Homemade Chocolate Pudding – this nostalgic dessert is supremely chocolatey, deliciously decadent, and lusciously creamy, with a silky smooth melt-in-your-mouth consistency. All the things you’d want in a perfect pudding and then some!
About This Homemade Chocolate Pudding
I think pudding can have a bad reputation. Because when we think of pudding many of us instantly think of the shelf stable singles highly lacking in flavor that are filled with artificial flavor and preservatives. This freshly made pudding is a thousand times better!
And the method to making it is incredibly easy.
Just whisk the ingredients, simmer over the stovetop, (strain if you are picky and like it lump-free like me), then mix in the chopped chocolate at the end.
From there the hardest part is waiting for it to chill in the fridge to fully thicken (which also makes it nicely cold and refreshing).
It’s the perfect dessert year round but especially during hot summer days.
Spoon finished pudding into pretty glasses or cups, finish each with a billowy mound of airy whipped cream, and fine shavings of dark chocolate. Here you’ll have an elegant dessert that’s destined to impress anyone.
I think this is even worthy of being deemed as the best pudding recipe! It’s definitely the favorite around here, we just can’t get enough of it!
Chocolate Pudding Recipe Ingredients
- Granulated sugar: If you want the pudding a little sweeter you can add 2 extra tablespoons.
- Dutch process cocoa powder: Since this isn’t available at all grocery stores you can make with regular unsweetened cocoa powder if needed.
- Cornstarch: This is critical to thickening in this pudding recipe, and it needs to be heated to a full simmer in order to properly thicken.
- Salt: A fair amount balances the sweetness and enhances the chocolate flavor here.
- Whole milk: If you happen to only have low fat milk you can replace a few tablespoons of it with heavy cream to equal whole milk.
- Egg yolks: Reserve the whites for another use, there are some ideas here.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: Use good quality chocolate for best results.
- Unsalted butter: Since it’s a small amount used here salted butter would be fine as well.
- Vanilla extract: This is the perfect flavor pairing to chocolate so we use a fair amount.
- Heavy cream: This isn’t critical to there recipe, I just like it for a nice finishing touch. If you don’t care to add it then omit along with the extra 1 Tbsp sugar.
See below for full recipe with print option.
How to Make Chocolate Pudding from Scratch
- Whisk dry ingredients in saucepan: In a medium saucepan whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt.
- Whisk in wet ingredients: Pour in milk and egg yolks and whisk well.
- Cook and stir: Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and while scraping bottom and sides of pan with a rubber spatula to prevent skin from forming.
- Bring to simmer, whisk well: Once mixture thickens and comes to a simmer (with bubbling across top surface as well not just edges), immediately switch to a whisk and reduce heat to medium-low, let simmer 30 seconds while whisking constantly.
- Strain pudding, stir in chocolate and flavorings: Immediately remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl. Right away add chocolate, butter and vanilla while mixture is still very hot and whisk until smooth.
- Cover snug with plastic: Cover mixture with a sheet of plastic wrap while pressing directly against the surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill to thicken fully: Chill 4 hours.
- Make whipped topping: Whip heavy cream and 1 Tbsp sugar in a medium bowl on with hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Add to serving cups, garnish: Stir pudding then spoon into individual serving dishes, top with whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate.
Serving Dish Size
- 4 to 6 oz serving dishes should work well here.
- My footed glass cups (pictured) are 5.5 oz. I bought them here.
- Homemade pudding should always be stored in the fridge for food safety.
- It shouldn’t sit at room temperature for more than 1 hour (but remember it’s best cold).
- It will keep about 3 – 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator (but chances are it will be gone much before then, it’s dangerously delicious!).
Can homemade pudding be frozen?
- No. Unfortunately homemade pudding doesn’t freeze very well (unless maybe you plan on serving in a frozen state like popsicles).
- The reason being is that texture of the pudding won’t be quite the same upon thawing.
Helpful Homemade Pudding Tips
- Have ingredients prepped and ready before you begin cooking.
- Don’t let the pudding custard mixture get too hot or you will scramble the egg yolks. A fair bubbling simmer will do well, just don’t boil it.
- Use a spatula while stirring to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan, otherwise a skin from the cornstarch and egg will start to from around the edges.
- Whisk somewhat vigorously at the end so there’s no seperation.
- To rid pudding of any lumps strain and press cooked mixture through a fine sieve.
- Chop chocolate up fine so it will melt fully when added to hot pudding mixture. Large chunks may not melt through.
- Don’t forget to press the plastic wrap directly against the surface of the pudding before chilling otherwise a skin will form. This would leave an unpleasant texture and can create lumps when mixed in.
- Plan ahead and allow enough time to chill thoroughly. It’s thicker and tastes better this way.
More Tempting Desserts to Try
Follow Cooking Classy
16 Quick & Easy 30 Minute Recipes! (plus weekly recipe updates)
Chocolate Pudding Recipe
- In a medium saucepan whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, the cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt.
- Pour in milk and egg yolks and whisk well.
- Cook mixture over medium-high heat, stirring constantly and while scraping bottom and sides of pan with a rubber spatula to prevent skin from forming.
- Once mixture thickens slightly and comes to a simmer (with bubbling across top surface as well not just edges), reduce heat to medium-low, immediately switch to a whisk and let simmer 30 seconds while whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and immediately strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a heat proof bowl. Right away add chocolate, butter and vanilla while mixture is still very hot and whisk until smooth.
- Cover mixture with a sheet of plastic wrap while pressing directly against the surface of pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
- Chill 4 hours.
- Add heavy cream and 1 Tbsp sugar to a medium bowl and whip with an electric hand mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form.
- Stir pudding a few times then spoon into individual serving dishes, top with whipped cream and garnish with shaved chocolate.
- To shave chocolate here you can either use a vegetable peeler (running it along the end of a bar of chocolate), or grate chocolate on the small holes of a box grater.