24 American Pudding Recipes

American puddings are top-tier, yet underrated desserts.

In this blog post, we will explore some of the best American pudding recipes. From classic bird’s nest pudding to banana pudding, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Scroll ahead for a tasty list of American puddings recipes you must try!

Related: 100+ American Cake Recipes

American Puddings

There is no meal that cannot be improved by pudding.

1. American-Style Pudding

Pudding was brought to colonial America by the English. American pudding is a sweet dessert similar in consistency to a custard or mousse.

English pudding can be savory or sweet. A savory version includes Yorkshire pudding.

Pudding in the United States is milk mixed with gelatin, sugar, cornstarch, and flavoring. It is frequently served cold.

2. Bird’s Nest Pudding

A pudding containing apples whose cores have been replaced by sugar.  

The apples are nestled in a bowl created by the crust. Also called Crow’s Nest Pudding.

Bird’s nest pudding is considered a pie as well — like to think of this dessert as the turducken of pies — spiced, cranberry-stuffed apples are baked in a pie shell, surrounded by cake batter.

3. Banana Pudding

A sweet dessert originating from the Southern United States.

It typically consists of layered vanilla custard, sliced bananas, and wafers or ladyfingers. And then topped with either meringue or whipped cream.

This dessert became closely associated with the American South after WWII, when numerous banana pudding recipes started to get published in newspapers.

4. Budin

A traditional anise-flavored Puerto Rican bread pudding. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory.

Budin is made with sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cream of coconut.

This budin recipe is super easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. The end result is a rich and creamy pudding that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Budin is popular in Puerto Rico and throughout Latin America, particularly during the holidays. But it can be enjoyed any time of year.

5. Butterscotch Pudding

This classic American dessert is prepared with caramelized brown sugar that is blended with a creamy mixture of butter, milk, and eggs.

Although not much is known about the origin, the term butterscotch was originally used to refer to the famous English confectionery created in 1817.

6. Cracker Pudding

An easy Pennsylvania Dutch dessert pudding thickened with saltine cracker crumbs and coconut.

This creamy pudding is reminiscent of coconut pie filling. Simply milk, soda crackers, eggs, vanilla, and coconut! A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch dessert recipe.

To make, in a medium saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, soda crackers, eggs, and coconut. Cook until thickened over medium heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours after pouring into serving dishes. If desired, top with Cool Whip and strawberries.

7. Latiya

A pudding from Guam (a U.S. territory). Latiya, pronounced ‘la-tee-ja’, this is a classic Chamorro dessert.

A light, creamy, custard-like pudding that originated in Spain from natillas, a traditional Spanish dessert custard. 

8. Hasty Pudding

Hasty pudding is a pudding or porridge of grains cooked in milk or water.

In the United States, it often refers specifically to a version made primarily with ground (“Indian”) corn, and it is mentioned in the lyrics of “Yankee Doodle”, a traditional American song of the eighteenth century.

9. Haupia

Haupia is a traditional Hawaiian, coconut pudding made from coconut milk, water, sugar, and cornstarch. It is often flavored with vanilla or almond extract, and sometimes served with fruit. Haupia is a popular dessert at luaus and other celebrations.

This recipe for haupia pudding is easy to follow and yields a delicious, creamy pudding. The key to success is to whisk the ingredients together thoroughly before cooking, and to cook the pudding over low heat until thickened. Be sure to taste the pudding before adding any flavorings, as it should be sweet enough on its own.

If you’re looking for a unique and delicious pudding recipe, give haupia a try!

10. Instant Pudding

Jell-O instant pudding is one of the most classic American desserts. It’s a no-cook pudding made by Jell-O. It contains sugar, flavoring agents and thickeners as primary ingredients.This dish is so simple to make and can be enjoyed by everyone. Just add milk to the mix and let it set for a few minutes, then you have a creamy and delicious pudding.

Jell-O instant pudding comes in many different flavors, so you can always find one that you like. Some of the most popular flavors are chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. You can also find unique flavors like pistachio or butterscotch.

Making your own pudding at home is very easy and only requires a few ingredients. The best part about making your own pudding is that you can control the amount of sugar and calories that go into it. You can also experiment with different flavors and create your own unique recipe.

Did you know?

General Foods introduced chocolate pudding mix in 1934.

11. Indian Pudding

A traditional, New England, sweetened stove-top Thanksgiving dessert that was brought over from the 17-century English colonists in the original form known as hasty pudding.

Traditional Indian pudding is a combination of cornmeal, water, molasses, butter, and eggs, along with available spices, fruits, and nuts.

13. New Orleans Bread Pudding

This New Orleans dessert is a classic for Christmas, Mardi Gras, or any special meal.

Bread pudding is offered at many restaurants in the French Quarter and nearby, both the fine-dining and casual establishments.

14. Oat Milk Chocolate Pudding

This 15-minute pudding is inspired by a recipe from Alice Medrich, the American cookbook author.

Oat milk creates a pudding with the plushest texture.

Warm and cozy and perfect for fall.

15. Ozark Pudding

Ozark pudding is a dry fruit custard with nuts. It originated in Missouri, being named after The Ozarks region. 

