Peanut Butter Cup Protein Pudding Recipe

Pudding is a highly underrated dessert. For most of us, the last time we had pudding it was in a plastic cup buried at the bottom of our middle school lunchboxes. The creamy chocolate, vanilla, or butterscotch treat was the highlight of each day until about high school when we mysteriously never saw a pudding cup again. But pudding can be quite sophisticated, and there's no reason to ditch this classic dessert — especially when you can make it part of your workout routine. 

These homemade pudding cups developed with Michelle McGlinn are loaded with protein from both the protein powder and the peanut butter, two elements that combine deliciously with rich bittersweet chocolate. The combination of peanut butter and chocolate tastes exactly like another childhood favorite, the Reese's peanut butter cup, and perfectly satisfies your sweet tooth after a long workout. Sure, smoothies are delicious, but this protein-packed pudding is a great option when you're craving something a little different. The best part? It comes together in barely 5 minutes and can be stored in cups for on-the-go lunches or snacks, just like in the good old days.

Gather the ingredients for peanut butter cup protein pudding

Making pudding from scratch requires a few ingredients you may already have on hand (especially if you're a baker), like granulated sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, salt, milk, vanilla extract, and eggs. From there, you'll need heavy whipping cream and chocolate — because this pudding recipe is rich, we prefer bittersweet baking chocolate, but you can use any easily meltable chocolate. For example, semisweet chocolate chips work well, or you can swap for chopped dark chocolate squares instead. Lastly, you'll need a generous scoop each of your favorite protein powder and smooth peanut butter.

Step 1: Combine the dry ingredients

In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt together.

Step 2: Combine the dairy and eggs

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the heavy cream, milk, and egg yolks.

Step 3: Combine the dry and wet ingredients

Whisk the dry ingredients into the saucepan and combine until smooth.

Step 4: Heat the pudding until thick

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula.

Step 5: Remove from the heat when large bubbles form

As soon as the mixture comes to a boil (It will slowly pop one bubble at a time) remove from the heat. The mixture will be thick.

Step 6: Strain the pudding

Strain the pudding to remove any lumps or egg particles.

Step 7: Stir in the remaining ingredients

Immediately stir in the chocolate, peanut butter, protein powder, and vanilla.

Step 8: Combine until smooth

Combine until very smooth.

Step 9: Chill the pudding

Cover and chill for 2 hours. The pudding will thicken as it cools.

Step 10: Serve the pudding

Transfer to individual dishes to serve, topped with chopped peanut butter cups and whipped cream, if desired.

How much protein is in peanut butter protein pudding?

The total amount of protein in your peanut butter cup pudding depends on the kind of protein powder you use, and you may have to adjust your quantities slightly to get the desired amount. Without the powder, the entire batch has roughly 15 grams of protein, resulting in a little less than 4 grams of protein per serving. For a dessert this isn't bad. An additional scoop or two of protein powder can increase the amount to up to 45 grams of protein for the whole batch — meaning that each serving has just over 11 grams. To reach this amount, add enough powder to equal about 30 grams. For some brands, this may be only one scoop (or about 2 tablespoons), while others may require multiple scoops to reach 30 grams. 

The most commonly used protein powder is whey, but this recipe will work with pea protein, soy protein, whey-reduced protein, or even collagen peptides, which have a whopping 18 grams of protein per serving (and benefits for your hair, skin, and nails). Whichever protein you choose, we recommend using a plain flavor — we used an unflavored protein powder here, but you can also try chocolate or peanut butter flavorings to enhance the peanut butter cup flavor.

How do I store protein pudding?

One of the benefits of making protein pudding rather than protein smoothies is that pudding can be easily stored for up to a week. Because homemade pudding has dairy and eggs in it, it must be covered and refrigerated to be stored. To take pudding cups on the go, portion the pudding into jars, then cover with plastic or seal and store for up to 7 days. In the fridge, the pudding will solidify to a consistency similar to mousse, but if you leave the pudding at room temperature for 10 minutes it will soften to the familiar pudding-like consistency. 

The pudding can also be served warm directly after you make it for a softer, more gooey dessert. You can also soften it by microwaving gently for a warm treat. If you want to transform the pudding into a true dessert, top with whipped cream, crushed peanut butter cups, or drizzled chocolate. For more nutritious topping options, try cacao nibs, toasted coconut, or crushed nuts such as almonds and pecans. Or, double up on the nutty flavor and top the pudding with a scoop of peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Cup Protein Pudding Recipe
5 from 12 ratings
Turn your favorite childhood treat into a delicious workout snack with easy peanut butter cup protein pudding: Ready in 5 minutes and great to take on the go.
Prep Time
2.17
hours
Cook Time
5
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
pudding in a glass bowl
Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 ounces 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ¼ cup sifted protein powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional Ingredients
  • Whipped cream, for topping
  • Peanut butter cups, chopped, for topping
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt together.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan combine the heavy cream, milk, and egg yolks.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients into the saucepan and combine until smooth.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula.
  5. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil (It will slowly pop one bubble at a time) remove from the heat. The mixture will be thick.
  6. Strain the pudding to remove any lumps or egg particles.
  7. Immediately stir in the chocolate, peanut butter, protein powder, and vanilla
  8. Combine until very smooth.
  9. Cover and chill for 2 hours. The pudding will thicken as it cools.
  10. Transfer to individual dishes to serve, topped with chopped peanut butter cups and whipped cream, if desired.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 746
Total Fat 50.1 g
Saturated Fat 28.4 g
Trans Fat 1.1 g
Cholesterol 213.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 61.0 g
Dietary Fiber 4.6 g
Total Sugars 50.5 g
Sodium 355.9 mg
Protein 20.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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