This Homemade Chocolate Pudding made from scratch is super creamy and very chocolatey! A classic, family favorite recipe, that both kids and adults will love!
Rich and creamy chocolate pudding that is super easy and delicious!
This classic chocolate pudding is an embarrassingly simple recipe. No wonder it’s a universally loved, kid-friendly, family favorite recipe. Creamy, rich without being overly indulgent, and sweet with a slight bitterness from the deep chocolate flavor, this really is the perfect chocolate pudding recipe!
I’ve previously shared my classic vanilla pudding recipe that is also well-loved, so I figured it was time for the chocolate version.
How to make Chocolate Pudding
Pudding is basically a pastry cream or custard. Puddings usually have a higher amount of cornstarch or flour to act as a thickener (some custards don’t have either).
My chocolate pudding recipe uses both eggs and cornstarch. They both help to thicken the pudding, but the eggs also add richness. I also like to use both cocoa powder AND chocolate in the pudding. Cocoa powder has a very deep, concentrated chocolate flavor. I use a combination of bittersweet and semisweet chocolate for a balance of deep chocolate and sweetness. But you can adjust these two types of chocolate to suit your flavor preferences.
Ingredients you will need to make Chocolate Pudding
Milk and cream
I use full cream milk and heavy cream (35% fat). You can use whatever milk you have at home as well. However, keep in mind that the lower the fat content, the less rich your pudding will taste. You can also substitute the heavy cream with milk, but I find that the little extra cream adds a lovely richness to the pudding.
You can use white sugar or brown sugar. Brown sugar adds a little molassey flavor, whereas white sugar doesn’t add any extra flavor. You can also substitute the sugar with honey or maple syrup (at a 1:1 ratio by weight).
Eggs (specifically the egg yolks) add richness to the chocolate pudding. I use large eggs, which are about 2 oz / 57 g in weight.
Cornstarch is used as a gluten-free alternative to thicken the pudding base. I haven’t tried any substitutes because cornstarch always gives me the best results.
I use dutch cocoa powder (Callebaut) because I love the flavor of this cocoa powder. But you can use natural cocoa powder as well. And it goes without saying that good quality cocoa powder will yield better flavor in your chocolate pudding.
Please weigh the cocoa powder because different types of cocoa powder measure differently in measuring cups / spoons.
You can change the sweetness and depth of flavor depending on the type of chocolate you use. Bittersweet chocolate will give the pudding a deeper cocoa flavor and less sweetness. Semisweet chocolate on the other hand adds more sweetness, and less cocoa flavor.
I like to use a combination of both.
This is optional, but butter adds such a delightfully buttery richness! Since pudding is served cold, the butter also helps give the pudding a thick, creamy texture.
I use a combination of vanilla extract and salt to balance the sweetness and the bitterness of the chocolate flavor. Salt is always a must for me when it comes to chocolate desserts. You can also add some coffee extract instead.
How to make Chocolate Pudding
Place the milk, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Whisk the eggs with the cornstarch until smooth.
Heat and stir the milk mixture with a whisk to dissolve the cocoa powder. Make sure the milk is almost boiling or simmering (even if the milk just comes to a boil, that’s OK too). Remove the milk from the heat. Pour about 1 cup of the milk mixture in a thin stream into the whisked egg mixture while whisking (this is to temper the eggs).
Once the egg mixture is warmed up, add it back into the remaining hot milk mixture.
Return the mixture to the stove and cook the custard. Continue to frequently whisk the pudding base while heating. When the pudding base comes to a boil, heat the base for another one minute, whisking constantly. Then remove from the heat, and whisk in the chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), butter and vanilla.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl or container and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap. Make sure to press the plastic wrap on to the surface of the chocolate pudding, so that it’s not exposed to air. This will prevent a skin from forming on the pudding surface. Although, if you do like that skin that forms on top of the custard, then you skip this plastic wrap step.
Refrigerate the chocolate pudding until completely chilled. The shallower the container, the faster the pudding will chill. Once chilled, the pudding will set. If you whisk the chilled pudding however, it’ll become creamy again.
Serve the chocolate pudding with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Variations of this chocolate pudding recipe
To make this chocolate pudding without dairy (dairy free chocolate pudding)
Replace the milk with any type of plant-based milk. The cream can be replaced with coconut cream, but you can also just use plant-based milk too.
Instead of regular butter, use a vegan butter.
Make sure you’re using bittersweet chocolate that has no dairy, or any kind of dairy free chocolate.
Sugar free variation (sugar free chocolate pudding)
You can substitute the sugar with monkfruit (at a 1:1 ratio). I haven’t tried this with stevia or similar alternatives though.
Make sure to use sugar free chocolate as well.
To make mocha pudding
Add about 2 tsp coffee extract (or dissolve a heaping teaspoon of instant coffee in the milk mixture).
Why I love this recipe
Pudding is such a simple dessert to make, with an even better payoff because it’s always a crowd favorite.
But classic chocolate pudding in particular has that perfect balance of sweetness and deep cocoa flavor that makes it irresistible! I often use this chocolate pudding along with leftover cake to make trifle as well.
And you can even freeze this pudding to make fudgesicles!
This is a classic recipe for creamy pudding, that’s impossible to mess up, and absolutely perfect for those occasional chocolate cravings!
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
- 2 cups milk 480 mL (preferably full cream or 2% milk)
- ¼ cup heavy cream 60mL (35% fat)
- ½ cup sugar brown or white sugar
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- 2 ½ tbsp dutch cocoa powder 25 g
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp cornstarch 20g
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate chocolate chips or a bar, chopped, 57 g (see recipe notes)
- 2 oz bittersweet chocolate chocolate chips or a bar, chopped, 57 g (see recipe notes)
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter 42 g butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place the milk, cream, sugar, salt, and dutch cocoa powder in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Heat the milk over medium heat (or medium high), while whisking frequently to dissolve the cocoa powder in the milk. Heat the milk mixture until the milk is almost boiling (or just starting to boil).
- While the milk is heating, whisk the eggs with the cornstarch until the mixture is smooth (with no cornstarch lumps).
- Once the milk is heated, slowly pour the milk in a thin stream into the egg mixture, while continuously whisking the eggs. This is to temper the egg mixture. You only have to add enough milk to warm up the egg mixture.
- Once the egg mix is tempered, add the egg mixture back into the remaining hot milk mixture in the saucepan. Whisk to combine.
- Return the saucepan back to the stove, and cook the base over medium heat. Make sure to whisk the mix frequently to prevent the eggs from curdling. Heat the mixture until the pudding base comes to a boil (bubbles breaking the surface).
- When the pudding comes to a boil, continue to whisk it for about another 1 minute, while cooking and thickening the pudding.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), vanilla and butter. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted, and the butter has emulsified into the pudding as well.
- Place the pudding in a dish (a large shallow dish if you want the pudding to chill faster) and cover the entire surface with plastic wrap. Make sure the plastic wrap is touching the whole surface of the pudding. This is to prevent a skin from forming on top.
- Refrigerate until completely chilled. You can also let it chill faster in the freezer, but make sure the pudding does not freeze, so check on it every few hours.
- Once chilled, whisk the pudding to make it smooth. Serve the pudding in individual dishes, or in a large bowl.
- Serve with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Tips & Tricks
Note on the chocolateYou can use any mix of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. If you prefer the pudding sweeter, add more semisweet chocolate. If you want the chocolate pudding to have a deeper, bitter chocolate flavor, then add more bittersweet chocolate.
Other flavor variationsClassic vanilla pudding Dalgona coffee pudding
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”