Skip to Content

15 Amazing Milk Substitutes For Making Pudding – Can We Use Water Instead Of Milk?

We all love some sweet and tasty pudding after a delicious meal. Of course, there’s one thing that we all know to be true about pudding – it’s usually made out of milk.

The problem is, it’s difficult to account for a sudden milk shortage, but you’re on borrowed time to make your chocolatey dessert! What is one to do in this dire situation?

1500 Can You Make Pudding With Water Instead Of Milk

When you are severely lacking in the milk department, it’s time to think outside of the box. What other liquid can you use to make your pudding? That’s right – water!

The thing is, are you still going to get a wonderful taste when making pudding with water as you would with milk? That answer will depend on your personal preferences.

With all of that in mind, here’s everything that you need to know about whether you can use water instead of milk to make your pudding. We’ll also be listing a couple of other suitable milk substitutes that you can use, just in case water doesn’t take your fancy.

Is It Possible To Make Pudding With Water Rather Than Milk?

If you don’t currently have any milk that you can use in your home then water can be a suitable substitute. With that being said, you can’t use the same amount of water as milk, so it will mean that you are going to have to amend the recipe a little bit.

This is because milk contains proteins and fats that allow the pudding to set properly, resulting in that creamy texture that we all know and love. There aren’t any of these components in water, so you won’t get the same effect. 

It’s really important that you reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe if you intend to use water instead of milk, because the pudding can become overly runny which isn’t pleasant. To avoid the runnyness, it’s usually best to reduce the liquid content by around 30%.

What Does It Taste Like?

The taste of the pudding is ultimately going to depend on what you put into the pudding and what you tend to enjoy. You won’t get that same creamy, rich flavor and texture that you would expect when you are using milk in the recipe. There’s still going to be a nice taste though, it just won’t be as strong since you’re using water.

It’s also worth noting that there’s a chance that the pudding can end up looking transparent, since water is transparent. You don’t get this with a pudding made out of milk because it ends up becoming opaque.

If you’re making a fruit pudding this may actually be a good thing since it can give the pudding a really unique look. Strawberry puddings made with strawberry essence and water can look pretty awesome.

It ends up looking a little bit like translucent jello, which is really interesting to look at. You’ll still have that wonderful flavor too, which is what you need when making a dessert. 

Excellent Milk Substitute For Making Pudding

SubstitutesCalories (Per 100 gm)
Coconut Milk230
Cashew Milk23
Rice Milk47
Soy Milk54
Oat Milk43
Almond Milk17
Chia Seeds486
Hemp Milk52
Macadamia Nut Milk21
Pumpkin Puree33
Heavy Cream345
Pistachio Milk39
Egg Yolks322

You Won’t Have As Much Creaminess – Think About Adding Other Ingredients

As we’ve already mentioned, your pudding certainly isn’t going to be as creamy when it’s made with water instead of milk. For that reason, it’s a good idea to add some extra things to the pudding instead to give it that creaminess.

You may not care too much about this if you want to reduce the calories or you are allergic to things containing lactose. With that in mind though, here are a couple of suggestions – you’re sure to find something that will work well for you.

Coffee Creamer

One great option that you can put in your pudding is some coffee creamer. You’ll get the smoothness that you’re lacking from water, and the flavor shouldn’t be too different from milk either.

You can use concentrated or powdered milk for it – whatever the case, it’s going to improve the texture and taste. You can add an unlimited amount too, and can keep adding it while your pudding is cooking.

When the pudding is done, don’t despair – a liquid creamer will still work at this stage. It will continue to work as the pudding remains hot. All you need to do is consistently stir it and the creamer will mix right in. You may find it’s harder getting it to blend when you have minimal liquid if you’re using a powdered version.

How To Substitute

Coffee creamer is an excellent choice to add to your pudding if you are using water. It will make your pudding smooth and soft, making it as delicate as possible.

Powdered Milk

Alternatively, you can also put some powdered milk into the pudding. The best thing to do is to put the powdered milk in the water – don’t put it right into the pudding mixture. It’s worth noting though that you will get a lot of sweetness in your pudding if you do this, so it’s a good idea to reduce the amount of sugar that you add into the mixture.

It’s best to add powdered milk fairly early on, because the water is necessary in order for it to work as it should. It isn’t going to blend very well if you don’t do this. 

How To Substitute

If you are making your pudding with water, powdered milk will add a natural sweetness that might feel missing with water. Therefore, it would be best if you also took care sugar quantity you are going to add to it. However, if you choose not to add sugar, you will get a less sugary pudding similar to a mousse than a traditional one.

