Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Easy instructions for how to make chocolate pudding from scratch with cocoa powder and corn starch. It’s perfect when topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings – and you can even use this pudding to make chocolate cream pie!

Creamy chocolate pudding is possibly my favourite after dinner dessert. It is light, simple and just delicious. If you have ever wondered how to make pudding from scratch, then this homemade chocolate pudding recipe is perfect.

Making pudding is super easy.  In this recipe, the corn starch is used as a thickening agent. It can be whipped up quickly and is ideal for when you have unexpected guests coming for dinner, or for those days when you are craving a chocolate treat.

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, and every time my wife tastes this pudding, she says it reminds her of times from her childhood when it would be simmering on the stovetop and you could smell the chocolatey goodness.

Chocolate pudding with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

There is something special about homemade pudding. I love this pudding because I regularly have every one of these ingredients in my kitchen which makes it a reliable “go-to” dessert.

So, any time I get the craving for pudding, I don’t need to reach for the instant pudding box. Instead, I can make this homemade chocolate pudding. 

Mixing cocoa powder, sugar, corn starch in a saucepan with milk.

How to Make Pudding from Scratch

  • It is very easy to make this homemade chocolate pudding. I use a fairly large saucepan, as it has a wide bottom with more sloped corners. This gives me plenty of room to have a big whisking motion while the pudding is simmering.
  • Whisk together the milk, cocoa powder, sugar, corn starch and salt in the saucepan before turning on the heat. Keep whisking until it is well combined and the dry ingredients have dissolved and mixed in with the milk. It should look like chocolate milk or hot chocolate.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring regularly. You will notice that the pudding will slowly begin to thicken as it heats. Make sure that as you are whisking, you are scraping the bottom and edges of the saucepan. As the sauce thickens, it can start to build up on the bottom.

Pouring the pudding into glasses.

How Long to Cook the Pudding?

  • As the pudding mixture is continuing to heat up, it will eventually start to boil. You do not want a rapid boil, but you are looking for some light bubbling to happen. Once you start to see this light boil, continue to cook for 2 more minutes. 
  • During these last 2 minutes of cooking, it is important to be whisking constantly. This regular stirring will help the pudding be smooth and creamy with no lumps.
  • I check to see if it is thick enough by scooping some of the pudding mixture with a spoon and pouring it back into the pot. It should have the consistency of a warm gravy or ice cream syrup.
  • Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  • Let the pudding rest for a couple minutes and then pour it into serving bowls. Let them cool a little more, while they are in the bowls, and then place them in the fridge to chill.

Overhead image of pudding in bowls.

Can you Make this Pudding with a Double Boiler?

My mother-in-law’s recipe actually calls for a double boiler and I have tried this method; it works fine as well. The issue for me was that it took longer than just heating the ingredients in a wide saucepan.

A double boiler method is where you fill a saucepan about 2-3 inches with water and then place a pyrex type glass bowl on top of the saucepan. You need to make sure that the bowl is larger/wider than the saucepan, so that it rests on top. You also want to make sure that the bottom of the glass bowl is not touching the water that is in the saucepan.

Follow the instructions below, but place the ingredients in the glass bowl instead. Heat the water to a fairly high simmer and whisk the pudding mixture until it thickens. I find that while the double boiler does take longer, it is a little more forgiving and the chance for any lumps in the pudding is reduced.

Scooping some pudding out of a bowl.

While this chocolate pudding is great straight up, we love to top it with some whipped cream and chocolate shavings. This makes for an amazing after dinner dessert treat.

Other Delicious Chocolate Recipes

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate pudding with whipped cream and chocolate shavings
5 from 1 vote
Easy instructions for how to make chocolate pudding with cocoa powder and corn starch. Simply the best recipe for homemade chocolate pudding.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups whipped cream , optional
  • 2 tbsp chocolate shavings , optional


  • In a large saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, corn starch, salt and milk until dissolved and well combined.
  • Simmer over medium heat, stirring often.
  • Once the pudding mixture just starts to boil, cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constanty with a whisk, making sure to be scraping the bottom of the saucepan so nothing sticks and builds up on the bottom.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. Let rest for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the pudding into serving bowls. Let the pudding cool for a few more minutes in the bowls and let them cool place in the fridge to chill.
  • If desired, top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.


Per serving:

Calories: 319kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 7gFat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 240mgFiber: 3gSugar: 35g

Nutrition Disclaimer


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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Recipe Rating


  • Do you have a recipe like this for butterscotch pudding

    • Reply
    • I also hope that Steve will post a butterscotch pudding recipe! Until he does, I have used the one on a site called theviewfromgreatisland.com.

      • Reply
  • 5 stars
    I’m making this as a special treat tomorrow and the family is going to be so excited!

    • Reply

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