This Split Level Pumpkin Pudding with Chocolate Ganache is an easy no-bake Autumn dessert. You can eat it hot or cold, but it’s a quick way to satisfy those pumpkin cravings.
I’ve been wanting to figure out how to make a good pumpkin pudding for a long time. Every time I make pumpkin pie, which can be alarmingly often this time of year, and I’m dipping into the raw pumpkin batter for a taste here and there, I think: this would make a really good pudding. And I was right!
I finally hit the right combination of lazy (too lazy to make a pumpkin pie) plus pumpkin cravings to figure out the whole pudding thing. I only wish I’d done it sooner because this is one seriously good pumpkin pudding. The best part is that it only takes a fraction of the time to satisfy my pumpkin cravings. Puddings forever people!
The pumpkin pudding was a long time coming, but the chocolate ganache is a recent development. I kept making the pumpkin pudding, and it was good, but it needed a little something to make up for the loss of a pie crust. The answer came from none other than Dorie Greenspan, to whom I will always bow down in the kitchen.
I saw Dorie’s Split Level Chocolate Vanilla Pudding in one of my favorite cookbooks (Baking: From my Home to Yours) and I recognized the genius at once. Following in her footsteps, I was just a few tweaks away from the perfect duo: Pumpkin and Chocolate. Thank you Dorie, really.
Pumpkin Pudding Two Ways
There are two ways to eat this split level pudding, but both of them are delicious. If you prefer your puddings chilled, you can make the chocolate ganache layer and refrigerate it while you make the pumpkin pudding. Then, chill the pumpkin pudding for a few hours before assembling the split level pudding cups for serving. The layers will stay distinctly separate and it’s a delicious experience when you break through that pumpkin flavor to the layer of rich, silky chocolate at the bottom.
But if you like it hot, I’ve got you covered. Make the chocolate ganache layer, spoon it into your pudding cups, and leave it at room temperature. After you make your pumpkin pudding and let it cool slightly, pour it over the top of the chocolate ganache. The chocolate will melt up the sides in the most delectable way, mixing with the pumpkin layer. It’s good stuff.
I’ve tried it both ways, and you really can’t go wrong.
I still wouldn’t say this is a substitute for pumpkin pie – I’m still loyal to my pie. However, this has been on the menu once a week since mid-September now and I don’t anticipate it slowing down. I really do love pumpkin season!
And if you love Pumpkin as much as I do, check out my favorite Pumpkin Cranberry Coffee Cake. If you need pumpkin quick, this 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Soup is always a winner. And these Pumpkin Pie Bars are an all time favorite and sure crowd pleaser.
- 3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- ⅓ cup, plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree (like Libby's)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 2 cups whole milk
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare 6 small bowls, ramekins, or jars (about 6 ounce ramekins).
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream for the Chocolate Ganache over medium heat. When it begins to boil, remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate until smooth. Divide the chocolate evenly among the prepared serving ramekins. If you are eating your pudding chilled, refrigerate the ramekins. If you are eating the pudding warm, set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk well, breaking up any clumps, until it is completely smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Stir in the pumpkin, cooking for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the spices, milk, and both sugars.
- Increase the heat to medium and continue to cook the milk-pumpkin mixture until almost ready to boil. Bubbles will form around the sides of the pan and the surface of the milk will quiver. Remove from heat.
- Pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking continuously until completely smooth. Slowly pour the entire mixture into the saucepan, whisking vigorously.
- Return the saucepan to medium heat to thicken. Whisk continuously as the pudding cooks and thickens, about 3 to 5 minutes. When the pudding is thick and bubbling, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- If you are eating the pudding chilled, pour the pudding into a shallow container, pressing plastic wrap to the surface of the pudding (if you don't like pudding skin) and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. When chilled through, spoon the pudding onto the chilled chocolate ganache and serve with whipped cream.
- If you are eating the pudding warm, cool the pudding slightly, until it is warm not hot. You can place it in the fridge for under an hour to help it cool down more quickly. Spoon over the chocolate ganache and serve with whipped cream.