Vanilla pudding is a creamy dessert that is typically made with milk, sugar, cornstarch, and vanilla flavoring. The exact origin of vanilla pudding is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Europe in the 17th or 18th century.
One early reference to a dessert similar to vanilla pudding can be found in a cookbook published in 1710 by Mary Kettilby, a British author. The recipe, called “white pot,” called for a mixture of cream, sugar, eggs, and spices, which was then baked in a dish.
The modern version of vanilla pudding that we know today is most likely a variation of blancmange, a popular dessert in medieval Europe that was made with milk, sugar, and almonds. Blancmange evolved over time to include other flavors, such as vanilla and chocolate, and eventually became the basis for modern-day pudding.
In the United States, pudding became a popular dessert in the early 1900s, when companies began producing instant pudding mixes that could be prepared quickly and easily at home. Today, vanilla pudding is enjoyed around the world in a variety of forms, including as a standalone dessert, as a filling for cakes and pastries, and as a component of other dishes.
Image from Celebrating Sweets