Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

Back in October, my Chief Culinary Consultant got pretty sick, and after nearly a full day spent in the ER, a CT scan finally provided a diagnosis of diverticulitis – a nasty infection in the lining of the intestine. Sounds awesome, right?! He was put on a pretty restricted diet and before long, our refrigerator was stocked full of pudding and Jello. A couple of strong antibiotics later, the infection was cleared up, but there remained one side effect of the diverticulitis episode… a nightly pudding craving. Months later, he still enjoys a cup or two of chocolate pudding while we’re watching television, and so I’ve been continuing to buy it. Finally, a few weeks ago, I realized this was crazy, and I should just be making him pudding. Right?!  I set off to earn my “good wife” badge and whip up some chocolate pudding.

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

The first batch of pudding I made was a recipe that used a custard (i.e. egg) base. I cooked it for what seemed like eons and it never got as thick as I thought it should have, but I refrigerated it anyway, thinking that it might set up in the fridge. I thought wrong. My Chief Culinary Consultant coined it “chocolate pudding soup”. It lingered in the fridge for a few days, and then was shown the door.

Back to square one. I started to notice a pattern when researching chocolate pudding recipes – newer recipes all seemed to start with a custard egg base, while the older recipes all used cornstarch as the sole thickening agent. I’m a pretty traditional gal by nature, so I thought the cornstarch route might serve me well. Not surprisingly, it worked beautifully.

This pudding only takes about 10 minutes to make, and then needs to sit in the refrigerator to chill for a few hours. It takes less effort than going to the grocery store, and I’m happy to provide my husband with a simple, homemade chocolate pudding for his evening snacking :)

Easy Homemade Chocolate Pudding | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

One year ago: Cajun Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese
Two years ago: Nutella-Hazelnut Cookies
Three years ago: Hot Reuben Dip
Four years ago: Cranberry-White Chocolate Almond Biscotti
Five years ago: Black and White Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Pudding

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes

An easy recipe for homemade chocolate pudding.

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk or half-and-half, divided
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. In a medium saucepan, stir together 1¾ cups of the milk, the sugar, chocolate and salt, and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ¼ cup milk and cornstarch until no lumps remain. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for an additional minute, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.

3. Pour the pudding mixture into a clean bowl (or individual serving cups or ramekins), and press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the pudding until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Whisk prior to serving, if storing in a large bowl. The pudding can be kept in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 4 days.

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74 Responses to “Homemade Chocolate Pudding”

  1. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on February 4, 2014 at 1:25 am

    mmmm I love pudding – it reminds me so much of childhood!

    Reply

  2. Mediterranean Baby on February 4, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Michelle!! Thank you!! My little ones LOVE chocolate pudding and my tiny twin is allergic to eggs. You nailed this! They are in for a treat this week :)

    Reply

  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on February 4, 2014 at 2:39 am

    It looks so rich and thick and just perfect!

    Reply

  4. Angelique Misa on February 4, 2014 at 2:51 am

    Lovely photos, as always! Great recipe, will give this one a try. :)

    Reply

  5. B obette on February 4, 2014 at 5:19 am

    You have made me very hungry. Nothing like pudding from scratch.

    Reply

  6. Linda Brown on February 4, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Pudding looks scrumptious and I will be making this week! Love your blog! I can empathize with your CCC as I had a bout of diverticulitis 18 mos ago. Not fun.

    Reply

  7. Sweetie on February 4, 2014 at 6:27 am

    Interesting observation on old/cornstarch vs. new/custard. Any musings why… Trend? Or custard just seems richer thereby better? Any chance the initial custard try failed because of technique? Did you try more than once with the same result?
    I have a cottage/small bakery business and one of the absolute, hands-down best-sellers, is a coconut cream pie with a cornstarch as the thickening ingredient. But there are eggs (yolks) as well. It’s an ATK recipe and it never, ever fails.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 4th, 2014 at 12:55 pm

      Just based on the ones that I read, it definitely seemed to be a distinct, old-school vs new-school way of doing things. Yeah, I’ve done the custard thing multiple times, and I’m not sure if the particular recipe I tried had too much liquid or what, but it definitely didn’t work. I’ve had success with many custards (ice cream, pastry cream, etc.), but this one just wasn’t happening. I have made that same coconut cream pie, and agree that it is fabulous!

