Easy Chocolate Espresso Pudding Recipe

If you’re wanting to make a delicious and yet easy espresso pudding recipe that satisfies your chocolate craving, all you need to do is follow this amazing recipe. 

This is an easy homemade Italian recipe that makes a perfect snack or espresso dessert, especially for special occasions such as Valentine’s day or a holiday like Christmas. 

recipe for chocolate espresso pudding

It will leave you saying WOW! Sound cheesy?

Perhaps, but that’s literally what I said the first time I made it.

When you get that espresso flavor, it’s just like… amore, so much amore!!

How to Make an Espresso Pudding with Chocolate

ingredients for chocolate espresso pudding

This Italian coffee pudding recipe uses espresso, chocolate chips, unsweetened cocoa powder, milk, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and vanilla.  It is super easy to make in under 20 minutes from scratch, and even quicker if using instant chocolate pudding as the base. 

You can print out my recipe below at the end of this post. Here are the step by step instructions for making a delicious chocolate espresso pudding.

mixed dry ingredients with whisk

Step 1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Do not turn on the stovetop yet.

pour milk into pan

Step 2. Add milk and espresso stirring slowly and mix to incorporate with the cocoa mixture.

bring espresso pudding to a boil

Step 3. Bring the pudding to a boil over medium high heat then immediately reduce to a simmer for 1 minute or until thick.  Keep stirring to prevent the chocolate pudding from sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Step 4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until they melt.

pour into small bowls and chill

Step 5. Add in the vanilla at the end, stir and pour into small bowls for storing in the fridge.  We don’t want to cook off the vanilla; that’s why we add it when the pudding is removed from the heat.

It will take about 4 hours to chill, possibly less if you’re impatient like we are. 

What type of Chocolate to Use in an Espresso Pudding?

The chocolate is key for a good espresso chocolate recipe. The chocolate is in two forms, chocolate chips and cocoa powder.

About the chocolate chips

I recommend 2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips. This comes to about a 1/2 cup.   

The reason I recommend semi-sweet instead of bittersweet, is because the espresso flavor itself is bitter. Yes the sugar helps, but I have made it with bittersweet chips and it was still too bitter.  Good, but not as good as with semi-sweet chips. 

When you add them into the chocolate coffee pudding it won’t take long for them to melt because the pudding is so hot.  Just continue stirring until the pudding is silky smooth.

About the cocoa

I recommend regular cocoa baking powder. I do not use dutch process cocoa because that provides a darker chocolate flavor which is bitter. However, espresso is itself very bitter tasting so there is no need to make it even more so.

If however, you’re using a regular coffee instead of espresso, then a dutch cocoa will work just fine.

Do You Have to use Italian Coffee or is Regular Coffee Okay?

Italian coffee is espresso. So if you want a chocolate espresso pudding, you need to use espresso. The espresso has a much stronger and concentrated flavor than regular coffee. 

If however you simply do not have espresso and are in a jam, then use a very strong coffee brew and call it coffee chocolate pudding. 

French roast or Venetian may work. Just please make it strong. I’ve made it with regular coffee and the distinct hint of bitterness found in espresso pudding just wasn’t there. It’s still very good but more of a chocolate coffee pudding recipe.

Keep in mind, espresso is not a type of coffee bean. Coffee makers use a variety of specific beans that when ground together produce the bitter espresso Italian love.   

Can You Use Instant Espresso in Espresso Pudding?

Instant Espresso

There are lots of various brands for instant espresso. These come in individual servings.

In regards to Instant espresso, yes you can use that as well. It will still create a delicious espresso-infused pudding. Although I have not used it since I have my own stovetop espresso maker that produces perfect espresso shots

If I were to make a pudding with instant espresso, I would add the instant espresso in with the dry ingredients.   

What is the Cornstarch for and Can You just Use Instant Pudding instead? 

When making a homemade espresso pudding recipe, you use the cornstarch as a thickener. When you heat up the milk with the dry ingredients, the cornstarch is what creates the thick pudding.  

Homemade pudding is so much easier to make than one would think.  It takes barely any time at all and produces a decent quantity for at least 4 or 6 people depending on serving sizes.    

If however, you want to cheat and buy instant pudding, you can just add in the shot of espresso along with the milk.  

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I hope you enjoy this recipe for chocolate espresso pudding as much as I do. It has become a favorite and may become one of my most romantic recipes yet!  🙂 Let me know in the comments below how it turned out and if you made any tweaks to make it your own!

italian chocolate espresso pudding

Easy Chocolate Espresso Pudding Recipe

This recipe is the chocolate and coffee lover's dream dessert! Use this easy recipe for a special dessert or just to enjoy for yourself. No matter the occasion, this recipe is awesome!
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 245kcal



  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp espresso
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla


  • Combine dry ingredients in medium saucepan
  • Add milk and espresso while slowly stirring
  • Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer for 1 minute
  • Remove from heat
  • Stir in chocolate chips until they are melted
  • Stir in vanilla
  • Pour into small bowls and chill for 4 hours or until chilled


  1. Add the vanilla when the pudding is off the heat. We don’t boil the vanilla because it will cook off. 
  2. Use strong coffee if out of espresso.
  3. Instant espresso is fine. Use the same amount of instant powder as if you were making a cup of espresso.


Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 324mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 205IU | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 164mg | Iron: 1mg

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Easy Chocolate Espresso Pudding RecipeEasy Chocolate Espresso Pudding RecipeEasy Chocolate Espresso Pudding RecipeEasy Chocolate Espresso Pudding RecipeEasy Chocolate Espresso Pudding RecipeEasy Chocolate Espresso Pudding Recipe

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