Homemade Chocolate Pudding


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Homemade chocolate pudding is the coziest of simple desserts. Made on the stovetop in about 20 minutes, it’s rich and creamy, thickened with cornstarch, naturally gluten-free.

chocolate pudding in a small glass jar on a wooden tray

When I was growing up and we wanted a quick, easy, homemade dessert on a weeknight, my mom would make chocolate pudding. It was a special type of magic to see her combine a few ingredients in a saucepan and, moments later, have a thick, creamy chocolate dessert. Now as a parent, it remains one of my favorite things to make for my kids. 

The stovetop method for homemade pudding

The stovetop method that both my mom and I use is adapted from Hershey’s and uses egg yolks (not the whites) and cornstarch to thicken the chocolate base. This version also uses a tip I found in an old Cook’s Illustrated magazine which advises that the best chocolate flavor comes from a combination of cocoa powder and solid chocolate. When I tested my go-to cocoa powder recipe with a bit of chopped dark chocolate added at the end, I couldn’t believe how much it enhanced the chocolate flavor. 

This chocolate pudding is incredibly easy to make and uses ingredients that you most likely already have in your kitchen. You can probably mix up a batch right now!

chocolate pudding in small glass jars in a white baking dish

How to make homemade chocolate pudding

1. In a mixing bowl whisk together egg yolks and milk. (Any type of milk will work.)
2. In a saucepan, combine sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. 
3. Slowly pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, whisking well.
4. Heat the mixture until it begins to simmer. Whisk it constantly as it heats (this will prevent lumps).
5. Stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (this gives it extra rich chocolate flavor).
6. Refrigerate until chilled.
7. Serve!


Is Chocolate Pudding Gluten Free?

Yes. Homemade chocolate pudding that is thickened with cornstarch is a gluten-free dessert. If you are adding bar chocolate or chocolate chips to give the pudding a rich chocolate flavor, be sure that those are certified gluten-free before adding them or just use cocoa powder.

What are some topping ideas for chocolate pudding?

* Whipped Cream
* Sprinkles
* Grated Chocolate
* Mini Chocolate Chips
* Strawberries
* Chocolate or Caramel Sauce
* Cherries

a spoonful of chocolate pudding over a glass jar full of pudding

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4.84 from 6 votes

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Creamy, rich, homemade chocolate pudding is made on the stovetop in about 20 minutes. It uses cocoa powder and chocolate for the best chocolate flavor and cornstarch to thicken.
This makes four generous servings or six smaller servings.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 6


  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Mixing Bowls


  • 2 egg yolks (discard egg whites or use them for something else)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk, any type
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate or chocolate chips (optional, see note)
  • whipped cream, for topping (optional)
  • shaved chocolate, for topping (optional)


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks until smooth. Add milk to egg yolks while whisking. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Pour egg-milk mixture over dry ingredients, whisking well.
  • Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. As the mixture heats, whisk constantly (this is the key to avoiding lumps). When it begins to simmer, add in chocolate. Continue simmering, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and pudding thickens, about 1 minute.
  • Pour pudding into dessert dishes. Chill for at least one hour.
  • Just before serving, top pudding with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Serve chilled.


Gluten-Free – For a gluten-free dessert, be sure to use gluten-free chocolate / chocolate chips.
Dark Chocolate – Adding solid chocolate to the pudding gives it a more rich flavor and texture, but the pudding will come together even without it. Use a high quality baking chocolate like Baker’s Dark Chocolate or 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips. 
Make Ahead – Pudding can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down so that the plastic wrap is in contact with the surface of the pudding. (This will prevent a film forming on the surface of the pudding.)


Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 51mg | Potassium: 232mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 251IU | Calcium: 139mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $4.00
Calories: 165
Keyword: chocolate, easy dessert recipe, easy recipe, gluten free, homemade dessert, kid-friendly recipe
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

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