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Salted Chocolate Pudding

This homemade chocolate pudding recipe is better than any pudding you’ll ever make from a packet or anything you buy at the store. It’s a cinch to make, and this one is dairy free thanks to vegan chocolate and almond milk.

homemade chocolate pudding in small mason jars topped with chocolate shavings and dairy free whipped cream on a gray surface

Why I love this chocolate pudding recipe

The Gilmore girls really like pudding. Did you know that? So much so that Lorelai was super impressed that her mother thoughtful enough to have it made for the Friday night dinner before Rory’s birthday.

I have never really been a huge fan of pudding, but I thought if the girls like, I could give it another chance – with this homemade chocolate pudding recipe.

More dairy free chocolate recipes: olive oil brownies / chocolate espresso cupcakes / chocolate sorbet / no bake chocolate oatmeal cookies

closeup of a homemade chocolate pudding recipe in small mason jars topped with chocolate shavings and dairy free whipped cream on a gray surface

Making this homemade salted chocolate pudding is easier than ever, too. Even the Gilmore girls could do it. At least I’d like to think they could. I’m positive college-aged Rory could. It’s basically just thickened sweetened milk with chocolate stirred in.

I used two different forms of chocolate to build flavor – cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips – and I used almond milk and dairy free chocolate chips to make this pudding recipe vegan.

More Friday Night Dinner recipes: baked stuffed pork chops / kung pao chicken / apple tarts / Luke’s Diner cheeseburgers

overhead view of closeup of a homemade chocolate pudding recipe in small mason jars topped with chocolate shavings on a gray surface
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Homemade pudding essentials

homemade chocolate pudding in small mason jars topped with chocolate shavings and dairy free whipped cream on a gray surface

How to make chocolate pudding

Whisk the dry and wet ingredients. In your saucepan without the heat on, whisk the dry ingredients with your milk until smooth. Add vanilla extract.

Melt the chocolate chips. Stir in your chocolate chips (be sure to use dairy free if necessary). Heat your saucepan to medium, and whisk or stir frequently until the chocolate chips have melted.

Thicken your pudding. Continue to whisk or stir the pudding until it thickens. You’ll know when it’s done when the pudding easily coats the back of a spoon.

Allow pudding to set. Transfer the pudding to serving containers (we used 4-ounce mason jars), cover and refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours to give the pudding time to set.

Garnish & serve. Before serving, garnish with a sprinkle of coarse salt, chocolate shavings, or favorite whipped cream.

closeup on dairy free pudding (chocolate) in mason jars on a gray surface

FAQs & Tips for making homemade chocolate pudding

Is baking cocoa the same things as cocoa powder?

Yes. Baking cocoa is the same as cocoa powder. Baking cocoa just means cocoa powder that’s not mixed with any other ingredients, like powdered milk or sugar, which would be used for drinking cocoa.

You can use either type of cocoa powder – Dutch-processed or conventional. Since we aren’t actually baking, we don’t need to worry about chemical reactions.

How do you thicken homemade pudding?

This chocolate pudding recipe is thickened with cornstarch. If you want to make it thicker, you can adjust the cornstarch amount. Arrowroot would also be a great substitute for cornstarch in this homemade pudding.

How long does it take for pudding to set?

Homemade pudding takes about 2 – 3 hours to set in the fridge. You could speed the process up by placing your pudding in the freezer.

Be careful not to leave it for too long, or you’ll end up with frozen pudding. I like to make mine at night so it’s set by the morning.

How can I stop skin from from forming in pudding?

To stop skin from forming on your pudding, you need to prevent air from hitting it. The easiest way to do that is the cover the surface of your pudding with plastic wrap or wax paper.

Even more chocolate recipes:

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homemade chocolate pudding in small mason jars topped with chocolate shavings and dairy free whipped cream on a gray surface

Homemade Chocolate Pudding Recipe

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6


Homemade chocolate pudding | Learn how to make this easy, vegan dessert recipe. It’s cooked from scratch in just a few quick minutes on the stove. Use almond milk or your favorite dairy free milk.


  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 3 cups dairy free milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*


  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking until smooth. Add vanilla extract.
  2. Add chocolate chips and turn heat to medium, whisking frequently until chocolate chips are melted.
  3. Allow mixture to continue cooking, over medium heat, whisking occasionally to prevent lumps. Continue until pudding has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Transfer pudding to individual cups and allow pudding to set in the refrigerator for about 2 – 3 hours.
  5. Garnish with a sprinkle of salt, fresh chocolate shavings or whipped cream*.


*Choose dairy free products to make this recipe dairy free

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 280
  • Sugar: 32.6 g
  • Sodium: 384.9 mg
  • Fat: 12.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 3.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: dairy free chocolate pudding, vegan chocolate pudding, how to make vegan pudding, how to make dairy free pudding, chocolate pudding recipe

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    Last Updated on April 13, 2022 by Melissa Belanger

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    Recipe rating


    1. I made this tonight — yum! Added crushed toasted almonds on top as well. This is Delicious and I’ll save the recipe to make again!

    2. I used almond milk, substituted tapioca starch for corn starch and used dark chocolate chips. I’ve only tasted so far but it seems great.

    3. I tried this recipe and it was AMAZING, I made it with almond milk. Even my dairy eating family liked it. Will definitely make it again!!!

    4. Super satisfying and the hint of salt makes everything soooo enjoyable! Thanks for this recipe!

    5. I made this with great success! I used almond milk and arrowroot powder.
      The second time I made it, I halved the chocolate chips and sugar for a “milk chocolate” effect and it turned out great, as well.

    6. Delicious! I cut the recipe to make 4 servings instead of 6, and used unsweetened vanilla almond milk and normal Toll House semi-sweet chocolate chips. As another reviewer mentioned, I think you could certainly cut down on the amount of sugar and/or chocolate chips because it’s so rich and chocolatey, but I loved it as-is. I crumbled a mini chocolate chip cookie on top for some crunch. The pudding is definitely not as thick as store-bought, but that’s exactly the way I like it because it tastes so much more real and less “gummy.” Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

    7. Really good! Except for the part where you put salt on the top??? I took this to work with me and spat it out because it tasted like playdough. So maybe just garnish with chocolate shavings. The coarse salt looks really pretty but there isn’t enough sugar or chocolate in the recipe to balance out that much saltiness.

    8. I am in love with this pudding!!! I don’t care for the salted desserts, so I left out the salt, and this was SO delicious! I ate it warm last night and cold today. What a satisfying treat for someone with dietary restrictions. I rarely find something I actualy like. Thanks for posting this!