Best Homemade Chocolate Pudding
The Best Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe – You won’t believe how incredibly easy it is to make creamy and luscious chocolate pudding from scratch! Skip the box and give this classic homemade pudding recipe a try.
Easy Pudding Recipe
Rich, silky, perfectly chilled pudding is a classic dessert recipe that is dear to our hearts. My husband and I both loved eating puddings as kids, and it’s such a joy to share them with our children now.
There are so many different, delicious ways that a great pudding can be enjoyed. Like in this fruity and unique Homemade Strawberry Pudding recipe, or one of my personal favorites, as a base for a Layered Banana Pudding Cake.
No matter how it’s served, there’s something so wonderfully comforting and nostalgic about savoring creamy spoonfuls of sweet, cold pudding.
And did you know that it is ridiculously easy to make pudding from scratch?
Today we are sharing what is absolutely the Best Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe… Ever. It’s so terrifically simple and quick, I swear you’ll never buy the boxed stuff again!
Homemade Chocolate Pudding
Why make pudding from scratch when you can pick up a package of mix at the store?
Homemade pudding skips those weird preservatives and chemicals you find in boxed varieties. Plus, you can personalize the flavors with whatever you like, so you are not stuck to what is available on the supermarket shelf!
I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that it’s almost just as easy, and tastes SO much better when you make pudding at home with just a few pantry staple ingredients. It’s basically just sugar, milk, cornstarch, and flavoring, mixed, simmered, and then cooled. How simple is that?!
What Ingredients You Need
Below you’ll find the ingredients necessary to make a chocolate version of our classic homemade pudding recipe. But this is also a great base recipe for adding in your favorite goodies like cinnamon, peanut butter powder, and/or flavored extracts.
Here’s what you need to make the BEST pudding from scratch:
- Granulated sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Vanilla extract
- Instant coffee granules
I include instant coffee granules in this Homemade Chocolate Pudding recipe to add depth and richness to the chocolate flavor. However, feel free to omit them if you prefer.
The butter is added at the end to offer a silkier texture and beautiful sheen. It’s not absolutely necessary, but oh my does it make a lovely difference!
How to Make the Best Chocolate Pudding from Scratch
It really only takes 10 minutes and a few easy steps to whip up an unbelievably indulgent chocolate pudding.
1. First, set a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and coffee granules. Stir to combine, and then pour in the milk. Whisk well to remove all clumps.
2. Next, bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Be sure not to turn the heat too high or you’ll boil and overcook your pudding!
Once simmering, stir constantly for a couple of minutes as the pudding thickens. It should be fairly thick to coat a spoon or spatula, but will continue to thicken as it cools.
3. Lastly, remove from heat and immediately stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Keep stirring until the butter is fully melted and combined.
Just look at that gorgeous shine!
Final Steps On How To Make Pudding
If you feel like you were unable to stir in all the clumps, you can pour the pudding through a mesh strainer to remove any debris. Otherwise, scoop the pudding into a storage container and press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the pudding, so a skin doesn’t form as it cools.
Place the container(s) of pudding covered with plastic wrap in the fridge to completely cool and thicken, for about 2 hours.
Once it is fully chilled, you can remove the plastic wrap and cover the chocolate pudding with a lid. Serve cold.
This chocolate pudding recipe also makes a fabulous chocolate pie filling! Make sure to cook it the full 2 minutes, so it sets very thick.
Get the Complete (Printable) Best Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe Below. Enjoy!
Other Great Dessert Options
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does This Recipe Last?
Stored in an airtight container in the fridge, pudding made from scratch will keep well for up to a week, 5 to 7 days.
Can Butter Be Substituted or Omitted?
The butter adds richness and shine. You can easily swap it for margarine or coconut oil.
Can You Use Sugar Substitutes In This Recipe?
Yes, you can! Use a good 1-to-1 ratio sugar substitute, so the texture and volume remain the same. I believe Wholesome and Swerve both make one.
How Can I Make the Best Vegan Chocolate Pudding from Scratch?
It’s easy to make this a Vegan Homemade Pudding recipe! You can substitute almond or coconut milk for the cow’s milk, and then use your favorite plant-based vegan butter substitute for the butter.
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.
Share your favorite flavor combinations in the comments!
Looking for More Delicious Chocolate Dessert Recipes?
