5-Minute Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding

January 27, 2018

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

All it takes is one pot and a whisk to bring this pudding together. Or, use your immersion blender for an ultra-smooth texture. The trick is to replace the eggs with a thickener that can take the heat.

Skipping the eggs also made it a short stride to a dairy-free version. In several tests, I substituted the half and half (or milk) with coconut milk and various nut milks. The best results came from the richer milks, especially coconut and cashew. Rice milk, on the other hand, was too thin in body for chocolate pudding. For a full-fledged vegan pudding, look on the label for dark chocolate brands that contain no milk solids.

Featured In: From 0 to Bittersweet Chocolate Pudding (in 5 Minutes)

Lynne Curry

Makes: 4 6-ounce servings


  • 1 3/4 cups half and half or whole milk, or substitute unsweetened coconut milk or cashew milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • Generous pinch salt
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • For Ginger Chocolate Pudding:
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger, for topping
  • For Mexican chocolate pudding:
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs, for topping
In This Recipe


  1. Off heat, whisk the half and half, sugar, arrowroot and salt in a large saucepan until the sugar starts to dissolve.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat and continue whisking. When it thickens to the consistency of heavy cream, just before it comes to a boil, turn off the heat but leave the pan on the burner. Add the chocolate, cover with a lid, and wait 30 seconds.
  3. Remove the lid and use an immersion blender or whisk to blend it very smooth. Blend in the vanilla.
  4. Divide the pudding to fill 4 6-ounce ramekins, or bowls. Let cool at room temperature until it sets, about 15 minutes, or cool to room temperature until ready to serve.
  5. For ginger or Mexican chocolate variations, mix respective ingredients with the sugar in step 1, and top with crystallized ginger or cacao nibs accordingly.

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Pudding|Chocolate|Milk/Cream|5 Ingredients or Fewer|Vegan|Vegetarian|Dessert

Reviews (24) Questions (0)

24 Reviews

trvlnsandy June 17, 2018
I liked the results, but wonder if my experience was 'normal'. Used Lindt 85% . When I stirred in the chocolate the mixture coagulated? for lack of a better word. Sort of thickened all at once. Tasted good and good texture when finished.
HopeinDC April 27, 2018
This has become a family favorite! We love it! But any other tips for variations. I LOVE IT, but I am worried I'll overplay my hand with the fam. I have added rosewater and called it Israeli chocolate rose pudding and it went over super well, but looking for more ideas. Seriously this is the perfect dish for working moms!
Author Comment
Lynne C. April 30, 2018
That is so great to hear! Here are a couple other ideas to try: orange or lemon zest, mint or almond extract (used judiciously), smoked salt and sliced almonds. You can also infuse the milk with coffee beans, tea leaves, basil, lavender, matcha or dried chiles. If you like chocolate + fruit, how about berries of any kind or some pitted fresh cherries stirred in once it's cooled a bit or on top. Then, there's liqueurs to add off heat, including brandy or whiskey.
HopeinDC September 5, 2018
This remains a family favorite, and the orange chocolate was a huge hit. Have you ever tried leaving out the chocolate and adding caramel to try to make a salted caramel pudding?Feeling brave! May try!
Author Comment
Lynne C. September 5, 2018
You're so adventuresome! How about varying the chocolate? They're are so many different kinds (based on percentages) and flavorings. As for your caramel idea, you'd likely want to cut way back, or leave out the granulated sugar. And you may have to adjust the thickening as well, since the chocolate bolsters this pudding quite a bit.
Bojj February 21, 2018
This is amazing, so much dark chocolate richness and so quick! I'm thrilled that I can use coconut milk since I am lactose intolerant. I have a new favorite chocolate dessert. I did like the consistency better after it was in the fridge for a few hours/overnight. Just fyi, some stores sell arrowroot in the spice section of the store, I had a hard time finding it!
Barbara M. February 3, 2018
Thanks for presenting something Chocolate and eggless! I can’t be the only person allergic to eggs. Perhaps you can share the use of aquafava for those who need to limit egg use.
trvlnsandy June 17, 2018
Alton Brown has a recipe for chocolate mousse using just chocolate and liquid (search 'foam whipper chocolate mousse alton brown'). It calls for a foam whipper but could probably whip periodically while chilling.
Anna B. February 2, 2018
Oh and I thought the texture with cornstarch was fine.
Author Comment
Lynne C. February 3, 2018
That's terrific! Some people like to avoid cornstarch because of GMOs. I keep arrowroot around for making fruit pies, mostly, but it's a great alternative thickener.
Anna B. February 2, 2018
Thanks! Made it with whole milk, 1/4 cup of sugar, and 72% chocolate from Trader Joe’s. Delicious!
Author Comment
Lynne C. February 3, 2018
Thanks for reporting back, Anna.
Anna B. February 2, 2018
I don't have any arrowroot, but do have corn starch and possibly potato starch. Would you use the same quantities for those or reduce?
Author Comment
Lynne C. February 2, 2018
Yes, you can use cornstarch in place of the arrowroot. In my experience the texture with cornstarch was a little more pasty, but you would use the same amount.
Nora January 28, 2018
I'm eager to try this, but want to be certain: the coconut milk would be from a can, right?
Author Comment
Lynne C. January 28, 2018
You can use any unsweetened coconut milk you like, including coconut milk in a carton or a 14-ounce can.
capers January 27, 2018
How much chocolate in a "packet" of bittersweet chocolate??
Author Comment
Lynne C. January 27, 2018
That should read "8 ounces."
Irfan P. January 30, 2018
Is there a way to substitute sugar with something else or avoid it altogether?
Author Comment
Lynne C. January 30, 2018
You could use coconut sugar for sure as is in the recipe. For other substitutions, like powdedred xylitol or stevia, I would add sweetener into the finished pudding to your taste. Or, try it without--the bittersweet chocolate on its own may be sweet enough for your palate.
Hon I. February 9, 2018
Mine did not set up. It remained liquidy after being in the fridge overnight. Any ideas why?<br />
Author Comment
Lynne C. February 9, 2018
Oh my. I wish I had a clue. The proportions of thickener should set up *any* liquid. Were there any changes to the recipe or ingredients? Did it thicken at all on the stovetop?
Patty E. April 21, 2018
If you were using arrowroot and the mixture boiled that may be the reason it stayed liquid. The thickening property actually diminishes with too much heat.
Author Comment
Lynne C. April 30, 2018
That's interesting. Thanks for sharing that info.