Chocolate pudding is a simple chocolate dessert that can be made from scratch with cocoa powder.  Use this old fashioned pudding in a pie, or enjoy it on its own.  Learn how to make this healthy-ish dessert in just a few steps!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
people holding spoons above two glasses of chocolate pudding
Dips, Sauces, & Custards, No Bake Desserts

Easy Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

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Chocolate pudding is such a simple, but delicious dessert!  Fortunately, it’s quick and easy to make your own chocolate pudding from scratch.  With 6 basic ingredients and half an hour, you can have a wonderful treat to enjoy.

people holding spoons above glasses of chocolate pudding

Where is chocolate pudding from?

The exact origins of chocolate pudding aren’t clear; however, we do know that it is a variation of custard, which originated in Europe during the Middle Ages.  Most likely in the 1700s, someone added chocolate, and it’s been a popular treat ever since!

What is chocolate pudding made of?

Chocolate pudding is made of just a few simple ingredients.  My recipe contains whole milk, egg yolks, granulated sugar, cornstarch, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and espresso powder.  The espresso powder is optional, but I like how it compliments the chocolate flavor.

person holding a spoonful of chocolate pudding with whipped cream

Is custard the same as pudding?

Pudding and custard are the same thing.  Custard is a more popular name in the UK and former Commonwealth countries, while pudding is usually used in the US and Canada.  Both names refer to sweetened dairy thickened by egg yolks and/or cornstarch or flour.

What is the difference between chocolate pudding and chocolate mousse?

Chocolate Pudding is made from milk sweetened with sugar and thickened with egg yolks and cornstarch.  It has a smooth, velvety texture, and can be served warm or cold.

Chocolate Mousse has a pudding-like base thickened with egg yolks.  It has a light, fluffy texture from beaten egg whites or whipped cream that is folded into the mixture.  Mousse is always served cold.

two glasses of chocolate pudding with whipped cream and cherries

Is chocolate pudding gluten free?

If chocolate pudding is thickened with cornstarch, it is gluten free.  If you’re making chocolate pudding for someone with a gluten sensitivity, double check to ensure that all the ingredients are certified gluten free, and make sure to avoid cross-contamination with gluten-containing foods.

How many calories are in homemade chocolate pudding?

Overall, chocolate pudding isn’t a “health food,” so just enjoy it in moderation.  Each 1/2 cup of pudding made from my recipe contains 222 calories with 6.5g fat and 35.2g carbs, and is high in calcium and iron.  For the full nutrition facts, scroll to the bottom of the recipe card below.

How long does homemade chocolate pudding last?

Homemade chocolate pudding can keep tightly covered in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

person holding a glass of chocolate pudding

Can you freeze chocolate pudding?

Yes, you can freeze chocolate pudding.  Seal it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.  Defrost overnight in the fridge.

If you want to make pudding pops, simply spoon the pudding into popsicle molds and freeze overnight.  Run the mold under hot water for a few seconds, then release from the mold and enjoy.  This is a favorite summertime dessert in our house!

How to Make Easy Chocolate Pudding

Gather the ingredients for the chocolate pudding.  You’ll need milk, sugar, egg yolks, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and vanilla extract.  Feel free to add a little espresso powder if you like!

ingredients for easy chocolate pudding 

Pour the milk into a heavy bottomed 2-quart saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

hot milk in a saucepan

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are pale and thickened.

whisked egg yolks and sugar mixture

Stir in the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and espresso powder until well combined.

egg and cocoa powder mixture with a spatula

Gradually pour the hot milk into the chocolate egg mixture, whisking continuously until everything is well mixed.

foamy chocolate and egg mixture

Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, cooking until the pudding has thickened.

cooked chocolate pudding in a saucepan with a whisk

Pour the pudding through a strainer to remove any lumps.  This ensures a beautifully smooth pudding.

straining chocolate pudding

Enjoy the pudding warm or cold.  Top it with whipped cream and a sprig of fresh mint if you’re feeling fancy!

two glasses of chocolate pudding with mint and cherries

Pro Tips for Making Perfect Chocolate Pudding

  • Use full-fat milk for the best taste.  If you use non-dairy milk, choose a higher fat milk, like coconut milk.
  • Add espresso powder to compliment the chocolate flavor.  This is optional, but fun to try.
  • Sift the cocoa powder to remove lumps and make a smoother pudding.
  • Be sure to temper the eggs to avoid a curdled, scrambled egg custard.  Do this by slowly pouring hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
  • Pour the cooked pudding through a strainer to remove any lumps and to ensure a velvety smooth pudding.
  • Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a tough skin from forming on top of the pudding as it cools.

Our Favorite Kitchen Tools for Chocolate Pudding

Craving more chocolate desserts?  You’re in the right place.

chocolate mousse with a spoon two cups of French hot chocolate holding a piece of chocolate peanut butter fudge

The pleasure of a 5-star review for this chocolate pudding recipe would be greatly appreciated.

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people holding spoons above two glasses of chocolate pudding

Easy Chocolate Pudding from Scratch


  • Author: Emma
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 3 1/2 cups 1x

Description

Chocolate pudding is a simple chocolate dessert that can be made from scratch with cocoa powder.  Use this old fashioned pudding in a pie, or enjoy it on its own.  Learn how to make this healthy-ish dessert in just a few steps!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole milk (710 ml)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch (40g)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (33g)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the milk.  Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed, 2-quart saucepan and set over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. Beat the egg yolks.  Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a whisk until pale and thick.  Mix in the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and espresso powder until blended.
  3. Temper the eggs.  As soon as the milk comes to a gentle simmer, remove it from the heat and pour a little of the hot milk into the egg mixture.  Whisk the milk in vigorously, then slowly trickle in the rest of the hot milk, whisking constantly.
  4. Thicken the pudding.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, whisking frequently to prevent lumps, and cook until the pudding has thickened.
  5. Strain. Remove the pudding from the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.  Pour the pudding through a mesh sieve to remove any lumps.
  6. Chill.  You can enjoy the pudding when it’s warm or cold.  If you prefer to have it cold, pour the pudding into a bowl or dish and press a piece of plastic wrap right onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming on its surface.  Chill for at least 2 hours, or until cold, then serve.

Notes

  • Make this recipe perfectly the first time.  Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this chocolate pudding recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Pudding
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: best chocolate pudding recipe, chocolate pudding ingredients, how to make chocolate pudding

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4 thoughts on “Easy Chocolate Pudding from Scratch

  1. This pudding is really nice with the hint of coffee from the espresso powder. I like eating the pudding with mint and whipped cream. Very delicious! 🍫🌿🥛

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