Gluten-free Pudding (ultra creamy, rich, easy!)

This gluten-free pudding is quick, easy and calls for ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. It can also be made vegan and dairy-free.

I already have a vegan chocolate pudding recipe and vegan chocolate chia pudding. Both are paleo and naturally sweetened.

This gluten-free pudding is quick, easy and calls for ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. It can also be made vegan and dairy-free.

The chia pudding is also no-cook, in case you don’t want to turn on the stove!

Today’s gluten-free chocolate pudding recipe is more of a traditional chocolate pudding recipe with milk and brown sugar. But it’s easy to make vegan.

Just use almond milk instead of dairy milk and coconut oil instead of butter.

You can also use coconut sugar for a naturally-sweetened version, if you prefer. I love it either way.

If you don’t have brown sugar, you can use white sugar or probably any other granulated sugar. We just like brown sugar because it tastes a little more complex.

A lot of pudding recipes call for eggs but I prefer starch-based puddings. I don’t find them any less rich than the egg-based ones, which are much easier to screw up.

With eggs, you risk them curdling. With starches, you’re safe as long as you don’t let the pudding simmer too long. You also need to let it simmer long enough to thicken.

I used to make a lot of puddings that thickened while cooking and later broke down into a runny mess in the fridge. I was either over- or undercooking them.

If you’re wondering why – Cornstarch must be cooked to 95°C (203°F) before thickening begins. At that point, it usually thickens fairly quickly and the sauce turns from opaque to transparent. When cornstarch thins after it’s thickened, it’s usually due to continued stirring. Once the thickening network forms, any agitation interferes with the setting process. The sauce thins when the starch network that sets and traps the liquid is broken. Liquid is released and thins the sauce.The Science of Cooking

You definitely don’t need a thermometer for this recipe, though. You’ll see it clearly thicken. Like I said, it’s an easy recipe.

I’ve never had any issues with any of my pudding recipes and neither have commenters and I think it’s because the directions clearly say to not boil the pudding for more than 1 minute.

One thing that’s always important when making homemade pudding – do not taste the pudding and put that spoon back into the pot! The enzymes in saliva will cause pudding to become runny.

I don’t usually share my pudding and so I used to do this all the time, only to find soupy pudding in the fridge hours later.

Is pudding gluten-free?

If we’re talking about this kind of creamy custard-like pudding and not bread pudding, Yorkshire puddings or savory puddings, then yes. Most brands of store-bought pudding are.

At the time of writing, Jell-o doesn’t use any ingredients containing gluten in their puddings but that can always change. They do not, however, label themselves as gluten-free.

You can read more about this in my article here → Is Jello Pudding Gluten-free?

If you’re worried about cross-contamination, it’s always better to find one that’s labeled gluten-free.

Or make your own pudding! I can’t imagine why a homemade pudding recipe would have gluten in it.

I just called this recipe gluten-free pudding because I needed a name.

When you make your own chocolate pudding, you don’t have any nasty ingredients. The stuff in boxes can contain some pretty funky stuff.

This recipe uses cornstarch and I know a lot of you prefer to use arrowroot or tapioca starch. At least I do! But they’re not 100% interchangeable.

If you want to use tapioca starch, please check out the vegan chocolate pudding recipe linked to at the top of this post.

Questions about this chocolate pudding recipe?

  • Can I use a different sweetener?

    You could use granulated sugar but we prefer the taste with brown sugar or coconut sugar. It tastes a little more complex. I think any granulated sugar would probably work.

    A keto version is coming soon! It needs a little more work.

  • Can I use X type of cocoa powder?

    I used Dutch-process because I like the dark chocolaty taste, but natural cocoa powder (like Hershey’s) would work, too.

  • What can I use instead of cornstarch?

    Read the part right above the questions section!

  • What can I use instead of dairy milk or almond milk?

    You can use any kind of milk that you want. I feel like this pudding is already pretty rich but if you prefer, you could use canned coconut milk.

  • What can I use instead of butter or coconut oil?

    Ghee would probably work. If you don’t want to add one of those three options, just omit it. Adding a liquid fat like olive oil would just make it runny.

  • Are all cocoa powders brands gluten-free?

    Cocoa powder is naturally gluten-free, but if you’re celiac, you might want to read Is Cocoa Powder Gluten-free? for more info on brands that are tested and labeled as gluten-free. You can also read more specifically about Hershey’s here → Is Hershey’s Gluten-free?

If you try out this gluten-free pudding, I’d love to hear how you like it! Feedback makes me so happy. :)

Gluten-free Chocolate Pudding (vegan option)

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Gluten-free Pudding (ultra creamy, rich, easy!)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup (29 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (31 grams) cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups full-fat milk or almond milk (or another type of non-dairy milk) for vegan
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) butter or coconut oil for vegan (I prefer refined coconut oil as it has no coconut taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan until no lumps remain. Stir in the milk, turn the heat to medium, and while stirring occasionally, bring to a boil. Let boil for up to about a minute or until the pudding coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil too long or it'll break down later. It's important to not taste the pudding with a spoon and put it back in the pudding! It'll make the pudding break down into soup.
  2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature, stirring every 15 minutes or so, then place plastic wrap over the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Let chill for about 2-3 hours and then serve.
  3. Store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.

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20 comments on “Gluten-free Pudding (ultra creamy, rich, easy!)” — Add one!

  • Dianne says
    November 1, 2022 @ 1:41 am

    Can I quadruple this recipe?

