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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. Awww man, mine didn’t thicken up even after several hours in the fridge. We heated it in the microwave and it sure made delicious hot chocolate haha! Could it be that I used homemade almond and coconut milks? It was still yummy!

  2. love this recipe, followed mostly but I couldn’t bear to use full fat coconut milk so I used almond/coconut milk and 1 less tbsp of cornstarch and i used vermont maple syrup.
    WOW it is wicked good, firmed up nice oh and i didn’t use the wrap to prevent the skin, who doesn’t like that? thanks for this 😺

  3. I just want to verify when you say 4 tbsp arrowroot starch/flour it means either starch or flour not both correct?
    for the vegan pudding
    thank you so much

    1. Zeena – Sorry for the confusion! I mean 4 Tbsp arrowroot. It’s sometimes labeled as arrowroot starch or arrowroot flour (or even arrowroot powder). I would not recommend actual flour for this recipe. 🙂

  4. I looooove chocolate pudding and this was one of the first desserts I made upon going vegan, so I’ve been a long time fan. This weekend I made it as a pie filling for my dad (with a graham cracker crust) for my dad for his birthday and he looooved it! He’s not vegan by any means, nor is anyone else in my family, and they all agreed it was the best pudding/pudding pie they’ve ever had! Thanks so much for this recipe <3

    My next experiment will be using it as filling in a chocolate layer cake 😀

    1. Ahhh! I love hearing this! It’s my FAVORITE and it’s often the first pie gone at Thanksgiving when I serve it with graham cracker crust. So good! Using it as cake filling sounds incredible–I’d love to know how it goes!

    1. Yes! It’ll keep for at least 3-4 days in the fridge. I recommend pressing plastic wrap on the surface (or beeswax wrap if you prefer), so it doesn’t get the “skin” that homemade puddings tend to develop, but it’ll easily keep for a few days. (That said–some people LOVE that part!) 🙂

  5. This recipe is amazing! Thank you!! Have you used a variation of this recipe to make vanilla pudding? I can’t find a good vanilla pudding that’s soy, dairy and corn free. Thanks!

    1. Melissa – I’m SO glad you liked it! I’ve been working on a vanilla version, but don’t have it *quite* ready yet. Stay tuned! I’m hoping to get it out in the next few months! 🙂

  6. I made this with sugar, a mix of soy milk and reduced fat canned coconut milk (because I’m too short to eat that many calories), and an additional tablespoon of thickener to be sure it didn’t come out thin due to my coconut milk choice.

    It was very chocolatey and yummy, especially poured into a peanut butter-graham cracker crust. 😋

  7. I made this recipe times 6 to take to church. It was delicious. I had trouble thickening with arrowroot, so I used cornstarch instead. I also used 2/3 of dark cocoa and 1/3 Hershey cocoa. It balanced the chocolate flavor. Thank you for this amazing recipe.

  8. Awesome Recipe, excited to offer the kids at school a Vegan/GF option for my halloween dirt cups (using zombie sour patch kids) They feel left out most years. so excited to have an option for them and test it out on my 2 year old. 🙂

  9. I’m so excited about trying this recipe! Sounds delicious! I was reading over the comments and noticed that you’ve used this pudding as a filling in a chocolate pie. Would you mind sharing the recipe (or link) you use for the vegan pie (including the crust)? Thanks!

    1. Bess – Yes! I usually make my old banana cream pie graham cracker crust (using dairy free butter) and GF grahams (like Kinnikinnik brand). If you can’t find GFDF graham crackers or crumbs, you can follow a recipe online for GF + Vegan graham crackers or buy a pre-made crust. This one uses honey flavor but no honey.

      Or, if you prefer a traditional pie crust, this one is vegan + gluten free! You’ll want to blind bake it till it’s fully cooked through and cooled before adding your filling. (see this post) for a tutorial.

  10. Hello, I’m a little confused about the issue of using cornstarch instead of arrowroot. Up above, in the section labeled, “Notes about the recipe”, you wrote: “Arrowroot vs. Cornstarch. You can use cornstarch instead of arrowroot if you like here. Arrowroot 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 cornstarch fan, go for it!”. To me, this implies that you should do a 1:1 substitution of cornstarch instead of arrowroot. But then down in the comments section, you wrote: “You can sub twice the amount of cornstarch in its [arrowroot’s] place.” Can you clarify? Thanks.

    1. Alex – I’m sorry for the confusion. I use a 1:1 substitution of cornstarch for arrowroot. That particular response was when talking about tapioca starch and I’ve since updated my stance. (I’ve updated the comment to reflect that as well, so no one else gets confused).

  11. Hi, Emily! I am wondering if I could use agar-agar instead of the arrowroot starch. Do you think it would be a good substitute?

    Thank you

    1. Ina – I’ve never worked with agar-agar before, I’m sorry. I don’t feel like I could advise you! If you give it a try, I’d love to know how it goes!

  12. SO GOOD!!! We made this last night, and we can’t believe how good it is. The mouthfeel is so silky, and it’s deeply chocolaty. Thanks for the recipe.

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