Nothing beats a rich, decadent chocolate pudding, and this warm cashew chocolate pudding is it! This vegan dessert has all of the richness of a traditional chocolate pudding or pot de crème. It uses dairy-free cashew cream as a base.

Two small, gray ceramic bowls are filled with a rich, deep mocha colored cashew chocolate pudding and chocolate shavings.

There’s really nothing better than a dessert that’s both deeply satisfying and also easy to make. This luxurious cashew chocolate pudding is exactly that.

I have a weakness for all forms of creamy chocolate goodness. This includes chocolate pudding, chocolate mousse, chocolate pots de crème, and chocolate soufflé—though I’ll let you know the day I have any luck making a vegan soufflé 😉

A quest to find the perfect chocolate pudding

I’ve tried a number of bases for vegan chocolate puddings, and I’ve had success with them.

Silken tofu chocolate pudding is a real favorite of mine. Silken tofu is easy to work with, and it imparts some nutrition—especially plant protein—to a tasty dessert.

Avocado can also make a great chocolate pudding. This is a technique that I learned when I was really into raw food. The avocado isn’t detectable, and it creates a silky, rich base for pudding when it’s combined with cocoa powder.

Surprisingly enough, I’ve even used pumpkin as a chocolate pudding base. If you add some fat for creaminess—I add cashew butter—it creates a lovely, versatile pudding that’s nice for fall.

This particular, dairy-free chocolate pudding uses one of my favorite culinary “secret weapons”—cashew cream.

A jar and round bowl have been filled with vegan cashew cream. Another bowl of raw cashews is in the background.

The magic of cashew cream

I’m guilty of pudding cashew cream—which is really just blended cashews and water—into everything.

My all-purpose cashew cream is the luxurious blend that adds creamy texture to my pastas and lasagnas, casseroles and gratins, scones and pies.

This cashew chocolate pudding uses a similar cream, though it’s slightly thicker and richer than my regular cashew cream. The results, however, are the same: luxurious, rich texture, all without traditional dairy.

How to make cashew chocolate pudding

Fortunately, the process of making this pudding is very easy.

A round bowl has been filled with a creamy, white cashew cream. Raw cashews are placed in a ramekin nearby.

Make your cashew cream

You’ll start by blending up your cashew cream.

Normally I recommend either a food processor or a blender for this job. For this pudding, however, the cashew cream should be even more silky smooth than usual. For this reason, I recommend using a high-speed blender, such as a Vitamix or Breville Super Q.

You’ll also add guar gum to the cashew cream. The guar gum functions to thicken the cream, which in turn will thicken your finished pudding.

Warm the cream

Next, you’ll warm the cashew cream in a saucepan. You’ll add cocoa powder and sugar once the cream is warm, stirring to dissolve.

Add dark chocolate

Next, you can add vegan dark chocolate to the warm cream and cocoa.

Garnish and serve

Finally, it’s time to serve the cashew chocolate pudding. I think it’s fun to garnish it with chocolate shavings! They look pretty right when the pudding is served, and they’ll melt into it (yum!) as you dig in.

Cashew chocolate pudding ingredients

A few notes on the main ingredients that the recipe calls for:


Raw cashews work best for cashew cream, rather than roasted. Be sure to soak the cashews for 3-4 hours, or overnight, before you blend them up into cream. You’ll drain and rinse them before blending.

In a pinch, you can soak the cashews for only one hour in boiling hot water.

Dark chocolate

Any dark chocolate that’s vegan is fine here. I love baking with this this one.

Cocoa powder

Any unsweetened cocoa powder will work in the recipe, but if you’re looking for a recommendation, I personally am crazy about this one. It has a deep, but not bitter flavor that is wonderful for desserts.

Guar gum

Guar gum serves to thicken this pudding. It’s a really useful ingredient in gluten-free baking, but it can be costly. If you’d like to substitute the guar gum, then I recommend blending two teaspoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder into the cashew cream instead.


The pudding recipe calls for cane sugar/granulated sugar as a sweetener. You can use coconut sugar to replace it if you like.

An overhead image of two small, ceramic bowls that are filled with a luscious, chocolate mixture. They rest on a white surface.

