Kirbie's Cravings

Japanese Milk Pudding

This simple milk pudding is just 4 ingredients. It has a silky, creamy texture and tastes like ice cream in pudding form. Japanese-style milk pudding can be found in convenience stores all over Japan, but you can easily make this treat at home too. 

photo of milk pudding in a jar with more jars in the background

One of the foods I obsess over when I visit Japan is their milk pudding. It’s one of several things I always buy when shopping at all the convenience stores like Lawson’s, 7-Eleven and Family Mart. It’s a very simple pudding but there is something so delightful in its simplicity.

close-up photo of Japanese Milk Pudding garnishes with flowers

What is Japanese Milk Pudding?

Japanese milk pudding is made almost purely of milk, which is why it tastes so much like ice cream. It is not the same as purin pudding, another popular Japanese pudding which is made from eggs.

In Hokkaido, you’ll find a version of this made with Hokkaido’s famous milk

The pudding is made with whole milk, sugar, cream and gelatin. You can also add a splash of vanilla to make it taste even more like ice cream.

It makes a delicious snack, afternoon treat, or dessert.

overhead photo of a spoon scooping some milk pudding

How to Make Milk Pudding

To make the milk pudding, all the ingredients are added to a large pot and then heated over low heat so that the gelatin and sugar can dissolve into the milk and cream.

Once all the ingredients are completely mixed, the pudding mixture is then poured into small cups/jars/bowls.

They are then placed in the fridge for about 6 hours to set.

The puddings can be eaten straight from the fridge. You can also add fruit or syrup on top before serving.

overehead photos of  jars of Japanese Milk Puddings with flour garnishes

Looking for more Japanese recipes to try? I’ve also made Japanese souffle pancakes, 3 Ingredient Japanese Cheesecake, Japanese egg salad sandwiches, and a microwave version of purin pudding.

Japanese Milk Pudding

Servings: 5 (4 oz) servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: Japanese
This popular Japanese snack can be made at home with just 4 ingredients. It tastes like ice cream in pudding form.
4.8 from 5 votes


  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 50 ml heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 2.5 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)


  • Add milk, cream, sugar, vanilla to a large pot. Sprinkle gelatin over top. Stir with a whisk until gelatin is almost dissolved.
  • Warm pudding mixture over low heat on the stove. You do not want it to simmer or come to a boil. While the mixture is heating up, continue to stir with whisk until gelatin and sugar are completely dissolved. This should only take 1-2 minutes once the mixture begins to heat up. Once dissolved, remove from heat.
  • Pour pudding into small bowls/jars or similar containers. You should have about 20 oz of pudding mixture. I divided mine into 4 oz servings.
  • Place pudding containers into fridge to set. This will take about 4-6 hours. Once set, they can be eaten as is. You can also decorate the tops with fruit or syrup before eating. I recommend taking them out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before eating, which will yield a softer pudding. It can be eaten straight out of the fridge but the texture will be more firm.


  • Slightly adapted from Peachy Bunny Mel.
  • I used Knox gelatin.*
  • When the puddings solidifies, the surface may be slightly wrinkly. This is normal. You can cover it up with fruits or syrup if you are serving this to guests.
  • This recipe works best with whole milk to achieve the right level of creaminess.
  • Make sure you do not let the pudding mixture come to a boil when heating it up.
*Some of the product links contained in this post are affiliate links. Much like referral codes, this means I earn a small commission if you purchase a product I referred (at no extra charge to you).


Serving: 1(4 oz) pudding, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 23mg, Sodium: 47mg, Potassium: 139mg, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 302IU, Calcium: 119mg, Net Carbs: 12g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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39 comments on “Japanese Milk Pudding”

  1. So it’s basically panna cotta?

    • panna cotta is made mainly of cream, whereas Japanese milk pudding is made mostly out of milk with only a touch of cream to make it richer and creamier.

  2. So delicate and so beautiful ! Thank you so much and enjoy your weekend 🙂

  3. I’ve never had Japanese milk pudding, so this sounds tasty. Is it similar to the pudding that you’ll get in some boba drinks?

    • I don’t usually get the pudding added to the boba drinks, but from what I can recall, I think that pudding is firmer (more gelatin) and not as creamy. I’m sure it is similar though. This one is a little more delicate.

  4. Hi. Are the flowers in your display edible? Where do you find flower decorations for food? Absolutely love your blog!

    • Thank you! The flowers that are touching the food are edible, but not necessarily tasty. My family usually just pushed them off to the side. Sometimes I have surrounding flowers that are not in the food that may or may not be edible. I grow my own flowers to ensure they are free of pesticides and edible. You can purchase edible flowers, but you will need to look for them at specialty stores, like stores that sell to restaurants.

      • The flowers are a beautiful touch. I once used an organically-grown rose in order to crystallize the petals for a cake topping, so that may be an option. I’ve also used dried sakura blossoms in dishes (they’re salty, so they need to be soaked, maybe twice, then dried). Thank you for your blog and recipes.

      • I’ve used dried sakura too!

  5. This was lovely, though I had a bit of trouble executing this. With the first batch, the pudding separated into two parts. The fat from the milk and the cream floated to the top. The bottom was a jello consistency. I thought it was because I kept it on the burner too long (although I needed to keep it on the burner for more than two minutes for the sugar and gelatin to dissolve and for the milk to get somewhat warm). The second time, I decided not to heat it too long, but then the gelatin didn’t bloom and the pudding didn’t set. It remained a liquid form. It was an interesting experiment though, and I’m determined to keep trying and do some more research.

    • If the milk and cream separated, it sounds like you cooked the pudding too much. It should only be heated up so that the sugar can dissolve, but should never reach a simmer or boil. On your second attempt, it sounds like you began to heat up before the gelatin dissolved. The gelatin should be almost completely dissolved before you even begin to heat up the mixture.

  6. I was in doubt about how much heat the milk, I tried to make another recipe on another site but it did not work. With your tips hit the point thank you was a delight!

  7. Hi! Is there any way to substitute the gelatin in this recipe, maybe agar?

  8. I found the cream was a little too much and my pudding was quite firm. Next batch I’m going to try a little less cream and only 2 teaspoons of gelatin. Otherwise very delicious.

    • You can definitely adjust to your liking. The pudding is a little firm when it first comes out of the fridge, but softens a little if you let them sit out for about 20 minutes.

  9. Hello! Love the recipe! Where did you get the little jars and what size are they? I want to buy some and use them to hold all the pudding!

  10. Hi! Can I use a flavoured gelatin instead of unflavoured one?

    • No, flavored gelatin has a lot of other ingredients added to it and you wouldn’t have the right ratio of gelatin needed since you can’t determine how much of your flavored gelatin is actually gelatin

  11. Hi! Can I substitute low fat milk instead of fresh milk?

  12. Hi. Thanks for the recipe. Could I replace the heavy cream with milk?

  13. Do you think it would be fine with half and half instead of heavy cream?

  14. Made this with half and half instead of the heavy cream because that’s what I had on hand, and it worked great! Definitely making this again.

  15. Hello! I’ll be making this the night before, how do I store it in the fridge? Covered or uncovered? And what should I cover it with if it needs to be covered? Thanks!

  16. Can I use honey in place of sugar? And if so, how much honey should I use? Thanks!

  17. This recipe looks good but I dont have Heavy cream.. is there anyways i can just use all whole milk instead?

  18. I want to try this but only have jelly/agar powder in hand. Have you ever try making it with agar powder?

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