Rich, homemade, creamy vegan chocolate pudding that’s dairy-free, egg-free, and gluten-free (but no one will know because it's just like the classic you grew up with!)
It’s a quick and easy dessert that calls for only a few simple ingredients and it doesn't include any surprise ingredients (there's no tofu, no avocado, no bananas, and no nuts or nut butter in this pudding!)
If you love pudding, chances are, chocolate is on your favourites list. Maybe you grew up with the store-bought pudding cups in your lunch box or maybe you had a homemade version.
Either way, this vegan chocolate pudding, even though it's vegan and contains no dairy and is made without eggs (like the other versions probably did!) will bring you back to those days of enjoying that special treat you once knew and loved.
It's a delicious vegan dessert that's quick and easy to make, plus, you can dress it up to be a fancy decadent dessert or just enjoy it plain. Either way, your sweet tooth and your chocolate craving are going to love it!
Oh, and if chocolate pudding is not on your favourites list, then you should check out my other vegan pudding recipes:
Ingredients You'll Need
All you're going to need to make this easy recipe is six ingredients, and you likely have them already!
Cocoa Powder - I use Dutch-process cocoa powder in all my recipes, so it's what I use in this one but natural cocoa powder can be used instead. Dutch process cocoa in this recipe gives the pudding a rich, dark chocolate flavour. If you are looking for an ethical cocoa powder brand, read my article "Is Cocoa Powder Vegan" to get a list of options.
Sugar - I use organic cane sugar in this recipe. White sugar can also be used, but make sure it's vegan (see the Recipe FAQ section below for more info).
I haven't made this recipe with any other types of sugar like coconut sugar or brown sugar but I think either would work just fine. I have also not tried making it with a liquid sweetener (like maple syrup or agave), or any sugar alternatives to make it sugar-free, so I'm not sure how they would work.
Cornstarch - This is the ingredient that thickens the pudding, without it, your pudding will not thicken, so it cannot be left out. If you want to make your vegan chocolate pudding without cornstarch, arrowroot starch (also referred to as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder) can be used instead.
Salt - Just a pinch of salt is needed to balance the flavour.
Dairy-Free Milk - Any plant-based milk will work but creamier milk (like soy milk or oat milk) will give you a creamier result. Of all the non-dairy milks, I prefer to use oat milk but I have made this chocolate pudding with almond milk and the result was also excellent. I would not recommend any type of milk that is very thin and watery (like rice milk) or one that has a strong flavour (like coconut milk).
Coconut milk WILL work in this recipe but your pudding will have a coconut flavour, so keep that in mind. If you do use coconut milk, use the type that needs to be refrigerated and not canned coconut milk, or you will end up with a thicker pudding that doesn't have the correct consistency.
Vanilla Extract - This is added to enhance the flavour of the pudding, vanilla bean paste can also be used.
Unsalted Vegan Butter (Optional) - Whisking in a little vegan butter at the end of the cooking time will result in an even creamier and richer pudding. This pudding can be made without butter, it's an optional ingredient so it can be omitted if you prefer an oil-free pudding. Coconut oil will not work to replace the butter, it will harden and change the pudding's consistency during the chilling time.
If you choose to add the vegan butter, either salted or unsalted will work. If using salted, omit the salt in the recipe.
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this vegan chocolate pudding recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
1. Add all of the dry ingredients to a medium pot
2. Whisk all of the dry ingredients together, making sure there are no remaining lumps before moving to the next step.
3. Gradually whisk in the dairy-free milk.
4. As the milk is being added to the dry ingredients, whisk continuously so all the ingredients combine.
5. After whisking the ingredients together, use a spoon to scrape around the corners of the pot to make sure no dry spots remain, and whisk again.
6. Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and whisk continuously until it has thickened.
It will start to bubble towards the end of the cooking time but don't let it boil, it will take roughly 8 minutes to thicken properly. No noticeable thickening will happen until the last 2 minutes or so, but keep whisking!
7. Once the pudding has thickened, remove it from the heat. You'll know that it has thickened enough when it is glossy looking and sticks to a spoon.
8. Whisk in the vanilla and if you are using it, the vegan butter.
Let the pudding cool down a little by allowing it to sit in the pot for 15 minutes, whisking it occasionally so it doesn't start to form a skin on top.
Once the 15 minutes have passed, pour the warm pudding into a medium glass bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding so the surface is covered. This will prevent a thickened layer of pudding from forming on top.
If you prefer to not use plastic wrap, see the "Tips for Success" section below.
You can also pour your easy vegan chocolate pudding directly into individual bowls to chill, this will result in pudding that is a little more set after chilling since you will not be able to whisk it after it has cooled to loosen it up. You'll still need to place the plastic wrap on each bowl.
Place the bowl(s) in the refrigerator and allow it to chill for at least two hours. When ready to serve, remove from the fridge, remove the plastic, whisk the pudding, and add to individual bowls.
This recipe was tested extensively, so if you make it exactly as it's written, your pudding will turn out perfectly, however, mistakes happen, so if any of the following occurs, here's how to fix them.
1. If the pudding has not thickened after the cooking time stated in the recipe, do not add more cornstarch, it will clump up and not do anything to help.
The first thing to try is to cook the pudding for a few more minutes until it thickens properly.
If that does not work, your cornstarch was not measured correctly, and not enough was added.
To fix with more cornstarch, make a slurry by whisking 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Slowly whisk this cornstarch mixture into the pudding while it's still over the heat and whisk continuously until it has thickened properly.
It's important to add the slurry while the pudding is still over the heat, it will not thicken if it's added after the cooking time has ended.
2. If there are lumps in the pudding, whisk until they are gone. If that does not help, run the pudding through a sieve OR blend with an immersion blender.
How to Serve It
Serve your dairy-free chocolate pudding cold and you can have it plain or top it with coconut whip and fresh strawberries like I did in the pictures.
- If you don't have strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries all work well, too or you can top with other fresh fruits like sliced bananas.
- Toasted nuts, cocoa nibs, chocolate shavings, and dairy-free chocolate chips also work very well. (Find an extensive list of vegan chocolate chips to look for at the grocery store in this article: "Are Chocolate Chips Vegan?"
- You can also swirl in a homemade fruit sauce like strawberry sauce, cherry sauce, raspberry sauce, or blueberry compote.
This pudding is also a great base for any dessert that calls for chocolate pudding, like a trifle or no-bake pie.
You can store your leftover pudding covered in the refrigerator for up to four days.
It cannot be frozen because it contains cornstarch which will change the texture after it thaws and it will no longer be smooth and creamy.
Want more recipes for sweets? Browse through these vegan dessert recipes to find something new to make!
Tips for Success
- Measure and have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. This will make the process run smooth, quick, and easy.
- Measure your ingredients correctly. I highly recommend using a scale (this is one I have (Amazon Link) and my weight measurements when making this recipe. Too much or too little cornstarch will result in a pudding that is too thick or too thin.
- Make sure to use unsweetened, unflavoured milk so you have full control over the sweetness and flavour.
- Don't let it boil. Pudding only requires very light simmering to thicken, boiling is an indicator that the heat is too high and it could burn. It will start to bubble once it is almost done, that is okay, just as long as it isn't bubbling for the entire cook time.
Tips for Success (continued)
- Make sure to whisk constantly during the cooking time. This is to ensure no clumps form, if they do, it's very hard to get rid of them, so keep whisking!
- If you prefer not to use plastic wrap, you can place the pudding in an airtight container, but keep in mind that a thick layer will form on top of the pudding (also known as pudding skin). When whisked after chilling, it will make the pudding lumpy. The lumps at that point will not be able to be whisked back in, so to get rid of them, pass the pudding through a sieve and it will get back to being silky smooth.
- Don't skip the chilling time. The pudding will be thick after cooking, but it will continue to thicken when it chills until it reaches the perfect consistency.
