Coconut Chocolate Pudding

A deeply dark and impossibly decadent coconut chocolate pudding. Creamy coconut milk base infused with a whisper of warming spices.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

This chocolate pudding recipe took a while to get just right. It took almost thirty dollars in premium chocolate and many lackluster attempts to come up a version special enough to share with you. Before this there were bland puddings, runny puddings (yuck), and oddly rubbery ones as well. But this version is a keeper.
chocolate pudding in a glass bowl with whipped cream on top

This chocolate pudding is deeply dark with intense chocolate flavor. It is rich, glossy, fragrant, and silky smooth. I use a coconut milk base in place of dairy, and infuse the mixture with a whisper of warming spices to give it a wink of something special, a bit of unexpected magic.

Hitting the Mark

On my journey to the final recipe, I ran into a number of problems that needed to be addressed. I had a pudding in mind, and a game plan of how to achieve it. The version in my mind was a serious and sophisticated dark chocolate pudding. I planned to use a dairy-free coconut milk base, arrowroot would be used as the thickener, non-alkalized cocoa powder (natural, not Dutch processed) would be enlisted, as would semi-sweet chocolate. I'm usually somewhat close to the mark when imagining how ingredients will come together into a final creation or recipe, but my first attempt here was wildly off. The pudding took almost twelve hours to achieve any sort of set, and even then it was on the runny side.

ingredients for chocolate pudding in a bowl


It dawned on me the acidity in the non-alkalized (natural) cocoa powder might be rendering the arrowroot thickener ineffective, so I corrected for that variable and made changes a bit at a time over the course of five batches until I finally had a chocolate pudding recipe that matched the one in my imagination. It’s a beautiful silky texture glossy triumph.  If you love a little pot of chocolate pudding as a treat, this is one to try. Pictured below is the slurry of ingredients that will be added to coconut milk over heat.
ingredients for chocolate pudding mixed together in a bowl

The great thing about making chocolate pudding like this one?  It only takes a few minutes of active cooking time. As far as substitutions go, if you want to use regular or low-fat milk, give it a go. You can use cornstarch in place of the arrowroot, but it didn't deliver the smooth glossy texture and sheen that came with using arrowroot powder. I also mention a few other variables to play with in the recipe head notes.

a bite of chocolate pudding on a spoon with a bit of whipped cream

Variations: Chocolate Pudding

  • Toasted Almond Chocolate Pudding: Swap almond extract instead of vanilla extract. Swap out the toasted coconut for toasted almond slices, and skip the curry powder.

chocolate pudding in a glass bowl with whipped cream and toasted coconut on top

More pudding recipes:

  • Glissade Chocolate Pudding: This is my other favorite chocolate pudding. It is ridiculously rich and wonderful. It's not like a typical American chocolate pudding, it has no milk, cocoa powder, or cornstarch (or arrowroot). It's more of a deep, concentrated, dark chocolate mousse, although if you're used to chocolate mousse that has whipped cream folded in, it's different from that as well.
  • Tapioca Pudding: If you're on the lookout for a creamy, delicious, vanilla-spiked tapioca pudding recipe, this is it. Inspired by the tapioca enthusiasts in my family.
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Coconut Chocolate Pudding

5 from 1 vote

Use chocolate that is 60-70% cacao. If you want to use regular or low-fat milk in place of the coconut milk, you can. Be sure to let the pudding chill and set well.

  • 1 14- ounce can of coconut milk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoons alkalized dutch-cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 3.5- ounce bar semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted in a dry skillet
  • To serve: whipped cream, lightly whipped, lightly sweetened
  1. Shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, sugar, and the salt (just) to a simmer over low heat.
  2. While that is heating, in a separate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot powder, spice blend (or curry powder), and cocoa powder. It should look like a chocolate frosting.
  3. When the coconut milk and sugar mixture has started simmering take about 1/4 cup of it and whisk it little by little into the arrowroot mixture, creating a slurry. Turn down the heat to the very lowest setting. Now drizzle the arrowroot slurry mixture into the simmering pan of coconut milk whisking vigorously all the while. Keep whisking until the pudding comes back up barely to a simmer and thickens up a bit, about a minute.
  4. Remove the saucepan from heat, continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Now whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the pudding is smooth. Place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding. Serve dusted with the coconut flakes and a tiny pinch of curry powder.

Serves four.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

Post Your Comment

Recipe Rating


Mmm. This looks delicious.


