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The Best Vegan Chocolate Pudding (Paleo, too!)

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!)

Paleo + Vegan Chocolate Pudding from One Lovely Life


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!

Paleo + Vegan Chocolate Pudding from One Lovely Life

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.)

Dairy Free, Vegan Chocolate Pudding from One Lovely Life

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!
Paleo + Vegan Chocolate Pudding from One Lovely Life

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:

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Dairy Free, Vegan Chocolate Pudding from One Lovely Life

The Best Vegan Chocolate Pudding


  • Author: One Lovely Life
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

The best vegan chocolate pudding – made without avocado, banana, or tofu! This is the real deal–chocolatey, rich, and creamy.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 (13oz) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder (I prefer regular cocoa powder, NOT Dutch processed for this pudding)
  • 4 Tbsp arrowroot starch/arrowroot flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut or maple sugar
  • 2/3 cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together cocoa powder, arrowroot, and sugar. Pour in the coconut and almond milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a bubble over medium heat, stirring regularly. The mixture will slowly thicken as it comes to a low boil. Whisk it for about 2 minutes after it starts bubbling. You’ll feel it thicken.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in chocolate chips, vanilla, almond (if using), and salt. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Transfer to a container or serving cups. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the pudding (to prevent a “skin” from forming). Refrigerate until completely chilled. Pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
  4. If the pudding ends up thicker than you prefer, you can thin it out with a tiny drizzle of additional almond or coconut milk.
  5. Chocolate pudding will keep covered in the fridge 4-5 days for best results.

Notes

Thicker, thinner. This pudding does continue to thicken as it cools. If you want to loosen it up a bit, just add a splash of  milk and whisk it in.

What about lumps? I don’t mind a few little lumps here and there, 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. Works like a charm!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: vegan chocolate pudding, dairy free chocolate pudding, paleo chocolate pudding, homemade chocolate pudding

184 Comments

  1. Excellent recipe! If I didn’t know that it was vegan, I would never have guessed. There’s barely a hint of coconut flavor and the balance of chocolate and sweetness is perfect. Thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Brien – Mine is usually set in 2-3 hours. If yours isn’t as thick as you like there are a few things that could have caused this. Did you use another kind of milk? Did you use cornstarch or arrowroot? Also, was the pudding thickened when you pulled it off the stove and added the chocolate chips?

      If you used a different milk or milk combination, your pudding can turn out thinner. Also, the pudding should have thickened at least somewhat before pulling it off the stove (the video gives a good idea of what it should look like).

      After adding the chocolate chips, it gets even thicker and sets to a quite-thick pudding. I’m so sorry if yours didn’t turn out the way you were expecting!

      1. Yeah I’m thinking I just didn’t let it cook long enough for it to get thick. About how long do you let it cook on the stove before adding the chocolate chips and vanilla? I used arrowroot and coconut milk and almond milk, so same ingredients 🙂

        1. Oh, bummer. I’m so sorry!

          It depends on the exact temperature of your stove for how long it takes to come to a boil, but once it comes to boil (you can see bubbles bursting on the surface), I usually cook it for about 2 minutes, whisking the whole time. You’ll be able to see the path of your whisk through the pudding and know that it’s thickened. You can also dip a spoon in the mixture and (carefully) run your finger down the spoon. If the line where your finger went holds its shape well, your mixture has probably thickened enough.

          I hope that helps for next time! (SO sorry about the trouble!)

          1. No need to apologize!! 🙂 I appreciate your help! I’m going to retry and hope I do it right this time haha

          2. Okay I got it down this time!!! Put the heat on higher and let it cook for a smidge longer and it thickened! Soooo yummy!!!

          3. YAY!!! I’m SO glad it worked out for you! (Thank you so much for sharing with me! I was thinking of you today, hoping it went well)

  2. I’ve made this so many times I feel like I need to comment. 😂 This pudding is one of our favorite recipes, hands down. I make it probably 6 times a year. My husband loves it so much I make it for his birthday. I’ve been vegan for 9 years and didn’t realize I could eat (let alone make) pudding this good. Thank you so much for this recipe!

  3. I just have to say that this recipe is amazing! The store bought almond milk puddings have nothing on this one! I can’t wait for my husband to try it because I know he is going to love it! Thank you for posting 🙂

    1. Samantha – A vitamix won’t be able to heat this to boiling to allow it to thicken and cook down. It really needs those minutes on the heat to get to the right texture. Once it’s been cooked and thickened, you could certainly blend it to smooth things out if that helps you texturally!

      But, if you’re looking for something you can make in a blender, you might like our Chocolate Avocado Mousse 🙂

  4. Best chocolate pudding recipe out there. I’ve made this so many times already and I love it!! I’ve made it for friends and family both vegan and non-vegan and everyone loves it every single time.

    1. Veronica – THANK YOU! What a huge compliment! I’m so glad you loved it. Thank you for sharing and taking the time to leave a comment. It means so much and it’s so helpful for my site! 🙂

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