Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe

American Classics

Lost classic desserts from our wide and varied past.

Easy Chocolate Pudding Recipe

[Photograph: Alexandra Penfold]

Now there's a time when you want the comforts of childhood and this homemade Jell-O-style pudding or Pudding in a Cloud will do. And there are other times when you want a ridiculously decadent chocolate pudding. But if you love chocolate pudding as much as I do, you want a workhorse pudding, one that's packed with dark chocolate flavor but that doesn't require much fuss in the kitchen. When I want pudding, I want it, like NOW, and I don't want to separate eggs or buy cream. This pudding takes its richness from whole milk and a healthy amount of 72% cacao chocolate. And if you're a regular baker and chocolate lover, it's made with staples you'll likely find in your own pantry right now—milk, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar, salt, cornstarch, vanilla and dark chocolate—which means within about 20 minutes of reading this post you could be eating your own chocolate pudding.

The chocolate pudding recipe is adapted from John Scharffenberger via Smitten Kitchen. If you love the chili-chocolate combination, try it with 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder and 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder. This pudding makes up the center of one of the most ridiculous desserts I've ever concocted, a Chili Chocolate Pumpkin Doughnut Pie.

  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 20 minutes
  • Total time:20 minutes


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 4 ounces 72% cacao chocolate, melted in a double boiler or microwave
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. 1.

    In a small saucepan whisk together cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt until combined. Whisk in milk until thoroughly combined.

  2. 2.

    Bring mixture to a light boil over medium heat while whisking constantly. Once pudding has thickened to desired consistency (usually a couple more minutes) remove from heat and pour immediately into a medium bowl. Quickly whisk in chocolate and vanilla. Serve warm, if desired, or place a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap on top of the pudding to prevent pudding skin from forming and refrigerate until you're ready to serve. Pudding will thicken further upon chilling.