I think someone else may have said this, but I love the fact that chocolate pudding can be dairy free. The coconut milk adds such great flavor too. One more fabulous recipe to add to my collection =)

Polish Pottery

yes to tapioca!!!! especially one with coconut milk in it!


I made this as dessert for a recent dinner party -- the guests really enjoyed it, but it was way too thick and not quite as chocolatey as I'd hoped. I think part of the problem is that I let the coconut milk simmer too long while mixing up the arrowroot concoction, and therefore my proportions might have been off. Could it be that different brands of arrowroot have different 'strengths'? Anyway, I think next time I will start will less arrowroot and more melted chocolate.


SO decadent!

Steamy Kitchen

I made this last night, it was amazing, and had the exact same thought as sam; I put together another batch today and it'll go into the ice cream maker. THANK YOU!


Does the coconut taste come through? This would be a big problem for this coconut-o-phobe..So if someone could answer the earlier question about soymilk....


ooooooh, that looks so incredibly delicious I want to run home and start making it right now. And I don't even like coconut that much!


This sounds so amazing. I'm printing it right now and am looking forward to making it to get my chocolate fix AND sate the sweet tooth of my vegan boyfriend!


Thank you for such wonderful recipes. I also very much love the attitude and knowledge you have of cooking. It's a real inspiration. If you do get the time, I would be very excited to hear about your dad's tapioca recipe!


I tried this pudding last night. Very good and fairly easy to make. My one suggestion, leave out or cut back on the curry powder. It is a bit over-powering for the recipe - especially if you use good chocolate! :-)


Using coconut milk for chocolate pudding sounds divine.


Wow, that looks amazing! (I am one who would definetely appreciate a good tapioca pudding recipe!!)


Jes, I learned about kuzu in culinary school (the natural gourmet in nyc) and think it's fantastic! First of all it is processed very little - just a japanese root that is powdered, unlike highly refined corn starch. It strengthens the digestive system, and is effective in relieving anxiety and promoting good sleep. I like to make a fruit pudding with 1/2 cup each of hempmilk and juice, with a heaping tablespoon of kuzu (make a slurry with some liquid) and bring to a simmer, stirring, until thick. Delicious and relaxing! Heidi, you rock! Another vote for tapioca please!


Hello Heidi, I've been a fan of your site for a long while now. You've inspired a lot of cooking in my kitchen, thank you. This pudding sounds amazing. I'm so pleased there is as little sugar in it as there is; I have to watch my sugar intake. I wonder, though, if you've tried kuzu as a thickener, and what you think of it. It was recommended to me by a chef friend of mine to use in puddings. Thanks for this recipe, I'll make it for my sweetheart soon.


The Cocunut Chocolate Pudding sounds delicious! I will definitely be giving that one a try. Thanks for sharing!


Oh how divine! Two of my favorite flavors, in a sophisticated (and gluten-free) combination. I will have to try making this soon.

Gluten-Free Bay

Looks soooooooo good! Thanks for the recipe!


DROOL. You realize, Heidi, that I am blaming you for making me obsessed with chocolate pudding tonight. Thankfully, I bought a fancy chai-flavored chocolate bar that I can use with my organic cocoa. Sadly I don't have arrowroot. I want some! In fact, I had a terrible time with a homemade pudding mix a month or so ago that I had to turn it into a chocolate cake. Funny how that works. :)

Uncle Hannah

OMG--best textured, most delicious custard I ever made. Many, many thanks.


You've put two of my favourite things together and that picture looks so amazing! I don't usually eat pudding but I must save this recipe. :)


i made it and ate some just now. i must thank you for this utterly delicious, wonderfully satifying pudding which looks as beautiful as your picture and tastes as good as you promised it would!


Wow, I think you have just invented my fiancees ideal pudding! He'll love me for this, so I'm on the hunt for arrowroot. I reckon I will toast and grind my own spice mix, thinking cardamom, cinnamon and a whiff of chilli. Thanks!


"It dawned on me the acidity in the non-alkalized cocoa powder might be rendering the arrowroot thickener ineffective..." Yes. That is the conclusion I would reach, as well. Actually, I'd probably just glare at the ingredients and eventually give up. :P Wonderful recipe!


Decadence is my middle name. Thanks for this!


What a dedicated pudding afficionado! This sounds really wonderful, I, too am all about the smoothness of pudding- I think tapioca lovers are a different breed. And I have a husband who actually likes the skin that forms on top!

