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Homemade Pudding Pops

Guess what? An updated version of this recipe can be found in my cookbook Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats. Buy it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local indie bookstore!

So pudding pops are having a moment, huh? Barry and Levon would be so proud.

Those of us old enough to remember the first years of Nickelodeon will likely also recall the mid-’90s halcyon days of MTV, where—along with playing music videos, yes—the channel also ran a sketch comedy show called The State.

homemade pudding pops
Photo: Casey Barber

(Now The State’s theme song is in your head, isn’t it? Boys and girls, action, action!)

And it was two of the more prominent members of the troupe who gave voice to the truly absurd recurring characters known as Barry and Levon.

You might know Michael Ian Black as the pesky sidekick on NBC’s cult favorite Ed or Wet Hot American Summer and Thomas Lennon from Reno 911! and, well, almost everything comedy-related.

How quaint the ’90s seem, where a Dadaist comedy act featuring two lounge lizards from the ’70s obsessed with $240 worth of pudding got not one but five appearances during the MTV run of the show.

homemade pudding pops
Photo: Casey Barber

In contrast, this era marked the rise of the Chris Farley/David Spade/Rob Schneider crew over on Saturday Night Live, and you certainly didn’t see any of those guys rubbing their asses in pudding on network television:



In a terribly ironic twist of fate, by the time The State hit the airwaves, Jell-O Pudding Pops were defunct.

Even the Popsicle brand, which tried for a resurgence within the past decade, just gave up the ghost.

So in the words of Barry and Levon, who know that the best way to go is to cook and then chill, it’s time to make your own.

And while it’s certainly possible to whip up some Jell-O instant pudding and freeze it in Dixie cups, I wouldn’t feel right about sending you off with only that advice.

homemade pudding pops
Photo: Casey Barber

With no eggs and no temperamental custard to build, these two puddings take just as much time to whisk together as a box of the instant stuff, and the dry ingredients can even be portioned out in advance to make it as simple as the “just add milk” directions on the packaged version.

In my world, chocolate-vanilla swirl is really the only Pudding Pop flavor worth eating, but don’t let that stop you from making single-flavor pops if that’s how you roll.

Barry and Levon would certainly allow you to swing any way your pudding-loving heart desires. Awww, yeah.

homemade pudding pops
PIN THIS!
homemade pudding pops

Homemade Pudding Pops

Yield: 8 popsicles
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours

Homemade Pudding Pops with real pudding, not instant pudding from a box, bring back nostalgic childhood tastes. They even have a chocolate vanilla swirl.

Ingredients

Vanilla Pudding Base

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon tapioca flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Chocolate Pudding Base

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups whole milk

Instructions

Make the vanilla pudding base:

  1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and tapioca powder together in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, still whisking constantly as the sweet milk will burn on the bottom of the pan if left unattended and you don't want burned bits in your pudding.
  3. Once at a simmer, whisk for 7-8 minutes or until opaque and thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and cream.
  5. Chill until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Make the chocolate pudding base:

  1. Whisk the sugar, cornstarch and cocoa powder together in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat, still whisking constantly as the sweet milk will burn on the bottom of the pan if left unattended and you don't want burned bits in your pudding.
  3. Once at a simmer, whisk for 7-8 minutes or until opaque and thickened.
  4. Remove from heat, then chill until cold, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Assemble the pops:

  1. Layer the two flavors of pudding in popsicle molds or Dixie cups, or fill half the mold with chocolate pudding and then carefully swirl the vanilla pudding into the chocolate using a toothpick or knife.
  2. Freeze for 4-6 hours or until completely solid.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 153Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 4g

The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate.

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9 Comments

    1. Sarah, I dunno – you know I don’t do instant pudding! :) You’ll have to try both and report back.

  1. Too bad it hasn’t been in the 90’s everyday for the past month, because these would be perfect for one of those days!! What a minute – it HAS!!!

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