This simple Polish vanilla pudding is the perfect beginner’s go-to dessert that’s fuss-free and uses ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. Perfect for first-timers or anyone in need of a sweet fix!
Recipe At a Glance
- Quick: This Polish vanilla pudding is ready within 15 minutes of gathering the ingredients.
- Easy: No skills required. You can nail this one even if it’s the first dessert of your life – just follow the instructions.
- Short and simple ingredients list: Got vanilla extract? If so, you probably have all the other ingredients and can make this one.
If you’re making Simple Polish Vanilla Pudding for the first time, read the ingredients notes, step-by-step instructions, and tips. If you’re a veteran, feel free to jump to the recipe card.
Ingredients Notes and Substitutes
- Milk. Dairy milk is what we use in Poland, but you can use other varieties, too. Just pick a neutral or vanilla flavor.
- Egg yolks.
- Starch. In Poland, we typically use potato starch, but cornstarch works just as well. For this recipe, you’ll need 4 tablespoons of cornstarch or 2 tablespoons of potato starch.
- Sugar. Plain white sugar is perfectly fine.
- Vanilla extract. In Poland, we usually use vanilla-flavored sugar to achieve the vanilla flavor in the pudding because it’s readily available. But for international readers, a mix of plain sugar and vanilla extract is a better option.
How to Make Simple Polish Vanilla Pudding
- Prep yolks. Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set them aside.
- Set aside milk for the starch slurry. Measure out half a cup of milk and pour it into a container that is easy to pour from.
- Prep pot. Pour the remaining milk into a pot. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract, then stir the mixture. Heat it until it’s close to boiling.
- Prep starch slurry. While the mixture is heating, thoroughly mix the starch with the milk you set aside earlier, ensuring there are no lumps.
- Stir in the starch slurry. Once the mixture in the pot is warm and almost boiling, reduce the heat to low. Slowly pour the milk and starch mixture into the pot, stirring constantly to prevent lumps from forming. Continue to stir the mixture over low heat until it thickens.
- Adjust flavor. Taste a small amount of the pudding (be cautious) to check its flavor. If necessary, add a bit of sugar or vanilla extract.
- Portion. After the pudding has thickened, remove it from the heat and immediately pour the warm pudding into serving dishes or cups, portioning as desired.
- Serve. Serve warm or cold.
Tips for Making Simple Polish Vanilla Pudding
- Adjust ingredients if using a milk alternative. If you’re using a milk alternative, such as vanilla-flavored soy milk, reduce the amount of sugar and vanilla accordingly. You can always add more right before portioning the dessert.
- Prevent crust formation with plastic wrap. To prevent a skin or crust from forming on the pudding’s surface during cooling, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding in each serving dish, making sure there are no air bubbles underneath it. Skip this if you don’t mind the crust (I don’t).
If you love chocolate, check out my Polish chocolate pudding recipe. The ingredients list and steps in that recipe are almost the same as in this one, except you’ll need dark chocolate instead of vanilla extract.
Or, if you’d like something fruity, try this strawberry kissel. It’s a similar recipe, except it’s based on strawberries, uses water instead of milk, and you don’t need egg yolks.
How to Serve Polish Pudding
Here are some ways to serve Polish vanilla pudding:
- Serve it hot: If it’s cold outside and you’re craving a warm dessert, serve the pudding shortly after it’s cooked.
- Add chocolate ice cream: For fans of the classic hot-cold combination, pair your warm vanilla pudding with a scoop of chocolate ice cream. The temperature contrast makes it a treat.
- Serve it chilled: Allow the pudding to sit at room temperature for at least an hour before serving. Or, for a better experience, cool it to room temperature, then refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. This is my preferred method.
- Top with various garnishes: This dessert can be topped with almost anything. Some suggestions include fresh fruit, grated dark chocolate, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or a dollop of fluffy whipped cream.
Feel free to mix and match these options to create your ideal serving of Polish vanilla pudding.
Transfer any leftovers, preferably while still hot, to an airtight container and leave it unsealed at room temperature to cool. Once cool, seal the container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Ready to indulge? Serve it straight from the fridge.
You can also prepare the dessert ahead of time. Pour the pudding into ramekins or dessert bowls, let them cool, then cover and refrigerate. The simplest way to cover them is by using aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
Leaving these uncovered in the fridge is not recommended – the dessert will likely dry out and absorb smells from other foods. You definitely don’t want your pudding to smell like sausage.
Polish Vanilla Pudding
- 2 cups milk ~475ml
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch or 2 tbsp potato starch
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Yolk Prep: Separate the egg yolks from the whites and set the yolks aside.
- Set Aside Milk: Measure and set aside half a cup of milk for the starch slurry.
- Mixture Prep: In a pot, combine the remaining milk, egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir and heat until near boiling.
- Slurry Prep: Mix the starch thoroughly with the reserved milk to avoid lumps.
- Combine: When the mixture in the pot is almost boiling, add the starch slurry gradually, stirring constantly. Heat on low until the mixture thickens.
- Flavor Check: Taste and adjust with sugar or vanilla extract if needed.
- Portion Out: Once thickened, pour the pudding into serving dishes.
- Ready to Serve: Enjoy the pudding either warm or cold.