There is nothing like pudding right off the stove, and with five simple ingredients you can put this Chocolate Pudding Mix together quickly with no added preservatives or ingredients.

Chocolate pudding in a bowl with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top with bowl of chocolate pudding mix behind

At one point in my early life, it was just me and my mom. It was hard, more so on my mom than for me. She worked very hard but never left me wanting for love or her time. And one of my earliest recollections of my mom’s cooking was her making cook-and-serve chocolate pudding over the stove. There was always a saucepan to scrape clean, a big whisk to lick and then we would both skim off the top layer that would form on the top of the still warm pudding. Apple meet tree.

Those memories repeated themselves often, we love our cook and serve pudding, and whether or not our family had grown to include my bonus dad and bonus sister at the time these cook and serve memories had formed, I can’t recollect – but I always remember that warm chocolate pudding was a solely mother and daughter experience. And one that was always full of love.

Chocolate pudding ingredients in a bowl

Ben and I had been scrounging for an instant pudding for a quick dessert this weekend and I knew after tearing apart a lone package in the back of the cupboard that I had all but forgotten about, there had to be a better way to do this. And one that didn’t include things I couldn’t pronounce. Now I can relieve those childhood memories with mom and always have pudding mix on hand. 

What makes Cook and Serve Pudding Mix Different from Instant Pudding Mix?

Cook and serve pudding mix, like this homemade chocolate pudding mix, and instant pudding mix that you find in the store are different because of the ingredients they use to thicken the pudding. Cook and serve pudding uses standard cornstarch as a thickener. It requires it to be boiled with the milk and sugar over the stove to activate and thicken. Once cooled it creates the firm pudding consistency.

Instant pudding mixes from the store utilize gelatinized corn starches that absorb liquid and solidify. This means that no heating is required and they can use the cold milk to create the pudding consistency. Science!

The downside with making Instant Pudding at home is that gelatinized cornstarch isn’t something most people have readily available, so this homemade chocolate pudding mix is much more efficiently and handy to keep stored on your own shelves and cost effective too!

Chocolate pudding ingredients mixed together in a bowl with a metal whisk.

Ingredients are needed for Chocolate Pudding Mix

  • Milk Powder – Use nonfat for added shelf stability. Whole milk powder can go rancid if you live in humid climates if not used quickly.
  • Sugar
  • Cornstarch
  • Cocoa Powder – Use whatever you have on hand, or something special if you like!
  • Vanilla Bean – Optional
  • Salt – This creates an added depth of flavor to the sweetness of the sugar.

A big thanks to Brown Eyed Baker for this recipe inspiration – It brought back utterly fond childhood memories. Try out Michelle’s Vanilla Instant Pudding, too! You can’t have chocolate without vanilla!

Chocolate pudding in a bowl with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top with bowl of chocolate pudding mix behind shot from overhead

More Inspired Homemade Recipe Ideas

Classic Homemade Banana Pudding

White Chocolate and Vanilla Bean Pudding

Spiced Pear and Chocolate Bread Pudding

Cranberry Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Mix

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • Author: Megan Keno
  • Prep Time: 5 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 Minutes
  • Total Time: 13 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 Cups Mix 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 cup Milk Powder, non-fat preferred for longer shelf stability.
  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 Vanilla Bean caviar, split and seeded (optional)


For Pudding Mix:

In a bowl, whisk all the ingredients together. Seal in an airtight container for later use.

To Make Pudding:

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of Homemade Chocolate Pudding Mix to a boil. Reduce the milk to a simmer and stir constantly for about 5 minutes or until the pudding thickens. If it isn’t thickening enough, you can add more mix as needed.

Remove from stove top, pour into a large bowl and let rest for 5-10 minutes until warm and ready to eat, or place in the fridge and let cool completely.

To prevent the “skin” that forms on cook and serve puddings, press plastic wrap onto the top of the pudding and place in the fridge to chill.