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Calling all chocoholics! This Chocolate Pudding Recipe is destined to be your new go-to when you are craving a rich, creamy, and chocolatey dessert. Sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings make it a little cooler, and a little extra creamy and decadent, but it is delicious even on its own.
Homemade chocolate pudding is easier to make from scratch than you might think it is. This pudding is essentially a classic custard with added cocoa powder for flavor and richness. You may want this as a mid-afternoon snack, but it is fancy enough to serve it for Valentine’s Day dinner.
This is the perfect chocolate pudding. It’s dark and rich with an incredibly silky texture. Cocoa powder and instant coffee granules make this homemade pudding recipe extra special. I love the depth of flavor that instant coffee adds to almost any chocolate recipe.
If you can never have enough chocolate, and let’s face it, who can… then try my chocolate pie, my chocolate chai cream pie, or my chocolate lava cake recipes.
Chocolate Pudding Recipe Details
- Taste – Rich chocolate decadence is the best way to describe the flavor here. A touch of coffee enhances the chocolate making it tastes like an elegant treat.
- Texture – The pudding is smooth with a silky mouthfeel.
- Ease – While the recipe seems simple and straight forward, it can be tricky to temper the eggs.
- Time – It takes about 15 minutes to prep the recipe, 20 minutes to cook, and 2 hours for the pudding to chill.
What You’ll Need
• Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder: For smooth, chocolate flavor. It’s a little less bitter than regular cocoa powder.
• Cornstarch: This thickens the custard.
• Heavy Cream: Creamy richness. You can use half and half or whole milk, but it won’t be quite as luxurious.
• Egg Yolks: Eggs should be at room temperature. They will combine better with other ingredients. (Save the egg whites for another purpose)
• Milk: Whole milk is preferable but other milk will do.
• Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the pudding.
• Instant Coffee Granules: These add depth to the chocolate flavor. But note, instant coffee granules are NOT the same as ground coffee. Regular ground coffee won’t dissolve, so make sure you use instant coffee.
• Vanilla extract: I use homemade but feel free to use store-bought or even vanilla paste if you have it.
- This chocolate pudding recipe comes together easily with a mixing bowl, a sauce pan and a whisk. Ramekins are great for serving, but you can use water glasses or even wine glasses if you don’t have ramekins.
How to Make Chocolate Pudding
It’s easy to make chocolate pudding from scratch. It does require a little extra attention to make sure you don’t scorch the milk. However, I guarantee the hardest part of this recipe will be waiting for it to set in the refrigerator before you can enjoy it!
- Whisk together dry ingredients (cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt) and then slowly whisk in the cream, trying to dissolve any clumps.
- Whisk in the egg yolks.
- In a sauce pan, heat milk, coffee and sugar over medium heat. Then slowly add the hot milk mixture into the cocoa mixture while stirring constantly.
- Pour the pudding back into the sauce pan, and bring to a boil over medium high heat. This is where you want to carefully whisk slowly to make sure it doesn’t scorch. It will start to thicken as it reaches a full boil. Turn heat to medium, whisk constantly for 2 minutes, and then remove from heat and add the vanilla.
- Pour into ramekins, cover with plastic wrap (you want this right on the surface of the pudding so a skin doesn’t form). Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours.
Tips For Success
• Make sure you use instant coffee granules and not ground coffee. Ground coffee won’t dissolve.
• Whisk slowly while bringing the pudding to a boil. This will keep the pudding from scorching in the saucepan.
• Make sure the plastic wrap touches the top of the pudding so it doesn’t get a skin when refrigerated.
• Serve with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings or cocoa nibs.
• The egg yolks should be at room temperature when using.
• Add the milk mixture slowly to the cocoa mixture so you temper the eggs – bring them to warm temperature slowly so they don’t scramble.
I like the depth of flavor the coffee adds. You can use decaf if you want to avoid caffeine, or you can omit it altogether.
You can use any combination of cream, half and half, or whole milk for the heavy cream, but know that cream will produce the thickest, most luxurious consistency. This is a pudding, after all.
I don’t recommend using chocolate chips when making this pudding since the recipe was designed around cocoa powder.
Storage & Freezing
The pudding will keep in the fridge for three days, covered in plastic wrap. Do not freeze.
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Hi I need to make this for an elementary class for Halloween. Could I put the pudding in 9 oz clear plastic cups instead of the ramekins? Does that matter? Do I need to wrap them in cling wrap? Also, since they are children, is the coffee necessary?
Hi Kim! It really doesn’t matter what you store the pudding in. I’d allow it to cool some before putting into the plastic cups though. And yes, still top the pudding with plastic wrap touching the surface so a gross film doesn’t form on top and it cools in the fridge. And of course, you don’t need to use the coffee since it’s being served to children.
I can never get enough of chocolate! This dessert is divine!
I love Fine Cooking magazine! And by love, I mean I usually drool over every single page. Your addition of coffee is a perfect compliment and no doubt makes a great recipe even better. Thanks Jen!
Jen, this chocolate pudding looks perfect!!!! love this and I’m gonna try this one! I haven’t made pudding in ages!
Yes! You have to give it a try. It’s so decadent and indulgent!
Chocolate pudding always reminds me of when I was a kid — except that it was always instant. This pudding looks like perfection and I’m dying to try it!
Now you can enjoy an adult version of a childhood favorite! I really think you should try it.
This pudding looks sensational, Jen! I love the addition of coffee! So rich, chocolaty and perfect for Valentine’s Day!
Who knew pudding could be so beautiful?! This looks so rich and delicious, I hope I can try it soon!
I hope so too, Aimee!
So gorgeous, I love this chocolate pudding recipe! Definitely a great little recipe for a Valentine’s treat 🙂
Thank you, Crystal!
Oh yum, I love how rich and chocolaty this looks! I definitely want to try this out, and then make those Spiced Chocolate Coconut Macaroons with the egg whites!!
I think you should!