Enjoy homemade vanilla pudding like grandma used to make! This easy comfort-food recipe is sugar-free and perfect for any low carb and ketogenic diet.
It’s been overcast the last few mornings; a bit of “June Gloom” in September delivering just enough cool respite to turn my thoughts to Fall. For those of us living in Southern California, often dubbed “paradise”, the constancy of our weather never gives us pause.
We can count on clear blue skies almost every day (and where I live, daily temperatures in the 90’s – 110’s during late Summer and into Fall). So, it’s the absence of blue skies that makes for an interesting morning – like this morning.
Because we basically live in the desert, we find our evenings deliciously cool with a night-time inversion that brings with it ocean breezes perfect for growing grapes and taking walks! It’s this time of the year we take “family walks” after dinner. We just leave the dishes where they are and walk around the neighborhood and local park talking about school, commenting on our neighbor’s landscapes, and greeting any folks we may encounter along the way — and perhaps catching a few Pokemon! It’s always nice to come home to a simple dessert and what can be more simple then a homemade vanilla pudding?
If you’re like me, you like simple desserts. Don’t get me wrong… I love fancy birthday cakes and delicious ice creams, but there’s nothing more comforting than a nice homemade vanilla pudding.
My Nana used to make homemade pudding – this is well before the days of instant pudding and the craze of desserts based on boxed cakes, boxed pudding mixes, and Cool Whip. The women of my Grandmother’s time made their pudding with cornstarch, milk, sugar, and eggs. They cooked it on the stove and always got it right. There’s really nothing to it!
This low carb vanilla pudding recipe uses heavy cream and almond milk, eggs, gelatin, and a low carb sugar substitute to achieve it’s creamy goodness. It takes about 15 minutes to make but needs several hours of chilling time. It’s sugar-free but it’s luxurious texture won’t leave you wanting for more… It’s a deliciously satisfying, comforting treat!
This creamy Low Carb Vanilla Pudding is net carbs per serving!
[This recipe may contain affiliate links.]
Low Carb Vanilla Pudding
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- Whisk Together
- 1/3 cup low carb sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large egg yolks
Add at the End
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia glycerite
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 teaspoon gelatin powder “bloomed” in 1 tablespoon water
- A sieve that fits over a medium heat proof bowl
- Bring the heavy cream and almond milk to a simmer in a small pot over medium heat.
- Place the dry ingredients (erythritol, cornstarch, and salt) into a medium heat proof bowl and whisk together. Add the egg yolks and whisk. Whisk in the whole eggs. Ready the sieve near the bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the tablespoon of water.
- When the cream is hot and bubbling around the side of the pot, slowly pour it into the egg mixture whisking continuously until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture back into the pot and place over medium low heat. (Once you become familiar with making pudding you can do it over medium heat, adjusting up and down as needed.)
- Continuously whisk the mixture for the next 5 minutes, until it begins to thicken all-at-once. Turn the heat down a tad and continue to whisk for 1-2 minutes. The mixture should very slowly simmer if whisking is stopped. Remove from heat and whisk for 1 minute more. Place the sieve over the bowl and pour the pudding through the sieve to catch any bits of egg that may have cooked.
- Whisk in the butter, vanilla, and stevia glycerite. Taste and adjust sweetness per your liking. Add the gelatin and whisk again until it’s completely melted and incorporated.
- Cover with plastic wrap by pushing it right down onto the surface of the pudding. Chill at least 8 hours. Before serving, whip the pudding with a hand mixer so it is lighter in texture. Serve.
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I like your recipe. Thank you! However, I have a question. What would you recommend for a low carb cornstarch? Would Guar Gum work instead of the cornstarch in this recipe? I am trying to make low carb milk pudding.
Hi Tim, thanks for your question. You can try adding some xanthan gum with the sweetener, however, I found while testing that it made the pudding feel slippery. I suspect that guar gum will do the same, and Konjac root made the pudding gloppy like snot. That is why I added the cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) which contributes about 1 carb per serving and is already included in the nutritional counts. You can also try adding 1 teaspoon of gelatin (1 tsp gelatin sprinkled over 1 tbsp of water and added at the end to melt into the pudding). I am unsure if the gelatin will thicken the pudding enough or make it jello-like. I tested this recipe many times with many ingredients and the recipe as written was the very best combination of ingredients. -Kim
I just demolished this. I cut the recipe in half for a smaller serving. I ate it warm as a personal preference and left out the gelatin because I didn’t want it to thick . I ate it with 2 real vanilla wafers..omg ..reminded me of my grandmas warm banana pudding…just lightened up. Thank you!
