A Simple Addition Is All You Need For Extra Creamy Instant Pudding

Instant pudding is a modern miracle, delivering a comforting, creamy dessert with the help of milk and a quick stir. While it may fall short of the homemade pudding your mom used to make, you can achieve a similar result with the help of a simple addition. A scoop of whipped cream is the easiest way to bolster the texture and flavor of instant pudding. Whipped cream's milky and subtly sweet profile pairs well with any flavor of instant pudding without over-sweetening it. It will add depth of flavor, giving your treat that fresh dairy finish reminiscent of scratch-made desserts. Whipped cream is light and fluffy, so it'll add creaminess to instant pudding without weighing it down.

You can spoon a dollop on top of a bowl of finished pudding, stirring it in or combining it with each bite. But the best way to achieve a uniform creaminess is to fold the whipped cream into the pudding as you make it. Folding is a baking technique that blends a lighter ingredient into a denser mixture and is the key to the fluffiest desserts, from soufflés to mousses. To fold whipped cream into instant pudding, add the whipped cream in small amounts to the pudding, combining with a rubber spatula by making "J" shaped scooping movements. It may take a little longer than stirring it with a spoon, but the results are worth the effort.

More tips and tricks to thicken instant pudding

Before you add a thickener, some other helpful tips for making homemade pudding include using a whisk to mix the powder with milk and chilling your pudding in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This will further solidify the milk fats, effectively firming up its consistency. 

While folding whipped cream into instant pudding is simple and effective, you've got other tasty options and add-ins to elevate instant pudding into a more luxurious version of itself. Condensed milk is a good option, but it is much sweeter and heavier than whipped cream. You won't have to worry about folding it in, but you'll need to add it conservatively to avoid over-sweetening.

Many types of instant pudding are dairy-free, requiring the addition of milk to set it. Not only can you use a dairy-free milk substitute for plant-based pudding, but you can also use a dairy-free thickener. Coconut cream is an ultra-rich and creamy dairy-free option. You can find sweetened and unsweetened coconut cream at the store, or skim the cream off the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. Coconut has a distinct flavor that is at once creamy and nutty. It will taste delicious with any flavor, whether it's chocolate, vanilla, pistachio, banana, or strawberry.