tablespoons milk. Set aside.7. When finished, the cooker will beep and YOGT will be on the display.8. Select SAUTE LESS by pushing the Saute button repeatedly until LESS shows on the display.9. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to bubble.Using hot pads, quickly remove the insert from the cooker and turn the cooker off.10. Add your butter, one piece at a time, whisking until melted. Pour your pudding through a fine mesh strainer, set over another bowl. Place plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding and put into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.
Pudding will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
Chocolate Pudding: add 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa to the sugar. mix well. Reduce cornstarch to 2 Tablespoons and follow directions above.  
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: 15 Yield: 4-6 servings


  1. Pinned,goingto try this, can't wait!

  2. Can't wait to try this! Thank you

  3. Looks good I can't wait to try it!

  4. Looks good. I’m thinking about making it. Have to get some milk first.

  5. Made it tonight. It was amazing. Thank you for the recipe. Will try chocolate next.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for sharing & leaving a kind review. 🙂

  6. I tried making a double batch and that didn't go well. I'm wondering what I did wrong. Maybe it didn't cook long enough because when yogt boil stopped, it was still very liquidy, not like in a single batch.

    1. I have only tested this recipe as a single batch. Did you take the temperature at the end of the yogurt cycle? My guess is that it didn't reach 180°F, the temp necessary for cornstarch to thicken. (See step 3 in the post) If you want to double the recipe, I'd test the temp of the milk and if it's not 180°F, you can use the saute setting to bring up temp, whisking the milk constantly.🙂

    2. My Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus has Pasterisation, Fermentation, or Custom. On custom, I can only set time and temperature. If I set temp to 180 degrees, should that work?

    3. You can use the Pasteurization or Custom setting, set to 180°F.🙂

  7. Thanks for this. It's the both the easiest and the best pudding I've made to date.

    1. You are most welcome! I'm glad you are enjoying this easy pudding recipe. :-)

  8. I made this recipe yesterday and it is delicious. Definitely a keeper

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this recipe. 🙂

  9. This was delicious! I made it with Silk almond cashew milk and Miyokos plant butter, and it turned out beautifully. Definitely plan on making it again.

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed this pudding recipe! Thank you for sharing a way for making this non dairy. 🙂

  10. I am so excited to try this recipe! I love using my instant pot for EVERYTHING 😆 I'm thinking of trying maple syrup as all or part of the sugar. If I did that, should I reduce the milk amount or just cook it longer? I know, I'm asking a lot so I appreciate it if you have any ideas. If not, I'll just do trial and error!


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