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Half eaten bowl of homemade chocolate pudding with a spoon.
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Homemade Chocolate Pudding from Scratch (Naturally Sweetened, Vegan Option)

This silky, from-scratch pudding takes minutes to make using minimal ingredients and is proven to make even the worst of days better.  Raw cacao powder gives the pudding a rich chocolate flavor (and a boost of antioxidants), but you can use any good quality cocoa powder. Adding chopped dark chocolate at the end gives the pudding a rich flavor and texture. You can use any kind of milk you like, although I think whole milk, 2% milk or canned coconut milk taste best (see the Tips below). You can adjust the amount of sugar you use to taste (start with 3 tablespoons and add another tablespoon at the end, if desired). The recipe serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are (feel free to double the recipe!). Take note that the pudding needs to chill for at least 45 minutes before serving. The pudding can be transformed into this Vegan Chocolate Pudding Tart!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Cooling time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate pudding from scratch, cornstarch chocolate pudding, homemade chocolate pudding, how to make chocolate pudding
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut sugar (or granulated sugar), depending on how sweet you like it
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder or good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups milk (preferably whole, 2% or unsweetened canned coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ ounces chopped dark chocolate, preferably 70% cacao content (about ⅓ cup chopped), plus more for serving
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream or coconut whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  • In a medium pot (off-heat) whisk together the coconut sugar (to taste), cacao powder, cornstarch and salt. Add the milk and whisk until everything is dissolved (make sure to get into all the corners where the dry mixture likes to stick). Measure out the vanilla and chocolate to add later on.
  • Put the pot over medium heat and cook, whisking often, until it reaches a boil (about 4-6 minutes). Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, whisking, 30 seconds longer—the pudding should look thick but still pourable. Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla extract and chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is completely melted and the pudding looks satiny smooth.
  • Pour the pudding into a bowl or divide it between individual cups. Cover with plastic wrap, placing the wrap directly on the surface of the pudding (this will prevent a skin from forming). Refrigerate for 45 minutes (or for up to 4 days), to let the pudding set.
  • Serve the pudding on its own or with a dollop of whipped cream or coconut whipped cream. If you’re feeling fancy, shave some chocolate over top!

Notes

Do Ahead: The pudding can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
Tips:
  • Raw cacao powder gives the pudding a rich chocolate flavor (and is higher in antioxidants than regular cocoa powder). However, you can use any good quality cocoa powder.
  • Adding chopped dark chocolate at the end boosts the chocolate flavor and contributes to the creamy texture. I prefer to use chocolate with 70% cacao content, but you can use any dark chocolate you like (and if semisweet is more your thing, then go for it!).
  • This pudding is naturally sweetened with coconut sugar, but you can use regular granulated sugar if that’s what you have. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your own tastes, depending on how sweet you like it.
  • For a vegan chocolate pudding, use unsweetened canned coconut milk in place of the regular milk. You can use light or full-fat coconut milk. You will need the milk from one 13.5-oz can plus ¼ cup milk from a second can (stir the milk well before measuring, and save the rest for soups, curries or this no-churn vegan mango ice cream!). 
  • You can swap out the cornstarch for arrowroot powder.
  • If you’re not serving kids, you can booze it up a bit by adding a tablespoon of bourbon or coffee liqueur to the pudding when you add the chocolate, as well as to the whipped cream before serving. Ahhhh, perfection.
  • You can transform the pudding into this Vegan Chocolate Pudding Tart!! Use full-fat coconut milk for the pudding, and use the full 4 tablespoons of coconut sugar.
  • Try this Homemade Vanilla Pudding Recipe!