- 2 Ingredient Easy Chocolate Fondue
- Quintessential Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Pots de Creme with Espresso Whipped Cream
- French Silk Chocolate Brownies
- Best Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Best Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe
- 5 cups milk 2% or whole
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules optional
- Set a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt, and coffee granules. Stir to combine, then pour in the milk. Whisk well to remove all clumps.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, stir consistently for 1-2 minutes, as the pudding thickness. It should be fairly thick, but will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Stir until the butter is fully melted and combined.
- If you feel like you were unable to stir in all the clumps, you can pour the pudding through a mesh strainer to remove any debris. Otherwise, scoop the pudding into a storage container and press a piece of plastic wrap down over the surface of the pudding, so a skin doesn’t form as it cools.
- Once it is fully chilled, you can remove the plastic wrap and cover it with a lid. Serve cold.
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OMGosh! This chocolate pudding is the BEST! I put it in DEATH BY CHOCOLATE b/c I didn’t have instant pudding for the recipe……WOW! It was awesome! (And I am not a chocolate lover!) I will use this recipe for the rest of my life! It is thick, rich and oh so yummy!
Delicious! Definitely a keeper!!!! Did have to cook and stir 15-20 minutes- it was worth it!
This turned out wonderfully!! I will definitely make it again! Plenty for our and puffing!! This was great!
This recipe is creamy and delicious! Most dessert recipes are too sweet for me, so I cut this one down to 1.25 C sugar. Next time I will use 1 C sugar. It took 25 minutes of cooking on medium for the pudding to thicken. Thank you for the recipe!
It literally didn’t thicken up at all. And I did the exact measurements as the recipe. Wasted.
I’m sorry to hear that! Any chance you substituted something else for the cornstarch? I can’t fathom why it didn’t thicken unless you: mis-measured, swapped out an ingredient, or just didn’t cook it long enough.
You needed to cook it longer than 5 minutes. Mine took 25 minutes of cooking on medium.
Best pudding recipe! I strained out the coffee grounds after cooking and it was perfect! highly recommend doin that
Try Trader Joes cold brew coffee granules. No straining required.
I omitted vanilla and added Cointreau
Just wondering if this can be made with a sugar substitute such as Splenda?
I have not officially tried that in this recipe, but from working with other similar recipes… As long as the sweetener is measured in 1:1 ratio with sugar and dissolves well, it should work!
OMG this is absolutely delicious! Made this last night and it was so easy, I used soy milk instead of 2% milk. My husband and are are big chocolate and pudding lovers. It smelled so good while it was cooking. We couldn’t wait till it cooled to try it so we put it on a scoop of ice cream. So rich and chocolaty and smooth in the mouth. Saving this to my favorites and definitely will be making it again. Thanks for this amazing recipe ♥️
Liked the recipe except for the coffee Granules.
Will make again without them.
I followed this recipe exactly. My recommendations are:
1. Before putting over heat, mix dry ingredients well before adding milk. This will help break down the cocoa clumps. Use a wire whisk to break down anymore that remain after adding milk. Don’t worry about foam that forms in the beginning, just make sure the chocolate is broken down.
2. Stir constantly while heating, scraping the bottom of pan to ensure it doesn’t stick to bottom. Do not use a high heat.
3. I did not like the addition of the coffee granules. It took away from the chocolate flavor that we all love. If you like coffee added to chocolate then go ahead and use it. I will not use coffee granules in my pudding again.
I use Starbucks brand, which is very finely ground. No granules at all.
i made this pudding this afternoon it took longer than 2 minutes till It was thick enough, i added some baking chocolate it came out really good!
It might be the difference in heat from your burners. Unfortunately, they are all a little different. I’m so glad it still turned out!
This is the best chocolate pudding recipe. So easy and so delicious.
