This Oat Milk Chocolate Pudding satisfies a health-conscious sweet tooth without sacrificing decadence or special dietary restrictions, as the ingredients are naturally gluten-free, lactose-free, refined sugar-free, AND easy to modify for grain-free, dairy-free, and paleo protocols! This chocolate pudding made with oat milk is just as good, if not better, than traditional chocolate pudding!
Can you make chocolate pudding with oat milk? 🤔 You sure can, and no one will ever notice the difference! The oat milk’s natural thickness and luxuriously creamy texture help create a smooth, satiny mouthfeel similar to what you’d expect from traditional milk-based chocolate pudding
This oat milk chocolate pudding isn’t just a dairy-free dream come true. It’s made without flour and sweetened with maple syrup, so you can rest assured this recipe also checks off the gluten-free and refined-sugar-free boxes.
Plus, you can easily tailor this oat milk chocolate pudding to meet your paleo dietary preferences by opting for coconut milk or other nut-based milk options and swapping cornstarch for grain-free arrowroot or tapioca starch.
*Note: I did use Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate for this recipe and it contains milk fat, but it's fine for my lactose intolerance. If you have a dairy allergy, make sure to go with a dairy-free chocolate bar.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Double dark chocolate. If you love dark chocolate, this pudding is made with cocoa powder AND real melted dark chocolate.
- Incredibly rich and creamy. Oat milk provides a creamy, dairy-like consistency in the absence of actual milk products.
- Perfect for packed lunches. With this wholesome recipe, you can skip the Snack Packs and say hello to heavenly, relatively healthy homemade chocolate pudding!
Oat milk benefits. This popular plant-based milk alternative is a good source of fiber and nutrients, especially when fortified with B vitamins.
Ingredients you'll need
- Oat milk – This recipe calls for unsweetened oat milk. Its smooth, creamy texture makes it an excellent dairy-free substitution for regular milk. As a result, this dairy-free chocolate pudding delivers everything you love from its classic dairy-based counterpart.
- Cornstarch – When combined with liquid and heated, cornstarch acts as a thickening agent and ultimately creates a silky smooth, distinct pudding texture.
- Cocoa powder – It's worth noting that the quality of the cocoa powder can significantly impact the taste and texture quality of your finished pudding, so you definitely want to use high-quality, minimally processed, or Dutch-processed cocoa powder here.
- Vanilla extract – The sweet, aromatic floral flavor helps balance the bitter-sweet dark chocolate. Be sure to use high-quality vanilla for the best results.
- Maple syrup – It provides the necessary natural sweetness to balance the bitterness of the cocoa powder and dark chocolate. You can also use honey, agave nectar, or date syrup here. I find that the caramel-like sweetness of maple syrup is the tastiest option for making chocolate pudding.
- Dark chocolate – It builds on the cocoa powder’s robust chocolate flavor while enhancing the pudding texture with a smooth, glossy finish. Use your favorite dark chocolate bar-dairy-free if you have a dairy allergy (I used 60# bittersweet dark chocolate) chopped into small pieces.
- Egg yolks – They elevate the velvety, custard-like mouthfeel and help bind the ingredients so the pudding doesn't separate and become runny.
How to make chocolate pudding with oat milk
Step 1: Make the pudding base. Whisk the cornstarch, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and ¼ cup of the oat milk in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
Step 2: Add sweetener and chocolate. Heat the maple syrup and the remaining oat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it reaches a low simmer, add the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Then, whisk in the pudding base until combined.
Step 3: Incorporate egg yolks. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them apart. Stir in a splash of the hot pudding base to create a smooth paste, then add the paste to the saucepan.
Step 4: Cook until thickened. Return the pudding base mixture to a simmer while whisking constantly and continue until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Step 5: Chill pudding. Portion the pudding in dessert ramekins, cover with plastic wrap taught with the surface, and place it in the refrigerator until chilled.
Step 6: Serve. Serve the pudding cold, garnished with dark chocolate shavings. Finally, grab a spoon, and dig in!
- Temper the egg yolk. To prevent the cold yolks from curdling, add a small amount of the hot pudding base mixture before adding the yolks to the rest of the mixture.