I’ve made this recipe many times now and it takes some prep and some clean up but it’s SOOO worth it! It isn’t pudding, it’s so much more than that. So flavorful, so rich, just wow. I mix it with cream cheese to make a pie, or pour it over a keto crust and top with lemon curd or chocolate ganache- it’s so versatile! All that aside the small dish we eat hot right out of the pan is the best. I’d give this recipe extra stars if I could.
Oh, and I leave out the stevia and substitute water for almond milk!
I cannot get stevia gylcerite. Can I use something in place of it with the same results?
Hi Shonda, use more of your favorite sweetener, but know that the erythritol may recrystallize. -Kim
Kim did you try it with all whole eggs – I hate having whites or yolks left over?
Barbara, you can use the whole eggs but it might taste eggy. Also, more whites means more chance at scrambling since the whites cook faster than the yolks. You can use a leftover white in my Keto chocolate mug cake recipe (which calls for a yolk, but a white works, too). -Kim
If you want this to be truly low carb replace the cornstarch with Xanthum gum or agar. Cornstarch is NOT low carb or keto friendly.
Hi Alice. Thank you for your comment. I tested this recipe extensively with only xanthan gum, guar gum, psyllium powder, and konjac root as thickening agents. None of them produced results that were close to the real thing. The gums made the pudding slippery and the psyllium and konjac made it gloppy and grainy.
Since most traditional pudding recipes call for 1/3 cup (16 tbsps) of cornstarch or arrowroot powder, the small amount I call for here (1 tbsp) is indeed low in carbs and suitable for low carb and keto diets. We’re talking .5 grqms of carbs per serving. Because large amounts of starch are not low carb or keto friendly, I make sure to use the smallest amounts possible without compromising taste, texture and mouth feel. I stand behind my recipe. -Kim
Great response, Kim! I appreciate that you didn’t use those other low carb thickeners in this recipe, because I really hate the texture they create. I was surprised to see that you included corn starch in a low carb recipe, so thank you for giving a well thought out explanation and response!
Hi Kim! I just made this pudding, and tasted it warm before I popped it into the refrigerator! So good! I’m so excited, I’m going to use it as a part of a gluten-free, low carb-ish trifle. My oldest daughter would request a french vanilla, fruit trifle every year for her birthday. once my youngest daughter was diagnosed with celiac, and we are more carb conscious, I haven’t made it. I’m so excited to give it a try! Thanks for always being my go-to for delicious recipes.
That recipe looks great! I love those little tea cups—where did you get them?
Thanks, Rachel. They were a find at a local thrift shop. They can be found everywhere in all different styles. They are part of a vintage ladies luncheon set. -Kim
This recipe is amazing. I didn’t use the cornstarch as I didn’t have any. It still turned out great! I had to have a few bites before I even put it in the fridge. Thank you Kim!
Thank you for this recipe! I like to make low carb eclairs, but most of the filling recipes are made with heavy cream, eggs and butter, and they are too heavy and greasy. This looks perfect! Also, I’ve just bought almond milk for the first time, so that will greatly increase my recipe file. I’m all for keto, but LCHF works best for me, since it’s not “a sin into death” if I eat a half of a potato or a slice of bread once in a while. Yes, you lose weight slower, but you don’t feel so deprived. I use verbalize flour white a bit, which is no more expensive than but flours, and gives more normal results of you are a little sweetener to the recipes, to disguise the slightly strange taste. But now I’m babbling…thanks again!
Cornstarch makes it non-keto!
One Tablespoon of Cornstarch is 7grams of carbs, adding just over one gram of carb to each serving in this recipe. So still keto, yay!
Would adding about 3tbsp of cocoa powder to this mess with it? I look forward to trying it either way.
That would be fine, Theresa. You may need to add a little more sweetener to taste. Enjoy your week. -Kim
I think I need a video to try and make this. It’s looks out of my league. ha
I hear you, Anika. Go to Youtube and search “pastry cream”. I saw a great one there one day – it showed the proper technique. -Kim
I thought corn starch wasn’t keto?
