Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Cups

Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Cups

I used to love eating those layered Jello pudding cups, the ones that had chocolate on the bottom, vanilla in the middle and chocolate on top. The vanilla layer was my favorite part, as a whole container of chocolate pudding could be a little on the rich side (at the time, anyway). These days, the Jello pudding cups don’t quite do it for me, but I do like the chocolate and vanilla combination in one bowl. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to do this with homemade pudding.

The chocolate and vanilla puddings need to be made at the same time for this dish, so you’ll need two saucepans of approximately the same size. The chocolate pudding recipe is slightly adapted from a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, and the vanilla pudding is a spinoff of the spinoff. Neither pudding requires eggs; they’re thickened with cornstarch and can be made from start to finish in only a few minutes. The chocolate has a good chocolate flavor, but isn’t as rich or intense as a chocolate mousse. I added some chocolate, which isn’t called for in the original recipe, to increase the overall chocolatiness of the pudding. The vanilla pudding has a milder flavor and a slightly lighter feel than the chocolate, but is a good balance for it. I put some white chocolate into the vanilla pudding to sweeten it a little, as well as to give it a little more richness.

While you could make both puddings in advance, chill them, and spoon them out into serving dishes when cold to make layering easier, the finished dish isn’t quite the same. When you layer the puddings while they are hot, they meld together around the edges and you end up with a nice skin on top of the pudding cup. The trick to pouring the pudding is to do it slowly. If you can manage it, you can pour the pudding over the back of a spoon so that it doesn’t crash down into previous layers (much like layering cream on a cocktail), but otherwise it is easy to pour the puddings into measuring cups from the sauce pans and pour from there.

Your first one or two might not come out quite as well-layered as the Jello cups, but with a little practice it gets much easier. And the puddings still taste just as yummy when they come out with a swirl and not a layer.

Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Cups
Chocolate Pudding
2 1/4 cups milk, divided (any kind)
3 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1-oz dark/semisweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with cornstarch and cocoa powder until smooth.
Pour cocoa mixture, all remaining milk and sugar into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add in chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate and keep the pudding cooking evenly. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until pudding coats the back of a spoon thickly.

Vanilla Pudding
2 1/4 cups milk, divided (any kind)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1-oz white chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with cornstarch until smooth.
Pour cornstarch mixture, all remaining milk and sugar into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture just comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add in white chocolate and vanilla extract. Stir frequently to melt the chocolate and keep the pudding cooking evenly. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until pudding coats the back of a spoon thickly.

Assembly
Cook chocolate and vanilla puddings simultaneously. Get out eight small serving dishes (approx 8-oz).
When puddings are thick, remove from heat and transfer each to a measuring cup with a spout (or you can pour them straight from the saucepans, if you prefer). Pour a small amount of chocolate pudding into half of the serving cups. Top with a layer of vanilla pudding, pouring very carefully and gently (pouring over the back of a spoon may help the puddings to remain separate). Top with another layer of chocolate pudding. For the remaining serving cups, use a vanilla-chocolate-vanilla layering pattern.
Puddings can be served at room temperature or stored in the refrigerator to chill before serving.

Makes 8.

10 comments

  1. When you say any kind of milk, does that include alternative milks? Specifically I wonder if almond milk would work in the chocolate pudding? Thanks!

  2. AmyH – I’ve use nonfat, lowfat (generally my preference), whole milk and soy for this recipe. I can’t remember if I’ve tried it with almond milk or not, but I think it should work. Worst case scenario you might have to add a little extra cornstarch to get it to thicken up a bit more. The flavors should be fine.

  3. Vanilla was my favorite layer too. This recipe brings back so many memories.

  4. I love pudding cups! I think I have all of the ingredients, so I may even make a batch tonight. Thanks for the recipe and tips!

  5. Ingredients are easily found in my kitchen.I can easily make one.This is perfect dessert.Yummy!

  6. Love love LOVE homemade pudding, and your layered cups are so lovely!

  7. Yum! These pudding “cups” bring back such wonderful memories. I can’t wait to try the homemade versions for myself.

  8. YUM! Who doesn’t love some pudding especially now that the weather is getting warmer? I don’t know if I can choose between vanilla or chocolate. They’re both so creamy and good! Have you ever tried the strawberry kind? I think they’re usually seasonal for V-day. REALLY yummy too! I’m pretty lazy though so the good old pudding cups work for me! :)

  9. hi ..
    i put your blog as one of my fave. i am still learning to bake. please visit so you will see what i am trying to do. thank you.

  10. These look great! I will definitely make these the next time my kids are looking for some pudding treats!

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