Classic Chocolate Pudding Recipe

This simple chocolate pudding recipe is as classic as American desserts get. With just a few ingredients, it pays to use good-quality chocolate, milk, and vanilla.


Psst...if you're in the mood for classic, comforting desserts, you might also like our brownies and blondies.

A dessert with a good soul

am not a dessert heavyweight. Show me a caterer’s tray of decent lasagna, and I’ll show you the meaning of “open the hatch.” But dessert? It has to be really special to win my heart. Special doesn’t have to mean unbelievably rich or decked out in foams, curls and beads. More often than not, in fact, it’s the homelier—and the homier—the better. It’s an honest dessert I’m after, and one with a good soul. If Grandma would have put it in Dad’s Howdy Doody lunch box, we’re on the right track.

An honest chocolate pudding

An honest chocolate pudding, not too rich. Classic chocolate chip cookies, studded with dark chocolate and just enough nuts. Some things just don’t need improving. You can keep your rose water macarons and your five-course dessert tasting menus. I hope you enjoy them. I really do. But I’ll be over here on the comfy couch with a couple of hearty chocolate chip cookies in one hand and a goodly schlog of Honest Chocolate Pudding in the other.

Comforting dessert for the holidays

The comfortable logic of homey desserts applies all year round. But it’s most important at the holidays, when the temptation to impress can overwhelm a well-meaning but jittery host. I’ve fallen prey to entertainer’s vanity before, believe me. But in the end, I really believe that even your most cosmopolitan in-laws and your best-postured colleagues are happiest when they’re given permission to be comfortable. They may not admit it, but they are. Don’t you think?

An Honest Chocolate Pudding

This honest chocolate pudding is as classic as American desserts come. With only a few ingredients, it pays to use good-quality chocolate, milk, and vanilla.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serves 6


  • 4 ounces Ghirardelli 70% cacao extra bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups milk (substitute plain non-dairy milk of your choice if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Using a serrated knife, finely chop the 70% chocolate. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Gently whisk in the milk until the cocoa, sugar, and cornstarch have dissolved almost completely.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, whisking often. When the mixture boils, immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, whisking, for one minute. The pudding will have thickened noticeably. Remove saucepan from heat.
  4. Off the heat, add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla. Stir until the chocolate is melted and thoroughly incorporated.
  5. If you’re that type, pass the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any possibility of lumps. Otherwise, or afterward, spoon the pudding into six 4-ounce ramekins, filling each about two-thirds full, or into a single serving bowl. If you don’t like the idea of inanimate objects with skin, cover the pudding with plastic wrap directly touching its surface. If you don’t like the idea of plastic wrap directly touching the surface of your food, cover the ramekins or serving bowl without doing so. Chill for at least two hours before serving.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 292 Total Fat:: 12.6g Carbohydrates:: 36g Fiber:: 3.2g Protein:: 10.1g

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