Why Make Pudding From Scratch
Once you dip a spoon in your bowl, youll see why. But in addition to that, dont you feel so accomplished when you make your own treats? Theres just something about preparing from scratch a recipe you might typically lean on a box mix for.
Here are a few more reasons why I like to make homemade pudding:
- Its Super Easy: There are lots of versions of chocolate pudding out there in the universe. Some start with chopped chocolate, some have heavy cream, etc. But the beauty of this recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. There is minimal effort required in mixing sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and a couple of other essentials together.
- Its Quick: 10 minute dessert, anybody? Thats right. 10 MINUTES. Why are you still reading this when you could be halfway done making this pudding recipe? Kidding, kidding, weve got a little more to cover first.
- Its Customizable: If you like your pudding plain, thats fine. However, if youve got a huge sweet tooth like me, youll add whipped cream or crushed Oreos or Kit Kat bars to your pudding.
Easy Chocolate Pudding From Cocoa Powder
This easy chocolate pudding is made with cocoa powder and other ingredients that you likely already have lying around your kitchen. Its quick, creamy, and smooth. A great last-minute no-bake dessert!
I dont know what possessed me to go hunting for pudding the other night, but I am so glad I did . This is the best pudding I have ever had. I used whole milk and it gave the cocoa powder such a rich and creamy taste.
Though it was also a huge mistake. Now I have a delicious dessert that takes no time to make and uses ingredients I keep on hand at all times.
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 isnt 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 its 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 isnt critical to there recipe, I just like it for a nice finishing touch. If you dont care to add it then omit along with the extra 1 Tbsp sugar.
See below for full recipe with print option.
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Why We Love This Recipe
Pudding is an institution. It even has a day. If you grew up in the U.S. or want to expose your kids to a little bit of Americana, this homemade version strikes just the right balance between wholesome deliciousness and nostalgia-inducing similarity to the packaged version. It has a good soul.
Our recipe is:
- Just homemade enough it’s like the best possible version of the stuff from the box mix
- Honest, simple, and not too fancy
- Make-ahead friendly
- The perfect weekday treat or end to a casual dinner party
I first published this recipe here way back in 2010. I’ve updated the post for clarity and tweaked the recipe a bit, to current standards of perfection.
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, , 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 .
Its 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 youll have an elegant dessert thats destined to impress anyone.
I think this is even worthy of being deemed as the best pudding recipe! Its definitely the favorite around here, we just cant get enough of it!
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Dessert Recipe: Coconut Chocolate Pudding With Coconut
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Grandmas Old Fashioned Chocolate Pudding Recipe
I remember as a kid my mom always made pudding from scratch, and it wasnt until I was older before I ever saw a box of store brand in her cupboard. Once I started cooking on my own, I much preferred the old fashioned homemade chocolate pudding made with real cocoa powder to the boxed pudding mix any day.
Keeping my kitchen recipes simple and using the most basic ingredients is what I strive for.
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What Other Pudding Flavors Do You Recommend
Add peanut butter powder or mint extract to our homemade chocolate pudding recipe to really add *umph* to the chocolatey goodness.
Other extracts that pair perfectly with this recipe are almond or hazelnut for a rich and nutty flavor, or a bit of orange or lime extract to create a bright and zesty chocolate orange pudding.
Why Make Your Own
You know I am always an advocate for making homemade versions of store-bought classics. From Oreos to Twinkies, Ive made it all! When it comes to homemade pudding, its more than just the satisfaction of making it from scratch, it truly is better.
- No additives or preservatives: You know exactly what you are putting into your pudding so you dont have to question what ingredients are on the back of the box.
- Same cook time: It takes about 10 minutes from start to finish, which isnt much more than it would take to make the boxed stuff.
- Not limited to flavors on the shelf: Once youve mastered the art of making a pudding base you can easily whip up any flavor you want.
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Tips For The Best Pudding
- For a richer flavor, use brown sugar instead of white. The molasses in brown sugar gives it a deeper level of sweetness.
- Add an egg yolk for extra richness.
- Add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder for more chocolatey goodness.
- Switch things up: add 1 to 2 drops of mint, almond, hazelnut, or orange extract for a different flavor.
