Vegan Chocolate Pudding (paleo, dairy-free)

This vegan chocolate pudding is also paleo but you’d never know it! It’s super rich, tastes like regular pudding and is coconut sugar or maple-sweetened.

Like I mentioned in my last post, these peanut butter oatmeal bars, I finally have some new recipes ready to go. And this paleo chocolate pudding is one of my favorites!

I’ve posted some other healthy pudding recipes like this chocolate raspberry pudding and this chocolate peanut butter pudding, but this time I wanted regular pudding! Without avocados, dates or bananas.

Mr. T referred to today’s recipe as “as good as grocery store pudding.” It’s a huge compliment from him because boxed pudding is one of his favorite things. He thinks the no-cook kind totally fascinating.

I think, and I’m guessing a lot of you would agree with me once you try it, that this pudding is way better than store-bought pudding. It doesn’t taste the least bit healthy (or, well, this isn’t really healthy but it is made with what I consider healthier ingredients) and doesn’t taste coconutty, either.

He also kept suggesting I use this pudding in other recipes. But I have no idea what! Maybe to fill cupcakes? Anyone have some ideas?

Something else he wanted to do was add booze to it. This pudding is so thick you could probably add a few tablespoons after it’s cooked (which would also de-paleoify this pudding).

Or you could not use the full amount of coconut milk (maybe 2-4 tablespoons less, depending on what kind of alcohol you use) and then add that amount after it’s cooked to the pudding.

Like a lot of my recipes tend to be, this pudding recipe is super thick and rich. Light desserts aren’t my thing.

If you’re like me, check out my vegan chocolate ice cream or paleo chocolate cheesecake some for more ultra decadent chocolate desserts.

Since this vegan chocolate pudding doesn’t have dates or bananas, it’s got quite a bit of sweetener. Like 1/2 cup. But it yields 2 cups of pudding and given how rich it is, I think saying that it’s 4 servings is reasonable.

Two tablespoons of maple syrup or coconut sugar for some insanely delicious pudding doesn’t seem that bad! I remember seeing a cupcake recipe once that had 13 tablespoons of sugar in each cupcake. I’m sure it was delicious but holy moly. So much sugar!

For another healthy pudding that’s light on the sugar, try this chia seed pudding from Belly Full! I enjoyed my pudding for breakfast but I suppose this is a healthier option. ;)

Questions about this vegan chocolate pudding?

  • What can I use in place of the canned coconut milk?

    Canned coconut milk is somewhere around 24% fat, which is way more than almond or any other kind of milk. So I don’t think any kind of milk (dairy or non-dairy) would work. For a non-vegan and non-paleo version, you could use whipping cream, which is around 30% fat.

  • Can I use a different sweetener?

    I’ve only tried this chocolate pudding recipe with maple syrup and coconut sugar. Both resulted in a totally normal tasting pudding (meaning there was no aftertaste).

    Honey would work for a non-vegan version. Whether or not you’ll be able to taste the honey depends on what kind you use, as well as what cocoa powder you use. So if you use honey, keep in mind that you might be able to taste it a bit.

  • Can I use X type of cocoa powder?

    You can use any kind of unsweetened cocoa powder. I used Dutch-process because I like the dark chocolaty taste but natural cocoa powder (like Hershey’s) or raw cacao powder will work, too. But I highly recommend Dutch-process. :D.

  • Can I make this less rich?

    You could use a combination of canned coconut milk and almond milk. I think maybe use all but 1/2 cup of the canned coconut milk and use almond milk in its place. I haven’t tried it but that’s my guess!

  • Can I make this thinner?

    Use 1 tablespoon of arrowroot instead of 1 1/2 tablespoons. Also see above.

  • Can you taste the coconut?

    This tastes 100% like regular pudding (at least it did with the coconut milk and cocoa powder I used). I would say the difference is that this is richer and a bit thicker.

This easy vegan chocolate pudding is also paleo but you'd never know it! It's super rich, tastes like regular pudding and is coconut sugar or maple-sweetened. An amazing vegan dessert recipe!

