How Restaurant Chefs Use Instant Pudding To Elevate Desserts

Although pudding isn't the fanciest dessert out there, its simplicity makes it a good dessert to whip up on a weeknight if you're craving something sweet. And with a few more steps, it's also easy to turn pudding into a show-stopping treat. Instant pudding is the core ingredient to this chocolate lover's pie recipe, and you might also be surprised to know about instant pudding's importance to professional chefs. Magnolia Bakery's famous banana pudding has a huge fanbase, and you can make the pudding with ingredients in your pantry. In fact, the pudding is made from instant pudding mix, not from scratch.

But there are also other pastry chefs that use instant pudding in other creative ways. For example, Joshua Pinsky is a chef at Claud, a restaurant in New York City, and he uses instant pistachio pudding for its famous bundt cake, per The New York Times. You may have already been putting instant pudding mix into your cakes at home, but this technique is also chef-approved. Here's why pudding mix makes such a difference in baked goods.

What makes instant pudding so great for improving desserts?

Most people assume that a completely from-scratch dessert is sure to be the tastiest option, but it turns out, there's a reason for why instant pudding comes in handy. Pastry chef Shilpa Uskokovic explains to Bon Appétit that instant pudding has modified cornstarch as one of its ingredients, and this plays a key role in thickening liquids without heating anything up. Uskokovic recommends using instant pudding in whipped cream and custards.

But the cornstarch in instant pudding mix plays an important part in baked goods, too. This particular component in instant pudding makes cake and other desserts rise more, and in general, the sugar in instant pudding leads to a moist baked good. Using instant pudding is the secret to leveling up a lemon cake in texture and in taste. For a more intense flavor in your cake, consider grabbing the corresponding instant pudding flavor.

Wondering what other techniques chefs use to get that perfect, moist cake? Build in some time for a cake soak or take a page out of Duff Goldman's book and add some oil to your cake batter.