      Reply

  8. Laura @ Lauras Baking Talent on February 4, 2014 at 6:30 am

    Love homemade pudding!

    Reply

  9. Angela on February 4, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I’m going to try this tonight :)

    Reply

  10. Rene on February 4, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Do you think this would work with skim milk? I try to watch the calories/fat where I can.

    Thanks.

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 4th, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      Hi Rene, I didn’t try it with skim milk, so I can’t give you a 100% guarantee. It might work, but it won’t be as rich tasting (probably a little more watered down). I would use 2% if you can – a better compromise.

      Reply

  11. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on February 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

    Wow, this really is simple! I love chocolate pudding, so I will be making this one soon :D

    Reply

  12. marcie on February 4, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Michelle,
    What kind of chocolate did you use? Would Bakers brand be good?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 4th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

      Hi Marcie, I have never used Baker’s chocolate, so I can’t speak to how it would taste in here. I used Valrhona 72% bittersweet; my favorite chocolate that you can usually find in the grocery store is Ghiradelli (the baking bars found in the baking aisle).

      Reply

      • Marcie on February 16th, 2014 at 4:33 pm

        Michelle,
        I made this for VDay for my husband. It turned out so good! I found a Ghiradelli 70% extra bittersweet bar at Wally World. My mom is asking if you have done a vanilla pudding? I know you already have the instant DIY you’ve done.

        Reply

        • Michelle on February 17th, 2014 at 8:59 am

          Hi Marcie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I haven’t done a vanilla pudding yet, but it is on my list :)

          Reply

    • Jen on February 4th, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      Just a note of caution- a lot of time when people talk about “Bakers” chocolate they are referring to unsweetened chocolate. Bakers brand also makes regular chocolate, but it does not have the reputation for quality or flavor that Valrhona or Ghiradelli does. Whatever chocolate you use, I’d just be sure not to use the unsweetened stuff because the amount of sugar BEB recommends you use is based on the chocolate already having some sugar in it.

      Reply

  13. Desiree on February 4, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Hi Michelle,

    This looks wonderful! I’m a big fan of homemade so my kids don’t eat all of that artificial gunk! If you’re ever looking to kick your pudding into decadent dessert check out Mels Kitchen Cafe recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding Pie. My husband loves it and I’ve been known to sneak bites between meals it’s so delicious! Have a great day!

    Reply

  14. Joan on February 4, 2014 at 9:17 am

    I’ve been making homemade chocolate pudding for more than 45 years, it’s definitely a family favorite. My recipe differs in that it only uses 1/3 cup sugar but uses 2 1/4 cups milk(the 1/4 cup is used to mix with the cornstarch).

    Reply

  15. Tricia @ Saving room for dessert on February 4, 2014 at 9:24 am

    It’s hard to beat a great cup of chocolate pudding! Hope your consultant is recovering nicely :) Beautiful creamy chocolate pudding is the bomb!

    Reply

  16. Theresa D on February 4, 2014 at 10:02 am

    So funny that this showed up this morning, as I made pudding last night. My recipe varies a bit from yours, though. I use only abt 4 TB of sugar with a 3 cups of milk. Instead of bittersweet chocolate, mine has cocoa powder. When I found my recipe online, I was happy because everything it called for, I had! I don’t carry bittersweet chocolate, but I do always have cocoa powder on hand.

    Reply

  17. Suzanne on February 4, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Try as I might, I can’t help but prefer the taste of Jell-o boxed pudding over homemade. I’ve not been able to duplicate it and don’t know what that unique flavor is… maybe it’s the Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate. :(

    Reply

    • margotgn on February 5th, 2014 at 10:09 am

      Don’t feel bad about what you like! Here’s the deal with some foods – whatever Mom made is your favorite. If Mom’s chocolate chip cookies were Chips Ahoy, those are your favorites. If Mom’s pudding was Jell-O that’s your favorite. It doesn’t mean you can’t/don’t appreciate other versions, too! The recipes for your favorites have memories of your Mom and childhood in the ingredient list and can’t be beat!