Vegan Chocolate Pudding (paleo, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 10 readers
Vegan Chocolate Pudding (paleo, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 2 cups


  • 1 14-ounce (400-gram) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons arrowroot starch / powder if using maple syrup or 1 tablespoon if using coconut sugar (or cornstarch for a non-paleo version)
  • 1/2 cup (55 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup or 1/2 cup (100 grams) very tightly packed coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • chocolate curls or chocolate shavings for garnish


  1. Add all except about 1/2 cup of the coconut milk to a small saucepan. To the pan, add the cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. Whisk together, turn the heat to medium and continue to whisk occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk with the arrowroot starch in a small bowl until well combined. It may appear lumpy at first but keep stirring and it'll combine.
  3. As the mixture on the stove starts to get hot, whisk more frequently, making sure it doesn't burn or clump together on the bottom. Once it starts to bubble, whisk in the arrowroot and coconut mixture while stirring constantly. Whisking constantly now, cook until thickened. Do not walk away and do not stop whisking! This will take 1-10 minutes depending on how hot the mixture was before adding the arrowroot. Do not let it continue cooking more than one minute after it's thickened - this can cause the arrowroot to break down and will make the pudding runny. It'll thicken a little more once chilled.
  4. Let cool until room temperature, stirring frequently so that a skin doesn't form, and then refrigerate in an airtight container. Garnish immediately before serving.

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43 comments on “Vegan Chocolate Pudding (paleo, dairy-free)” — Add one!

2 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Bridget
    February 15, 2020 @ 7:47 pm

    I made the recipe with almond milk, to reduce the saturated fat (making for my husband who has heart disease.) Used 11 oz. almond milk. Also added (and whisked until melted and blended) 1/4 cup chocolate chips to hot liquid to make a little richer. (Chips vegan, but not paleo.)

    Used Tapioca flour instead of arrowroot because that’s what I had on hand.

    Turned out a little runny, but delicious. He loved it. I’m sure pudding would have been even better with more fat, but it was plenty good.

    • Erin replies to Bridget
      March 10, 2021 @ 10:33 am

      I’m so sorry for just now seeing this! I just found it with a ton of comments mixed in with the spam (I get hundreds of spam messages a day and with the last disaster of a year, I haven’t been checking it). :( I’m so glad that you enjoyed the pudding! I hope you get to try it again with the arrowroot so that it’s not so runny. Thanks a ton for your comment and sorry again. I feel awful!

  • wendy says
    August 17, 2019 @ 9:45 pm

    I made my own version of erythritol+monkfruit, which i used in your chocolate chip cookies–came out great!!!!! so now i want to use this sweetener combo in other recipes. I detest coconut sugar’s taste, but i can not sub one for one my combo for coconut sugar and 1/2 c of maple syrup is too high in sugar impact. how could i make an erythritol+monkfruit syryo that could mimic maple syrup (adding in maple extract for the taste) to substitute? thanks

    • Erin replies to wendy
      September 2, 2019 @ 8:50 pm

      I’m so sorry for my slow reply! I just got back from vacation. You don’t need to add in maple extract for taste. It’s just used here as a sweetener and you can’t taste it at all. I unfortunately have no idea about how to make a low-carb sub for maple syrup. Low-carb sugars and my gut don’t get along so I haven’t been able to really experiment with them. :( I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful! If you come across a good sub that works in this recipe, I would be very thankful if you could share with us!

  • Soz says
    August 6, 2019 @ 4:03 am

    I just bought a huge bag of cacao powder from the store and was wondering if it could be used in place if the cocoa powder? I looked the difference up online but it was a bit confusing and seemed to depend on how the powders were being used…… please help!

    P.s. I was so happy to see a pudding recipe on your site because I feel it’s guaranteed to be a winner. Your paleo chocolate chip cookies certainly are!!

    • Soz replies to Soz
      August 6, 2019 @ 4:18 am

      Never mind I just saw the section of FAQs!!

      • Erin replies to Soz
        August 13, 2019 @ 8:29 pm

        Haha. No problem! :D

    • Erin replies to Soz
      August 13, 2019 @ 8:28 pm

      So happy you like the cookies! :)

  • Mary
    June 22, 2019 @ 9:43 pm

    This is so rich, creamy and heavenly! Absolutely delicious! I made it last week, didn’t last long, doubled the recipe today. My husband walked into the kitchen, saw me eating some and said “I’ll leave you alone with the pudding” lol

    • Erin replies to Mary
      June 23, 2019 @ 8:37 pm

      Haha. What a nice husband. :D I’m glad that you liked it enough to make it again! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Steph says
    June 16, 2019 @ 12:10 pm

    Any idea on what the calorie and protein content of this would be? Thanks

    • Erin replies to Steph
      June 18, 2019 @ 7:34 pm

      I don’t have that info but you could use this recipe analyzer for the nutritional profile. :)

  • Ellie
    April 17, 2019 @ 2:35 pm

    This recipe is amaaaazing. Turned out absolutely perfect and tastes even better than unhealthy pudding! Will definitely be making this often.

