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Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe

chocolate pudding

I was the Chocolate Pudding Queen when I was a kid. I could open that box, stir in the milk and get it thick and creamy on the stove in five seconds flat. Or ten minutes…but you get the idea.

My sister Kelly was going to college in a nearby town and she would bring her boyfriend, Paul, home with her on the weekends. Paul was a great big brother to me (I’m nine years younger than Kelly). We’d play card games (anyone remember Smear?) and I’d make chocolate pudding.

When Paul graduated from college, I drew him a picture and gave him…you guessed it…a box of pudding.

I haven’t bought the boxed stuff in years but I do still love good chocolate pudding. These days I’ll make it but use a fancy recipe and call it “Chocolate Pots de Creme” with only very high-quality ingredients.

But then there are days when I just want a good, creamy, hot, chocolate pudding in about five minutes flat. That’s when I turn to an appliance normally reserved for reheating only: the microwave.

Before we get to that, let me answer some common chocolate pudding questions:

homemade chocolate pudding in a white, scalloped dish on a pink napkin
What’s the difference between chocolate pudding and chocolate mousse?

Although they’re very similar, chocolate mousse is much lighter in texture. This is achieved by folding whipped egg whites or whipped cream into the chocolate. Chocolate pudding has a creamier texture, too.

What is chocolate pudding made of?

The main ingredients in chocolate pudding are cocoa powder, whole milk or cream, and sugar. Cornstarch can be used to thicken it and vanilla extract for flavor. A pinch of salt helps bring out the flavors as well. Egg yolks are also sometimes added.

How is pudding made?

Pudding is typically made on the stovetop by stirring the ingredients until it’s thick and creamy. The microwave can also be used as a shortcut.

Why did my pudding get lumpy?

Pudding most commonly gets lumpy from eggs that weren’t tempered first, resulting in “cooked” eggs. This can also happen if the mixture isn’t whisked enough during cooking.

How do you keep skin from forming on pudding?

The easiest way to do this is to place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding as it cools.

Homemade chocolate pudding can be made on the stovetop or in the microwave. For this recipe, I use the microwave for a delicious pudding that you can enjoy in minutes with much less stirring.

It’s still important to whisk your pudding each time the time is up on the microwave. Whisk it thoroughly to remove any lumps, then cook it a bit more, then whisk it again. You’ll only need to go through this process 3-4 times and it goes very quickly!

Homemade chocolate pudding can be used for an easy chocolate pie, layered with whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a chocolate parfait, or just enjoyed hot with a spoon!

More delicious chocolate dessert recipes:

homemade chocolate pudding in a white, scalloped dish on a pink napkin

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 14 minutes

If you think you can't get a rich, smooth chocolate pudding in the microwave, give this recipe a try!


  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa (Dutch if you have it)
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the milk until it's smooth.
  2. Place the bowl in the microwave and cook uncovered on high for 3 minutes, then whisk it until it's smooth.
  3. Place it back in the microwave for two minutes and whisk it again. Continue cooking in 1-minute increments until it's smooth and thick. Stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Spoon into individual serving dishes and serve.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 117mgCarbohydrates: 31gNet Carbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 5g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

Kristy Bernardo
Latest posts by Kristy Bernardo (see all)


Saturday 13th of January 2018

This pudding is so good and so easy. Do you have a vanilla pudding equivalent? My husband isn't as much of a chocolate fan as I am!

Kristy Bernardo

Thursday 18th of January 2018

Hi Abby! I don't but I'll keep it on my list of to-do's and let you know once I post one. So glad you're loving it!


Sunday 19th of November 2017

So, I was feeling slightly disappointed, as by the end of the third minute eat the end, it seemed even more liquid, but when I pulled it out at the end of the fourth minute, I knew it was starting to set! I ended up doing six minutes at the end in a middle wattage range microwave to get the slightly extra firm consistency that I was imagining. It's still slightly too hot for comfortable consumption, but I can't help myself! This is amazing! First time I've been happy about this week's difficulty sleeping! ;) Thank you!

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 6th of December 2017

I'm so glad!! Yeah, it's funny how it will seem like it's not doing anything then all of a sudden it really sets. SO happy you loved it!! Happy Holidays!


Sunday 1st of November 2015

I just made this for tonights dessert. Before I could let it cool down to put in small bowls my husband and nephew had it eaten in a flash of the eye. Sheesh. Warning to you all. Do not make this incredibly good pudding with two guys watching football anywhere near. So now to try another but double recipe. I may eeven get the whipped cream made. Thanks so much!

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 4th of November 2015

That is SO AWESOME!! Thanks for sharing :)


Friday 7th of August 2015

I doubled the recipe and reduced the milk by 1/4 of the total and used it to make a chocolate pie. Perfection! Just the right balance of sweet and chocolate. Made a smooth and velvety pie too.

Kristy Bernardo

Monday 10th of August 2015

YUM! You can never go wrong with pie :-)


Friday 17th of April 2015

Just made this pudding. Very good!!! I love chocolate pudding. I had some evaporated milk left over from another recipe so I used the rest of that and added 2% milk for the 2 cups of milk. I also think that I should have stirred the pudding about half way through because it was hard to get it mixed before cooking. It had some lumps but I stirred most of the lumps out. Good recipe!

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 29th of April 2015

So glad you enjoyed it, Michele!

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