Homemade Chocolate (or Vanilla!) Pudding

The only difference here is, don’t add the cocoa powder if you’re making vanilla pudding. It’s that simple! Either way, you will end up with a creamy, very satisfying dessert – and you will make it yourself, not from a box!


Pudding can be served with whipped cream, or add fresh berries or other seasonal fruit for a burst of flavor. You can use pudding in trifles, or eat it plopped on top of pound cake. It’s simple to make, delicious to eat – and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand!


2 ½ C Whole Milk (divided 1C and 1½ C)

4 Large Egg Yolks (use the whites for meringue, or an egg white omelet!)

¼ C Cornstarch


2/3 C Sugar

¼ teasp Salt

1/3 C Cocoa Powder (leave out for vanilla pudding)

2 T Butter, cut into several pieces (if using salted butter, leave out the salt above)

1 teasp Vanilla (Real vanilla extract is better than imitation especially if you’re not using cocoa.)


Whisk the egg yolks and cornstarch with 1 C of the milk and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, salt and cocoa powder (if making chocolate pudding.)

Whisk the other 1½ cups milk into the dry ingredients and place over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid lumps.

When the milk starts to steam, remove from heat briefly, and quickly whisk a ladleful or two into the egg yolks/milk to temper them.

Add this back into the hot milk and continue heating until it just starts to boil and thicken. Whisk constantly to avoid lumps.

Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract.

If the pudding seems lumpy, pour it through a sieve into a bowl – otherwise, just pour it into the bowl. (Or 4 separate bowls.)

Immediately, cover the pudding with a piece of plastic wrap RIGHT ON THE SURFACE OF THE PUDDING. You want the plastic wrap in total contact with the pudding, or you’ll get a skin on top as it cools.

Divide into 4 serving dishes and top with fruit and/or whipped cream. Or just eat it as is!


***You can also substitute other extracts or flavorings for different types of pudding. Coconut is yummy, especially topped with toasted coconut. Or banana! 

Chocolate Pudding with whipped cream