      Reply

  18. Navar Steed on February 4, 2014 at 10:13 am

    I love, absolutely love chocolate pudding. I cannot wait to give this a try. I’d love to see the recipe mentions using Cocoa…

    Reply

  19. Becky on February 4, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Chocolate pudding is SO simple to make that it’s a shame NOT to make it from scratch. This is a good basic recipe – I like to use cocoa powder with the sugar and cornstarch mixture and then add a handful of semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips to amp up the chocolate flavor after taking it off the heat to make it a “double” chocolate pudding. I put it in my “comfort food’ category and make it quite often during the winter. A teaspon of espresso powder is a nice addition as well. Thanks for the visual reminder!!

    Reply

  20. Fran@fransfavs.com on February 4, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I had to chuckle at the thought of your CCC eating “one or two” cups of pudding a night. Now, there’s a man after my own heart! Sounds like your recipe makes two servings for him. :-) I’ve got two fabulous chocolate pudding recipes on my site which call for both eggs and cornstarch. I’m intrigued by your recipe which has just the cornstarch and will have to try it soon. I enjoy your blog and love your recipes!

    Reply

  21. Toni on February 4, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I’m trying this tonight. My youngest has diverticulitis and has frequent episodes…not fun. He also has a milk allergy so I’ll make it with almond milk for him, it won’t be as rich, but I hope it will be a treat since he misses a lot.

    Reply

  22. Chrissy on February 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Jeni’s Spledid Ice Creams also use cornstarch as a thickener for the base rather than eggs and it comes out perfectly, so I’m not at all surprised that worked for you. Deeelish!

    Reply

  23. Marcie on February 4, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Sorry to hear about the infection, but the pudding is definitely the silver lining! Homemade pudding is so much better than the boxed varieties — this looks delicious!

    Reply

  24. Sarah Grace on February 4, 2014 at 11:31 am

    You never fail to make me so hungry! Chocolate is the one thing I can never pass up (the reason why I have a whole category for it on my blog!) :)

    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

    Reply

  25. Lynne on February 4, 2014 at 11:33 am

    If you like pudding, but are watching your calories and fat, Jell-0 makes a sugar-free, fat-free cook and serve pudding that is really good and only takes about 5minutes in the microwave. I can have 4 servings made (with skim milk) in less than 10 minutes, and it’s only 60 calories a serving – much better than the instant pudding (very artificial taste). The ingredients are all basic – except for the aspartame to make it sugar free.

    Reply

  26. Even in Australia on February 4, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I, too, have made chocolate pudding soup. I think my daughter, esp. my younger, messier one, might have preferred it to the real thing! We have a fabulous picture of her face covered in the stuff. It was still yummy. :-)

    Reply

  27. Pieliekamais on February 4, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Yum. Bookmarking this.

    Reply

  28. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures on February 4, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    Yum! Chocolate pudding is a perfect snack for the sick.

    Reply

  29. Mary Jane on February 4, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    This sounds absolutely wonderful! I can’t wait to make this. It reminds me of the chocolate pudding my mom used to make when my siblings and I were kids. This was before instant, and I loved-loved-loved that thin layer of pudding on the surface! So no plastic wrap for me! I too am a Pittsburgh born and raised Slovak gal, and I appreciate all of the wonderful recipes, local ethnic traditions, and stories you pass on. My husband also loves your pictures of Einstein and Duke. Thanks for such a great website!

    Reply

  30. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe on February 4, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I’m not sure how or why, but I’ve never made homemade chocolate pudding! That’s a sad reality that I must change.

    Reply

  31. Key2cakes on February 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm

    Reminds me of my childhood. I can’t wait to try this. Thanks for another awesome recipe!!

    Reply

  32. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on February 4, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Chocolate pudding is one of my favorite treats! This sounds great!

    Reply

  33. Angela on February 4, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    This was soo very yummy … can’t wait for my husband to try his secret treat tomorrow :) Thank you for such a wonderful & simple recipe.

    Reply

  34. Linsey on February 4, 2014 at 8:31 pm

    I love frozen chocolate pudding, maybe I’ll have to try this and freeze it.
    By the way you and Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures are my favorite food/baking bloggers, but I’m kinda worried she hasn’t posted on any social media since the beginning of January (like you she usually post a new recipe daily, so this is unusual). Do you have any idea what’s up?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 4th, 2014 at 8:59 pm

      Hi Linsey, I don’t actually, and have been worried myself. I tried to touch base with her via email and personal FB, but have not heard from her. I hope that everything is okay.

