“Mexican Hot Chocolate” Pudding

This was an accident. I love chocolate (who doesn’t?) and I love custard (again…who doesn’t?), so I’ve been experimenting with vegan chocolate sauce and pudding recipes.

As a kid, chocolate pudding with whipped cream was one of my favorite desserts. I’d stir it all together and pretend that I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast. (Remember the “Be Our Guest” scene? “Try the gray stuff – it’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!”)

…I was a dreamer from an early age.

What was intended to be a hot fudge sauce for ice cream magically thickened up overnight into a beautiful, silky chocolate pudding. Inspired, I played around a bit with the flavors. The result? This warm, chocolaty custard with just a hint of spice.

“Mexican Hot Chocolate” Pudding

Servings: 2-3 servings


  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 4 oz vegan semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can organic light coconut milk (14 oz)
  • 1/4 cup brewed coffee (or 1 tsp espresso)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/8 tsp almond extract


  1. Whisk together the cocoa powder and corn starch in a saucepan
  2. Slowly add the coconut milk, whisking constantly to avoid clumping
  3. Stir in chocolate chips and coffee
  4. Cook over medium/low heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture just comes to a boil (about 5 minutes)
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining ingredients (add more cinnamon, chili powder, or cayenne to suit your preferred level of spice)
  6. Let cool for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming on the top
  7. Refrigerate for at least 2-4 hours (ideally overnight, but who can wait that long?). Serve when the mixture has thickened to a pudding consistency
  8. It’s best when served within 24 hours, but you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 4 days


  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding: Omit the chili powder and cayenne. Whisk in 2 TBL creamy peanut butter along with the almond extract and salt
  • Mint Chocolate Pudding: Omit the cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne and almond extract. Whisk in 1/8 tsp peppermint extract and 1/4 tsp vanilla extract along with the salt

Helpful hint: Did your corn starch clump? No need to worry! Just pour the pudding through a fine sieve before chilling. Note: It may not thicken up as nicely, but I’ve had success with this recipe even without the corn starch.