RELATED: 6 Substitutes For Sweetened Condensed Milk For Your Sweet Recipes

Put Additional Cocoa In The Mix

If you’re making a chocolate pudding, then it could be a good idea to put some extra cocoa powder into the mix. This will make it extra flavorful, to the point where the absence of milk will be barely noticeable.

The best thing to do here is to put the powder in the mix and then give it a good stir with some water. This will make a paste that is free of any cocoa lumps that can ruin the texture.

How To Substitute

Adding cocoa to your chocolate pudding will be the best choice not to make the absence of milk obvious. You should add the cocoa in the mixer as it will all the lumps and help you get the exact chocolate pudding texture.

Veggie Cream And Heavy Cream

All you need is a little bit of water, and then you can put some heavy cream into the pudding. There will be a slightly higher fat content but the milky flavor and texture will be there. If you look at a milk container that has been left untouched for a couple of days and check on top of it, that’s basically what heavy cream is.

You usually don’t see this in milk these days since milk gets homogenized, though it will happen often with raw milk that you get from farms.

Veggie cream can be used in a similar way to heavy cream. This is a fantastic vegan choice that you can use instead of heavy cream, and it can be used in cooking sauces, cooking cream and you will often find it in whipped cream cartons too. These options are both fantastic for adding that rich texture into the pudding, so it’ll taste fantastic.

How To Substitute

If you are making putting with water, veggie and heavy cream will be one of the best choices to keep its authentic texture intact. Although it would be higher in fat, the rich texture you will get will make your pudding the best.

What Other Milk Substitutes Can You Use?

1500 Can You Make Pudding With Water Instead Of Milks

For some people, these suggestions won’t be suitable for their pudding. You will need to add water to all of them to make them work, and then putting the add ins into the water would then give the creamy flavor.

Of course, water isn’t the only thing that you can use as a substitute for milk when you are making pudding. There are a number of other things that you can use too.

It’s worth noting that the substitutes listed below are all plant and nut based, so they are vegan friendly. The ones below are the most suitable out of all of the vegan substitutes that you can get. 

Coconut Milk

This is just as creamy and thick as your average cow’s milk, though it may be necessary to add some water to make it a little thinner if you don’t want the pudding to be too thick! You can use this with the vast majority of different flavors of pudding too, such as fruit, chocolate, vanilla and whatever else you can think of.

How To Substitute

You can substitute milk in the pudding with coconut milk to make this vegan and gluten-free. Coconut milk is the liquid that comes from the meat of a coconut. It has a creamier and richer taste than the milk from cows or goats, which makes it the perfect substitute for milk in the pudding.

RELATED: 9 Best Malt Milk Powder Substitutes

Cashew Milk

If you want to add a nutty flavor to your pudding, then cashew milk could be a great choice for your pudding. It’s sweet and creamy, so you’ll get a great texture and taste. 

How To Substitute

If a change in flavor will work, then adding cashew milk instead of regular milk will also be a great choice. The texture and taste of your pudding will enhance with a nutty flavor.

Rice Milk

This is a fantastic choice for plant milk that tastes good. It’s a little thin so it may be necessary to add a little less of it in order for it to get thick.

How To Substitute

With a neutral flavor, the rice milk won’t change the taste of your pudding. However, by doing it, your pudding will get the required milk, and you can try whatever flavor you like to complete your pudding recipe without any fear of getting it messed up.

Soy Milk

When most people think of vegan milks, soy milk comes to mind. It’s easily accessible and tastes great, making it perfect for pudding.

How To Substitute

Soy milk is a popular milk substitute for people with milk allergies, vegan diets, and those who want a different milk option. This vegan recipe for soy milk-based pudding is the perfect dessert for a spring or summer evening with a rich, creamy, and healthy.

Oat Milk

The consistency of oat milk is great and plenty thick enough for your pudding. It’s not always easy to get access to though.

How To Substitute

Oat milk is an alternative rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and plant protein. It is made from grinding oats and water. It comes with a thick consistency, making it the best choice to replace milk in the pudding.

Almond Milk

A nutty flavor and wonderful texture, almond milk is a great choice for most puddings – just not fruit puddings.

How To Substitute

Substituting milk in the pudding with almond milk is worth trying. In the desert, the almond milk adds a sweet, creamy flavor and helps the pudding stay moist. With this substitution, the pudding can be made dairy-free.

Chia Seeds

If you don’t want to use milk in your pudding recipe, then you can substitute the milk with chia seeds.

Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and antioxidants. They also provide a texture similar to milk.

Apart from texture, the chia seeds are bland in taste, so make sure to add sweetener to your pudding to compensate for the taste.