- Make it mocha! Add a teaspoon of espresso to the mixture.
- Tips to avoid lumps:
- Sift the dry ingredients before adding the milk.
- Pour the milk gradually and stir constantly while doing so.
- If all else fails, push the cooked pudding through a mesh sieve to get rid of lumps.
Sure, the pudding will thicken much faster if you stir it over high heat, but you wont allow enough time for the cornstarch to cook and the sugar to dissolve.
- Have the butter and vanilla within your reach. Youll want to be able to add them right away to the cooked pudding.
- Do not refrigerate the pudding right away, or it will sweat. Let it sit at room temperature for several hours beforehand. You can speed things up by placing it in a bowl of cold or iced water.
- To prevent skin from forming on top of the pudding:
- Stir it occasionally as it cools.
- Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding before you refrigerate.
- Sprinkle sugar on top.
Dessert Recipe: Coconut Chocolate Pudding With Coconut Flakes
Ive made a dangerous discovery this week. A discovery that involves heating up a can of coconut milk with a handful of really good chocolate and a little vanilla and creating the silkiest, dreamiest pudding you may have ever tasted.
Although usually quite easy, puddings can sometimes be tricky. Theres nothing worse than a lumpy or grainy pudding, or a pudding that simply doesnt taste like much. You wont find any of those things here. I used coconut milk as a base because it is so creamy and imparts just a hint of coconut flavor without overpowering the chocolate. I was tempted to use a little coconut extract, but was ultimately worried that it would start to taste artificial and too intensely of coconut. As it stands now, it is the perfect combination of rich chocolate flavor and coconut. I think youre going to like it.
I almost always add a little espresso powder to dark chocolate desserts because it adds a deeper complexity and draws out those darker cocoa notes. If you dont have espresso powder at home, its completely optional. As with many desserts where the chocolate is really the star, use the best quality you can find or afford. I use Valrhona cocoa powder, which I know is a splurge, and Scharffen Berger semi-sweet chocolate chips because I think they melt beautifully.
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Scroll Through The Process Photos To See How To Make Dark Chocolate Pudding From Scratch:
For another comforting old-fashioned dessert make this Butterscotch Pudding.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, Id really appreciate a 5-star review.
Old fashioned chocolate pudding made with dark cocoa and a hint of rum.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4-1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup whole milk, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 6 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons dark rum, optional
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
How To Make Vegan Chocolate Pudding: Some Tips
The method for making this vegan chocolate pudding is the same as a traditional chocolate pudding! Youll whisk together cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and milk until thickened, then remove from the heat and add chocolate. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you go about the process:
- Whisk the dry ingredients fully, then gradually whisk in milk. The dry ingredients can make for lumps later if you dont get them all whisked in.
- Once it starts bubbling, stir often. Make sure to get into the edges of the pan so the pudding doesnt stick.
- The pudding will thicken fully as it cools. Pull it off the stove when its thick, but not fully set up into pudding consistency. See more below!
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How To Make Easy 5 Minute Chocolate Pudding
- Pretty simple stuff. Sugar, cocoa, milk and a couple other ingredients you most likely have hanging around. When I was making this I really wanted to jazz it up. Add some raspberries, or shaved chocolate, but I kept it simple for my peeps! My peeps like it simple, that much I know and I try my best to deliver! But, if you wanted to jazz this sexy pudding stuff up. Id say a few chopped maraschino cherries , or whipped creamum okay
How To Make Pudding Cake
It is so easy to make this cake! All you do is mix your batter and pour it into your dish. THEN mix together a sugar/cocoa DRY MIX> sprinkle it over the top> pour it over the dry mixture> bake> try-not-to-eat-the-whole-entire-pan.
In a test bake, I used both:
- dark cocoa powder almost like a dutch processed cocoa powder shown in the above photographs
- normal unsweetened cocoa powder like Hersheys regular unsweetened brand
We did this to show you the different results between the two cocoa powders.
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How To Make Homemade Chocolate Pudding
- Place a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add cocoa powder, sugar, and corn starch and whisk until thoroughly combined. You can add a pinch of salt at this time for amplifying the chocolate flavor a bit.
