This chocolate pudding without cornstarch is so simple, requiring only five ingredients and can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes. By swapping out sugar, cornstarch, and cocoa powder for more nutrient rich alternatives, this pudding is nourishing while still being delicious.
Growing up, the only chocolate pudding we ever ate came out of the box. I remember emptying the contents from those little boxes and shaking them with milk, letting them set in the fridge and eagerly awaiting our chocolate pudding treat.
Thankfully, from scratch chocolate pudding without cornstarch hardly requires any extra effort and is free of the artificial flavors, colors, chemical thickeners, and genetically modified cornstarch that these boxed mixes contain.
When you have a milk cow, you are always thinking of recipes that use the abundance of on-hand dairy. Hence the creation of this simple chocolate pudding without cornstarch, and when topped with homemade whipped cream, it’s a perfect homestead dessert.
How to serve chocolate pudding:
Our favorite way to serve this simple chocolate pudding is “as is” in small 4–6-ounce servings and topped with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. In individual containers it makes a fancy dessert with little effort. However, it would also be perfect in pudding pies, trifles, or poured over poke cakes.
Cacao Powder versus Cocoa Powder
Cacao and Cocoa powder can be used interchangeably in this recipe; however, there is a notable difference between the two.
Cacao is the raw and unprocessed form of chocolate. It contains abundant antioxidants and is a rich source of magnesium. It is the traditional form that has been used across cultures for years and is specifically noted for its health purposes. Cacao powder has more nutrients in tact from the whole cacao bean.
Cocoa powder is the heated form of cacao that is much more standard on grocery store shelves. While cocoa powder is inferior in nutrients to cacao powder, it still retains antioxidants despite its heating. When buying cocoa powder, be sure to look for a product with cocoa powder being the only ingredient as mixes often contain added sugar. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is a cocoa powder that has been treated with an alkalized solution making it less acidic and richer in taste than regular cocoa powder.
Coconut Sugar – Coconut sugar is a sweetener that is made from coconut palm sap. The sap, or nectar, is collected, boiled, and then dehydrated. This causes the water to evaporate and the small, brown granules of the sugar remain. It is a good substitute for brown sugar as it has a similar taste. While it is still sugar and should not be eaten in large quantities, it does contain more trace vitamins and minerals than conventional cane sugar.
Cacao Powder (or cocoa powder) – We discussed the differences between cacao and cocoa powder above but both can be used in this recipe. We prefer cacao powder if possible as it is the raw form with added nutritional benefits, but buying a high-quality cacao or cocoa powder will give this chocolate pudding it’s rich chocolatey taste.
Arrowroot Powder – Arrowroot powder comes from the extraction of starch from the arrowroot plant. The arrowroot plant is a tropical tuber and when it’s extracted it becomes a white powder that is both flavorless and odorless. Arrowroot is a wonderful thickening agent and has two times the thickening power of wheat flour. We often use it to thicken soups, jams, fillings, and sauces. It works perfectly in this pudding and is a great substitute for the more commonly used corn starch which is generally made with genetically modified corn.
Milk – We prefer to use whole milk. This provides a richer taste and extra creaminess as well as health benefits from the fat-soluble vitamins in whole milk. However, any sort of milk will work for this recipe.
Salt – A small amount of salt is so helpful to enhance the flavor of this chocolate pudding. We prefer a high-quality sea salt.
Simple Chocolate Pudding without Cornstarch Recipe
½ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
¼ cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
¼ tsp salt
2 ¾ cup milk
How to make:
In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, cacao (or cocoa) powder, arrowroot, and salt. Place the pan on the stove at a medium heat and stir in milk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Once the mixture reaches a boil, it will begin to thicken. Once it thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, remove from heat. Stir pudding and pour into desired containers and let cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving. Feel free to doctor up your pudding with any or all of the following add in’s.
Egg – For extra creaminess and nutrients, you can add a tempered egg to your pudding mixture. Beat an egg thoroughly and after you have a thickened, warm pudding mixture, quickly pour it into your beaten egg. Stir the hot pudding mixture into the egg.
Melted Chocolate – For an extra sweet, cocoa flavor, you can add an extra ¼ cup of chocolate chips to your mixture. After you’ve heated your pudding, remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Stir until chips are melted and everything is fully incorporated.
Butter – To pack in those quality fats and add to the flavor and creaminess of the pudding, we love to add a tablespoon or two of butter. After the pudding is thickened and removed from heat, mix in your butter and stir until incorporated.
Vanilla – I find that one teaspoon of vanilla can really add to the flavor of your pudding. Stir in one teaspoon after your pudding mixture is removed from heat.
While the simple chocolate pudding without cornstarch is delicious as-is, we’ve enjoyed playing with adding some or all of these additional items to customize your pudding and take it to the next level.
How to store your pudding:
This chocolate pudding without cornstarch will store, covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you wish to eliminate the skin layer that can form on the top of the pudding, place a layer of wax paper on top of the pudding before placing in the refrigerator.
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- ¼ cup cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 3 Tbsp arrowroot powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 ¾ cup milk
- In a saucepan, mix together the sugar, cacao (or cocoa) powder, arrowroot, and salt.
- Place the pan on the stove at a medium heat and stir in milk. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring continuously. Once the mixture reaches a boil, it will begin to thicken. Once it thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, remove from heat.
- Stir pudding and pour into desired containers and let cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.
See post for optional add-ins including egg, melted chocolate, butter, and vanilla.