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Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding

Chocolate cornstarch pudding is ridiculously rich, silky-smooth, and decadent.

Say goodbye to boxed pudding mixes (and your diet) and hello to this recipe. It’s every chocolate lover’s dream dessert!

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Many of us rely on the good-old boxed mix to make chocolate pudding, thinking it’s a lot more convenient.

But did you know that pudding is actually insanely easy to make? Its flavor is far superior, and a lot cheaper, to boot.

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding with Whipped Cream

If you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert for tonight’s dinner, the search is over. This chocolate cornstarch pudding has you covered.

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding 

With a simple combination of sugar, cocoa powder, and cornstarch, you can enjoy the goodness that is chocolate pudding.

This smooth, velvety dessert is the ultimate chocolate treat!

It’s so easy, anyone can do it. I’m telling you, this recipe is impossible to mess up. It will have your kitchen smelling like heaven, too!

The only problem you can encounter is getting a lumpy pudding, but even then, it will still taste amazing.

I actually personally don’t mind the lumps, because I like the texture contrast. 

Kick store-bought pudding to the curb with this recipe!


  • Sugar. This recipe calls for granulated sugar, but you can also use brown sugar for a deeper flavor. Add more for a sweeter pudding.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Any good-quality brand will do. 
  • Cornstarch. The key ingredient used to thicken the pudding.
  • Salt. Just a pinch works wonders at enhancing the flavor of chocolate.
  • Milk. I like to use whole milk, but evaporated milk works, too. You can also use non-dairy milk, but the consistency will be a little thinner.
  • Butter. Do not skip this out! Butter makes pudding significantly richer. If using salted butter, skip out on the salt.
  • Vanilla Extract. Paste or fresh vanilla bean work, too.

Tips for the Best Pudding 

  • For a richer flavor, use brown sugar instead of white. The molasses in brown sugar gives it a deeper level of sweetness.
  • Add an egg yolk for extra richness.
  • Add an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder for more chocolatey goodness.
  • Switch things up: add 1 to 2 drops of mint, almond, hazelnut, or orange extract for a different flavor.
  • Make it mocha! Add a teaspoon of espresso to the mixture.
  • Tips to avoid lumps:
    • Sift the dry ingredients before adding the milk.
    • Pour the milk gradually and stir constantly while doing so.
    • If all else fails, push the cooked pudding through a mesh sieve to get rid of lumps.
  • Do not rush the cooking process, otherwise, your pudding will have a starchy taste and a grainy texture. Patience is key. Cook the mixture over medium-low to low heat and stir constantly. 

Sure, the pudding will thicken much faster if you stir it over high heat, but you won’t allow enough time for the cornstarch to cook and the sugar to dissolve.

  • Have the butter and vanilla within your reach. You’ll want to be able to add them right away to the cooked pudding.
  • Do not refrigerate the pudding right away, or it will sweat. Let it sit at room temperature for several hours beforehand. You can speed things up by placing it in a bowl of cold or iced water.
  • To prevent skin from forming on top of the pudding:
    • Stir it occasionally as it cools.
    • Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding before you refrigerate.
    • Sprinkle sugar on top.
  • Give the pudding enough time to chill and set in the fridge, 4 hours at least. The pudding will still taste good right after cooking, but it won’t have that lovely thick consistency.
  • Store leftover pudding in the fridge, with a plastic wrap directly over its surface, for up to 7 days. Do not freeze pudding as it does not thaw well.
Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding

Other Great Uses for Pudding

Another great thing about pudding is that while it’s good as it is, it’s also an essential ingredient in other desserts. You can use it to add richness to any layered dessert, such as:

You can use it as a cake, pie, or parfait filling, as well. 

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You can even use the same recipe to make creamy fudgesicles. Just spoon the pudding into popsicle molds, freeze, and voila!

Serving Suggestions

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying this dessert on its own – just you, the pudding, and a spoon.

But there are also a myriad of ways to dress it up for more flavor and texture! Here are some topping suggestions:

  • Berries – Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries – you name it! 
  • Whipped cream – for a light and airy contrast to the thick pudding.
  • Crushed nuts – peanuts, pecans, cashews, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts – take your pick.
  • Chocolate shavings – there’s no such thing as too much chocolate.
  • Sliced bananas – we all know chocolate and bananas are a match made in heaven.
  • Sprinkles – for crunch and color. This is a great way to dress up pudding according to your party theme.
  • Cherries – for a black forest-esque dessert.
  • Crushed candy – Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Heath, M&M’s – any candy works!
  • Crushed cookies – I’m talking graham crackers, Nilla Wafers, Oreos.

Do not serve the pudding with acidic fruits like oranges, peaches, kiwi, and the like. They tend to release liquid, which may cause the pudding to sweat.

Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding



Prep time


Cooking time






  • 1/2 cup 1/2 granulated sugar

  • 3 tablespoons 3 unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 cornstarch

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt

  • 2 3/4 cups 2 3/4 milk

  • 2 tablespoons 2 butter, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon 1 vanilla extract


  • In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Gradually stir in the milk.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Reduce heat to low and stir constantly, scraping the bottom and the sides of the saucepan to avoid burning. Do this for about 1 to 2 minutes, or until it’s thick enough that the pudding coats the back of a metal spoon.
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  • Let the pudding cool to room temperature. Transfer the pudding into a bowl and press a sheet of plastic wrap directly over its surface.
  • Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours. Serve either cold or at room temperature. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cornstarch Pudding

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Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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