Chocolate Ditch the Mix DIY

Instant Chocolate Pudding

Juliana with Chalkboard Copyright

I took a quick photo of my daughter with one of my new backdrops and just had to post it 🙂  Plus, this is a kid-friendly food blog post, so I thought it would be okay.  Yep, that is a backdrop!  I don’t have any props – just gave her the chair from her room and a pearl necklace.  It was so fast I didn’t even cover my carpeted flooring.  That’s okay.  Keeping it real and simple here.  The backdrop was put up temporarily using painter’s tape.

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This recipe works!!!   I was so happy this recipe worked AND both kids liked it.  I would only post this if my 6 year old and 2 year old liked it as well because I feel it is important for it to pass the kids’ picky palate test.  My kids aren’t terribly picky… but I do find that children seem to be more sensitive to flavors.

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Jello pudding is a staple in most households and most of these ingredients are actually in the box (like sugar, cornstarch, and chocolate).  However, the pudding isn’t quite as dark when made homemade because you don’t have red #40, yellow #5 and blue #1.  Even if you don’t care about those things, this is really a cinch to make and you don’t have to run out to the store to buy a box if you have these simple ingredients on hand.

***Update*** regarding “Instant” as many people have commented about this not being an instant pudding.  The definition of the adjective “instant” per Merrium-Webster is: “a (1) : premixed or precooked for easy final preparation<instant pudding>”.  This is why the books publish this recipe as instant.  Hey. learn something new every day!

Also, please note this is called instant because it contains no lengthy cooking time watching eggs.  If you watch professionals make chocolate pudding from scratch, the pudding will contain egg yolks and a host of other ingredients with a much lengthier cook/wait time.  That is why it is called instant in this sense.  I was confused at first, too.  But then I found the “real” recipe for chocolate pudding.  This is faster.  Believe me.

Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix
makes 3 and 3/4 cup mix

3 oz. Dutch processed cocoa*, about 1 cup
2 oz. cornstarch, about 1/2 cup
6 oz. powdered sugar, about 1 and 1/2 cups
1 and 1/2 oz. instant non-fat dry milk, about 1/2 cup
1 tsp salt

*I have successfully substituted Hershey’s Dark Cocoa in the past.  This product contains a mixture of natural and Dutch processed cocoa.  But, I made this recipe with King Arthur Flour’s Double Dutch Cocoa.

1.  I put everything in an airtight container on my kitchen scale.  The kids shook it, and we were done!
Original directions state to store in the fridge up to 1 month.  I think you could get at least 3 months.  Plus, I store these ingredients in my pantry, so mine is in my pantry.  The freezer would be a great storage spot, too!

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How to make the pudding:
(I have been able to also halve the recipe by using half the ingredients.  To halve the pudding mix, you need 7/8 of a cup, or 1 cup minus 2 Tb., then halve the rest of the ingredients of course.)

1 and 3/4 cup Chocolate Pudding Mix
2 cups of milk
2 cups of cream**
1 tsp. vanilla extract

**I have also used half and half to replace the milk and cream before and it has been successful.  I have read reviews that 2% milk works as well.

1.  In a medium sized saucepan:  whisk together your pudding mix and liquid ingredients (milk and cream or half & half).  (This part is also why you need dutch processed cocoa.  It dissolves in liquids much better than natural.)

2.  Heat them on medium.  Boil and whisk together.  Whisk once in a while.

3.  Once it starts boiling, turn the heat down to low and whisk together for FOUR minutes.  Whisk constantly to keep the bottom from burning.

4.  Take pot off the heat, whisk in the vanilla.

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5.  Pour this mixture through a fine mesh strainer and into a bowl.  Cover the pudding with plastic wrap right on the surface.  Chill for 4 hours.  Feel free to top with whipped topping, oreos, etc.

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Recipe from Alton Brown Good Eats volume 2 which calls it “instant chocolate pudding mix”
as well as the Food Network website


  1. I came over from Money Saving Mom. Recipe sounds interesting. I love the chalkboard in the picture with the “likes” and loves of your daughter – such a cute idea to remember that age/milestone!!

    1. Thanks for visiting! I really liked the recipe and just had to try it since so many of my mom friends have children allergic to artificial food colors (esp. red #40) or want to avoid them as much as possible.

      I can’t remember the chalkboard font exactly, but there are lots out there!!! I need to remember to find a blank chalkboard now and not just on a backdrop. She’s the whole reason I started the blog almost. After having my last baby, I wanted to lose weight and keep it off. It’s been 2 years and still the same weight even after the chocolate chip cookie dough devil’s food cheesecake on this site. LOL

  2. Nice to have an alternative to instant with all the additives!—although this really isn’t instant. .What exactly are you straining out and what do I do with what is left in the strainer? Throw it out?

    1. 1. I am only following what is published in cookbooks – this is called instant there. I had my doubts, too. But, after researching it I came across the mix as instant.
      2. You are straining out anything that did not dissolve properly. This is not a step in my vanilla pudding recipe, but in the chocolate one it is included. I am sure it would taste fine without the straining – but just make it a little lumpier. Makes the texture smoother.
      3. I throw out what is left. It isn’t much.

  3. I am always glad to find good recipes without the additives. But, the title is very misleading, it certainly is not instant.

    1. Again, I am sorry. I am not trying to mislead anyone. I did explain the title in the post and reference the original recipe in the post. Instant Pudding mix is how the cookbooks and web published it among other recipes that say instant. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Hi! Visiting from Money Saving Mom. This looks so yummy and super easy! I love that the ingredients are not processed! That’s something I’m trying to get away from! I will definitely be trying this out. Do you think that we could make the dry mix and store in a container for some time in pantry?

    1. Hi Mary! Welcome!! Some directions state to store the mix in the fridge. For long term storage, I would store it in the fridge or the freezer up to 3 months. Since all of the ingredients are normally in my pantry at room temperature anyway, I put it in my pantry for short term storage.

  5. Hi Mary, I came over from Money Saving Mom. I am German and I live in Germany. I would love to try yore recipe. how can I replace the milk powder? My son and I have allergies and it would be awesome to have a alternative…

  6. We make homemade pudding a good bit for our kids and this recipe sounds a bit complicated with the sieve and all 🙁 Maybe this’ll be helpful to someone – here’s how we make pudding:
    We make several bags of the dry ingredients (corn starch/white sugar/a dash of salt) to make one recipe.
    You basically whisk the dry ingred. w/milk and boil it for 1 min. Then gradually pour the hot mix into a cup with a raw egg (gradually so you don’t end up with scrambled eggs w/pudding!) then pour everything back into the pan and boil for one more min. Done.
    I use a Betty Crocker recipe. for vanilla pudding though you can use brown sugar for butterscotch pudding or add p.b. or cocoa or whatever. It also makes a great frozen pudding pop.

  7. Hi! I came across this recipe when I did a google search for homemade instant pudding. I recently purchased Organic Valley’s non-fat dry milk and noticed today that it says “non-instant” on the package. How important do you think this is?

    1. I think it will work great! The recipe to make the pudding is still cooked. The reason Alton Brown calls it instant is because the mix is already together, but the pudding itself gets cooked. I hope that makes sense and happy pudding making!

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