Well, this was YUM!!!! That being said, I made a few modifications based on personal preference and comments: Reduced sugar by 1/3 as we like bittersweet pudding. Reduced cornstarch by 2 tbsp as we like a looser pudding. I used Dark cocoa. I doubled the vanilla–I always do. And we had some espresso crystals, so I added that version of coffee. Many comments about possible lumps. I mixed all the dry ingredients in and then just put in about 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring all until a thick paste and working out the lumps by smashing them on the edge of the pan. the goal is to get all the dry ingredients wet and to begin absorbing the liquid. Then aded another 1/2 cup mixing until all together until a looser paste and all well mixed. I do this approach any time I want to mix cocoa into liquid. Like when making hot chocolate. Then added the rest of the milk, mixed it all together, heated up and then to a boil for about 3 minutes. Heating that much milk took about 22 minutes on medium high and constant stirring to keep from sticking or burning on the bottom of the pan. I used salted butter, so I reduced the salt to a scant 1/4 tsp. Poured into a bowl, covered with a piece of Saran Wrap and let cool. Tasted so good and then after cooled with a dollop of whipped cream…wellll… I can imagine this with mint or orange or ginger…..or coconut or Almonds. I guess I have lots of options to work on. Thanks so much.
This pudding tasted amazing! Thank you for the recipe!
I’ve never made homemade chocolate pudding, but this is so creamy and has great chocolatey flavor!
Can you use this for chocolate pie?
Yes, absolutely! However, if you want a classic “french” style chocolate pie, try this recipe: https://www.aspicyperspective.com/fluffy-french-silk-pie/
This pudding was the easiest to make and way more delicious than the boxed pudding versions!
I just made this for my adult son because it’s Mother’s Day and that’s what he asked for lol. I accidentally on purpose left some in the pot for me, and oh my… it’s just about perfect. It really didn’t need the coffee, but I do always add coffee when I’m baking a chocolate cake.
Just a word of warning: Add about 30 minutes to that 5 minute cook time. That is a hugely misleading direction. From years of cooking I knew it didn’t make sense (cold milk is not going to come to a simmer over medium heat in 3-5 minutes), so be patient, stir it constantly, and the reward will be great!
Ran out of vanilla extract. Used rum extract.
Very easy to make. It was really chocolatey for us. I wasn’t sure if you use salted butter or not so I added extra salt because I used non-salted butter. I won’t do that next time because the sweetness is kind of overpowered by the salt. I added some instant powdered coffee but it was a cappuccino type of instant so that added to the overpowering powder taste. I have to get actual black instant coffee. I used double dutch chocolate and a Hershey’s mixed together. I think another mistake. That double dutch should be left for brownies. :0)
What kind of coffee do you use? What kind of butter was it salted or unsalted? What chocolate do you use?
I gave a 5 star because I believe if I fix these items I would have no issues.
Super easy & tasty!
Yummy but wish recipes included calories per serving
This is the best chocolate pudding I have ever had! I highly recommend it.
My mother had a friend who grew up in France. She always added cinnamon and cloves to her chocolate cakes. I did the same with this pudding and it was off the chain delicious!!! And super easy too. Half as much cinnamon as instant coffee and half as much cloves as cinnamon.
This was delicious! I cut the recipe in half, and then used 1/2 cup Swerve ( a cup-for-cup sugar substitute) and 1/4 cup sugar. Couldn’t tell, and texture was great!
Hello, just wondering about the fat. Can butter be substituted or omitted? I’m excited to see this recipe does not include gelatin! Thank you!
The butter adds richness and shine. You can easily swap it for margarine or coconut oil.
Simple, easy and delicious! What’s not to like about this!? Wonderful work, thank you for a yummy treat that we all enjoyed as a family! Kudos!
like Mama made, I never got any of her recipes, they were not written down, she did all from memory, a pinch of this, a hand full of that, she didn’t own measuring spoons or cups, also she didn’t teach me how to cook, I collect recipes and have hundreds copied from the computer, people tell me I am a great cook. I believe if you enjoy doing something, it is fun, and you do your best.
I’ve never used peanut butter powder or hazelnut extract before. If adding these in to the pudding, how much would you use?
Love your recipes!
I would start with a small amount and add more to taste. Maybe 1-3 tablespoons of peanut butter powder, or 1/2 teaspoon of extract to start.
Can you use a sugar substitute in this recipe? Thank you
Yes, you can! Use a good 1-to-1 sugar substitute, so the texture and volume remain the same. I believe Wholesome and Swerve both make one. :)
So easy to make and so delicious. We usually have the boxed pudding. So I made this and didn’t tell my kids… they tried it and could tell something was amazingly different. The creamy texture and chocolatey flavor are out of this world! Our new family favorite. And I’m not going back to boxed pudding ever again.
Delicious! You are right. This is so much better than boxed pudding.
Tastes so much better than the box version of this chocolate pudding!