- Read this post from top to bottom before you start. I’ve included a lot of tips and tricks so you get things right. Also read through the actual recipe before getting started.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
Yes! You can make homemade dairy-free pudding with oat milk and it will set perfectly. Just be sure to follow the recipe you are making to ensure it sets properly. Since oat milk is on the creamier side than some other plant-based milk, the result will be a creamy pudding.
Yes! When making homemade pudding, almond milk is a great replacement, however, the finished pudding will not be as rich since almond milk is not very creamy. It will also need to be whisked very well after the chilling time to give it that velvety texture we all love about pudding.
Not all sugar is vegan, some are processed using animal bone char, so to be sure that yours is, buy an organic brand (organic sugar is not processed using bone char) or one that is labelled as vegan.
If You Make This Recipe...
I would love to hear how you like it! Please leave me a star rating and comment below or you can post a picture of your chocolate pudding recipe remake on Instagram and tag me so I can see it. (I’m @delightfuladventures on Instagram!)
Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- 6 tablespoons (75g) sugar
- 3 tablespoons (16g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons (24g) cornstarch (arrowroot starch may also be used, see note below)
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (480ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted vegan butter (optional) (see note below)
- Add the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt to a medium saucepan. Whisk until combined and no lumps remain. You may need to break up any lumps with the back of a spoon.
- Slowly whisk in milk until combined with the dry mixture. Scrape around the corners of the pot with a spoon to be sure no dry ingredients remain.
- Place pot on medium-high heat and continuously whisk until mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon, this will take 8 minutes. (See images above)
- Remove the pot from the heat and whisk in vanilla and if using, the vegan butter.
- Allow the pudding to sit in the pot to cool down for 15 minutes. Whisk every few minutes during the rest time so it does not start to form a skin on top.
- Pour pudding into a medium-sized glass bowl or individual serving bowls.
- Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and place the bowl(s) in the refrigerator.
- Refrigerate pudding for at least 2 hours so it can set. If you refrigerated it in a medium bowl, remove the plastic and whisk the pudding to loosen it up and then divide between serving bowls. Serve cold, either plain or with coconut whipped cream and fresh berries.
- Please read all of the information, troubleshooting, and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- This recipe makes 2 cups of pudding in total.
- Any type of unsweetened non-dairy milk can be used, a creamy milk will provide the best results. Make sure to use unsweetened, unflavoured milk so you have full control over the sweetness and flavour.
- If you want to make your vegan chocolate pudding without cornstarch, arrowroot starch (also referred to as arrowroot flour or arrowroot powder) can be used instead.
- I prefer to use Dutch-process cocoa powder in my recipes, but natural cocoa powder / cacao powder will work as well.
- You don't want the mixture to boil, but it will start to bubble towards the end of the cooking time. It will take roughly 8 minutes to thicken properly. No noticeable thickening will happen until the last 2 minutes or so, but keep whisking!
- The vegan butter is optional if you prefer to have an oil-free pudding, however, adding the butter will result in a richer, smoother, and creamier pudding.
- If you prefer not to use plastic wrap, you can place the pudding in an airtight container, but keep in mind that a thick layer will form on top of the pudding (also known as pudding skin) that will make the pudding lumpy when whisked. Lumps at that point will not be able to be whisked back in, so to get rid of them, pass the pudding through a sieve and it will get back to being silky smooth.
- You can also pour the pudding directly into individual serving bowls to chill rather than one large bowl, this will result in a pudding that's a little more set after chilling since you will not be able to whisk it after it has cooled to loosen it up. You'll still need to place the plastic wrap on each bowl.
- Adapted from my vegan pumpkin pudding recipe and vegan vanilla pudding recipes.
- The nutrition info listed below is for 1 of 4 servings (each serving is ½ cup) with the recipe made as written using unsweetened oat milk and no vegan butter. Nutritional data is only to be used as a rough guide. Click here for more info on how nutrition info on this website is determined.