Why You Need to Add Instant Pudding to Your Dessert Recipes ASAP

Updated: Mar. 21, 2024

High-end pastry chefs are finally admitting they use the same instant pudding mix that's been a home baking secret for years.

A dirty little secret of restaurant chefs is out: a secret to great desserts that’s so groundbreaking and yet so home-spun. Apparently, high-end pastry chefs have long been using instant pudding mix in their recipes, the same way home bakers have for years.

The New York Times recently profiled one of the hottest desserts around right now, a pistachio Bundt cake at uber-hip Claud in the East Village. Chef Joshua Pinsky, the Times wrote, was “finally ready to reveal the key ingredient. It’s not high-end vanilla paste or heirloom wheat flour.”

The secret ingredient? Instant pudding mix. “I don’t tell everybody,” Pinsky said to the Times. “When they are like, ‘This is delicious,’ I don’t go, ‘It’s the pudding.’ But it’s the pudding.” Pinsky apparently felt so embarrassed by his technique that for a long time, he would hide the pudding boxes in the kitchen. But no longer.

What Does Adding Instant Pudding Mix Do?

Adding instant pudding mix to your dessert brings a moist texture to recipes. It’s especially useful when baking a cake from a boxed mix for added flavor and moisture.

Also follow these simple trick or two to make pudding mix taste homemade. No one will know it was instant pudding!

Why Is Instant Pudding So Popular?

According to Jeri Quinzio’s 2012 book, Pudding: A Global History, instant pudding was introduced in 1918. With the rise of supermarkets in mid-20th century America, the product’s popularity grew. In the 1940s, ads in women’s magazines for Jell-O instant pudding claimed it could recreate “Grandma’s creamy, deep-flavored pudding, quick as a scat.” Home cooks popularized using the mixes for cakes and other pastries. Local community cookbooks from the late 20th century are full of recipes that call for pudding mix.

How Is Pudding Mix Used In Desserts?

Pudding can be used in so many great desserts—from cakes to pies and even tiramisu. When baking a cake, simply stir in a box of your desired instant pudding mix (don’t make the pudding, just add the boxed mix) to your dry ingredients. Voila! A decadent dessert awaits.

Easy Cake Recipes That Start with a Box of Pudding
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