    • Erin replies to Ellie
      April 25, 2019 @ 3:23 pm

      Oh, yay! Even better than unhealthy pudding is a huge compliment so thank you. :) Sorry for just now seeing your comment!

  • celeste says
    March 14, 2019 @ 9:46 pm

    This looks so amazing! What a beautiful decadent dessert!

  • fatima
    January 24, 2019 @ 2:47 am

    Just wanted to say (as someone who found your recipe through google search) that this turned out exactly as it looks in your pictures thanks to your excellent and very specific instructions. I did use less cocoa and sugar (1/4 cup each) but around the same amount of arrowroot and it still set up fine. After failing at making a good chocolate pudding more times than I can count, I am so pleased to have found a recipe that works! Thank you:)

    • Erin replies to fatima
      January 28, 2019 @ 8:33 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m really happy that you found a pudding recipe that works! And I’m so glad that you liked the specific instructions. :) I always hate unclear directions when I make recipes! Thanks a bunch for your nice comment and sorry for my slow reply.

  • Alisa Fleming says
    January 16, 2019 @ 7:42 pm

    Now this is decadence! And I must know how you made those chocolate curls so perfect! they never work out that great for me.

  • Eli says
    September 28, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

    Can I substitute tapioca starch for arrowroot powder?

    • Erin replies to Eli
      September 28, 2018 @ 7:50 pm

      Yes, you can! I made it that way recently.

  • Kristina
    September 18, 2018 @ 9:41 pm

    My fiance and I absolutely LOVE this recipe, and it’s so simple! I’ve been trying to find a coconut whipped cream to add on top but I’m not having any luck finding a good brand of coconut cream or milk to work with. What brand of coconut milk or cream do you use?

    • Erin replies to Kristina
      September 24, 2018 @ 7:33 pm

      Hi there! Sorry for just now seeing your comment. I’m so happy that you love the pudding. :D I live in Germany and use a store brand so I’m afraid I’m no help. Sorry I can’t be more helpful!

  • C. Lyon says
    August 13, 2018 @ 12:42 am

    Almond milk worked just fine for me. I’m allergic to coconut.

    • Erin replies to C. Lyon
      August 13, 2018 @ 3:03 pm

      I’m happy that it worked well! Was it nice and thick still? Thanks for your feedback!

  • Laurel says
    July 15, 2018 @ 7:23 pm

    Will there be a noticeable increase in thickness when it’s done? I whisked for 11 minutes while it bubbled, and I never noticed much of a change. Hopefully it will thicken up as it cools. Thank you!

    • Erin replies to Laurel
      July 15, 2018 @ 9:10 pm

      You should notice a noticeable increase after you add the arrowroot starch mixture but no increase in thickness before that. Did it work out?

  • Dee
    May 2, 2018 @ 4:08 pm

    This looks incredible! Love how thick and rich it is!

  • Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert
    May 2, 2018 @ 1:26 am

    Wow! Drooling over this! Perfect!

  • Amy @ Little Dairy on the Prairie says
    May 1, 2018 @ 8:00 pm

    I have a sweet tooth now! This looks amazing!

  • Anna says
    May 1, 2018 @ 7:56 pm

    This pudding looks so silky and delicious! My kids will love it!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    May 1, 2018 @ 7:43 am

    That looks perfect and I love the addition of the maple syrup!

  • Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious says
    May 1, 2018 @ 3:28 am

    What a delicious treat! I love that you used coconut milk!

  • Demeter
    April 30, 2018 @ 3:11 pm

    This looks so rich and chocolatey! I need this in my life right now! Yum!!

  • Varina flavell says
    April 30, 2018 @ 9:16 am

    Yum I made tonight not too sweet delicious with bananas thanks for sharing

    • Erin replies to Varina flavell
      April 30, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m so happy that you liked it. :) Thanks a bunch for your feedback!

  • Natalie
    April 30, 2018 @ 8:21 am

    YUM! This pudding looks absolutely delicious! So easy to make too!

    • Erin replies to Natalie
      April 30, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

      It is! I hope you get to try it out. :)

  • Charlotte Moore
    April 30, 2018 @ 7:40 am

    YUM!! Looks thick enough to dip strawberries in. HA!

  • Brittany Audra says
    April 30, 2018 @ 1:57 am

    This is a perfect dairy-free alternative to pudding! I love how rich, dark chocolate it is…can’t wait to try the recipe!!


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