Coconut Chocolate Pudding

in Chocolate, Desserts

I have a distinct memory from my childhood of my mother and I buying a coconut with the intention of eating the flesh and coconut milk inside. However, we got it home and sort of looked at each other to see who would make the first move to open it. I assumed that since she was my mother she of course knew all the secrets of the universe and was utterly shocked to discover that neither she nor my step-dad knew what to do. My stepfather, who flew jet planes in Vietnam and assembled my bike on Christmas day, was stumped by this little brown ball in our shopping bag.

So, he went for the solution that is apparently obvious to every guy that is met with an obstacle: hit it really hard with a hammer. Which worked…sort of. We were able to salvage some of the coconut flesh from the pieces that scattered across our driveway, but there was no hope of saving any of the milk. It was a bittersweet day in kid-dom.

Nowadays coconut milk comes in a much more easily accessible packaging. It’s called a can. It’s awesome. Especially when you want to make things like chocolate coconut pudding. Remember when I made chocolate pudding with pomegranate and swore that I had found the best easy pudding recipe? Sorry Deb, but this is by far my new favorite. It was just as easy, but something about the coconut milk gave the pudding a slightly more depth of flavor, without adding in a strong coconut flavor.

And to anyone that doesn’t like the taste of coconut – first of all, I don’t understand you at all, but that’s another story. Second of all, don’t think of this as chocolate pudding with a coconut flavor, think of it as rich chocolate pudding that is made richer by the thick and sweet coconut milk, and I think you’ll be able to get past your bias. And if not, I’ll definitely eat your share.

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

Recipe adapted from Vanilla and Lace

Print this recipe!

The original recipe calls for arrowroot powder. I’m not entirely sure what that is, but I’ll let you know when I find out. In the meantime, corn starch worked just fine.

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (lite is fine), divided
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
dash of salt
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds before opening. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, maple syrup, and the salt to a simmer over low heat.

While that is heating, in a seperate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, corn starch, and cocoa powder. It will look like a smooth chocolate frosting.

When the coconut milk and maple syrup mixture has started simmering turn the heat down to low. Slowly add in the chocolate mixture while vigorously whisking it the whole time. Keep whisking until the pudding  thickens up a bit, about a minute.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Whisk in the chocolate chips and vanilla and keep stirring until the pudding is smooth. Transfer to a bowl  or bowls and place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding.

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina June 14, 2010 at 4:24 am

I’m so glad you made this recipe, I LOVE pudding, and am always thinking up new ways to make it. This recipe is sure to be a real gem.


Naomi June 14, 2010 at 4:36 am

I have fond memories of my dad drilling holes in coconuts with a swiss army knife in hawaii. After we’d drunk the milk he’d split the coconuts open.

I’ve never understood what people have against coconut but it just means that there’s more for me. I’ll have to make this pudding for my dad when I’m in L.A. this summer.


Millys Mini Kitchen June 14, 2010 at 8:07 am

Yum!! These are really making my mouth water. I remember when we first brought home a coconut- we tried hitting it and in the end my dad used an electric drill to drill a hole in it!


DessertForTwo June 14, 2010 at 9:31 am

Where do I click to have this delivered to my face ASAP?


Nastassia June 14, 2010 at 9:31 am

oh yum yum yum! my favorite flavors in pudding form!


Joanne June 14, 2010 at 10:38 am

My mother swears that she remembers drinking coconut from a real coconut as a kid. but she has no recollection of how that coconut got opened. Go figure. Obviously no hammers were involved.

This pudding looks amazing! I love coconut and can’t understand those who don’t either!


Alison June 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm

Can you taste the maple syrup? My husband hates the smell and taste of it but loves coconut. Would he like this recipe in your opinion?


M. June 15, 2010 at 6:49 am

hahaha, funny story with that coconut :)
I also remember my dad drilling holes in it :)
pudding recipe sounds delicious, will have to try it one of these days :) love coconut and chocolate together!


Nicole June 15, 2010 at 9:08 am

Coconut milk in chocolate pudding is brilliant! I’ve never tried opening a coconut, but when I went to Hawaii with my family (quite)a few years back, I’ll never forget watching my dad try to cut a pineapple with a plastic knife. It did not end well.


Caroline June 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

To everyone that suggested using a drill – nice call, I can’t believe we never thought of that, haha.


Adriana from Bittersweet Baker June 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

Hi Caroline!

Your coconut chocolate pudding looks delicious. The next time I have coconut milk on hand, I’ll be sure to try it out!

By the way, I have something for you and Adrianna on my blog towards the end of my latest post.


Cheryl June 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

That pudding sounds amazing! I have not had home made pudding since I was a kid!


Becky June 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Oh my goodness, this looks and sounds AMAZING! My picky eater husband actually likes coconut and I bet he’ll love this. Thanks for yet another great recipe! : )


Angela (Diary of a Deaf Girl) June 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Oh no! I just stumbled across your blog and I think I’ve already gained 10 pounds. I’m definitely trying this recipe!


Baking Serendipity June 15, 2010 at 7:42 pm

The coconut seems like it would add great flavor to the chocolate pudding. Delicious!


Baking Serendipity June 15, 2010 at 7:43 pm

The coconut seems like it would add great flavor to the chocolate pudding. Delicious! You have a lot of fantastic recipes here :)


Caroline June 16, 2010 at 10:55 am

Alison – you definitely don’t taste the maple syrup, it just adds that little extra sweetness that you need. I think you’re husband will love it!


Abi June 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

looks delicious!


Patricia July 1, 2010 at 4:25 pm

I have been wanting to make this for quite awhile and tonight’s the night. After reviewing a few problems on Tasty Kitchen I realized you have the wrong amount of cornstarch listed. Perhaps you should change it to 1/4 cup instead of a tablespoon.


Caroline July 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for the catch Patricia! I just edited the recipe, so it should be correct now!


Jiya Dipti August 16, 2010 at 9:23 pm

that is just so easy and delicious recipe Caroline…thanks much..
well, i must say your each dish is great one…i love these


Foodie December 13, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Hi! I did this tonight & will post photos and a link to you on my blog tomorrow, 12/14/10. It was terrific!! With Belgian choc. and topped with a little sour cherry preserves it was just to die for.


Alyss February 3, 2011 at 10:08 pm

I made this today but had a hard time with the cornstarch. Mixing that much cornstarch with that little coconut milk led to a thick glop with blobs of undissolved starch. The flavor is fantastic, but next time I will dissolve the cornstarch in much more of the liquid.

Thank you!


Flowersbyfarha March 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

This sounds wonderful!

Had lamented on Twitter how I miss pudding since discovering I was allergic to dairy–and then to soy as well. Coconut I can do! And with such gorgeous photos to inspire me, that will be can-do soon!

BTW, arrowroot is some sort of starchy tropical plant. The powder is another natural thickener (like cornstarch). I don’t know if it is a one-to-one trade for cornstarch. Did you use same quantity as listed in original recipe or adjust?



Jan June 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

I just made this and my husband and I couldn’t wait for it to cool so we shared a serving while still warm….it is dreamy! I used about 3 1/2 Tblsp. of maple syrup, and it’s just right for us…one might even bump to 4 Tbsp if you want it a bit more sweet…used a sprinkling of grain sweetened choc chips left from another recipe, and 1/2 of a Ghiardelli 60% dark chocolate bar chopped into pieces. Thanks so much — I will make this for a special treat now and then and can’t wait to serve to company!


Melissa August 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm

Holy moley this is good! I chopped up a Trader Joe’s dark chocolate truffle bar rather than using chocolate chips and it was amazing! I’m making a chocolate pudding pie with it right now – can’t wait to taste it!


maria November 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I just made this for thanksgiving for my dairy free, gluten free daughter. Wow! it is so good. I was going to make her a pie but the recipe wasn’t large enough. So double it if you want a pie. off to make coconut milk whipped cream!


matha March 8, 2012 at 11:15 am

I am on a diet. And I can not have any eggs milk or wheat. I saw this recipe and I am going to try it. I love chocolate pudding so this is a reel life saver.


Suemarie April 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

I just made this fantastic pudding! It is so smooth, and so delicious. You can make it in minutes and have an awesome treat. Thank you so much for posting this!!!


sheryl April 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

how many servings is it?


luv2cook September 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm

I have made micro. pudding (1st time last week) and was pretty darn good. BUT THIS RECIPE IS THE HOLY GRAIL OF PUDDING OMG I have seen that it could be made with COC. MILK and found your recipe. It is AWESOME only change I made was to use rasp. ext. instead of van. chopped my coc. and added that after it cooled down a bit. and next day put rasp. on top. The coc. milk gave it a really creamy pudding. P.S. I keep coc.milk on hand always and use the light milk to save on calories. Thank You for a GREAT RECIPE AND IT ONLY TOOK 5 MIN. TO MAKE


Adrianna Adarme September 21, 2014 at 5:07 pm

HOLLER! YAY! Glad it worked out for you! Love the raspberry extract addition.


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