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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 vegan pudding recipe has all the chocolate flavor you crave, just none of the dairy or eggs!

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


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.

Don’t forget to leave a star review and comment below when you make our Vegan Chocolate Pudding recipe. I can’t wait to hear how it goes!


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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


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



For The Vegan Chocolate Pudding:

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

Optional Toppings:

  • Fresh raspberries, chopped chocolate, fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, a drizzle of peanut butter, etc.


  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 a pinch of salt. Whisk to melt the chocolate chips 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. Cover leftovers with plastic wrap or food wrap and store in the refrigerator. Chocolate pudding will keep covered in the fridge 4-5 days for best results.


  • 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!
  • Can I Use Another Sugar? Don’t have or like maple sugar or coconut sugar? You can use vegan white sugar (granulated sugar). Your pudding will just be a bit sweeter. 
  • 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

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  1. I am making the gradual shift to a more dairy free existence and this recipe caught my eye. I made it last night and it is absolutely wonderful. I didn’t add the almond extract but will try when I make this again. The texture reminds me more of a chocolate mousse which thrilled me for it met my individual preference. I did find that the shifting from cows milk to alternative milks (coconut and almond) may take some getting used to but even though the flavor difference is apparent I don’t think it takes away from the taste.

    1. I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I love that it feels rich and luxurious! Switching to dairy free milks does take some adjustment time, but I’m wishing you all the luck in the world as you make the transition!

  2. Emily thanks for sharing that seriously amazing chocolate pudding recipe !!! I have made it twice within the past week. I love it 🤗

  3. I haven’t had chocolate pudding in years but as soon as I saw this recipe I got an intense craving. This hit the spot! I used coconut cream and it turned out super thick and creamy. I also used cornstarch as that’s what I had. The texture wasn’t as smooth as I hoped but the flavor was so good. Does arrowroot make the texture smoother or is there something else I can do to make the cornstarch texture smoother?

    1. I’m really glad it hit the spot. My biggest tip for smooth pudding is sifting the cocoa powder. It can sometimes create lumps that just never quite seem to go away. Did you sift? I’ll keep thinking…

  4. I’m making this for a pie filling for my daughter’s birthday. I was going to make it, chill it, then rewhip it to pile high in my pie crust. Do you think it will maintain the thickness if I whip it after chilling?

    1. Jennifer – I think it will be GREAT whipped after chilling. My kids just LOVE this in pudding pie. I hope your daughter does, too! (and happy birthday to her!)

  5. Hello, thank you for the recipe, can you substitute the chocolate chips for a vegan chocolate bar? Maybe I could grate it or break into pieces? Thanks!

  6. I’ve been using this recipe for a while now and I love it! Thank you so much for sharing! I often wonder though what is the purpose of adding the vanilla after removing from heat instead of before? Does it affect the flavor or the texture?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoy it! The reason you add the vanilla after is to preserve its flavor. Because most vanilla extract is alcohol based, it can cook off during the cooking process, which weakens the flavor. You can always add extra at the beginning, knowing that some of it will cook off during the cooking process, or you can add a little extra at the end, if needed. It’s totally up to you!

  7. Just made this and it is soooo delicious!
    I had sweetened almond milk, cornstarch, and a 14 oz. can of coconut milk on hand and added a bit more sugar and some maple syrup.
    To intensify the chocolate flavor I also added about 1/2 tbsp of espresso powder.
    To make the pudding extra smooth I sifted all the dry ingredients into the pan before stirring together then slowly drizzled in the almond and coconut milk while whisking altogether.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe; I’ll be making more for sure!

  8. Made it! Mother and Son approved! I used to try to get him to eat my avocado chocolate pudding but he kept saying something was off and he didn’t like it…BUT this one hits the spot for him! He’s so happy he can eat pudding without worrying about triggering his allergies or eating “something off.” Thank you!

  9. Do you think I could use flax or soy milk instead of the almond milk? My little one has dairy and nut allergies.

    1. Yes! You can sub basically any milk for the almond milk. The coconut milk is a little harder (but still possible) to substitute, since using a thinner milk will result in a thinner consistency for the pudding. I hope you love it!

    1. Jennifer – I have never had good luck freezing pudding before. I haven’t tried it on this recipe, but it hasn’t worked well for me in the past. The binders don’t always hold and the texture can get gloppy and separated upon thawing. I’m sorry!

  10. what is the nutritional value of this pudding. I do not like tofu pudding so I want to try something else. I am on a daily 1200 calorie meal plan. but i need this pudding to be 110 calories for 1/2 cup and only 7 net carbs. please post nutritional value… i can not find it on this page. thanks

    1. Tammy – I don’t have nutrition facts available on my site for this one yet. You’re welcome to plug it into any free online calculator! My Fitness Pal is my favorite (the app or the site).

  11. Hi I use to buy ZenSoy chocolate pudding but they seem to be out of business. I can’t find Vegan and Gluten free pudding anywhere. So I made yours. Wow it is amazing!

    I have a question about the heating. What purpose does it serve? ( sorry for the dumb question)

    Also I made it once with corn starch, it came out very think, maybe too think after 24 hours in the fridge.
    I made it once with arrowroot, it did not firm up much.

    Not sure if I am under heating it, but I don’t want to burn it.

    Any tips?


    1. Brandon – Thanks so much for your comment! That’s not a dumb question at all. The heat activates the thickening properties of the cornstarch or arrowroot. If you don’t heat it, it cannot thicken.

      This homemade pudding is thicker than some store-bought varieties (many homemade puddings are), but it does sound liker perhaps it was over-cooked with the corn starch and not quite long enough with the arrowroot.

      If you keep your heat on medium-low, whisking pretty constantly, then pull it off the heat when it’s visibly thicker, I think that should help. (Did you by chance watch the recipe video? I think it gives a good visual of the state you’re looking for.) One trick is that it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon well (if you run your finger along the back of the spoon, the line where you moved your finger should stay visible). Another trick is that if you *do* accidentally get it too thick, you can loosen it back up with some additional milk and some whisking after it’s refrigerated.

      I hope some combination of those tips helps for next time! Thanks again for leaving your comment!!!

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