Hi Melissa. It’s typically not Keto, but I am of the IIFYM (if it fits your macros). Having the proper texture (one that wasn’t gloppy or slippery) is important to me as I try to share the best recipes I can. Regular recipes for pudding called for 1/4 cup of flour or cornstarch (or arrowroot). Of course you will have to make the best choice for you. I hope this helps. -Kim
We ate this today and it was really good! I must say your photos are gorgeous, too! It did sit in the fridge for 36+ hours before served. I did whip it up and add a little cream before serving, although the texture was not as smooth as how it looks and it was a tad grainy. I’ve been making numerous pudding and jello recipes (teens w’ wisdom teeth extractions lately) and I might try this again to get the texture right!
I’m happy you enjoy the recipe Angel and thanks for the compliments on the photos. I struggle so hard with photos. Lol. You’ve made my day. I took those photos about 24 hours after I made the pudding. I’m not sure why yours was grainy. I know that as desserts sweetened with erythritol sit, the sweetener will sometimes crystallize and become visible. You can even detect a crunch if the crystals have grown big enough. I’m going to guess that the texture was a little grainy because the recipe only uses a little starch and then uses other ingredients to make up for the thickening power. I don’t remember mine being real grainy, but it could happen if maybe the egg was cooked too much? Thanks again for taking the time to comment and for your kind words. Have a great weekend. -Kim
I just made a custard today for a pie. It was smooth until I added the gelatin, then I noticed a little graininess. I don’t know if it will still be grainy after it is refrigerated or not. -Kim
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I can’t find zantham gum. Any suggestions?
You fix DESSERT.
You live in a DESERT. ?
Great, Shelley. I hope you like the desserts. Who knows, maybe I live in the dessert? Lol. I’ll correct the type tomorrow. Thanks for letting me know. Have a great weekend! -Kim
You’re a good sport!?
Craving vanilla pudding right now! Great post – I think, I’ll try this tonight. Perhaps cornstarch could be replaced with Gluccomannan / Konjak? Not about the carbs, but I really can’t have starches.
Anne, the glucomannan makes it a little gummy. When I tested the recipe I tried all kinds of combinations and this was by far the best. I would try 1/4 tsp glucomannon with the xanthan gum (together they have a synergistic effect) and maybe try 1 teaspoon gelatin instead of 3/4. I would love to hear how it turns out. Enjoy your week. -Kim
Yum1 Can’t wait to try this during my first #KetoOn holidays! Thank you!
Your pictures are beautiful Kim! This pudding recipe looks rich, lucious, and lovely. I can’t wait to make this.
Hi Katie! Thank you so much. I know that you are not hardcore low carb, so I would use 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch/arrowroot and not use the gelatin. It will still be much lower than a regular pudding recipe. Thanks so much for the lovely comments. Have a wonderful day. -Kim
A walk in the cool breeze sounds amazing! I live in Western Montana – it gets hot in the summer, but always cools off at night. I love it! The puddings look delicious!
Thanks, Sarah. Thank goodness for cool evening temperatures! Thanks for the compliment and comment. -Kim
Oh, I do love a good vanilla pudding. When I was a kid, we used to eat it with hot berry sauce. This looks absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing!
Katrin, That sounds so good! Thanks for sharing your memory and for the compliment. Have a great day! -Kim
Wonderful looking pudding, makes me crave some. And I envy you for that California weather, sun is more of a luxury for us here… Can’t bear to think about November…
Adina, yes, I am very lucky to be living where I am. Thanks for the kinds words on the pudding. I’ll be wishing you mild weather come November! -Kim
These look gorgeous!!
Thank you, Georgina! -Kim
What a lovely vanilla pudding recipe and such beautiful photos. Very versatile too.
Fran @ G'day Souffle'
Ah, memories of our Nanas! My grandmothers were born in the late 1870’s, so they definitely didn’t have access to any instant puddings. Only 23 carbs for your pudding? I’ll have to give this a try!
So, true Fran. Actually, the pudding has 3 net carbs per serving so it’s much better than 23 grams. It won’t be as good as Le Cordon Blue recipes, but it’s great for low carb! Have a nice weekend. -Kim
I haven’t tried it yet but it looksgreat! I know it’s 3 carbs per serving but how much is one serving?
Hi Diane, it’s approximately 1/2 cup per serving – maybe 1-2 tablespoon less? It’s very rich, though. -Kim
These look delicious and beautiful!
Thank you so much, Taryn! -Kim