Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Pudding in bowls

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 8 mins
Cook: 11 mins
Total: 19 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
289 Calories
15g Fat
35g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 289
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 43%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 167mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 35g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 30g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 106mg 8%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 134mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chocolate Pudding is one of life’s greatest pleasures. It's so comforting and delicious, that both adults and kids alike love it. This particular old-fashioned, super easy-peasy chocolate pudding recipe is so delightfully rich that you may never go back to the boxed stuff.

This recipe does not require egg tempering, chocolate melting (the pudding gets all of its flavor from Dutch-process cocoa powder), or a long cook time—the pudding is thickened by cornstarch (you’re welcome). In short, once the pudding bubbles, you only need to cook it for an additional minute in order to activate the starch that thickens it.

We love a vegan pudding, such as an avocado chocolate pudding, just as much as the next person, but sometimes you just crave a deeply chocolatey dessert made with milk, cream, and eggs. Not only is this a fabulous make-ahead treat, but it makes for THE most special filling in chocolate pudding pie

"I love the classic, homestyle feel of chocolate pudding. I grew up on the grocery store version (you know which one), so making it at home always feels indulgent and special. The flavor really is superior, and the recipe is simple to follow, too!" —Tracy Wilk

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Chocolate Pudding ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Add the milk and cream, whisking to combine. Add the egg, and whisk until the mixture is well combined.

    Sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, eggs, milk, cream and salt in a saucepan with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the the mixture begins to thicken and bubble, about 10 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and continue whisking for 1 minute more.

    Pudding cooking in saucepan on a burner, with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the butter and vanilla until fully incorporated.

    Butter and vanilla added to the pudding in the saucepan, with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Evenly divide the pudding among 6 ramekins.

    Chocolate pudding in small bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Cover each ramekin with plastic wrap, ensuring the plastic is touching the pudding (this help prevent a “skin” from forming on the top of your puddings).

    Chocolate pudding in bowls, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Refrigerate for 2 hours and up to overnight to fully set. Serve as is or topped with whipped cream, nuts, sprinkles, and more (see variations below).

    Homemade Chocolate Pudding in bowl, garnished with whipped cream and nuts

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Recipe Tips

  • To prevent lumpy pudding, make sure you whisk all the dry ingredients in the saucepan first. Then, gradually whisk in the milk until the mixture is smooth. 
  • Once the mixture in the saucepan begins bubbling, let it bubble for an additional whole minute in order to ensure you have activated the cornstarch. This will guarantee your pudding sets up just right.
  • To make sure your pudding does not form a skin, place the plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding while it chills. Alternatively, if you like pudding skin, then the wrap just needs to cover the ramekin—it does not need to touch the pudding itself.


  • Swap the vanilla extract for orange or mint extract.
  • Add a tablespoon or so of your favorite booze, such as Grand Marnier or Kirsch.
  • Make it a vegan chocolate pudding, using non-dairy milk, chocolate chips, and no eggs.

Make it a pudding party with toppings!

  • Nuts
  • Berries
  • Cereal
  • Sprinkles
  • Whipped Cream
  • Serve it with cookies and gummy works to create pudding dirt cups

How to Store

Pudding can be stored tightly covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to three days. Make sure the plastic wrap touches the top of the pudding if you do not want it to form a skin. Pudding does not freeze well and thus we do not recommend it.