Meal prep & storage

You have the option of preparing the cashew cream in advance of making the pudding if you’d like to. You can make the cashew cream up to two days in advance of blending up and warming the pudding.

Cashew cream can also be frozen for up to six weeks.

Once prepared, the cashew chocolate pudding will keep for up to three days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Vegan chocolate

Four years ago, I crossed paths with Fran Costigan. She’s the queen of vegan dessert, but I’d never had the pleasure of meeting her.

I ended up standing next to Fran in the appetizer line at a vegan event. I introduced myself, and before I knew it we were chatting like old friends.

Fran told me all about journey to becoming a chef, her grandkids, and the several decades she’s spent sharing vegan activism through sumptuous, dairy-and-egg-free desserts.

I was totally charmed, and we’ve remained fans of each other’s work since.

This cashew chocolate pudding is one of Fran’s recipes. It appears in her wonderful book, Vegan Chocolate. Vegan Chocolate is 300 pages of chocolate bliss. It’s a primer in all things chocolate: cake, brownies, truffles, puddings, ice creams, and more.

Some of the most creative selections from the book include Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles (with flavor variations), a Brooklyn Blackout Layer Cake, a Sacher Torte, even chocolate Moon Pies.

There are two particular features I love about book. First, Fran emphasizes ethical chocolate, recommending ingredients that are fair trade and organic.

Second, Fran is sensitive to food allergies and specialized diets, so virtually everyone, including folks who have soy or gluten or wheat allergies, will find plenty of recipes to make and love in the book.

Most importantly, Fran treats each recipe as a chance to teach you something new about working with vegan chocolate. Her years of culinary teaching experience are so evident. I’ve benefitted from her detailed explanations and extensive glossaries and suggested resources.

So much love and effort has gone into this book; I suppose that chocolate deserves nothing less!

More of my favorite vegan chocolate desserts

In my mind, there’s no such thing as too much chocolate. Here’s a little list of my other favorite, 100% plant-based chocolate desserts:

Two small, white ceramic bowls are filled with a vegan cashew chocolate pudding and shaved dark chocolate.
Two small, gray ceramic bowls are filled with a rich, deep mocha colored cashew chocolate pudding and chocolate shavings.
4.50 from 6 votes

Warm Cashew Chocolate Pudding

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Cashew soaking time 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 12 minutes
Yields: 6 servings


For the pudding

  • 1 3/4 cups basic thick cashew cream (recipe below; you'll need 1 whole batch)
  • 2 tablespoons sifted cocoa powder (12 g)
  • 2 tablespoons cane sugar (26 g)
  • 2 ounces vegan dark chocolate, chopped (57 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 mL)
  • dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)

Basic thick cashew cream

  • 5 ounces raw cashews, rinsed and soaked 3-4 hours, or overnight (1 cup/142 g)
  • 2/3 cup room temperature water (160 mL)
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup (60 mL)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 mL)
  • 1/4 teaspoon guar gum


  • Prepare the cashew cream. Drain the cashews in a strainer. Put the rinsed nuts into a blender and add the water, agave or maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend, starting on low, and quickly increase the speed to high. Blend for about one minute, or until the cream is perfectly smooth. Push any unblended pieces of cashew down into the cream and blend for one minute longer. Add the guar gum directly into the cream, making sure it doesn't land on the sides of the container. Blend on low for 30 seconds, then increase the speed to high and blend for 1 minute. Pour the cream into a container, cover, and refrigerate for for up to three days or freeze for up to six weeks.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the cashew cream gently over low heat until it’s just warm to the touch. Add the cocoa powder and sugar, and stir until dissolved. Remove the saucepan from heat.
  • Add the chocolate and the vanilla and stir until the chocolate is melted.
  • Spoon the warm pudding into small dishes and serve immediately, garnished with some chocolate shavings. The pudding can be made ahead and refrigerated in a covered container for up to three days. It tastes good chilled or at room temperature.


Recipe reprinted, with slight adaptations and with permission, from Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan. © 2013 by Fran Costigan. Published by Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group.
A single, small ceramic bowl is resting on a white surface. It's filled with a vegan cashew chocolate pudding.

