Creamy Chocolate Vanilla Pudding Trifle

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.
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.

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Creamy Chocolate Vanilla Pudding Trifle

Creamy Chocolate Vanilla Pudding Trifle


Chocolate pudding

  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla pudding

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  1. For the Chocolate pudding. In a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly whisk in the cream and eggs.
  2. In a large saucepan. Add the milk and sugar, heat to a simmer stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved.
  3. Pour half of the hot milk into the bowl of cream and egg yolks. Whisk until well-combined, then pour everything back into the pot.
  4. Bring the pudding to a low boil, cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  5. Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Then add the chopped chocolate and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes or until melted. Whisk until the chocolate is fully incorporated.
  6. Pour half of the chocolate pudding into 6 parfait glasses, let cool.
  7. To make the vanilla pudding, In a second large saucepan combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. while constantly whisking, slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup of the milk until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks and remaining milk.
  8. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until the pudding begins to thicken and just starts to bubble, about 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir constantly, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan, 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract until the butter is melted and completely incorporated.
  10. Gently pour vanilla over chocolate pudding then top with the remaining chocolate pudding. Chill in the refrigerator until set, about 2 hours.
  11. To serve dust with cocoa powder.

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