- Stir, stir, STIR! The key to avoiding lumps when cooking pudding on the stovetop is keeping it moving in the saucepan. So, whisk continuously and don’t stop until the pudding is smooth and evenly thickened.
- Simmer gently. Avoid boiling the pudding mixture as it can destroy the cornstarch’s thickening properties and cause thin, runny pudding.
- Don’t skip the cooling time. Once the chocolate pudding is thickened, remove it from the heat, and let it cool slightly before refrigerating. Keep the pudding covered in the fridge until it is fully set.
- Cover before cooling. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pudding, so no air can contact the surface. Otherwise, an unpleasant layer of “skin” may form on the surface as the pudding cools.
For entertaining purposes, serve the pudding in individual dessert glasses and garnish with any of these elegant, dairy-free chocolate pudding toppings:
- Cocoa Powder (dusted on top)
- Chocolate Shavings
- Mini Dark Chocolate Chips
- Fresh Strawberries
- Banana Slices
- Toasted Coconut Flakes
- Sliced Almonds
- Chopped Pistachios
- A dollop of Dairy-Free Whipped Cream
- Oreo Cookie Crumbs (Oreos are deceptively dairy-free and vegan-friendly).
Paleo chocolate pudding
The original version of this dairy-free chocolate pudding was adapted from Paleo Comfort Foods, but I went with more convenient, easy-to-find ingredients for the re-do. That said, if you were hoping for a paleo pudding recipe, make these substitutions:
- Oat Milk → Full-fat canned coconut milk or cashew milk
- Cornstarch → Arrowroot starch or tapioca starch
- Dark Chocolate → Use a 100% dark chocolate bar (fyi-this will make it more bitter) or your favorite paleo-friendly dark chocolate (look for brands like Enjoy Life, Hu, and Lily’s).
Storing & freezing
Storing: Cover each portion of pudding tightly with plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freezing: Transfer the pudding to single-serving freezer-safe bags, and keep it frozen for 2-3 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Yup! Instant chocolate pudding mixes typically call for dairy-based milk, but you can easily substitute oat or any other non-dairy milk (such as coconut, almond, cashew, or soy).
You can easily intensify the decadence of the dark chocolate with flavor-enhancing add-ins like cinnamon, a dash of espresso, a touch of almond extract, or even a pinch of sea salt.
If your pudding is lumpy, it's likely due to inadequate mixing or improper heating during cooking. To fix it, try using a hand blender or a whisk to break up the lumps or strain the mixture through a sieve before chilling.
More healthyish chocolate desserts
- Chocolate Protein Chia Pudding
- Protein Packed Vegan Chocolate Mousse
- Flourless Chocolate Tahini Brownies
- Chocolate Nutella Cake Balls
If you love this dairy-free chocolate pudding with oat milk recipe, I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star 🌟rating in the recipe card below. I love reading your comments and feedback!
Oat Milk Chocolate Pudding
- ⅓ c. real maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tbsp. good quality cocoa powder
- 2 cups unsweetened oat milk
- 4 oz good quality dark chocolate chopped into small pieces, I used 60% bittersweet chocolate- I've listed dairy-free options in the post
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large egg yolks
- In a bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cocoa powder, vanilla and ½ cup oat milk until smooth. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup and the remaining oat milk over medium heat and cook until it comes to a low simmer. Add in dark chocolate and stir constantly until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
- Add in the cocoa mixture and whisk continuously until smooth.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks to break them apart, stir in a little of the oat milk mixture to temper the yolks (very important to prevent the eggs from curdling), then pour it all into the saucepan.
- Return to a low boil, whisking constantly until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Pour into ramekins or dessert dishes and place plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a “skin” from forming.
- Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours and serve cold. Garnish with a little extra shaved chocolate, if desired.
- The key to avoiding lumps when cooking pudding on the stovetop is keeping it moving in the saucepan. So, whisk continuously and don’t stop until the pudding is smooth and evenly thickened.
- Avoid boiling the pudding mixture as it can destroy the cornstarch’s thickening properties and cause thin, runny pudding.
- Once the chocolate pudding is thickened, remove it from the heat, and let it cool slightly before refrigerating. Keep the pudding covered in the fridge until it is fully set.
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