I hope that you’ll enjoy every luscious spoonful of this plant-based dessert!


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Categories: Recipes, Desserts
Ingredients: Cashew Nuts
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, No Oil, Soy Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Holidays

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Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Hi Gina! Great recipe, thanks for posting it. I subbed 2 Tablespoons of Arrow root powder since I didn’t have the guar gum. It came out much too thick, just wanted to check to see if you meant two teaspoons instead of tablespoons… Alternatively, I have agar agar powder if you think that would work while hearing in the sauce pan but not sure how much. Thanks!

    • High Joe! Oh boy, you did catch a mistake there. I’m so sorry that you followed that instruction and didn’t have good results. I’m going to try the recipe again with arrowroot when I’m able to, just to see how my batch turns out. But I did mean two teaspoons! It’s a substitution ratio that has worked in some other things, but you never know from recipe to recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out. If you do it with arrowroot again, definitely try 2 teaspoons.

  2. Hi dear:

    Its Marilyn from way back. How are you. I am on a quest to become vegan and of course first things first desserts!

    Love seeing you here!

  3. My favorite chocolate desserts is silken tofu chocolate mousse pie. (or maybe just chocolate chip cookies)

  4. A fabulous chocolate hazelnut mousse I had at Botero at The Wynn Las Vegas. Don’t know how they made it. Would love a silky vegan chocolate cream brulee.

  5. Mine is a vegan tiramisu (using soaked cashews for the mascarpone instead and a few other sub-ins). Espresso, ‘cream’, cookies, liquor, and of course….dark chocolate….heaven in a bowl!

  6. It’s really hard to answer this question, but I’d say a dark chocolate-flavored pudding or custard (much like the recipe you have shared here), either in a dish topped with some kind of non-dairy whipped cream or served pudding pie style in a crust. Yum : )

  7. This looks delicious! I’m a major chocolate lover & the idea of an entire cookbook full of vegan chocolate is amazing!

  8. I am drooling over the keyboard as I type this! I think I just died and went to heaven! Even if I don’t win, I plan to purchase this immediately.

    Thanks to you and Fran for the giveaway 🙂

  9. Can there be only one favorite chocolate dessert, LOL? One of my favorite special chocolate desserts is Sachertorte, so I immediately perked up when I saw that there’s a recipe for vegan Sachertorte in Fran’s cookbook! I would be in heaven!

  10. Loooovve blondies. I realize chocolate only plays a small part in blondes, but… they MAKE the dish!

  11. I think my favorite chocolate dessert is a decadent multi-layer chocolate cake! I would absolutely love to try out recipes from Fran’s book – they look fantastic!

  12. After years of rejecting dark chocolate, have finally come to appreciate the flavor and health benefits! 😉

  13. My favorite chocolate dessert…oh man is that a tough one. I have to go with anything that has loads of fudgy chocolate frosting in/on it 🙂

  14. Favorite Chocolate Dessert? Proof Cake. I don’t know where I found the recipe, but it’s a vodka cake with chocolate ganache and chocolate filling. I have not made I started experimenting with veg**ism, but I think I could probably get the components I need from this book.

  15. My favorite is Sour Cream Chocolate Cake, which was always my birthday cake growing up. A few years ago my mom went ahead and veganized it for me! Perfect.

  16. I love the chocolate pudding made with avocados. I’ve never used cashew cream before, but this looks amazing!

  17. I have to pick a favorite! That’s so hard–chocolate is my favorite! But let’s go with anything chocolate peanut butter.

  18. Hmm, a favourite dessert.. . I would have to say chocolate vanilla cupcakes.

    This book sounds delicious. Are any of the recipes in the book gluten-free?

  19. My favorite chocolate dessert has to be good ol’ fashioned vegan chocolate chip cookies or a rich and decadent chocolate cake! (Birthdays especially)

  20. I think my current favourite chocolate dessert has to be chocolate avocado pudding so easy, so versatile!

  21. Favorite chocolate dessert is a warm chocolate cake I make single serving in a mug!

  22. I love Fran an have a great story with this book! I borrowe it and made my Austrian Grandma the Sachertorte. At 89 she had her first ever eggless, butterless cake and couldn’t believe it! She loved it of course and reckoned it’s pretty authentic (she has VERY high standards and has tried almost every Sachertorte in London on her quest to replicate her Viennese childhood). I tweeted Fran but I hope she knows what a feat she pulled off!
    WIsh this giveaway could get me my own copy 🙁 International competitions pleeeeeese
    h xx

  23. I had the good fortune to sit beside Fran on a bus ride from the Berkshires in western Massachusetts to New York City over 20 years ago. As you said, Gena, Fran is one of the nicest, most talented people I’ve ever met. I was once at a party where Fran brought a frosted chocolate layer cake. I never got to try it because everyone else hoovered it right up. Kudos Fran. You are a goddess in the kitchen!!!

  24. Favorite chocolate dessert sounds gross but is really good– pumpkin , maple syrup, dark cocoa powder, vanilla, and a pinch of salt, all swirled together and chilled. Like pudding!

  25. I looove this chocolate torte from The Vegan Plate by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. This pudding sounds like a must try! It’s only 9 am but I’m craving it after reading this post.

  26. Asking what my favourite chocolate dessert is is a silly question–I don’t believe in having dessert UNLESS there’s chocolate in it! And I’ll eat pretty much anything with chocolate!

    This book has been on my “must buy list when I get the money” for too long now. Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. Omg this looks sooooo good! I’ll be purchasing this book ( I purchased yours on my iPad and I love it btw!)

    I want to make the pudding but I believe you left out some directions, Gena. You don’t mention what to do with the vanilla extract and 2 oz dark chocolate (I assume you stir them in until they melt after the sugar has dissolved, but please update)

    • Sorry Amy! Just added that step (you whisk the chocolate and vanilla in after you remove the cream base from heat).

  28. there are so many favorite chocolate desserts that I love. it really depends on my mood. probably one of the best discoveries I’ve made is a pan of ooey gooey vegan and gluten free brownies made with pumpkin!

  29. Lately, my preferred dessert has been a couple of pieces of good, fair trade dark chocolate!

  30. i just added this book to my wishlist on amazon, but since i am not working, winning would be the best bet of actually getting one! thanks for the wonderful blog!

  31. Vegan Chocolate cookbook? YES, please!!!! This sounds like a fantastic idea for a cookbook. If I don’t win the giveaway, I’m sure I’ll just go buy it ;p
    So glad you could share a recipe with us – I want to make it right now =)

  32. This looks luscious. When does the 2 oz dark chocolate go in? I think that is missing from the instructions.

    • Karen, sorry! Just updated the instructions. You whisk it in (along with the vanilla) right after you remove the cream base from heat.

  33. Just ONE favorite? Hmmm….that’s a toughie. Probably fudge, because they’re bite-sized and are great to-go items! 😉

  34. I’m drooling as I read your post! Thanks for sharing this recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  35. This looks dangerous for a pregnant lady who is craving everything chocolate.

  36. Ooh, thank you for this recipe! It’s so nice to see a vegan chocolate pudding recipe that doesn’t involve avocado (sorry, Gena!) or tofu. Looking forward to trying this!

  37. The cookbook looks AMAZING!! My favorite chocolate dessert is virtually any type of chocolate cake.

  38. I love homemade chocolate truffles, especially with a little bourbon added to them…so yummy!

  39. Does just eating chocolate count as a chocolate dessert? ha. I’ve become pretty obsessed with Taza chocolate – it’s stoneground, and I love the texture! I have a few squares of their 70% dark chocolate (vegan!) three or four times a week.

  40. A good quality dark chocolate with sea salt bar makes me very happy. Thanks for the giveaway, I had this book from the library and was drooling over the gorgeous pictures.

  41. I’ve never been that girl that experienced intense chocolate cravings…..until recently. Now morsels get devoured straight from the bag. Perhaps a book of recipes would help me enjoy chocolate slightly more elegantly. I say “slightly” because I really plan on inhaling it with a spoon.

  42. Mmm. Lately I’ve been whipping up an avacado with a bit of maple syrup, raw cacao and tossing in some blueberries to satisfy my sweet tooth. Would love to try these recipes.