Chocolate Budino is a rich, smooth and decadent Italian chocolate dessert made with simple pantry ingredients. It's so easy, with just 10-minutes prep work then it's left to set in the fridge. It's the most delicious and indulgent treat perfect for chocolate lovers!
Ever heard of chocolate Budino? It's a classic Italian dessert that's much loved all over Italy. You'll often see it presented in one large mould or individual ones like we have here.
It's thick, rich and decadent and it's the easiest thing to make. You'll often hear it referred to as Italian chocolate pudding but it's a little denser in texture and much quicker to make because it doesn't have a custard base like Crema al Cioccolato which is more similar to American chocolate pudding.
When I say it's easy, I mean it, 10 minutes to prepare then it's left to set in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours before serving. It's the ultimate chocolate treat and so hard to resist!
See the recipe below including notes on ingredients, step by step photos, tips, variations and a video tutorial. For the full printable recipe scroll to the bottom or click the recipe link below
Ingredients - what you need
See the photo below that shows you everything you need to make our chocolate Budino plus some important tips on ingredients!
- Butter - you need to use unsalted butter.
- Sugar - fine caster sugar or granulated will work.
- Chocolate - make sure to use good quality cooking chocolate (70%+ cacao) so it melts without a grainy texture.
- Cornstarch - also known as cornflour in the UK, this is used for thickening the budino.
- Milk - whole milk (full-fat) is best for this recipe.
- Sunflower oil (optional) - this is for greasing the moulds if you plan on using them. It's very important to use a little sunflower oil or the Budino not dislodge this goes for silicone and non-stick moulds (we've tested this many times with both).
Step by step photos and recipe instructions
Step 1) Heat the milk until boiling then turn off the heat and set aside (photo 1).
Step 2) Melt the butter then add the sugar, whisk it until it resembles a thick, pale yellow paste (almost like a roux) (photos 2 & 3).
Step 3) Turn the heat down low and add the chocolate, stir until melted then sift in the cornstarch (photos 4-6).
Step 4) Add the hot milk a little at a time until fully incorporated then stir until thick and glossy (about 3-5 minutes) (photos 7 & 8).
Step 5) Pour the budino into prepared moulds or ramekins, let cool then chill before serving (photos 9 & 10).
Tips for removing the Budino from a mould
- Once ready to serve, shake the budino from side to side to loosen the budino from the edges.
- Turn the budino out onto a serving plate and shake it a couple of time until you hear it dislodge from the mould.
- See the video tutorial to see it done step by step.
Recipe tips and FAQs
- Make sure you use cooking chocolate! - this is an important tip, cooking or baking chocolate melts beautifully without any gritty or chalky texture which you can get in regular bars of chocolate. Make sure your cooking chocolate is at least 70% cocoa for best results.
- Don't overheat the chocolate - turn the heat down to low before adding the chocolate otherwise it can split. Make sure you add the hot milk a little at a time for the same reason.
American pudding is made with a custard base that contains eggs, the closest thing to it in Italy would be Crema al Cioccolato (a thick chocolate custard). Italian Chocolate Budino is completely egg-free and is made with very simple ingredients. It's traditionally set in beautiful moulds before serving.
Yes, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of your favourite liqueur such as Frangelico, Rum or Cointreau. Stir it in at the very end.
The budino is best eaten within 2 days but will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge.
I don't recommend freezing it as it will likely lose its creamy texture and could become gritty.
More classic Italian desserts
- Torta Caprese (Flourless Italian Chocolate Cake)
- Tiramisu - Authentic Recipe!
- Zuppa Inglese (Italian Trifle)
- Chocolate Hazelnut Torrone (Torrone dei Morti)
- Homemade Sicilian Cannoli (shells and filling)
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📖 Full Recipe
- 4.2 oz dark chocolate 70%+ cocoa (120g) use baking or cooking chocolate
- ⅓ cup caster sugar (70g)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (70g)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch cornflour UK (20g)
- 1 + ½ cups whole milk (full-fat( (360ml)
- Sunflower oil for greasing (see notes)
- 4 small ramekins, moulds or glass serving dishes
- Requires 3 hours chilling time.
- Gently heat the milk in a saucepan, bring to a boil then immediately turn off the heat and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a separate saucepan, once melted add the sugar and whisk the mixture until it thickens and turns a pale yellow colour (almost like a roux).
- Next, turn the heat down low and add the chocolate. Stir it gently until melted. Sift in the cornstarch and stir it in so there are no lumps.
- A little at a time, add the hot milk until fully combined into the chocolate mixture. Turn the heat up to medium and stir it for about 3-5 minutes until thick and glossy.
- The budino is now ready to pour into moulds or ramekins. Important: if using moulds make sure to lightly grease each one with a little sunflower oil first. If using ramekins or glass serving dishes you can pour the budino straight in.
- Let it cool to room temperature then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Remove from the fridge for 5 minutes before serving.
How to remove Budino from moulds
- Remove the budino from the fridge 5 minutes before serving. Give the mould a shake from side to side to help loosen the budino from the edges.
- Turn it out onto a plate and shake the budino once or twice to dislodge it from the mould, serve.
- Note on chocolate - make sure to use baking or cooking chocolate as regular chocolate can have a gritty or chalky texture when melted. 70%+ cocoa gives the best results.
- If using moulds - if you plan on using a mould, even if it's silicone or non-stick you MUST grease the moulds lightly with a little sunflower oil first or the budino will be hard to remove. You don't need to do this if you are serving it in ramekins or glass serving dishes.
- Storage - the budino is best eaten within 2 days but will last for up to 4-5 days in the fridge. Do not freeze.
- The moulds we used - the moulds that we used to shape our budino in the photos were purchased from Ikea. Panna cotta moulds or silicon moulds also work really well - all of them must be greased with sunflower oil first!
- I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
- When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
- All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
- All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
- Find out more about how nutrition is calculated.
- Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples.
- You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking.