I love Bill Cosby. While I missed the Cosby show the first time around, every day when I got home from school, reruns would be playing. It was the perfect way to unwind after a particularly trying day of 3rd grade math.

By far my favorite episode was the one where Claire goes out of town, and it is just Bill and the kids. I can’t remember which, but one of them asks if they can have chocolate cake for breakfast. Dad’s response? Well… it’s got eggs, flour, butter, all the major food groups! And he lets the kids have chocolate cake, as they sing and dance around the kitchen in victory.

While I’ve never understood banning certain foods to certain times of day – why are eggs only a breakfast dish in the US? – chocolate cake does seem a little indulgent. Not that I don’t indulge. No, no, hardly. It’s just that I usually feel a little guilty about it.

But when I think about Bill Cosby, I immediately think about chocolate cake for breakfast, and Jello. Specifically, chocolate pudding. You know, out of a box. So why not combine my two very inappropriate Cosby associations into one?

I originally had made these puddings for dessert one weekend near Easter, when I wanted the taste of a Cadbury Caramel Egg, but during the week, as I was pressed for time and running out the door, this home made butterscotch and chocolate pudding jumped over the bounds of “dessert” and landed squarely in the “breakfast-to-go” category.

Well… It has milk, sugar, corn (starch), all the major food groups! I’ll let you read the recipe and make up your own justifications, but there is nothing wrong with a little self indulgence every once in a while.

Butterscotch and Chocolate Pudding
Adapted from Bon Appétit, January 2009


1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
4 ounces imported milk chocolate, chopped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. For butterscotch pudding: Whisk first milk, cream, sugar, salt, and butterscotch chips together until incorporated fully and the mixture comes to boil. Add in the cornstarch, whisking constantly. Then boil until thick (about 30 seconds).  Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. Divide pudding among six 1-cup glasses or dishes (generous 1/3 cup each). Chill uncovered while preparing chocolate pudding.

2. For chocolate pudding: Whisk first 4 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk, then cream. Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to boil. Boil until thick, whisking constantly, about 30 seconds. Add chopped chocolate. Boil until chocolate melts and pudding is thick again, whisking often, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat; whisk in vanilla. Cool pudding 5 minutes. Spoon atop peanut butter pudding, dividing equally (about 1/3 cup each).

3. Chill puddings uncovered until cold, at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Critic’s Comments

Walker’s not a fan of pudding, and even he loved this. We love how the dark chocolate cuts through what could be overly sweet in the butterscotch. The perfect bite has one little scoop of each flavor. While definitely a treat, it was quick and simple to make, and we enjoyed it all week.