We all have pudding mix in our pantry. It is such an easy thing to make, but it comes only in two basic flavors, vanilla and chocolate. Let me show you how easy it is to add your own flavors to it and make it gourmet. Can you believe it’s eggless, gelatin free and gluten free too.
This store bought mix is so versatile, it can be used to make puddings and pie fillings. My kids love to eat pudding as a snack and as a dessert so I made these in many flavors and topped it with homemade granola bites and some fun toppings which made it unbelievably delicious. This is such a crowd pleaser , I can’t wait to share it with you all.
Flavored Puddings With Fun Toppings
- Boxes of pudding mix – 1-vanilla / 1- chocolate
- Whole Milk – 2 cups per box
- If you are using plant based milk you need only 1- cup of milk since it’s thinner than the regular milk.
- Rose syrup Or Strawberry syrup – 2 teaspoons
- Pure vanilla extract – 2 teaspoons
- Instant espresso powder – 1 teaspoon
- Banana extract – 1/4 teaspoon
- Sliced strawberries
- M&ms or sprinkles
- Mini chocolate chips
- Toffee bites
Let’s make the pudding…
We all think how hard it is going to be, making a pudding with this readymade mix. Guess what? it is not as easy as you think, there is a technique to it, that is why so many of us still don’t get the right consistency we desire. Well, It’s your lucky day! I’m going to share a simple trick to get your pudding to have that silky smooth consistency every single time.
- In a sauce pan pour 2 cups of milk
- The milk should be at room temperature or cold, do not use hot milk for this.
- Now add the vanilla pudding mix, use a whisk or a fork and combine it nicely without any lumps.
- Do this before you put the pan on the stove.
- Now keep it on a medium flame and keep whisking it until it gets slightly thick.
It takes at least 10 minutes and It is a good work out for your hands, but it’s worth it. Let me tell you why ? If you cook it in a high heat it thickens up too fast, it forms lumps and it has the raw uncooked taste which is so hard to get rid of and you clearly don’t want to taste that in your pudding.
The instructions on the box does not tell you which is the right consistency, many of my friends ask me, how do you know when to take it out of the heat? Here is a tip …
The consistency of the pudding should still be runny. If it looks like a pudding in the pan, then it’s going to be a pie filling in your bowl. Meaning, it thickens as it cools if you thicken it too much thinking that it’s runny, it gets so thick it feels like you are eating a pie filling.
Let me show you the trick I learnt after many trials and errors.
- While the pudding is still runny, dip a spoon.
- It should coat the spoon nicely then use your finger to draw a line in the middle of the spoon.
- If the line stays like that, then your consistency is right. Immediately take it out of the heat.
- If the line disappears quickly, then you need to whisk it for couple of more minutes.
How ingenious right ?
Now we have to add the flavorings…
It is so easy to flavor these puddings with just what you have in your pantry.
I equally divided them into two bowls.
To the vanilla pudding I added the rose syrup since it’s a staple in our Indian kitchen. You can also add strawberry syrup it tastes good too.
To the other bowl, I mixed a tiny bit of banana extract with a teaspoon of vanilla extract, mixed it nicely and then added it to the pudding. You might ask why more vanilla to the vanilla pudding
- It takes away the store bought taste
- since the banana extract is so intense, adding a little bit of vanilla makes the flavor very pleasant.
- Having vanilla as a base note actually enhances whatever flavors you add to it
- You can also add mango or pineapple extract
I kept one bowl of chocolate pudding as it is which also has added vanilla in it.
I really like the coffee flavor. So to the other bowl of chocolate pudding, I dissolved a teaspoon of instant espresso powder in a teaspoon of hot water added it to the mix and quickly combined it with a whisk.
Things you need to know…
When you work with puddings you have to be mighty quick, add the flavorings while it is warm since the pudding sets so quickly.
Immediately pour it in small glass bowls or ramekins once it’s slightly cool put a cling wrap touching the top of the pudding this prevents it from forming a skin so that your pudding stays nice and creamy.
Do not make both vanilla and chocolate at the same time, it is so hard to add the flavors before it sets so make it one at a time, add the flavors, pour it in bowls, refrigerator it then move on to the next one.
My biggest pet peeve is pouring hot liquids in plastic bowls so I found these cute stainless steel bowls which are perfect for individual serving. The airtight lid prevents the pudding form absorbing other flavors while it is stored in the fridge.
Each box mix fills exactly 6 bowls.
Now comes the toppings…
These puddings are so mildly sweetened so it’s okay to add some toppings. I like to make mine healthy so I made some homemade granola bites which adds an amazing crunch to this velvety pudding.
While we are waiting for our puddings to be chilled..Let me show you how I made the granola bites…
Ingredients for the Granola bites
- Quick cook oats – 1 cup
- Slivered almonds – 1 cup
- Brown sugar – 1/2 cup
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
- Honey – 4 teaspoons of honey
- Room temperature butter – 4 tablespoons or 1/4 stick
Remember to pre heat the oven at 300*F for 10 minutes
In a bowl add all the dry ingredients, cut the butter into small pieces and nicely mix them with your hands. Coat the mini muffin pans with oil or butter then fill the mix up to 3/4 full.
Don’t press it down or fill it too high, this will give you a chewy middle part. For you to get this perfect little chip which is easy to bite, fill it only up to 3/4 of the mould.
This recipe fills 2 mini muffin trays
Put this in the oven and bake it at 300*F for 30 minutes until it gets the golden color. Take it out promptly and let it cool completely.
You get these mini cups of granola bites.
It is great for snacking, you can eat it as a cookie or crumble it on top of your pudding, yogurt or ice cream, it just tastes so yummy and crunchy. This is my kids favorite snack to take to school. who could say no to this healthy snack.
Our flavored puddings are now chilled. Look how yummy it is!
Now let’s add some toppings…keep in mind always add the toppings just before you eat it, this way it stays nice and crisp. These are some of my kids favorites. Look how cute they are …
Mmm … so satisfying! the crunchy granola is so good with the smooth texture of the pudding … This is the banana flavored one. I could eat this for breakfast, snack and dessert. Yummy!!
Let me taste the coffee flavored one topped with some toffee bites. Mmm… love the aroma of the espresso, Coffee and toffee is such a great combo. Oh man ! This could be a fancy date night dessert ! Delicious!!
Look at this adorable rose flavored pudding topped with a strawberry, Perfect for Valentine’s Day! What can I say…This is my favorite since I am a big fan of the rose flavor. It smells amazing and tastes amazing too.
Always cook from your heart, Sometimes simple things can be transformed into something very special. These homemade puddings are such a treat, It is so much fun to make and to eat. Hope you enjoy it as much we do.
There you go, an array of gourmet puddings made from scratch in a matter of minutes. Enjoy !!!
I found these cute bowls from Food Network in Kohls. These prep bowls are so handy it could be used for so many things like storing spices, dips, etc..Since it comes with lids, It is so easy to grab one on the go or put one on top of your ice pack and take it to work or school.
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