The BEST Vegan Chocolate Pudding – You’ll never believe this is dairy-free chocolate pudding! This vegan chocolate pudding is the real deal–chocolatey, rich, and creamy, with no avocado, banana, or tofu. It’s the perfect simple dessert (or packed lunch surprise!)
Photos updated + video added January 2017
Sophie’s preschool has an awesome practice of eating class snacks. There’s a snack calendar with pretty healthy snack choices and each parent is assigned to bring snack once a month. There are pros and cons, of course. On the pro side, it’s a great way for positive peer pressure to help kids try new foods, and it makes it easy for most parents to just need to worry about sending in a snack once a month.
The cons mostly revolve around the difficulty of navigating a snack calendar with dietary restrictions. We try to provide a snack as close to what the class is having as possible (it helps her try new things and makes things easier on the teachers), but sometimes the class is having cheese cubes or crackers or something that makes things tricky.
Tricky as it is sometimes, it’s also been a chance to practice some homemade recipes for things since that’s easier and less expensive in lots of cases to tracking down pre-made equivalents of what the rest of the class is eating. Once or twice a quarter, for instance, the kids get to have chocolate pudding as part of their snack, and this is the BEST gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate pudding recipe we’ve put together.
It’s rich, creamy, and ULTRA chocolatey, all without dairy! It’s a decadent, delicious treat whether you have dietary restrictions or not!
Our Vegan Chocolate Pudding: No Weird Ingredients Included!
A lot of vegan or dairy-free chocolate pudding recipes use avocado, banana, or tofu to help the texture. Sophie’s texture issues are so acute that she can detect the avocado or tofu a mile away, and banana, well…it just really makes everything taste like banana.
This dairy-free chocolate pudding is the real deal–silky, thick, chocolatey and not too heavy. Thank heaven that dairy-free chocolate is a real thing. A real, beautiful, wonderful thing. There are several brands out there these days that sell dairy-free chocolate chips, and I want to send them all Christmas cards this year. We buy Enjoy Life or Guittard Extra Dark chocolate chips. (If you’re allergic rather than intolerant to dairy, you may want to avoid Guittard as there is a risk of cross-contamination, but we have never had a problem from the intolerance side.)
Yummy Toppings To Try On Vegan Chocolate Pudding:
- Fresh Berries. I love berries and chocolate, so this is always my first pick! Strawberies and raspberries are my favorite, but all berries work.
- Whipped Cream. Try some whipped coconut cream (store-bought or homemade!) on top. It feels so special!
- Sliced Bananas. I love bananas and chocolate together.
- Chocolate Covered Strawberries. If you want to really go for it (say, for Valentine’s Day or another special occasion), try serving each bowl of chocolate pudding with one of our vegan chocolate covered strawberries on top!
- Cacao Nibs. I love the crunch these add! They’re not sweetened, so use a light hand when you add them.
- Mini Chocolate Chip. If you want your crunch a little sweeter, go for mini chocolate chips.
- Toasted Almonds. Add a nutty crunch with some toasted almonds (or hazelnuts!)
- Fresh Mint Leaves. A pretty pop of green adds such a lovely look!
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR PERFECT VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING:
WHAT MILK CAN YOU USE FOR DAIRY-FREE CHOCOLATE PUDDING? I like using a combination of almond and coconut milk since it prevents either flavor from overpowering the chocolate and the coconut milk lends a nice richness. You can substitute other dairy-free milk (like soy milk, cashew milk, or oat milk), but know that if you’re skipping the coconut milk, your end result will be a bit thinner. If you’re not dairy-free, you can also use dairy milk in the same proportions (the more skim the milk, the thinner the pudding).
ARROWROOT VS CORNSTARCH. You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot if you like here. Arrowroot powder is a grain-free starch that’s common in allergy-free and paleo cooking. I like it here because it gives such a gorgeous texture, but if you’re a corn starch fan, go for it! (Note: for paleo chocolate pudding, be sure to use the arrowroot option!)
MAKE IT THINNER OR THICKER. This vegan chocolate pudding does continue to thicken as it cools (as most homemade chocolate pudding does). If you want to loosen your pudding up a bit, just add a splash of milk and whisk it in.
HOW TO GET RID OF LUMPS IN YOUR PUDDING. I don’t mind a few little lumps here and there in my homemade chocolate pudding, but if you want yours completely smooth or end up with some accidental lumps, you can either whisk-whisk-whisk till things smooth out, or just use an immersion blender to smooth things out. It works like a charm!
CHANGE IT UP! If you want a change of pace, I like a few drops of almond extract in this for a little something extra, but it’s also completely delicious without it if you’re not a fan. I’ve also tried adding a few drops (2-3) of peppermint extract around the holidays and it was AWESOME.
HELPFUL TOOLS & INGREDIENTS FOR THIS VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUDDING RECIPE: