Whole Living Daily

Vegan and Soy-Free Chocolate Pudding: Food Allergy Recipe Challenge #15

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Recently I’ve been on a pudding kick.  Perhaps not as virtuous as the hemp seed kick I was on earlier this summer, but no less important.  I love pudding.  It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods. When I was a child home sick from school, pudding was always my go-to food.  My mom made it from scratch, but of course, she used cream.

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1 The finished product" Vegan and Soy-Free Chocolate Pudding!

2 Whisk together the rice milk, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder.

3 Next, in a separate bowl, whisk the cornstarch, sugar, and salt.

4 Combine the two mixtures in one bowl.

5 Cook until it coats the back of a metal spoon.

6 Pour the warm pudding into ramekins.

7 Serve this delicious pudding chilled!

8 Voila! PErfectly creamy Vegan Soy-Free Chocolate Pudding!

We are a dairy-free household, so over the years, I’ve been refining my dairy-free chocolate pudding, trying to get it “creamier” without any cream. So, as well as meeting the challenge for you readers who’ve requested allergy-friendly chocolate pudding, I guess this was also sort of a personal challenge.  Creamy dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, egg-free, chocolate pudding.  It just had to be done.

Finding the Right Starch
The key to creating a vegan pudding is starch, as I discussed in last week's challenge “Vegan Crème Brulee”.

But what kind of starch? They’re not always interchangeable. I don’t love the taste of potato starch in sweets, and prefer milder tapioca. So I tried making this recipe with tapioca starch, for those avoiding corn as well. It does work, so if you must, go for it.  But it’s not perfect.  Cornstarch is the racehorse in this particular recipe, going the distance in perfect stride.  For whatever chemical reason, that I have yet to comprehend (Alton Brown, I need you!), the tapioca starch thickens the pudding initially, but then thins out again after cooking.  Cornstarch thickens, and then stays that way. I did not have any arrowroot starch, but I’d be interested to know how it performs in the recipe, if any of you try it.

The final secret ingredient in this recipe is a tiny bit of liquor.  1/4 teaspoon per serving. That’s less than a “nip”, as they used to say.  If you don’t want to include it, it’s not necessary, but it boosts the flavor that extra little notch.


P.S. Sorry I missed blogging last week, but I was in Chicago working on an exciting new project with Enjoy Life! Details soon!

Vegan (soy-free!) Chocolate Pudding

Serves 4

This pudding was such a hit with my kids that my older son tried stealing his brother's portion after he finished his own. You might want to double the recipe if you have more than one child.

  • 2 3/4 cups rice milk
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cognac, or brandy, or rum (optional)
  • Fresh raspberries, optional

1. Combine 2 1/2 cups rice milk, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well,   heating until the chocolate chips are completely melted and combined with the rice milk. Keep just below a boil, to "scald" rice milk. Remove from heat.

2. In a bowl, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Whisk well.

3. Add remaining 1/4 cup rice milk to cornstarch mixture, stirring until smooth.

4. Add to rice milk/chocolate mixture, stirring with a whisk. Continue whisking until pudding thickens to the consistency that it coats the back of a metal spoon.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla extract (and cognac).

6. Divide evenly among 4 ramekins or custard cups. Chill. Serve as is or topped with fresh raspberries.

Vegan (soy-free!) Chocolate Pudding
© 2010 by Cybele Pascal

(Please note that all my recipes are completely free of all top allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, shellfish, and gluten), so as many people as possible can enjoy them. Additionally, all the ingredients are available at Whole Foods, and online at Amazon.com. If you have trouble finding something, let me know and I’ll help you find it.)

SAFETY NOTE: Because each person's food sensitivity and reaction is unique, ranging from mild intolerance to life-threatening and severe food allergies, it is up to the consumer to monitor ingredients and manufacturing conditions. If manufacturing conditions, potential cross contact between foods, and ingredient derivatives pose a risk for you, please re-read all food labels and call the manufacturer to confirm potential allergen concerns beforeconsumption. Ingredients and manufacturing practices can change overnight and without warning.

Cybele Pascal is the award-winning author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook" and the "Whole Foods Allergy Cookbook." She lives in Los Angeles with her food-allergic family: husband Adam, sons Lennon and Monte, and their dogs, Izzie and Carly (who also has food allergies). Please visit her website at CybelePascal.com.

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Comments (23)

  • Can you make a allergy free cream gravy for biscuts? And if you have time ... you may already have done it but the biscuts that go with it. Everything I have tried turns out too sweet.

    * milk
    * flour


  • My daughter's favorite soup is Broccoli Cheddar. But alas, she now cannot eat dairy, eggs, or wheat. Help!

  • shnitzel please? or tempura or sweet and so ur chicken? I'm looking for the art of battering and frying. thanks

  • Wow! This sounds amazing, especially with raspberries and cognac! I think I'll try substituting So Delicious coconut milk for the rice milk, since that's what's in my fridge. Can't wait to try this!

  • Dear Melanie and Kat: thanks for your requests! They are great!

    Eliana: the art of battering and frying will be coming to you soon, i promise, but it's a surprise!

    Haley, that sounds delicious! Let me know how it tastes with the coconut milk.



  • A healthy but tasty breakfast muffin?
    Our kid is dairy, egg, treenut/peanut allergic (but she can have wheat and soy) -- we like to make batches of muffins and freeze them but we find most dairy and egg free muffin recipes are heavy on the sugar and white flour.
    I'm looking for a healthier muffin (oatmeal? whole wheat flour? SOMETHING!) with less sugar that still tastes great. I know you make all your stuff wheat-free, but maybe I will jus swap out whatever flour you use for wheat (or white/wheat combo).
    Anyway, team healthy muffin over here!

  • Thank you so much for your blog and all the wonderful recipes! I am having a problem, though. I am following a diet (prescribed by my doctor for PCOS) that is very restrictive...no grains (except oats, brown rice and quinoa), no dairy (except unsweetened yogurt), no corn or corn product, no peanuts/peanut butter, no potato (but I can have sweet potatoes) and no canned fruit. The main problem I'm having is with the no corn restriction. It seems like corn is in everything, even gluten-free products. Do you have any suggestions or substitutions? Thanks again for your wonderful recipes!

  • Hi Emily:

    Well, for this recipe, you can sub tapioca starch. In fact, anywhere you see corn starch, you can sub tapioca starch. If you have specific recipes, you can leave a request here for me to adapt it for you.



  • Hey Kat:

    I made your daughter's soup challenge! Check it out. http://wholelivingdaily.wholeliving.com/2010/08/allergy-friendly-broccoli-cheddar-soup-gluten-free-dairy-free-egg-free-food-allergy-recipe-challenge-16.html#more-3843

    Hope she likes it!



  • Melanie:

    Your Gravy request will post next monday, 9/13! Thanks for the challenge.


  • Hi Cybele,

    I was just about to do that recipe and I had a concern. You mentionned to remove from heat at point 1 and also at point 5. My english is not so good so I was wondering if I missed something ? Do I have to put the cornstarch mixture on heat ?



  • I just tried making your Vegan Soy Free Chocolate Pudding and I love it, although I ended up adding another tbs. of cocoa powder for an extra chocolaty kick.
    Delish : )


  • Thanks for the recipe and the heads up on substituting with tapioca starch. I suspect a corn allergy.

  • Arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch works great! Thanks for the recipe.

  • This is an AMAZING recipe!!! i swear it thickens up even faster than my favorite vanilla egg custard recipe!! After being diagnosed with gluten, dairy, and egg allergies i was concerned as to whether i would be able to make a good pudding. I was so happy when I found this!! 8]

  • Thank you so much!! I actually have all these ingredients at home- even that brand of chocolate chips! My daughter is having 'worms and dirt' at daycare this week- and I need to make pudding. She can't do dairy, eggs, or soy, and I can't beleive I haven't seen your recipes before. Great!

    To Andrea wanting to make healthier muffins- try quinoa flour or flakes- add a nice texture and flavour, very healthy, and the ones I make freeze quite well. (It's a zucchini recipe, and I swap out up to a third of the flour).

  • I found this website & recipe after doing a Google search for soy free chocolate pudding. My husband is allergic to soy. This recipe is amazing. I left out the cognac and forgot to add the vanilla and it was still great. I made it into a chocolate pudding pie. Made a pie crust made out of walnut meal, evaporated cane juice, water and a little wheat flour (modified recipe from Seven Secrets that originally calls for almonds but we have an almond allergy too), then made a coconut cream (the fatty part of 2 cans of chilled coconut milk, vanilla and equal parts of tapioca starch and powdered sugar, whipped then chilled) and made raspberry sauce with frozen raspberries and sugar. Oh my... Best desert I've made in forever! I didn't hunt for the special chocolate chips, since we have no dairy allergy, just used Ghiradelli bittersweet chips. Super yummy! Thank you so much! My family will be asking for this for years to come!

  • [...] Soy-Free Vegan Chocolate Pudding (also Egg and Nut-Free) [...]

  • Hi! Thank you for doing this! Can you please post a link to a page where all the recipes you have converted are?
    Thank you!

  • Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to work on. You have done a marvellous job!

  • Thank you - can't wait to try this! I'm curious as to whether it would work with coconut milk or coconut milk creamer?

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