      Reply

      • Sally on May 8th, 2014 at 2:09 pm

        Michelle, did you ever hear from Tracey?

        Reply

        • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 10:56 am

          I have not :(

          Reply

          • Sally on May 12th, 2014 at 12:52 pm

            Thanks for replying – it’s so worrisome. I really miss her blog, which I LOVED, and I can’t fathom having a whole redesign of one’s blog and then just dropping off the face of the earth!

            Reply

  35. Jess R on February 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    I love homemade pudding! The recipe I grew up making with my mom uses cocoa powder, cornstarch, AND egg yolk. Delicious, rich, and thick!

    Reply

  36. Kira - HealthAble Old Soul on February 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I would totally eat this pudding warm! On a cold day, have a warm dessert that is tasty!

    Reply

  37. Tieghan on February 5, 2014 at 12:03 am

    There is not many better treats than homemade pudding! This looks so thick and creamy. Love!

    Reply

  38. dina on February 5, 2014 at 9:26 am

    it looks delish!

    Reply

  39. margotgn on February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am

    My mom’s recipe (that I know she’s been making for at least 55 years – lol!) takes 6 egg yolks and cocoa powder. Cocoa powder is still the chocolate form that is readily available to a non-computer using 89 yo in rural America. Anyway, she uses a double boiler and says you can over- stir the pudding (causes the cornstarch to break down?). Anyone of her 6 kids’ 13 grands, or 19 great-grands would climb mountains for her pudding, preferably with the “skin” on top! :)

    Reply

  40. Cate @ Chez CateyLou on February 5, 2014 at 11:10 am

    This looks so rich and velvety! And it only takes 10 minutes to whip up before chilling time?! That’s amazing! Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply

  41. Kit on February 5, 2014 at 5:18 pm

    Nothing is better than homemade chocolate pudding! I have fond memories of whisking the pudding pot with my mother, standing on a chair. I’ve never tried using chocolate, but it might give a good texture. I’ve always used cocoa. This is mainly because my pudding recipe is my cocoa recipe, with some cornstarch whisked in!

    Reply

  42. patty murphy on February 5, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Nothing is better than hot freshly made chocolate pudding over vanilla ice cream!

    Reply

  43. Ilona @ Ilona's Passion on February 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    I am definitely pinning this pudding, looks perfect. My children will love it:)

    Reply

  44. Maria on February 7, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I just made the pudding and can hardly wait for the chill time to end. I did lick the saucepan clean and it tastes fabulous! I’m so excited as the pudding recipes I’ve tried in the past have failed. Thanks for the continual fantastic recipes!

    Reply

  45. Cat on February 7, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    For any diabetics and/or calorie watchers, I just made this using Splenda and 1% milk, and it came out very well for a low-sugar treat.. I’ve noticed that sometimes you need to add a bit more Splenda than sugar, and this was no exception. I used about 2/3 cup. Started out with the 1/2 cup, and it tasted a little light on the sweetness. Be sure to taste, as palates differ, and adjust as necessary. Great recipe for us diabetics!

    Reply

  46. Liliya on February 8, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Veeeeery Yummyyy

    Reply

  47. Ann Mc on February 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I have to say…I just made this and it is – hands down – the best homemade chocolate pudding I’ve EVER made or tasted! Thank you SO much for doing all the hard work, so I can take all the credit in my house!

    Hubby said thanks, he loved it!

    ~Ann

    Reply

  48. Robbie j on February 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I had a sweet tooth, so I made the pudding. If it tastes anything like the remnants left in the pan, it is going to be AWESOME!!!! Just hate I have to wait 4 hrs.

    Reply

  49. Jenn @ Cakes, Cookies, and Pie Oh My! on February 11, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Will definitely be making this pudding soon, looks delicious!

    Reply

  50. Lauren on February 13, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Dying to make this!
    This is probably a dumb question, but doesn’t the top of the pudding get messed up when you peel the plastic wrap off?
    And can I use semisweet chocolate chips instead of bar (baking) chocolate?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 13th, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Hi Lauren, Just a tad, but if you are making a big bowl, I would whisk before serving anyway. If the pudding is in individual serving bowls, it doesn’t make that much of a mess. If you’re worried about absolute pristine serving aesthetics, I would just put a dollop of whipped cream on top to cover up any air bubbles :)

      Reply

  51. Jeni on February 16, 2014 at 10:41 am

    This was the most amazing pudding! It was so light and fluffy – we are never going back to homemade. However, we made two changes: doubled the chocolate and used almond milk. I was afraid it wouldn’t set but it did! Thanks for a new take on our home’s favorite!