- Slowly whisk in milk, Pouring in about ½ of a cup at a time. Whisk until dissolved.
- Continue cooking over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a metal spoon. This should take about 4-5 minutes.
- Place the chocolate pudding in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper that touches the surface, and chill until serving in bowls with some whipped cream. This step avoids the pudding from getting a skin once the air touches it.
Old Fashioned Chocolate Pie
Prepare meringue and set aside.
Add sugar and cornstarch in a medium size saucepan.Stir in a few tablespoons milk and stir until cornstarch is is smooth with no remaining lumps.
Add eggs and beat mix well.
Gradually stir in remaining milk until well mixed.
Place saucepan on stove on medium heat. Stir until mixture starts to get hot.
Drop in broken chocolate pieces and stir until melted making sure to scrape sides and bottom of pan occasionally so bottom won’t stick.
Mixture will start to steam and then come to a boil.
As soon as you see bubbles forming, start timing.
Cook, continuing to stir for 2-3 more minutes until thick as a thick pudding.
Test the pie filling by dipping the stirring spoon into the filling and letting it drip from the spoon.
It should be thick enough to drop in small globs .
Remove from heat. Drop in vanilla extract and butter.
Stir until butter has melted and pour hot pie filling immediately into prepared pie shell.
The hot filling helps the meringue cook quickly in the center
Top with meringue spreading to the edges of pan to seal in the edges so meringue does not shrink.
If you prefer, you can make some decorations on top of the meringue with the back of a spoon.
You can create peeks with the spoon. However, you will have uneven browning of the topping.
This is especially true of mile-high meringue such as this recipe makes.
Place pie in a preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown.
No clean up required.
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How Do You Serve It
I like to serve this dessert in individual ramekins, a dollop of freshly whipped cream and some chocolate shavings. You can top it with all kinds of things like sprinkles, m& ms or crushed salted pretzels.
This pudding also works really well as a pie filling. Simply add it to a pre baked pie crust and chill before serving.
An Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe
This homemade chocolate pudding is easy to quickly put together. The only tricky part is slowly tempering a beaten egg with a hot cocoa mixture. By tempering the beaten egg, we slowly heat it up by adding a small amount of hot cocoa mixture to it at a time. This way, the egg doesn’t cook and curdle in the chocolate pudding.
Then, you need to pour the chocolate pudding into individual ramekins and chill for a few hours before it’s officially ready to eat.
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Why I Love This Chocolate Pudding Recipe
The Gilmore girls really like pudding. Did you know that? So much so that Lorelai was super impressed that her mother thoughtful enough to have it made for the Friday night dinner before Rorys birthday.
I have never really been a huge fan of pudding, but I thought if the girls like, I could give it another chance with this homemade chocolate pudding recipe.
Making this homemade salted chocolate pudding is easier than ever, too. Even the Gilmore girls could do it. At least Id like to think they could. Im positive college-aged Rory could. Its basically just thickened sweetened milk with chocolate stirred in.
I used two different forms of chocolate to build flavor cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips and I used almond milk and dairy free chocolate chips to make this pudding recipe vegan.
What Kind Of Milk Can I Use To Make This Pudding
- We find whole milk makes the smoothest pudding but you can sub 2% in a pinch. When you go to a more watery consistency milk, like skim or a nut milk your pudding will take on a less silky consistency. It will work, it just wont be as smooth. So stick with whole milk with this recipe if you can!
Now add the milk to your dry ingredients. Turn on the stove and watch the magic! Keep stirring so your dry ingredients dont clump on the bottom of the pan! It will thicken up in just a few minutes.
DO NOT OVER STIR: A nice consistent gentle whisk will do. Anything more can break down the cornstarch and leave you with a runnier pudding. It will still be good just not as thick.
PRO TIP: When it starts to bubble let it continue to cook for about 30 seconds or so.at this point you have reached pudding nirvana. It wont get any thicker! But it will thicken up nicely when cooled!
Pour into your pretty little cups and serve either warm or chilled. This will keep for up to 3 days in your refrigerator.
Cover with plastic wrap to keep the tops from forming a skin while cooling.
Serve this with chopped chocolate, cherries, raspberries, whip cream or just straight up!
More easy chocolate desserts!
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