(Vegan!) Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

bowl of vegan chocolate tapioca pudding
I have been thinking about vegan chocolate tapioca pudding for the past 5 years. This usually occurs in the bathroom. Before you jump to any disturbing conclusions, please let me explain.

cans of coconut milk
Jay keeps q-tips in a plastic half-pint container which fits handily in the space under the medicine cabinet. This container happens to have held, many years ago, before my living with Jay was even a twinkle in either of our eyes, vegan chocolate tapioca pudding from the Staff of Life in Santa Cruz. I know this because of the faded, yellowing label on the lid of the container, which taunts me daily.

dry tapioca in a pot
Sadly, though I often wish for the contrary, the contents of said container never vary: always I am greeted, post shower, with convenient and sanitary, though inedible, q-tips, rather than a bowl of cool, luscious, chocolate infused tapioca.

close up of vanilla pod
I decided to put a stop to this madness, and just make the darn tapioca already. I’ve used Heidi Swanson’s kick-ass recipe several times, which gets everything just right, including the ball-to-pudding ratio, sweetness, and reduced soaking time. I’d been planning to make a chocolate version, and wondered whether the egg yolks called for were truly necessary (they aren’t) and whether coconut and soy milk could be subbed in order to satiate my many lactose-intolerant friends (they can).

close up of chocolate tapioca pudding
This recipe is gluten, dairy, egg, and (almost) sugar-free, but tastes voluptuously rich, creamy and decadent. Chocolate and rich coconut milk cover up that tell-tale vegan flavor. No one would ever guess this wasn’t made with gobs of cream and sugar.

chocolate chunks
Unlike revenge, this pudding is best served slightly warm, when it has the texture of soft-serve chocolate ice cream and the flavors really pop; cold it is firmer; still chewily addictive any time of day (yes, even for breakfast). You may want to make a double batch, as this pudding disappears quicker than you may like, especially after all that stirring.

spoonful of tapioca pudding

More Chocolate Vegan Dessert Recipes:

More Pudding Recipes:

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bowl of tapioca pudding
5 from 1 vote

Vegan Chocolate Tapioca Pudding

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This recipe is gluten, dairy, egg, and (almost) sugar-free, but tastes voluptuously rich, creamy and decadent. 
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Soaking time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings (makes about 1 quart).


  • 2 cups milk or plant milk, such as coconut (the kind for drinking), rice, oat, almond, or your favorite, more as needed (16 ounces)
  • 1/3 cup small pearl tapioca balls
  • 13.5 ounces full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract added with the chocolate
  • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate wafers, chips or chunks (I prefer around 70% cacao mass)


  • In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the tapioca balls and milk. Soak for at least 30 minutes (or up to overnight in the fridge).
  • Add the coconut milk, maple syrup, salt, and the vanilla bean pod and scrapings if using. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, bring to a bare simmer. Don't let the mixture boil, or it could curdle. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently with a wooden spoon or heatproof silicone spatula, until the mixture thickens, 45 minutes to 1 hour. The pudding should be roughly the texture of gravy, with the tender tapioca balls suspended in the mixture rather than sinking to the bottom.
  • Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and vanilla paste or extract, if using. The pudding will be runny at this point, but it will thicken as it cools. Let cool to warm. Thin with more plant milk if you're serving this chilled; I usually add an additional 1/2 cup. Serve slightly warm, at room temperature, or chilled. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Nutritional values are based on one of six servings.


Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 140mg | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2.4mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!

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22 thoughts on “(Vegan!) Chocolate Tapioca Pudding”

  1. Seriously, this is the best pudding ever! It reminds me of Coconut Bliss' Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (I used extra chocolate, probably 1/2 cup more of Ghirardelli baking pieces). It was the last thought I had before I fell asleep after making it and the first thought I had the 'morning after'.

  2. I was so excited to find a recipe for vegan, processed sugar-free, tapioca pudding last night that I had to make it on the spot! It tured out AMAZING and i am now in pudding heaven due to fallowing your advice and making a double batch!

  3. Wow! I wasn't in the mood for chocolate so I left it out, added some extra vanilla and used maple syrup. It was the most creamy, yummy pudding ever. Thanks! I'll be making this again for sure.

  4. I made this with 3 times the amount of chocolate called for, some nice G&B melting chips. I'm putting it in cracker pie crust, and will top with whipped cream for a delicious Thanksgiving pie. Soooo delicious….

  5. I'm making this now (double batch!). I'm just learning about vanilla beans this week, I'd never used them before. Don't I need to remove the pods?

    1. Oh cool! Aren't they amazing? I usually just leave the pod in to continue flavoring the tapioca and serve/eat around it, but you can certainly pull it out if you prefer. Thanks for making my recipe! :)

  6. Can the chocolate pieces be substituted with raw cacao powder? If so, how much would you put in, and would the amount of maple syrup remain the same? Thanks for the recipe!

  7. Hi is there anything besides starting over that I can do if I accidentally boiled the mixture at the beginning?

    Stove got hot quick and I was just finishing work…hoping that because I added goat milk it won’t curdle!

      1. All turned out well-
        My guess is because I used 1/2 goat mile to start instead of the vegan version it was stable and didn’t curdle. I also just continued to stir and stir…but thanks for replying, it was delish! We subtracted chocolate and added turmeric in one version. Amazing w blueberries!

  8. Thank you for the delicious recipe! We used the following:
    2 cups coconut almond milk, 1 can of full fat coconut milk, 2 tsps vanilla extract, 1/3 cup maple syrup and Ghirardelli 60% chocolate chips. We have made it twice now and it is a bit addictive. We would definitely recommend. :)