Deborah Dowd

This recipe looks so delicious! When I read the recipe, I knew it was a winner. Thanks for sharing this with us. As a chocolate lover, this is mouthwatering!

Susan Billie Taylor

This looks wonderful and I will be trying it. And do bring us some tapioca recipes. Especially if you can make some that don't have little bits of egg yolk or white floating around in them. (A pet peeve.)


I tried all (ate most of) the failures and I have to say they were all good. Not that I didn't want Heidi to get it perfect and make another batch...


Sounds delicious. I'm going to try this, as was suggested in an earlier comment, as a pudding pie. I wonder what kind of crust would work well? Something like an apple pie crust or a graham cracker crust?? Any suggestions?


I admire your determination. Beautiful color combination. This is a must-try for a chocoholic like me. Thank you for the recipe.


Ohh, YUM!! I can't wait to try this! Hmm, I think today!!!!!! Now mine won't have the gloss as I'll have to use cornstarch. It's hard to get arrowroot around here. :( I've been wanting a really good chocolate pudding. Thank-you! Sap, give the curry a try! I have a little experience with spiced chocolate and it is good! and if you don't like it, you can always leave it out of the next batch. -Gringa in Mexico- Ps: count me in on the tapioca.


I made chocolate pudding 2 days ago. It was that "bland, flat, and gelatinous" type that you mention. I was quite disillusioned; but your new recipe has given me hope. I am excited to try it...v.


delicious so cute pudding

YOYO's Food

I have just been savoring the last of David Lebovitz' divine chocolate coconut sorbet (I used the lite coconut milk and it's plenty rich)... this looks equally divine! I can't wait to try it! Yum! And, YES on the tapioca!


Mmmmmmmm...pudding. I'm so on it...

Sarah Mac

Coconut + chocolate = YUM! I will be trying this one out for sure. Thanks! .. and bring on the tapioca!


Hi Heidi & everybody reading this, As much as I love chocolate with coconut, I am a bit 'scared' by the curry... I can't think of anything I might have eaten with the curry+chocolate combo. Could you/someone please give another shot at describing this 'unexpected, ambiguously exotic je ne sais quoi' before I cowardly skip this recipe? Cheers, Sap ps. Love your ideas by the way. Tried a few of them already, and they were delicious! I look forward to trying more.


That looks/sounds truly delightful, Heidi--can't wait to try it!

Eric Gower

Huh, I always thought chocolate pudding was so simple and easy to make. But isn't chemistry funny, how if you alter one ingredient (like alkalized verses dutch cocoa powder) it can throw the whole balance off. I'm sorry about all that wasted chocolate, but I'm glad we get to reap the benefits of your trials and successes. I like the chocolate-coconut combination, it makes wonderful sorbet as well.


"Pot chocolat" with a French accent? Try "Po" (rhymes with slow) and "shock-oh-la" (rhymes with bar) - run it all together as one word and say it softly and sensuously. Voila!

Barry (The Unwilling Cook)

Now you're talking MY sort of food! I'm an unabashed chocoholic. Just looking at it makes me drool... and wanna cook!

Barry (The Unwilling Cook)

Dear Barb If you call it custard or blancmange as the Brits do maybe that would also add a bit of "je ne sais quoi" when describing it to your friends Try calling it "pot chocolat" (I think theres an accent in there somewhere but don't know how to get it) as the French do. What's in a name though with something as delicious as this.

Heidi A-P

I was always good at custard and blancmange making never getting lumps when cooking in the conventional way but my dad uses the microwave for sauces and custards and I thought I would try. It's perfect and less washing up. I would welcome anyone's comments on microwave cooking. Do you think it is truly safe? I've had these emails telling me not to use plastic and try to heed this but....

Heidi A-P

You are a wizard.


Oh my goodness, the coconut milk and spice blend look like amazing additions.


This is making me hungry. I'm a big fan of any pudding, it's great stuff, but I too am partial to the tapioca. I just bought a bag of the large pearl variety for making bubble tea, but I might take a bit out for pudding experiments as well. Thanks for the inspiration.


So yummy... Exotic and beautiful pudding. Great work, Heidi!


Heidi- I make tapioca (sometimes even large pearl!!!) with goat's milk. Wowowow!!!! So good (especially with fresh strawberries). Just tapioca, goat's milk, good vanilla. I think it would be pretty interesting with coconut milk too :-)


My mouth is watering!!!!!!! =)


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