Is your pudding runny? If so, learn how to thicken instant pudding with our four easy to follow tips to make a yummy dessert that everyone will love!
What Is Instant Pudding?
The main ingredients of pudding include powder, sugar, thickeners, and flavor such as strawberry, banana, chocolate and vanilla.
Why Isn’t My Instant Pudding Thickening?
When you purchase instant pudding but don’t use it instantly, you might notice the pudding melts and loses its texture. What are the reasons for this? “Why won’t my instant pudding set?”
- Instant pudding’s ingredients include a thickener, which is what thickens pudding. However, these thickeners do not have a strong effect when it stays at room temperature for a long time. That is the reason instant pudding melts once you let it sit outside for about 10-15 minutes. The thickeners are there, but the effect decreases its use over time.
- Some instant pudding even has little thickeners, making these pudding-like cake recipes with no milk and no substance to support ingredient bonding.
- Another thickener in the instant pudding is gelatinized starch. It is a strong thickener, but the problem begins with its characteristics of melting when meeting liquid. Since gelatinized starch is a dry water-needy substance, its dry texture will melt when combined with milk or water.
- Although there are thickeners in instant pudding, its complex ingredients include sugar, water, flavoring agents, preservation, etc. These factors make pudding taste delicious; however, it also decreases the pudding’s thickening impact. So, pre-made instant pudding has trouble thickening because of these factors.
How To Thicken Instant Pudding?
1. Using cornstarch
Cornstarch is one of the most used thickening agents on how to make pudding thicker because of its fast and effective result. It is what makes brownies chewy and supports many desserts to be flavorful. That is the reason why we can use cornstarch on how to thicken jello pudding that won’t set.
However, there is a note that you must remember before pouring cornstarch directly into your watery pudding. On how to thicken up instant pudding, cornstarch needs to be boiled to its boiling point before it can gelatinize your pudding. So, how to thicken instant pudding for pie with cornstarch?
The first thing you need to do is create a slurry of cornstarch and water in an equal ratio. After mixing that slurry, turn to your instant pudding, heat it to thoroughly melt its texture (but don’t completely melt it). Mix the hot cornstarch slurry into the pudding and stir the mixture together. This way of adding cornstarch will prevent clumping, rather than pouring cornstarch directly into the pudding.
The mixture will slowly become denser, and you can stop when the component has reached its desired consistency. You may find the mixture thin, although you mix it at boiling temperature, don’t worry. Once you finish setting, it will become dense due to the room temperature.
Before letting the mixture cool down entirely, pour the mixture into your pudding cup to have the pudding shape you want. That’s how to thicken pudding.
Another cornstarch method you can select is using modified cornstarch. Unlike regular cornstarch, modified cornstarch is indeed an ingredient in the instant pudding, and its characteristic is different from a regular one. If we need heat to make regular cornstarch work, then it is unnecessary to do that with modified cornstarch.
You can directly add modified cornstarch into your slurry pudding since this substance acts more quickly at room temperature. If you are lucky enough to purchase modified cornstarch, get it now to thicken pudding in the fastest way.
The last cornstarch type you can find that can thicken instant pudding is gelatinized starch. Adding gelatin to instant pudding with gelatinized starch and phosphate salts is how to get pudding to thicken. However, this method is quite difficult to reach than the listed two, so consider your ingredients before handling gelatinized starch.
2. Using tapioca/arrowroot
Another effective thickening agent you can try to make pudding thicker is tapioca or arrowroot. Like regular cornstarch, tapioca and arrowroot must also be heated until gelatinized to help thicken the pudding agent. Since these two thickening agents have a low boiling point, you can use them to thicken pudding, including eggs in the ingredients.
We all know that cooking eggs in high heat for a long time will cause coagulation, so it’s best to use a fast-cook thickening agent like tapioca or arrowroot in these cases. When mixing arrowroot with dairy, it can create a quite slurry and sticky substance. Still, arrowroot or tapioca can be your effective buddy in thickening instant pudding if you don’t mind.
3. Using more pudding powder
A simple way to thicken instant pudding that we bet you haven’t known before is adding more pudding powder if your pudding didn’t set. Each packet of the instant pudding has enough ingredients and a thickening factor that can help boost your pudding’s consistency.
Although this method seems quite silly, it is an approved, effective way to thicken the pudding. All you have to do is add a half or a full pack of instant pudding into your mix. In this way, you can increase the thickening agent portion, making your pudding firmer and thicker in return.
The last method to thicken instant pudding is by shaking! Although this method does not bring instant results, it can be a fun way to try once my pudding didn’t set. It would help if you had a mason jar and some ice cubes to do the following method. What you need to do is pour your pudding into a mason jar with some ice cubes, then close the lid and shake the jar.
So, how long does instant pudding take to set? After 2-3 minutes, put the jar in the fridge and let it stay for 2-3 hours before serving. This method can be called temporary freezing, as we use ice and fast shaking movement to thicken the pudding texture. After you keep the jar in the fridge for a few hours, the pudding texture will thicken, but it won’t shape like how it is used to shape, that’s for sure.
How To Make Perfectly Thick Instant Pudding
It can be difficult to fix an instant pudding that has already been slurry and watery. In that case, why don’t we try to make the instant pudding perfectly thicken from the beginning?
Let’s see how we can make delicious thick pudding by following these guidelines:
Measure the correct amount of milk
You can follow recipes on the Internet or in the package to determine the correct amount of milk to use. Too much milk will make the pudding slurry, while too little milk will make the texture fall apart. That is why milk is an essential ingredient in the pudding, and you need the right amount of milk for your pudding to thicken perfectly.
Another tip is always using fresh milk to make the perfect pudding.
Sugar is a pudding thickener as well in some cases. If you love the sweetness in your pudding, add some sugar to engage both sweet flavor and desired thickness.
Use a blender to make instant pudding
After having all ingredients set for making instant pudding, especially powder pudding mix or powder substitute for instant pudding, put them all in a blender with a closed lid.
Run the blender for 30-40 seconds at medium speed until it reaches your desired consistency. Remove the pudding from the blender into a pudding-shaped bowl and let it rest at a cool temperature for one hour.
Serve the pudding
After one hour, you can serve your thickened pudding with some syrup, fruit, and milk to make the dessert more delicious.