    • Erin replies to Dianne
      November 2, 2022 @ 12:55 pm

      Yes, but use 1/2 teaspoon salt and then add to taste. :)

  • Dianne says
    November 1, 2022 @ 1:30 am

    Looks good! Gonna try it soon!

    • Erin replies to Dianne
      November 2, 2022 @ 12:56 pm

      Thank you! I hope that you’ll enjoy it. :)

  • Jane Savage. says
    January 29, 2021 @ 2:02 am

    Have you heard of anyone having an allergy to Monk fruit?

    • Erin replies to Jane Savage.
      January 30, 2021 @ 6:27 am

      Hello! I’m so glad that you like the recipes and the detailed instructions. :) I really appreciate you saying that! I’ve not heard of anyone with a monkfruit allergy, but I’m not really involved with this topic and have never looked into it. I do believe that anyone can be allergic to anything, though!

  • Jane Savage. says
    January 29, 2021 @ 2:00 am

    I have read your recipes for years. I like the way you test, retest and retest until you get it perfect. I do the same. I appreciate your detailed instructions. They make a big difference. I have a question that l havent started to research yet. I made some cookies with my k fruit and stevia. I think l may have an allergy to Monk fruit. It makes my mouth feel weird. No aftertaste just a strande uncomfortable feeling. Have you heard of this with anyone else. I like the 2 sweeteners you used but l think they are expensive.

  • Donna says
    August 12, 2020 @ 5:13 pm

    When I print recipes from this site there is always a large 3.25-inch blank gap after the title ‘Directions’. Maybe it’s because of the ad or maybe because I use a Mac computer. Subsequently, this recipe, which should fit on one sheet, takes 2 sheets and then I have to cut and paste to get it on one sheet. This never happens when I print your recipes from fooddoodles.

    • Erin replies to Donna
      August 13, 2020 @ 9:07 pm

      I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Has it always done that for you? Do you remember when it started? Thank you for letting me know!

      • Donna replies to Erin
        August 14, 2020 @ 4:35 pm

        Yes, it has always done that on most recipes (but not on all of them). I have been printing recipes from this site for about 2 years and it has happened on over 50 recipes. I am not sure if the issue is with my computer or with your site. Maybe it’s because I print in black & white. At the bottom of the blank gap are the words: ‘Report this ad’, and beneath it, ‘MEDIAVINE’. It seems to be a blank where the photo ad would be. For example, it did this on ‘Peanut Butter Chocolate Oat Balls’.

        • Erin replies to Donna
          August 16, 2020 @ 6:05 am

          Oh, gosh. Thanks for letting me know! I had no idea. I occasionally check but I’m on Windows / Chrome. I’ll have my IT guy look into it.

  • Francine Singer says
    August 10, 2020 @ 5:27 pm

    I am corn intolerant, what do you suggest I use as a substitute?

    • Erin replies to Francine Singer
      August 10, 2020 @ 8:40 pm

      Hi! I talk about that in the post. :) You can also check out the comment below yours.

  • Holly
    August 10, 2020 @ 5:12 pm

    Hi Erin, I read what you said about tapioca replacing cornstarch. You didn’t mention you not like to use that for puddings? I know it doesn’t do well with dairy products but if I’m using non-dairy milk? For some reason it’s just easier on my stomach then the other starters. Can’t wait to make this!

    • Holly
      replies to Holly
      August 10, 2020 @ 5:13 pm

      **starches not starters

    • Erin replies to Holly
      August 10, 2020 @ 8:40 pm

      Hello! I wanted to try out the recipe with arrowroot before posting but just never had time (which is why there was no post last week. I really thought I’d be able to do it!). I don’t have any experience with arrowroot as it’s extremely expensive here and I try to only buy the flours I absolutely have to from the US. Since you’re by far my most active feedback giver (and actually 1 out of only about 2 people who regularly leave feedback!), I just tried it out. :D I googled how to use it and people said you need the same amount as cornstarch and some said to use 1/3 – 1/2 the amount of cornstarch. I wasn’t paying attention and added 1/4 cup arrowroot. Then I realized it was way more than 31 grams and dug out arrowroot until I had 31 grams. I had to stir it constantly as the arrowroot was quick to start sticking to the pan. It hardly had any bubbles before it was thickened. I stopped as soon as it was thickened (I don’t know anything about the properties of arrowroot like I mention about cornstarch and the temperature, etc.) It was super quick. It’s still cooling and right now it’s more jiggly than the cornstarch version. But I’d still totally make it like this again. If you don’t want it jiggly, try 23 grams of arrowroot. I put some in a bowl and had a bite right before I started this comment, then started typing and right now it’s already liquid. I’m guessing because of what I mentioned in the post. But if it breaks down in the fridge later (because I didn’t boil long enough), I don’t know yet. Also, I used cashew milk, coconut sugar, Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot and refined coconut oil. It tastes amazing!

      • Holly Sale
        replies to Erin
        August 11, 2020 @ 2:48 am

        Erin, I just made this. I wanted to leave a comment here and tell you how much I loved it! I used coconut milk in the carton since I was out of almond milk, brown sugar, cornstarch and butter. It is the richest most decadent and delicious chocolate pudding ever!

        • Erin replies to Holly Sale
          August 16, 2020 @ 6:10 am

          Wow, what a compliment. Thank you! :) I’m really glad that you enjoyed it so much. Thanks for coming back to let me know how it went!

  • Charlotte Moore says
    August 10, 2020 @ 4:12 am

    These are some interesting facts about pudding turning runny. Thanks for this info.


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