A Quick Chocolate "Pudding" for When You Need Dessert ASAP

Meet your new favorite weeknight dessert.

October 16, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland

Patience may be a virtue, but it's not one of mine. At least not when it comes to chocolatey desserts. Sometimes—okay, pretty much all the time—a craving comes over me, and I just need sweets (checks watch) five minutes ago.

Enter Greek Yogurt Chocolate "Pudding." It's my never-fail solution for when I require sweets ASAP. This godsend of a dessert comes together in less than five minutes, which is often the high end of how long I feel I can wait before consuming chocolate. It's a no-stove, one-bowl, zero-frills sort of operation, and it comes out perfectly every single time. Plus, I almost always have every single one of the ingredients already in my pantry and fridge—Greek yogurt, a splash of cream, vanilla extract, Dutch-processed cocoa powder, maple syrup, and a pinch of salt.

And it's more versatile than I give it credit for: It can swing pudding, sure, but it can also swing mousse—just pop it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until it firms up. It can be dressed down (Thin Mint crumble!), or way up: reserve a little plain Greek yogurt to whisk with cinnamon and maple syrup, and dollop over the top with a sprinkling of berries.

It's not just a personal dessert for when you're so desperate for sweets, you're about to start chewing on a framed photo of a brownie; it's also for your elegant dinner party guests who'll love the light, creamy texture and unique tanginess. (One of its best features is that it scales proportionally, but even at five or six times the batch size, it will still only take about five minutes to whip up.)

The method is quite flexible, as well. I've made an even lazier version just by whisking maple syrup, cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt directly into yogurt—it turns out denser, and just as delicious. I've followed my written recipe method, but with a hand mixer. I've experimented with different types of yogurt, and also Greek yogurt with a lower fat content. While the resulting aeration of the final "pudding" will vary (you can use an extra splash of cream to compensate for 2% fat Greek yogurt), the flavor is always spot-on and satisfying.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“I switched out the maple syrup for my favorite no sugar sweetener, since I can't eat sugar. And it still wasn't quite right. So I put 1/4 teaspoon of reconstituted espresso powder in it. Yummy!”
— Linda

To me, Greek Yogurt Chocolate "Pudding" tastes like a cross between one of those tangy YoCrunch vanilla yogurts with Oreo crumbles, and a chocolate Snack Pack. Yes, I've spent an unhealthy amount of time coming to that conclusion. No, I don't regret it for a second.

Try it for yourself, and let me know what you think:

Do you have a go-to, five-minute dessert? What is it? Let me know in the comments!


Maggie S. October 23, 2018
this sounds great! my fav go-to quick dessert is frozen banana chunks sprinkled with pumpkin pie spice and a scoop of peanut butter. I'm usually too lazy to put it in the food processor for the spoonable, creamy "banana ice cream" but after the chunks thaw for 2 minutes or so, they're soft enough!
NoraMunro October 22, 2018
Any thoughts on using natural cocoa instead of Dutch process? I typically have the former in my kitchen but I know the Dutch process changes the chemistry. Would it matter here?
Author Comment
Ella Q. October 22, 2018
Hi Nora,

It would be fine to use natural. I prefer the flavor of Dutch in this pudding, but from a chemistry perspective it’d be fine!

Linda October 22, 2018
I used regular and it was fine. Next time I'm going to use Dutch process, though, because it has a richer flavor. :)
Author Comment
Ella Q. October 22, 2018
I love the Oreo-esque flavor of Dutch! :)
RebeccaH October 21, 2018
Would honey work too? Maple syrup seems over powering in flavor
Linda October 21, 2018
I'm not the author, but I don't see any reason why it wouldn't. As I mentioned, I went sugar-free, using Swerve and stevia, and it was yummy. I'd start with less honey, though, because honey is sweeter than maple syrup. Or, you could just use sugar, if you don't want maple syrup or the honey flavor.
Author Comment
Ella Q. October 21, 2018
Hi Rebecca,

Yes, honey would be great!

Linda October 21, 2018
For me, this is 2 servings. It's way too filling to eat 1/2 cup at one sitting.

I switched out the maple syrup for my favorite no sugar sweetener, since I can't eat sugar. And it still wasn't quite right. So I put 1/4 teaspoon of reconstituted espresso powder in it. Yummy!
Esvee October 20, 2018
I’m totally bastardizing this, with my favorite unsweetened almond yogurt and coconut milk for the cream. Even though it’s so far from the recipe, it’s got to taste amazing!
Author Comment
Ella Q. October 21, 2018
I'm so glad to hear! I do that ALL the time, where I sub in dairy-free yogurts. (Usually in that case I just skip the cream and whisk rather than beat.)
Claire A. October 23, 2018
I plan to try with coconut milk yogurt - wondering if the "cream" is necessary. If so I'll use coconut milk as well.