Vanilla Instant Pudding

Submitted by: Friendship Bread Kitchen
Image (c) Friendship Bread Kitchen

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 10 cups


3 cups nonfat dry milk
4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cornstarch
5 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. Mix and store in airtight container.
  2. Use 1/2 cup of mix per box of instant pudding being substituted.
  3. ENJOY!

Kitchen Notes

This recipe can be used as a substitute for any Amish Friendship Bread recipe that calls for a box of instant pudding.

Looking for a chocolate pudding recipe? Click here!

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  1. You can also make your own vanilla extract, either in liquid form or vanilla sugar. I discovered vanilla sugar when my dh was stationed in Germany & I’d visit the local shops.
    I think I miss the schnitzel the most, especially the mushroom schnitzel…

    I found several substitute recipes that I’ve been using for years & I promise, they work.

    Vanilla Extract – take one or two vanilla beans, split down the middle to expose the seeds in the middle & drop it into a liter of vodka. Leave it for a minimum of two weeks, then try it out to see if it’s as strong as you’d like. I’ve left my beans in for a month. The longer it’s left in the vodka, the darker in color the extract will be. Strain thru cheesecloth and store in a dark, dry closet in tightly sealed bottle. A canning jar works well, easier to measure out too. You can’t make the vanilla extract in water as the essential oils in the bean will not dissolve in water. Who knew my chemistry classes in school would help me in baking? 🙂

    To substitute Crisco for butter or margarine:
    1/3 c butter, use 1/3 cup crisco & 2 tsp. water.
    1/2 cup butter, use 1/2 cup crisco & 1 tbsp. water.
    I prefer the butter flavor crisco.

    Egg Substitute:
    for 1 large egg: 2 tbsp. flour, 1/2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp baking powder & 2 tbsp milk, water, fruit juice, etc.
    Be careful with this, it doesn’t work well in some recipes. I’ve had the best results in baked goods, especially if I am using at least 1 egg plus the substitute for 1 or more eggs.

    Trio of Flavored Sugars:
    Vanilla – combine 1 vanilla bean, split & cut into 1 inch pieces & 1 cup sugar. Store in dark, dry closet for 2 weeks minimum. Shake it well every other day.
    Sprinkle on fruits, pancakes, French toast, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, shortbread, etc.

    Orange/Lemon/Lime/Tangerine or other citrus type fruit:
    Mix 2 tsp. finely grated fresh orange peel & 1 cup sugar, store in tightly closed glass jar in dark, dry place. Shake every other day. Wonderful on desserts or in beverages. Use equal amounts in any recipe calling for orange peel.
    I keep mine in canning jars in the freezer since I don’t use it very often.

    Cinnamon Sugar: mix 1 cup sugar & 2 tsp. cinnamon. You can also make nutmeg sugar, cloves sugar, etc. Have fun experimenting & feel free to change amounts given to suit your personal preferences.

    These sugars make a lovely gift, especially if you present them in the pretty canning jars for jams/jellies & top them with seasonal fabrics, trims, etc.

    • Chastity Sullins says:

      WOW Lynn those are some great substitutes! Thank you so much. I had the pleasure of living in Germany in the mid 90’s. I miss a lot of the food too. I remember the mushroom schnitzel, I loved the rahm schnitzel, it was like a cheese sauce if I remember correctly. Oh and the bread…it was great, the brochen (small rolls that were crispy on the outside) was one I really liked. Thanks again for the great substitutes the egg one is very helpful.

  2. candy mason says:

    thank you for this. the instant puddings give me the hives, dont know why. so I will use this.
    Thanks again!

  3. Roz Ward says:

    A question about the vanilla extract: is the vanilla in the above recipe liquid, and if so, would it not make a bit of a sticky mess when added to the dry ingredients? Also, I would have thought that it would cause problems for storing the mix?

    • I tried it the other day and adding a small amount doesn’t really affect the large quantitiy of dry. I doesn’t make it sticky or messy. There is no problem so far with storage, but I only did it a few days ago.

  4. I actually was also wondering how to add a small amount of liquid to all of those dry ingredients. I hope this question gets answered. Thanks!

  5. PS By “this question,” I was referring to Roz’s question above mine. 😀 (I thought mine would post as a reply to her’s.)

  6. Sherry says:

    Is the 1/2 cup equivalent to a small box of pudding or a large box? Thanks.

  7. Was there ever an answer to the vanilla extract question???

    • Hi Carla! This is our recipe, and the extract absorbs evenly into the dry ingredients but you can mix all your dry first before adding in the extract. You can store it at room temperature, though we recommend preparing and using it within a couple of days. Does that help?

  8. I was wondering if you could tell me how to flavor this mix with caramel since I never find that type of instant pudding mix. Have you made lemon before?

  9. Couldn’t I mix the dry ingredients together and keep in a mason jar, and add some vanilla flavoring to the bread while I’m mixing in the starter?
    And yes, I’d like to know how much homemade pudding mix makes a box. I know there is 4 ounces in a half cup, and my recipe has always called for a 5 and 1/2 ounce box of instant pudding.
    Plus, if this makes 10 cups, and I only bake every ten days, I need to store this for 200 days!

    • As for adding the vanilla as you mix it in to the bread, that may be hard to figure out the measurement for that (I think it is close to 1/4 tsp for 1/2 cup?). But if this makes 10 cups I don’t see why you can’t half the recipe and store it in the refrigerator.

    • The boxes are measured based on weight, not volume. Common misconception when it comes to baking. A 5.5 oz box of mix WEIGHS 5.5 oz. But 1/2 cup is 4 FLUID ounces, which is a measure of volume. They aren’t quite the same. 🙂

      • Great distinction, Kelsey, thank you! The instant pudding from Jell-O come in 3.4 and 5.5 oz boxes, and the circulating instructions and recipe are a bit loose on 1 or 2 boxes per recipe without specifying a size (we generally use 1 box small), so we’ve found that 1 cup works out about just about right.

  10. Has anyone used this recipe to make actual pudding, not used in baking? I’m assuming you’d need to cook it, so the cornstarch would thicken, but hoping maybe someone could tell me how long to cook it? Thanks!

  11. Lakin Nicole says:

    What can I use as a dry milk substitute?
    Please reply ASAP!

    • Hi Nicole! I’m not really sure, to be honest. But remember that you can actually skip the pudding step in most recipes — pudding boosts moisture and flavor but many Amish Friendship Bread recipes will still taste great without it. Good luck!

  12. Nancy Swecker says:

    I LOVE discovering the instant pudding recipes!! Not having instant pudding on hand has kept me from making an Amish Friendship Bread recipe many times. Now it won’t be a problem.

  13. Do you have any suggestions for corn-free pudding mix, either brands or a self-made mix? I have a friend who is going corn free and I am having trouble working around that one.

    • Potato Starch can be subbed 1 for 1 for cornstarch in any application. Bobs Red Mill makes potato starch and you can find it in a lot of health food stores. I even found it at my Kroger.

  14. Alm, you might give Instant Clear Jel a try. It is available at Amazon and King Authur Flour. It contains no cornstarch. The ration substitution is
    1 Tbsp of cornstarch=1-1/2 Tbsp of Instant Clear Jel
    2 Tbsp flour or tapioca=1 Tbsp Instant Clear Jel
    The price is around $6 for 16 oz. and it can be used to thicken fruit pies if it doesn’t work for the pudding. If you live near an Amish region, it should be considerably less than that. Hope this helps. Be sure you get the instant. There is another version for foods that will be heated. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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