There are many different types of pudding, but one of the most iconic American varieties is Ozark pudding. This pudding is known for its unique flavor and texture.

Ozark pudding is made with a variety of different ingredients, including cornmeal, molasses, and spices. These ingredients come together to create a rich and flavorful pudding that is perfect for any occasion. One of the best things about this pudding is that it can be served either warm or cold, depending on your preference.

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique pudding recipe, then you have to try Ozark pudding. This traditional American dessert is sure to please everyone at your next gathering.

16. Persimmon Pudding

Persimmon pudding is a traditional American dessert made with persimmons.

It is similar to traditional English dessert. And evolved from a Native American bread made from a type of persimmon fruit.

If you can’t find fresh persimmons, you can use canned ones. Just be sure to drain them well before using.

17. Pistachio Pudding

Pistachio pudding is smooth and creamy, intensely nutty — and green.

The Jell-O brand, which introduced a line of pistachio pudding mix in 1976. 

18. Panocha

In New Mexico and southern Colorado, Panocha is a pudding made from ground sprouted wheat and piloncillo. It is traditionally eaten during Lent.

To make panocha, start by whisking together the flour, sugar, salt, and spices in a bowl. Then, add in the water and stir until everything is combined.

Next, pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened. Once it’s thickened, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly before spooning into individual serving dishes.

Top each dish of panocha with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!

19. Pumpkin Pudding

Pumpkins originated in the southern United States and northeastern Mexico.

Pumpkin pudding is creamy, smooth and so satisfying! All you need is instant vanilla pudding, pie mix, Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin, evaporated milk and pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin pudding is a delicious, warm dessert that is perfect for fall. Pumpkin pudding can also be made in a slow cooker.

20. Quinoa Pudding

Like rice pudding. Nutritious superfood quinoa is the star of creamy, coconut milk-based Quinoa Pudding, that tastes like a cross between rice pudding and tapioca.

This quinoa pudding recipe is the perfect healthy dessert! It’s made with just a few simple ingredients. And packed with protein and fiber from the quinoa. You can enjoy it as is, or top it with fresh fruit.

21. Puerto Rican Rice Pudding

It is known as Arroz con dulce in Puerto Rico. Creamy rice pudding is a popular Puerto Rican dessert that is typically made with white rice, milk, and sugar.

It can also be made with other ingredients such as raisins, cinnamon, or vanilla extract.

Puerto Rican rice pudding is usually served cold or at room temperature. It can be garnished with fresh fruits such as strawberries or bananas, or it can be enjoyed plain.

22. Tapioca Pudding

According to the Minute Tapioca Company, it originated in Boston in 1894. In the home of housewife Susan Stavers was a sick sailor. Among his belongings were cassava roots carried home from a sea journey.

It can be served plain or with fruit, whipped cream, or other toppings. Tapioca pudding is a smooth and creamy pudding that is perfect for any occasion.

The tapioca pearls add a unique texture and the pudding can be customized with your favorite toppings.

23. Tembleque

Tembleque is a coconut dessert pudding from Puerto Rico. It is one of the most popular desserts in Puerto Rican cuisine. Tembleque means wiggly, referring to the jiggle when shaken.

Tembleque is thick, creamy, and deliciously comforting. It’s made with just a few simple ingredients: shredded coconut, milk, sugar, and cornstarch. The key to making tembleque perfect is to cook it slowly and stirring constantly so that it doesn’t curdle.

Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can experiment with different flavorings like adding rum or swapping out the milk for coconut milk. Tembleque is best served chilled.

24. Watergate Salad

Watergate salad is a summertime dessert consisting of pistachio pudding, mini marshmallows, pecans, and chunks of pineapple. This pudding is popular at Thanksgiving and Easter.

Watergate salad is a creamy, dreamy, pistachio-studded pudding that’s sure to please any crowd. This retro recipe is easy to make and can be served as a side dish or dessert.

Simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for an hour or two before serving. Watergate salad is best enjoyed cold, so be sure to give it plenty of time to chill before digging in.

American Pudding FAQs

What are American puddings thickened by?

American pudding is usually thickened with gelatin or a starch, whereas custard is thickened by the eggs.

How many types of puddings are there?

There are 4 major types of puddings: boiled, baked, steamed, and chilled in the refrigerator until it sets.

Is pudding served hot or cold?

Creamy puddings are typically served chilled, but a few, such as rice pudding can be served warm.

What is the difference between pudding and custard?

While most custard and pudding recipes both typically call for eggs, the main difference is that pudding uses a starch for thickening, whereas custard’s thickening agent is the egg. Custard’s texture also tends to be firmer than pudding.

What do the British call American pudding?

American puddings are closer to what the Brits would call “custard.”

What is a traditional British pudding?

Sticky toffee pudding is Great Britain’s most popular pudding. It is a date cake with caramel sauce that’s traditionally steamed but is now often baked.

What is the difference between tapioca and rice pudding?

Rice pudding has a rice base. Tapioca pudding has a base of the ‘cassava’ root plant. Both puddings are creamy and comforting, but they have different textures. 

What are the little balls in tapioca pudding?

The little white pearls that gives tapioca pudding its signature texture come from the starch of the cassava root. After the starch is extracted, it’s formed into little white balls.

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