Warm Cocoa Pudding with Candied Pecans

warm cocoa pudding with candied pecans
Choooocolate pudding, ah yes.  I have loved chocolate pudding since, gosh, probably since I was one minute old.  

Ok yeah, no, my mom did not feed me chocolate pudding as an infant.  Or, not that I’m aware.  Although if she had, she’d have deserved Mom of the Year title.  Well, she does anyway so there must be a higher tier title for special chocolate pudding related deeds.  She once served chocolate pudding in crepes to guests and I have never ever ever forgotten that.  Yum.

My mom never made chocolate pudding from scratch, which is totally and completely perfectly fine.  

But as a kid, I had zero idea you could make chocolate pudding from scratch. 

Over the years, I have consumed near all manner versions of chocolate pudding.  From the obvious box, one or two times instant, the pre-packaged grocery store stuff, ya know, anywhere you can find chocolate pudding.

One of my favorites though was at a restaurant best known to us as The Pudding Place but more likely called Beef & Stein.  Memories are fuzzy on the actual name but we are definitely clear on its “real” name.  My brother and I, we loooooved The Pudding Place.  Loved it.

Order the salad bar with your meal, eat the salad bleeh filler then go back later (ahem, the whole reason for the salad bar) to hit up the mammoth bowls of chocolate and vanilla pudding for dessert.  Glowing under the salad bar lights surrounded by ripply kale no one ate like gifts from heaven.  I think this is why I have a deep affection for salad bars.

My brother and I would pile it on then swirl it around on the plates, chocolate and vanilla patterns and curls.  Heh, it was so much fun.  Not the best pudding for certain, both flavors had the same flavor; surely it was industrial restaurant stuff from a can.  But it was definitely the best.  

I’m smiling as I write this out.  Isn’t it funny what sticks with you?  Isn’t pudding a weird word?

And as I grew older, I learned that indeed, chocolate pudding can be made from scratch, not only out of a box.  I then too (thoroughly and completely incorrectly) assumed it was a laborious or time-consuming or strangely difficult task.

Boy was I wrong.

And I’ll tell you what, this here version?  I only found it recently over on Epicurious but let me tell you, this recipe was on repeat for uh, cough, a certain stretch of time there that I won’t admit to as neither Mike nor I could get enough.

It is a mind-blower.  A mind-blowing recipe and experience to eat.  I kid you not.

“Warm pudding?  Jeez Becky, that seems kinda odd,” you might say.  Oh.  Oh.  Lemme tell you.  It is not.

Ok yes, I know, I realize this isn’t a baking recipe per se but, well, it kinda is as the pecans are baked.  Sooo, heh, that counts.

But absolutely, this recipe will blow your mind and your socks off, your pants too if you’re wearing any.  And yes, you must eat it warm and you must do the pecans.  Ok, if you have to skip the pecans, that’s all right but do try it once, you’ll see.

Mike refused to eat this warm, or the pecans, I dunno, he must have been scarred by a warm pudding incident or something, he’s weird, I dunno but he completely missed out.  Yes, you can eat it cold but it is by far, by far, hands down by far, better warm.

You gotta try this.  For real.  Add items to grocery list now.  Oh and do not follow the original recipe, FYI; there’s a salt error.  You’ll see my comment on their site.

Start with the pecans.  Heat up the oven and toss the pecans with the sugar and egg white.  Bake then set aside.

mixing pecans with sugar and egg whites
Whip and mix. It’s going to look, uh, um, very gross.

pecans ready to bake
Really gross looking.  I know, sorry.  Before baking.
baked candied pecans on baking sheet
Still not the niftiest looking but better post-baking.  Toss a little cinnamon in with them and ooh, that’d be a nice flavor layer!
The pudding, easy peasy lemon squeezy.  

Warm the milk, cream, and butter together in a saucepan on the stove.

prepping cocoa pudding ingredients
Yeah it’s a rich one, I ain’t messin’ about here.  Oh, looks like I tossed the vanilla in on this step — ignore that, do it at the end.
Meanwhile whisk the eggs with the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt together.  It’ll be super stiff at first but it’ll thin out.

whisking eggs with cocoa
Nicely combined here, yep.
Next, temper that egg combo with the cream combo much as you’ve done multiple times making my ice cream recipes, then dump everything back into the saucepan and cook until thickened.  Ya know, like pudding.

tempering eggs
Wondering what tempering does?  It prevents the eggs from scrambling and curdling up into undesirable lumps.
Off the heat, add the chopped chocolate and the vanilla, whisking it all around until the chocolate has melted. 

adding chopped chocolate to custard
Oh yes, right?!  Gotcha, didn’t I?!  Now you’re for sure making this, I knew it.
And good luck not sticking a giant spoon right in that immediately.  Ha!  Seriously.

finished cocoa pudding
Tada!  Finished
Now, you can serve it slightly cooled or you can chill it, reheat it later.  Either or.  Just warm it up, nuke it, no big deal.  Sprinkle with pecans.


dished warm cocoa pudding with candied pecans
It is bonkers good.

I think I just drooled on myself.  Oops.

, I should probably go now.

Hey, by the way, thanks to all who contributed to the success of the Virtual Bake Sale through the #bakersagainstracism campaign!  A huge tremendous thanks for making this fantastic goes to:

Jen, Marcia and Harry, Julia, Shaunagh Mary, Anne and Renee, Marcy, Karl, Janette, Jamie and Leanne, Kayte, Marguerite, Amanda from Maple and Thyme, and all who cheered me on.

Together we raised, holy crap, $297 with half going to the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter and half going to My Block, My Hood, My City. 

You guys, I’m a little verklempt at your generosity, you each are awesome and I cannot thank you enough!  
My goal is to make this an ongoing venture as the issues at hand are ongoing.  Stay tuned!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Warm Cocoa Pudding with Candied Pecans

Warm Cocoa Pudding with Candied Pecans

Prep time
10 Min
Cook time
45 Min
Total time
55 Min
The categorical winner, Warm Cocoa Pudding is the indisputable definition of chocolate pudding.


  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (114 g) pecans
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) whole milk or 1-2%
  • 4 tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (99 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (16 g) cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons (11 g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces (113 g) chopped chocolate, minimum 70% cacao


  1. Begin preheating the oven to 325° F (163° C). On a baking sheet, lay out a silicone baking mat or a piece of parchment.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the egg white and the sugar together until a bit frothy and foamy. Add the pecans, stir gently, then spread the pecans out over the lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the scent really fills the air, turning the pecans about every 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the oven and cool.
  1. In a medium sized saucepan, add the cream, milk, and butter. Set the pan over medium heat.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, add the eggs, granulated sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk the ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  3. Once the cream mix has warmed (steam rising but not boiling), slowly ladle spoonfuls into the egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper. Add about a third or half of the cream total.
  4. Strain the egg mixture back into the saucepan using a fine mesh sieve, place the saucepan over medium heat while whisking constantly. Once the pudding has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and add the vanilla and chopped chocolate. Whisk until thoroughly melted.
  5. Serve with pecans atop.
  6. Both can be made ahead of time. Store the pecans in an airtight container. Store the pudding covered with plastic wrap on the surface in the refrigerator and reheat as necessary.


Adapted from Epicurious.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

pudding, cocoa, chocolate

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