    Reply

  52. Renee @ Awesome on $20 on February 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Homemade chocolate pudding is the absolute best. There’s absolutely nothing like it. It makes me feel old-fashioned. I want to move to a farm house.

    Reply

  53. Diana on February 18, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Great recipe, thank you. How did you get the pudding to look so smooth in the glasses? I had to spoon mine into parfait glasses and even though I strained it, it formed a skin fairly quickly, and it was very thick. So, for guests, how do I get it in the glasses and looking like yours in the picture?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 20th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Hi Diana, I had the glasses ready and poured the pudding in immediately after removing it from the stove. You could try cooking for a minute or so less if it’s too thick for you.

      Reply

  54. Patty on February 24, 2014 at 8:57 pm

    I just made this recipe, and it turned out perfectly. I used Baker’s chocolate because that’s what I had on hand, and we all thought it was yummy. Next time, I will double the recipe. I divided it among the three of us, and it sufficed, but I would have liked a little more. I really don’t think it makes enough for four people. Thanks for this simple recipe!

    Reply

  55. vickie on February 25, 2014 at 11:07 am

    I agree with Patty, our experiences were the same on the quantity…3 of us, quantity sufficed but we were begging for more! I would not have had enough for 4 servings. So next time I will double the recipe. I do want to say that the pudding was very delicious…I had never tried homemade before…so easy and so much fun! Perfect for an after dinner chocolate fix! Thanks BEB!

    Reply

  56. Louise Mourgues on March 10, 2014 at 5:26 am

    I made this over the weekend for a dinner party and was delighted with the results. I doubled the quantity to make 6 adult portions and two little ones (for my little chef assistants). I added the whipped cream and some chocolate shavings for effect and it really did look (and taste) luxurious without being too heavy. The guests loved it and I still can not believe it only took 10 minutes to prepare!
    Thank you BEB!

    Reply

  57. Azalea on March 12, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Chocolate pudding is comfort food, and my favorite part is the skin! So no plastic wrap on it for me, please

    Reply

  58. Courtney on March 24, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I just made this pudding for the 2nd time in 2 days. I made it for guests last night, and for ourselves tonight!
    I love that the ingredients are simple ingredients that I had in my cupboard, and didn’t contained processed products like Cool Whip or a boxed pudding mix. I will definitely be making this again, both for entertaining, and for an everyday weeknight dessert.
    Thank you!

    Reply

  59. Michelle C on March 30, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I just made this, but I used 1 3/4 cup evaporated milk (I MUCH prefer it, everything has a richer taste), and then 1/4 half-n-half to mix with the cornstarch. And I used semi-sweet chocolate, so I lessened the sugar down to 1/3 cup. It thickened VERY quickly. Gonna have it for dessert tonight, topped with my homemade whipped cream. If it tastes anything like licking the whisk clean, it’s going to be AMAZING!

    Reply

  60. Pamela on July 14, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Your CCC would definitely like it in my house, I make pudding all the time and this is a cooked pudding. I’ve come to the point I don’t care for cold refrigerated pudding at all. Now many evenings, especially in the winter, I just grab a box of Jell-O Brand Cook and Serve pudding just for convenience, but my great-grandparents always made homemade pudding. Funny though, they never called it pudding, they always called it “cornstarch” and for YEARS as a kid it never clicked in my head that their “cornstarch” and pudding were the same thing. Finally, DING! one day the bell finally rang and it hit me, cornstarch IS pudding. All I know though is that I could just grab and plant a big kiss on the person who created cornstarch, that is, the white stuff in the box. As someone who has been diagnosed with Celiac disease and has to eat gluten free now in life, we GF people turn to cornstarch ALL the time as a thickener instead of flour and for many other uses in cooking and baking. It literally has been a lifesaver for me.

    Reply

  61. Brittany on July 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I just made this, using Baker’s unsweetened and added about a tablespoon of instant coffee. So dark and yummy! Can’t wait to try it out with my “good” chocolate!

    Reply

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