How To Substitute

Mix chia seeds with water and substitute the mixture with milk in a ratio of 1:1.

Hemp Milk

Hemp Milk is a new alternative to milk, with a delicious, nutty flavor and a creamy texture.

Hemp Milk can be substituted in any recipe for milk, such as bread, puddings, pancakes, or even ice cream.

It is intact with much nutritional content such as calcium, healthy fat, and iron.

How To Substitute

You may substitute it with milk in the same amount your recipe calls for.

Macadamia Nut Milk

One of these alternatives is macadamia nut milk. This milk is an excellent substitute for milk because it has a light, creamy taste and a higher nutritional value than other types of milk.

The macadamia nut milk is also vegan and gluten-free. Therefore, this milk can be used in various recipes and made at home with a few ingredients.

How To Substitute

Use the same amount of nut milk in your pudding as regular milk.


If you are comfortable with alcohol and not going to serve your puddings to the children, then alcohol is your next option.

Pudding is a dessert with many variations, and one variation is called “wine pudding.” Alcohol is substituted for the milk, and the alcohol is heated with the other ingredients.

Amaretto is popular, but you can use whatever you get quickly.

How To Substitute

Mix a shot-sized alcohol in a cup of water and replace this mixture with water to prepare your recipe. However, be ready to make some ingredients alterations so your recipe retains its flavor.

Pumpkin Puree

Pumpkin Puree is a popular milk alternative that adds moisture and flavor to dishes like pumpkin pie and puddings.

Pumpkin Puree can make dairy-free desserts more nutritious when substituted for milk.

How To Substitute

Since pumpkin puree is thick, then milk so, add half amount of pumpkin puree to your pudding that it calls for milk. However, if it requires more, you can add more.

Heavy Cream

Heavy cream is a perfect substitute for milk pudding.

However, finding heavy cream is difficult to get from cow’s raw milk from the top of it. However, if you can get your hands on it, you will get a delicious outcome of your pudding.

If you do not have heavy cream, you may use veggie cream too.

How To Substitute

Mix water with heavy cream to become a thick liquid like milk, and you are ready with your next substitute.


Everyone might disagree, but avocado could be your pudding savior from milk shortening.

Yes, you heard that right. People with allergies would love to try this one.

Just add some cocoa powder and avocado and blend it ideally; your next substitute is ready to go.

How To Substitute

For best results, replace 1 cup of milk with a half cup of avocado and cocoa.

Pistachio Milk

You can substitute Pistachio Milk for milk in puddings and baked goods. Pistachio milk contains flavor and nutritional value and is an excellent substitute for milk in recipes.

Although they are harder to find, you will get a delicious pudding for a sweet treat if you get your hands on them.

How To Substitute

Use a 1:1 substitution ratio to replace milk with pistachio milk in the pudding.

Egg Yolks

Egg yolks are a great way to replace milk in a pudding recipe. The resulting pudding will be creamier and richer without adding any extra calories.

Although it’s not a dairy-free product, it will be a great alternative to your pudding. It would be best to cook a little to stir in your pudding to thicken it.

How To Substitute

Instead of replacing in a 1:1 ratio, it is best to start by adding a little to your pudding until you get the desired texture.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Can I Use As A Milk Substitute For Pudding? 

Almond or coconut milk are both generally a good choice. It’s also possible to use rice milk too, which can taste wonderful.

How Much Water Do You Put In Jello Pudding?

For most jello pudding recipes, 1 cup of boiling water and 1 cup of cold water should be used alongside the jello mix. Check for instructions though.

Can I Use Heavy Cream Instead Of Milk For Pudding?

Yes – it is possible to use heavy cream instead of milk for your pudding, though you are going to get a much thicker consistency. Make sure that you measure it out correctly so you still get a good taste.

Making Pudding With Water Instead of Milk: Is It Possible? 

Prep time


Cooking time


Total time



Italian seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is used to season a variety of dishes. Find out how to substitute Italian seasoning at home.


  • Coffee Creamer

  • Powdered Milk

  • Put Additional Cocoa In The Mix

  • Veggie Cream and Heavy Cream

  • Coconut Milk

  • Cashew Milk

  • Rice Milk

  • Soy Milk

  • Oat Milk

  • Almond Milk

  • Chia Seeds

  • Hemp Milk

  • Macadamia Nut Milk

  • Alcohol

  • Pumpkin Puree

  • Heavy Cream

  • Avocado

  • Pistachio Milk

  • Egg Yolks


  • Choose your favorite substitute from the list given above
  • Follow the directions given in the recipe after having substituted the ingredient in the correct ratio

Recipe Video

Jess Smith