Quick and Easy Vegan Dark Chocolate Pudding {gluten-free, refined sugar-free}

This homemade, vegan chocolate pudding is rich, creamy, and silky-smooth, and it couldn't be easier to make! It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, and requires just 7 ingredients. Top with dairy-free whipped cream for a quick, decadent chocolate dessert that also happens to be gluten-free and refined sugar-free!

  • Author: alexandra
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Chill Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x
  • Category: custard, pudding, and mousse
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American



Vegan Chocolate Pudding

  • 20 fluid ounces (2 1/2 cups) full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons) real maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 ounces (about 5 1/2 tablespoons) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3 3/8 ounces (1/2 cup) coconut sugar 
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 ounces dark/bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Whipping Cream

  • cream from two small (5.46 fluid ounce) cans full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated 24 hours
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unrefined powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • fresh berries, optional


Vegan Chocolate Pudding

  1. Whisk ingredients in a saucepan. Add coconut milk to a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan set to (just over) medium heat. Add the maple syrup, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, and salt, whisking everything together well as the mixture heats. Once smooth, allow to come to a gentle boil, and maintain for about 10 minutes, stirring often. At this point, the mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon, although it will thicken substantially more as it cools.
  2. Stir in dark chocolate and vanilla. Remove the saucepan from the burner and immediately add chopped dark chocolate. Stir it in until completely smooth, and then stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Transfer to serving dishes. Carefully divide the hot pudding between four to six small serving jars or ramekins. To prevent a skin from forming, cover the surface of each directly with plastic wrap. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill until set, at least 3-4 hours.

Coconut Whipping Cream

  1. Whip together all ingredients. Open two small cans of refrigerated coconut milk and scoop the cream (not the water!) into a cold mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whip with a handheld electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy and holds its shape (about 1 minute).

Garnishing and Serving:

  1. Garnish: Just before serving, top each pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh berries, if desired.


Ingredients and Substitutions:

  • Use full-fat, canned coconut milk - no substitutions! You'll also need separate cans of coconut milk for the dairy-free whipped cream, and these should be refrigerated for at least 24 hours prior to using them.  For this recipe, I'd recommend buying 6 small (5.46 fl oz) cans of coconut milk, and refrigerating 2 of them for the coconut whipping cream. 
  • Maple syrup can be substituted with agave syrup.
  • Use a good-quality dutch cocoa powder, as well as good-quality dark chocolate. To ensure that this recipe is vegan, make sure your dark chocolate is also vegan. Look for one with around 70% cocoa, or use an even higher percentage to cut back on the sweetness. 
  • Unrefined cane sugar or brown sugar would likely work as substitutes for the coconut sugar in this recipe. You can also reduce the coconut sugar for a pudding that's less sweet. 
  • Use unrefined powdered sugar in the coconut whipping cream to keep this recipe refined sugar-free. While cane sugar will also work, the results may be less smooth. 

Storage and shelf life:

  • Chocolate pudding can be kept refrigerated and covered in plastic wrap until ready to serve. 
  • Whipped cream can be kept in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated. Whisk it briefly to loosen it up before you use it. 
  • Both can easily be made in advance and should keep well for 5-7 days. 

Nutrition facts include optional coconut whipping cream. 

Keywords: vegan chocolate pudding, vegan pudding, easy chocolate pudding, quick chocolate pudding, dark chocolate pudding