A delicious chocolate pudding filling sits inside a simple crust for a homemade dessert just like grandma used to make!
If some of us are honest, there’s one part of the Thanksgiving meal that we look forward to more than most…the dessert. Sure, the mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, rolls, corn casserole are all delicious…there’s no arguing with that.
But the best part of the meal comes later, when the pies are brought out and everyone sits down with a slice or two of pie, topped with a big dollop of whipped cream or CocoWhip. Everyone is already pleasantly full, (hopefully not too stuffed!), and a luscious dessert and a cup of coffee or tea is just the way to end Thanksgiving day.
Since we’re heading into the holiday baking season, I wanted to share a holiday favorite from my childhood. I remember many family holidays growing up where chocolate pudding pie was served, and it’s always what I chose when it was time for dessert.
But the chocolate pudding pie from my childhood isn’t safe for those with food allergies – it was laden with gluten, dairy, and other additives that we avoid today. I decided to remake this pie so that those with food allergies can enjoy it on their holiday menu this year. This version is gluten free, vegan, and free of the top 8 allergens.
And best of all, it’s very rich and delicious.
It’s not difficult to make a dairy free chocolate pudding. The process is the same as making pudding with dairy, but I use coconut milk instead. You can probably use any non-dairy milk that works for your diet – I used to make it with almond milk before we had nut allergies in the house, and I’ve also heard that soy milk works well.
A basic crust made with gluten free flour is fairly easy to make and can be made ahead of time. You can also use regular flour if you don’t need to be gluten free, or you could make a no-bake crust with cookie crumbs and vegan buttery spread if you want to simplify this even more.
You can this dairy free chocolate pudding pie with whipped coconut cream if you wish – it’s very easy to make!
You can make either the crust or the entire pie the day before you plan to serve it. Keep the chocolate pudding pie refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it to your guests, and make sure you get to sit down and enjoy a slice, too!
Chocolate Pudding Pie (Dairy Free, Vegan, GF).
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups gluten free flour blend
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
- ½ cup vegan buttery baking sticks or spread chopped in small pieces
- 4-5 Tablespoons ice water
For the pudding layer:
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup organic cane sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup full fat coconut milk I used So Delicious Culinary Coconut Milk
- ½ cup refrigerated coconut milk beverage I used So Delicious brand original coconut milk beverage
- ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
- 1½ cups refrigerated coconut milk beverage
- 3 Tablespoons corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 3 Tablespoons refrigerated coconut milk beverage
Place the gluten free flour blend, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the vegan buttery baking sticks or spread, and use a pastry cutter to blend in until the dough resembles coarse crumbs.
Add 4 tablespoons of water, and mix together with your hands, being careful not to over mix. Add the other tablespoon of water if needed. Pat the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the dough, and place on a piece of parchment that has been covered in gluten free flour.
Using a well-floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a 12 inch circle. Lift the dough on the parchment and flip it carefully over on top of a 9 inch pie pan. Carefully peel the parchment away, then pat the dough into the pan, trimming off the excess and crimping the edges.
Put a piece of parchment in the bottom of the pie pan and put an oven safe ramekin or some pie weights on top to weigh it down. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then remove the ramekin and bake for about 10 more minutes until the pie crust is dry and the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
To make the chocolate pudding: In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the cocoa powder, organic cane sugar, salt, ¾ cup full fat coconut milk, and ½ cup refrigerated coconut milk beverage. Stir over medium heat until it just barely starts to simmer. Add the dairy free chocolate chips and stir until melted.
In a small container, combine the corn starch or arrowroot powder and the 3 Tablespoons of coconut milk. Stir well to remove any lumps and set aside.
Add the 1½ cups refrigerated coconut milk beverage to the pan and raise the heat slightly. Stir constantly until the pudding just starts to bubble.
Drizzle the corn starch mixture into the pudding while stirring constantly. Continue to cook over medium low heat for a couple of minutes until the pudding is fairly thick.
Pour the chocolate pudding into the pie crust. Let cool at room temperature for about 30 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator to cool completely.
Serve with your favorite whipped topping, or whipped coconut cream.
Be careful not to over mix the dough or it will become too tough.
If you don't need to be gluten free, regular flour will be fine. Some blends that will work well for crust are King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour or Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Flour.
If you’re looking for a no-bake dairy free pie, try this delicious vegan French silk pie.
Can this be made ahead of time and Frozen?
I noticed one other person asked this but didn’t see the answer, what is the difference between all these coconut milks? For full fat I am guessing canned and for refrigerated I’m guessing box but I have never heard them called by these names before.
We love your chocolate pudding recipe. Would it work to use that in a pie crust?
In your recipe you list coconut milk and I added it up and got a total of just over 2 3/4cups is that right?
What is culinary coconut milk? I bought a can (A taste of Thai – brand) of coconut milk since I couldn’t find So Delicious. Would this work as a replacement or could it be too thick or thin, maybe?
You can use regular full fat coconut milk or coconut cream. So Delicious discontinued their culinary coconut milk unfortunately.
Hello, this looks wonderful. Can you please explain the difference between the coconut milks listed? I’m new to this and keep getting confused in my research about what is what. I have unsweetened organic coconut cream, the So delicious culinary coconut milk, and canned light unsweetened coconut milk in my pantry. Can the last be used as refrigerated coconut milk? Can unsweetened vanilla refrigerated almond milk be substituted as refrigerated coconut milk?
Canned light coconut milk is probably a bit heavy, but I haven’t tried it in this recipe. I would recommend the vanilla almond milk as a sub for the refrigerated coconut milk.
What do you use for gf flour?
We often use King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour.
Man oh MAN this pie is making my mouth water! I’ve been a huge fan of creamy chocoalte pies since I was a kid, and I’m loving this healthier version of the classic treat. Bravo, sister!
Thank you, Julia!
Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar
I love chocolate pudding, which I usually make with lactose-free milk. I’m curious to hear that you had success with almond milk–I’ll have to try that sometime too. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday and enjoy all the dishes, dessert and otherwise. ;)
Thank you! I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, too!
Christine | Mid-Life Croissant
OMG This is THE pie from my childhood. EVERY holiday. Except, in my childhood, the pudding was from a box, the crust was store bought (and glutinous) and it was topped with Cool Whip. Ah, the 70s……