Food & Drink

Biscuit Pudding with Chocolate Gravy

You won’t believe the secret ingredient in this family dessert recipe from the famed North Carolina pit master Sam Jones

Photo: Denny culbert

“The best thing my grandmother gave to my mom, including my dad, is the recipe for her biscuit pudding. The best thing mom ever made, besides me, is this biscuit pudding with chocolate gravy,” writes pit master Sam Jones in his new cookbook, Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue. “I haven’t found the verse yet, but I think somewhere the Bible says that biscuit pudding was really the reason that Lazarus was raised from the dead. My mom also made a chocolate gravy that she poured over the top. That also may have been what Jesus rubbed on the blind man’s eyes. Grandma Jones didn’t make this dessert all the time, but when she did, she’d always send me home packing a big square of it. I once took it to school to eat at lunch. A few at my table were curious about it, and asked for a taste. I actually got in a little trouble for trying to share that biscuit pudding—for fifty cents a square. The administration wasn’t having it—something about a noncompete clause—so I had to stop. It was an early taste of being an entrepreneur.”


  • For the Biscuit Pudding

    • 3 (9.5-ounce) cans Butter-Me-Not Biscuits or any canned biscuit with “butter” or “buttery” in the description

    • 4 cups whole milk, at room temperature

    • 1 cup salted butter, melted

    • 4 cups sugar

    • 5 large eggs, at room temperature

    • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg

    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • For the chocolate gravy

    • 1⁄4 cup cocoa powder

    • 1 cup sugar

    • 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour

    • Pinch of kosher salt

    • 2 cups whole milk

    • 1⁄4 cup cold salted butter, cubed


  1. To make the pudding, crack the biscuit cans open on the edge of the counter. (I thought it was so cool when my mom did that.”) Bake the biscuits according to the instructions on the can.

  2. Set the oven temperature at 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

  3. Combine the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, nutmeg, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor. Mix to combine. Crumble the biscuits by hand into the mixture. Continue to mix until relatively smooth. Pour into the prepared pan.

  4. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the pudding is stiff and lightly browned on top.

  5. While the pudding is baking, make the gravy. Sift the cocoa, sugar, flour, and salt together into a 12-inch skillet. Slowly pour in the milk, while whisking, and continue to whisk until the mixture is smooth.

  6. Cook over medium-high heat, while stirring, until the gravy thickens to the consistency of a thin pudding.

Excerpted from Whole Hog BBQ: The Gospel of Carolina Barbecue by Sam Jones.