Making Perfect Chocolate Pudding is within the skillset of every cook, whether you’re a beginner or a pro. This homemade pudding has a rich chocolate flavor and a thick, velvety texture, check out my secrets below!
why choose this chocolate pudding recipe?
You have a lot of choices for chocolate pudding out there, why this one?
We tested chocolate pudding recipes for flavor and texture, but we didn’t stop there. An easy foolproof method is also critical. It’s no good having a fabulous recipe if it’s fiddly to make.
This one is made in one saucepan, without any fussy tempering of eggs, etc. The clean up’s a breeze (you’ll lick the pan clean.)
Our recipe combines cocoa powder with real chocolate for a rich result with real chocolate flavor.
Using egg yolks with a backup bit of cornstarch insures a nice firm set to the pudding and a drool-worthy texture.
The perfect chocolate pudding? We think so!
you probably have all the ingredients:
- chocolate ~ you have a lot of leeway in the type of chocolate you use. You can use bar chocolate or even good quality chocolate chips. Bittersweet, dark, semi-sweet, or milk chocolate will work.
- cocoa powder ~ I always have a few different cocoa powders in my pantry and I love to mix and match them for differing flavors in recipes. Pick up something different from the same old Hershey’s the next time you’re shopping.
- sugar ~ sugar not only sweetens, it enhances flavor. I use granulated.
- butter ~ a little bit of butter contributes to the lovely texture of the pudding and gives it a glossy sheen.
- milk ~ I always use whole milk in pudding recipes. You can use lowfat, but not skim.
- cream ~ cream is decadent and makes an extra rich pudding. You can omit and use more milk.
- egg yolks ~ egg yolks make a velvety pudding.
- vanilla ~ vanilla brings out the chocolate flavor.
- cornstarch ~ thickens without adding any flavor.
- salt ~ adds depth of flavor and brings out the chocolate.
3 secrets to a lump free chocolate pudding
It’s not hard to achieve a smooth silky pudding, really!
- Use the right pan: you want a medium sized heavy saucepan for pudding. Why? The medium size will allow the mixture to cook at an even rate, not too slow or too fast, and a heavy bottom prevents the pudding from scorching or lumping as it thickens.
- First use a whisk and then a silicone spoonula. Why? The whisk helps keep the mixture blended as it cooks, and the spoonula can scrape the sides and bottom of the pan effectively as it starts to thicken.
- Strain the pudding through a mesh strainer immediately after pulling it off the heat. Why? Sometimes you can’t see the little stray lumps that will disrupt the smooth texture of your pudding, and this step will guarantee a lump free result.
you also ask…
- about my cute pudding jars: they’re Weck canning jars, from Germany, and you can buy them here.
- about making this pudding without the egg yolks. Yes you can, but I would increase the cornstarch to 3 or 4 tablespoons in that case.
- if you can use whole eggs rather than yolks. You can substitute one whole egg for the yolks in this recipe but you will lose a little in the texture department.
- what kind of cocoa powder to use? You can use any unsweetened cocoa powder you’ve got in your pantry. A ‘Dutched’ cocoa powder will make a darker pudding. A high quality cocoa will pay off in great flavor.
- whether you can make it a day ahead, and yes, it will keep fine in the fridge for a day or two.
- if can you use all milk in this recipe instead of the cream? Yes, that works well, but I suggest using whole milk.
- about alternative sweeteners, and just about any other type of sweetener will work. Use to taste.
You can’t go wrong with a classic pudding!
- Old Fashioned Butterscotch Pudding
- Kentucky Bourbon Vanilla Bean Pudding
- Meyer Lemon Pudding
- Scandinavian Rice Pudding
- Coffee Pudding
Perfect Chocolate Pudding
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 4 ounces or 3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a medium heavy bottomed saucepan whisk together the cream, milk, and egg yolks.
- Add the sugar mixture to the saucepan and whisk to combine well.
- Set the pan over medium heat, and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. I like to switch to a silicone spoonula once it starts thickening, to better scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. Note: pull the pan off the heat when you see that first bubble.
- Pour the pudding through a strainer into a bowl and push everything through, leaving any small lumps behind. Note: it helps if your bowl has a spout so you can easily fill your pudding cups.
- Stir in the chocolate, butter, and vanilla until everything is melted and the pudding is smooth and glossy.
- Immediately pour into your serving cups. Enjoy warm, or chilled. The pudding will thicken further as it chills, and will be fully set in 3 hours. Top with whipped cream if you like.
- Cut the calories by using all milk instead of milk and cream.
Questions and Reviews
Super silky, yummy, chocolatey, comfort food perfection!
THIS (and your butterscotch pudding recipe) are my go to recipes. So many pudding recipes include the whole egg and I’ve found it’s impossible to get this silky perfection with egg whites included- they curdle so easily. Just made this tonight and as I licked the bowl I remembered why this is my favorite.
Haha, you’re making me hungry 🙂
Now that’s a chocolate pudding! I feel like it’s the adult version of the recipe I made when I was a child. This was really easy and fast (I ate mine warm). Those Weck jars are adorable and just the right size for a rich dessert. I really appreciated all the tips–going from whisk to spoonula, straining the pudding, using a pourable bowl, etc. It made for a perfectly smooth pudding. Thanks!
Sue, this was delicious, and VERY easy to make. For my 5 year old grandson I made it with semisweet chocolate, and it was just chocolatey enough to satisfy all of us. I used whole milk to cut down on the fat. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!
Penny Eisenberg, author of Passover Desserts.
Do you think that I could successfully substitute 2 cups of 1/2 and 1/2 for the heavy cream and whole milk?
I haven’t made chocolate pudding in a long time and this recipe is calling my name! Great tips too, thanks Sue!
I made this chocolate pudding tonight and what a wonderful recipe it is! I can’t believe all the lumps actually left behind in the strainer. That’s a good tip. This pudding is so creamy and chocolatey. I’m waiting for my tulip Wekk jars to be delivered for the next time I make one of your puddings! The vanilla bean bourbon was perfect. The Wekk jars are coming all the way from San Bernadino California to be delivered all the way up North to Ontario Canada! I can’t wait to see your pudding in those jars!
One of the best uses of a great chocolate pudding like this one is its great performance as a hot fudge topping for ice cream! All the flavor we love in hot fudge, but fluffier and less sugary.
You’ve got my mouth watering.
I made this recipe last night because I happened to have the egg yolks that were left over from a cake recipe. What a beautifully rich dessert. I made it with a whip cream Greek yogurt topping and I just about died and went to heaven. Thumbs up
I noticed this recipe uses cornstarch instead of flour. I made the butterscotch pudding and was disappointed with the texture. Will this one be smoother?
In this recipe the melted chocolate and egg yolks are responsible for the texture, as well as the cream, if you use it. The butterscotch pudding would be a little softer set.