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The Best Vegan Chocolate Pudding (Paleo, too!)

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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

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.

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!

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


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4.7 from 42 reviews

  • 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

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.

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 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.

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!
  • 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

190 Comments

  1. Hi Emily,

    Just following up- Thank you very much for the tips.
    I made the pudding again (with Arrow Root) and kept it over the heat a little longer. It firmed up better.
    And a few hours in the fridge made it perfect!

    I am a gluten-free vegan and it is very hard to find pudding that I can eat, this is great!






  2. I’m making a chocolate pudding pie with this recipe. Can I pour the warm pudding into a chocolate crumb pie crust right away? The pudding is delicious and I used the reduced fat coconut milk!! I cannot, in good conscience use the full fat coconut milk.






    1. Paula – You should be able to pour the pudding right into the prepared/baked crust and refrigerate it that way. (Also – The pudding may be a bit thinner with the reduced fat milk!)

  3. Hi there! This looks delicious!! I’m planning to make today but have a quick question- for the can of coconut milk, do you use the full can (including coconut water) or just the cream at the top?

    Thank you!!

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe! It’s absolutely delicious and you wouldn’t know that it’s a vegan recipe. The texture and flavor of this pudding are outstanding!

  5. I only have coconut cream in my pantry. Can I sub that for the full fat coconut milk?

    Wanting to test this recipe today for a wiggly worm / muddy puddles dessert for my daughter’s first birthday!

    Thanks!

    1. Jamie – Yes–BUT! If you use a full can of coconut cream, it will be VERY thick, so I recommend doing HALF the amount of coconut cream and adding more water or almond milk for the rest. (So I’d add half the can of coconut cream, put the rest in your fridge and then add half a can worth of extra almond milk (or water)).

  6. It’s been a couple of years since I went vegan, and had chocolate pudding. I had a craving and found your recipe and I’m so glad I did! I thought I had coconut milk in the pantry, but unfortunately I was out so I used all almond milk. It turned out a bit thin, but thick enough and deliciously creamy! Thanks for the awesome recipe (:






  7. DELICIOUS! Very easy to make, a bit too much sugar for my taste (no, it’s not, I’m just supposed to be on a sugar-free diet), the consistency is just perfect and I will definitely make it again.






  8. Holy moly. Best pudding EVER. To the person who had trouble getting it to set up…. I had no trouble but I also whisked the bejeebers out of it the entire time. The texture on this is amazingly smooth and creamy. I’m going to use this as food samples in a class I’m teaching on how to replace dairy in your life. Thank you for this secret weapon in exposing people to the fabulousness of plant-based cooking. Great job.






  9. Wonderful recipe. Thank you! I have to be gluten and dairy free for health reasons and with this recipe I can have pudding again. Insert happy dance here!

    I adjusted the ingredients slightly by using Ripple pea protein alternative milk along with Ripple’s version of 1/2 and 1/2 for thickness as coconut milk doesn’t agree with me. I also decreased the cocoa powder to 1 tablespoon, and used a mix of Enjoy Life semi and bitter sweet chips.

    Many thanks again!

  10. I just made this while procrastinating schoolwork, and it was completely worth it. This is honestly the best homemade pudding I have ever had! I can’t wait to make it again for a pie or cake filling! Thanks for creating and sharing this with us, keep all the deliciousness coming 🙂






  11. Followed the recipe almost exactly just switched out the arrowroot starch for corn starch and used almond milk instead of hazelnut milk because that’s what I had opened already. Turned out great. I had to scrape the bottom of the pan or it got sticky on the pan and whisk throughout, but that was the hardest part (and it wasn’t even hard). Very good and very easy






  12. So many comments! Just discovered that I only have 1 tbsp of cornstarch left and no arrowroot starch. The internet thinks flour might work instead but I’m hesitant. Should I just wait until I can get to the store? Thanks!

  13. I made this once, per the recipe, and found the texture after chilling to be a too firm and gel like. I made it again and reduced the amount of arrowroot down to 1-2 Tablespoons and the consistency and texture (and taste!) were perfect.






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