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How to Thicken Pudding: 5 Easy Ways to Rescue Your Thin Pudding

how to thicken pudding feat

If you find yourself with a bowl of runny pudding, don’t despair!

There are several methods you can use to thicken pudding and rescue it from its watery state.

One of the most common ways to thicken pudding is by using cornstarch, a versatile starch-based thickening agent.

Simply dissolve some cornstarch in cold water, then add it to the pudding mixture before simmering it over medium heat.

The heat will activate the cornstarch, causing the pudding to thicken.

Below are a few other options (including using gelatin as a thickening agent), along with how to thicken various types of pudding

With these simple tips, you can transform your thin and disappointing pudding into a thick and delicious treat that everyone will enjoy.

Common Mistakes When Making Pudding

too much liquid in pudding

Sometimes, your pudding may not come out as thick as you’d like.

Common mistakes that I’ve made myself, include not using enough thickener, adding too much liquid, or overcooking the pudding.

I can’t stress enough how important is to follow the recipe and measure ingredients accurately to avoid these pitfalls.

Why Your Pudding Gets Watery?

Pudding gets watery when the starch and other thickeners can’t effectively gel the liquid.

This could be due to several factors, such as adding too much milk or sugar, not mixing the ingredients well enough, or using cold water or cold milk instead of warm.

Keep an eye on your pudding’s texture as it cooks, and don’t forget to give it a good stir.

This is exactly what I do whether I’m making a homemade pudding like my copycat Kozy Shack pudding or directly from a boxed pudding brand.

Things You’ll Need

ingredients to thicken pudding

To thicken your pudding, you’ll need the following:

  • Preferred thickener (such as cornstarch, arrowroot, or flour)
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk or fork for mixing
  • Measuring spoons
  • Saucepan
  • Cooking spoon or spatula

How to Make Pudding Thicker for Pie Filling

When making pudding for pie filling, it’s essential to ensure the pudding is thick enough to hold its shape. To do so, you can:

  1. Increase the amount of thickener in your recipe by 1-2 tablespoons
  2. Cook the pudding on low heat, stirring constantly until it reaches the desired thickness
  3. Stir in a tablespoon of cold butter or two teaspoons of gelatin for extra firmness
  4. Chill the pudding in the fridge before adding it to your pie crust

How to Make Instant Pudding Thicker

Instant pudding can also be made thicker with a few simple tweaks:

  • Use less liquid than the package suggests (In some cases this can be up to half – you can start there and always add more!)
  • Replace some of the milk with heavy cream or mix in a few tablespoons of yogurt to add richness
  • Allow the pudding to set in the fridge for an extra 10-15 minutes

Watch this video to learn more about this process:

Remember, practice makes perfect, so keep experimenting with different techniques and ingredients to achieve the perfect pudding consistency.

For an easy way to convert between liquid measurements when making pudding, whether you’re converting cups to ounces or bigger volumes like liters to gallons. 

I like these online volume converters, especially when you have to deviate away from a recipe to make something thinner, thicker, it just plain need less or more food from your recipes.

How to Thicken Pudding That is Too Thin

If your pudding is too thin, don’t worry. You can use various thickening agents to help achieve the desired consistency.

There are a few methods you can try, depending on the type of pudding you are working with.

How to Make Banana Pudding Thicker

To thicken banana pudding, you can use cornstarch or flour as a thickening agent.

Begin by mixing a small amount of cornstarch or flour with an equal amount of cold water, creating a smooth paste.

Next, heat your pudding over medium heat in a saucepan. Slowly whisk in the thickening mixture.

Make sure to avoid lumps by using a strainer to remove any remaining clumps in the mixture before adding it to your pudding.

Cook the pudding until it thickens, making sure to stir constantly. Once it reaches the desired consistency, remove the saucepan from heat.

Remember to let the pudding cool before serving, as it will continue to thicken while cooling.

Note, this works well too when reheating banana bread pudding that you want to enjoy the next day.

How to Make Chia Pudding Thicker

For chia pudding, you don’t need flour or cornstarch. Instead, just add more chia seeds to your mixture.

The chia seeds will absorb the liquid in the recipe and thicken the pudding as they expand.

Begin by adding a small amount of extra chia seeds to the runny pudding. Stir well to combine the ingredients.

Chill the pudding in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to let it thicken further.

Consider adding a thickening agent like rice flour or arrowroot powder if your chia pudding still isn’t thick enough after adding more chia seeds.

Mix the chosen thickener with a small amount of cold water to form a smooth paste, then whisk it into your pudding as you did with the banana pudding.

Keep in mind that the consistency of your pudding may be affected by factors such as the freshness or acidity of the ingredients you use.

It might take some trial and error to perfect your technique and achieve the desired thickness for your pudding.


Can I Use Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder to Thicken My Pudding?

Yes, you can use cornstarch or arrowroot powder as a thickener for your pudding.

Both ingredients are starch-based thickeners that work well in puddings.

To use cornstarch, mix equal parts cold water and cornstarch, then gradually add the slurry to your pudding mixture while it’s heating.

For arrowroot powder, mix it with a small amount of cold water before adding it to your warm pudding.

Keep in mind that using too much starch may alter the flavor and texture of your pudding.

What About Using Egg Yolks or Gelatin as Thickeners?

Egg yolks and gelatin are also good options for thickening pudding. Egg yolks not only help thicken the pudding but also provide a rich flavor and creamy texture.

To use egg yolks, whisk them with sugar before tempering with your warm milk or cream mixture to avoid scrambling the eggs. Then, slowly cook the mixture until it thickens.

On the other hand, gelatin is a great way to set your pudding without changing its flavor.

To use gelatin, dissolve unflavored gelatin powder in cold water and let it bloom.

Once bloomed, add the gelatin to your warm pudding mix, stirring until it’s well-combined.

Refrigerate your pudding to set before serving.

Are There Any Other Alternatives to Thicken Pudding?

There are other alternatives for thickening pudding, such as tapioca or rice flour.

Tapioca works similarly to cornstarch and arrowroot, providing a smooth thickening effect without affecting the flavor.

Mix tapioca starch with cold water and add it to your pudding while it’s heating.

Rice flour is another option that can be used in both starch-thickened and egg-thickened puddings.

Simply replace the regular flour with rice flour, following the same steps as you would with cornstarch or arrowroot.

For my specific questions, check out some of the important points made in this video:

Remember that achieving the perfect consistency in your pudding may require some trial and error.

Adjust your technique and ingredients as needed to create a delicious dessert that fits your taste. Happy pudding making!

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Passionate chef, in love with everything related to food and cooking it to perfection!
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