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Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding

Rediscover homemade pudding's comforting simplicity, then see how versatile it can be. Choose one or the other, or make them both! Use this basic recipe to create the following flavor variations and desserts: Chai-Cinnamon Pudding Mocha-Chip Pudding Rum-Raisin Pudding Chocolate-Ginger Pudding Peanut-Butter Chocolate Parfaits Boston Cream Pie Raspberry Napoleons

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
Vanilla or Chocolate Pudding

Source: Everyday Food, April 2006


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (if making chocolate pudding)
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; set aside. In a medium saucepan, off heat, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. If making chocolate pudding, add cocoa powder. Very gradually (a few tablespoons at a time) whisk in milk, taking care to dissolve cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.

  2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble forms and sputters. Reduce heat to low; still whisking, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir butter and vanilla into hot pudding.

  3. Place plastic wrap directly on surface of pudding (to prevent skin from forming); chill at least 3 hours and up to 3 days. Before serving, whisk pudding until smooth; divide among four serving dishes.

Reviews (26)

  • Beatrix K 11 Oct, 2014

    Very good. I cooked mine a few minutes longer to avoid other's complaints of it being runny. Results were great!

  • cookingmachine1 5 Nov, 2014

    what is the serving size of this?

  • StacyMakesCents 4 Oct, 2014

    This was so easy and a great use of my extra egg yolks! I love the step of using a sieve to get rid of lumps. Excellent idea. The steps were really easy to follow - unlike some other pudding recipes I've tried. I used peanut flour instead of cocoa powder, to make it peanut butter flavored. Worked great!

  • mfeagan 19 May, 2014

    Great recipe! I made this twice because I had 12 egg yolks left over from making an angel food cake! Since I had 12 yolks left over, I used 6 instead of 4. They were XL eggs. This may help with your soupy pudding. I first made this with the exact amount of cocoa & sugar called for in the recipe. It was delicious, but I personally like dark chocolate, so in the second batch, I used 1/2 c cocoa & 1/2 c sugar! It was delicious! I also left out the butter at the end.

  • Astarte 6 May, 2013

    I've had the same problem as a few others, where the pudding seems thick enough on the stove, then becomes thinner after refrigeration. Since I didn't need the pudding in big hurry, I just put it back on the stove and cooked it several minutes longer. Next time, I will cook it longer in the first place, until it's thicker than I think it should be. I've made both the vanilla and chocolate variation of this recipe, and the flavor is very good.

  • always_cookn 23 Jan, 2013

    I made a slight change, when it gets to the Scalding stage, take a small amount of the cooking product and introduce it to the eggs. Mix well and add it back to the pudding mixture whisking until it begins to boil. Take off heat and add vanilia.

  • coralcro 15 Oct, 2012

    This recipe is a keeper- it turned out perfect! I made the chocolate version and might have used a bit more cocoa than called for :) Great texture and flavor. Thank you!

  • TK_toronto 7 Sep, 2012

    I am having the same problem as Lovey. The pudding taste is fantastic, and when I take it off the stove, the cornstarch has clearly done its job and the pudding is thick. But upon cooling, the pudding becomes runny. Help me out? Thx

  • LoveyFinkelstein 18 Oct, 2011

    aulait - One reviewer said they used flour with satisfactory results. I also googled 'agar pudding recipe' and came up with a lot of options.

  • LoveyFinkelstein 18 Oct, 2011

    I have made this recipe a number of times and it tastes great! My only problem is that is turns soupy upon cooling/refrigeration. I am following the recipe exactly but am having the same result. What can I do to maintain the thickness so it can be eaten the next day?

  • aulait 10 Sep, 2011

    am not fond of adding Cornstarch.Any Solutions for me?Thank You:-)

  • cascadia 16 Jul, 2011

    This recipe is so simple and yet so delicious. Very creamy, rich, and chocolatey (when you make the chocolate version, of course). The vanilla would be great over cake with blueberries or strawberries or as a tart filling, too.

  • chewie2127 26 Feb, 2010

    I made a lower fat version. I used skim milk and omitted the butter. It set and came out great.

  • chewie2127 26 Feb, 2010

    This came out great. You can make it a little lower in fat too. I used skim milk and omit the butter. Still set and came out great

  • BreeLeeD 27 Sep, 2009

    I made the chocolate pudding and it was wonderful and very easy to make!

  • AlexisRT 20 May, 2009

    to tryingsomethingnew: In most of Europe you should be able to find cornstarch. In the UK it is cornflour; in France, fn n cule de man n s. Maizena is a common brand throughout Europe.

  • pt507 22 Apr, 2009

    i like the chocolate more than vanilla. but both are good.

  • Tryingsomethingnew 20 Mar, 2009

    Excellent recipe! I live in Europe, and I couldn't find corn starch, but I used flour instead.

  • gwensiew 19 Mar, 2008

    To CE Clark, you can use the egg white for coating chicken pieces for frying. Try it, I always do that when I fry chicken. Beat the egg white for few seconds, dip the chicken into the egg white, then dredge the chicken in the seasoning flour or breadcrumb for frying. Yummy.

  • CEClark 9 Mar, 2008

    What do you do with the egg whites?

  • Squigy 8 Mar, 2008

    I just made the chocolate pudding and must say that is was very easy and very delicious.

  • sherlene 5 Mar, 2008

    My, I cannot what to make pudding for my grandchildren like my mother use to make for me when I was small!

  • grandmalen 5 Mar, 2008

    I fixed the chocolate pudding for dessert last night - I have been llooking for a good recipe for "homemade" pudding that was at least as good as the boxed kind. And, boy, did this fill that request. This was (note the "was") delicious. I had to add a bit more milk for consistency (maybe I put in too much corn starch????). I'll never buy boxed again. I'm going to try to vanilla this weekend.

  • djones 5 Mar, 2008

    Yesterday afternoon I made the chocolate pudding; quick and easy. My two little girls loved having warm pudding with whipped cream after school! My teenage son recognized that it didn't taste like the usual "sugar free box stuff" and finished the bowl (and the bowl of whipped cream) after dinner. A big hit! Evidently warm pudding can make a day spent with a "mean" substitute teacher seem like a distant memory!

  • jblum 4 Mar, 2008

    I've made pudding from scratch and I really don't think it's any better than the boxed kind. If I'm going to the trouble, I'd rathe make custard.

  • mmsrjs 24 Nov, 2007

    Easy to make, directions are clean and concise, both the vanilla or the chocolate are equally tasty. Wonderful in Cream Puffs. Excellent dessert with whipped coconut cream as a topping.

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