Our easy dairy free pudding is so creamy and thick that you won’t be able to tell it is dairy free. This recipe calls for simple ingredients and is great for those with dietary restrictions.
Back in 2008, I was diagnosed with celiac disease. As I started to learn more about food allergies, I also learned how to cut out dairy. Dietary changes are overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be as complicated as you think.
I started by taking some of my favorite recipes and adjusting them to work with my diet now. You just need to replace one or two ingredients in some recipes to make them work for your food allergies.
We have tons of dairy-free options that are incredibly delicious—for example, our dairy free tomato soup. It’s the perfect comfort food and it’s dairy free.
Our whole30 ranch, dairy free chocolate frosting, vegan chocolate sauce and vegan breakfast burritos are also dairy free and delicious! Here are some dairy free snacks for kids and vegan snack ideas as well.
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Our dairy free muffins, which are also gluten-free, make a great breakfast, snack, and everything in between. Oh, and if you are a Disney fan, check out our post on how to eat dairy free at Disneyland.
My kids love this pudding recipe because it is so delicious and I love it because I know exactly what is in it. Store bought pudding snacks have hard-to-pronounce ingredients, making me nervous about what I’m feeding my kids.
Even though this recipe is dairy-free, that doesn’t mean it isn’t creamy. The creaminess from the coconut milk and coconut cream and can’t be beat. Don’t go low fat here!
Why you should make this recipe
- It will become one of your favorite recipes because of its delicious flavors
- It is the easiest homemade pudding recipe
- This recipe is inclusive for those with food allergies
- It calls for basic ingredients
- It’s a great recipe to curb your sweet tooth
- Canned coconut milk – Use full fat coconut milk to get that creamy texture pudding has. Make sure to note that you use 2 1/2 cups of milk in one step of the recipe and the other 1/2 cup later in the recipe.
- Dairy free heavy whipping cream – We love the So Delicious brand.
- Dairy free butter – Use your favorite dairy free butter brand for this easy recipe.
- Sugar – Make sure you divide the sugar for the different steps. You will use 1 cup of sugar in the first step and the rest (1/3 cup) in a later step.
- Egg yolks – This recipe calls for 6 egg yolks.
- Cornstarch – Cornstarch helps thicken any recipe and definitely helps create that fluffy pudding texture.
- Gluten-free vanilla extract – Just a little bit of vanilla extract goes a long way. It really adds that sweet flavor to this recipe.
How to make dairy free pudding
Put ingredients in saucepan
Grab a heavy saucepan or double boiler for cooking the pudding. Then pour in the coconut milk, cream, sugar, and butter into the saucepan or boiler.
Make sure you only use 1 cup of sugar and 2 1/2 cups of milk in this step. Then, mix the ingredients as they start to cook.
Cook until the butter is melted and the milk is slightly scalded. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing burns.
You will know the milk is scalded when little bubbles are on the side of the saucepan. So it is not boiling, but it is getting there.
Whisk eggs and sugar
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the remaining sugar. Remember only to use egg yolks.
Whisk them together slowly until they are mixed well. It will only take a minute or to before they are combined well.
Add to milk mixture
Once the egg and sugar mixture is mixed well and the milk mixture is melted, you will mix them together. Slowly pour the egg and sugar mixture into the milk mixture.
Keep the heat on and whisk slowly. You want to make sure they mix well for a creamy pudding.
Cook to thicken mixture
Cook the mixture for 10-15 minutes on low heat. Keep an eye on it to make sure nothing burns to the bottom of the pan.
Let the mixture cook so it thickens to the desired pudding texture. Overcooking it will ruin the pudding, so make sure you set a timer.
Whisk milk and cornstarch
In a small bowl, mix the remaining milk with the cornstarch. Use a whisk to ensure there are no clumps in this mixture.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure the corn starch is gluten-free. Cornstarch is naturally gluten-free, but it is sometimes contaminated in manufacturing.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk mixture. Do this slowly.
You do not want to rush this step because it will make a big mess. Plus, the mixtures combine easier when you do it slowly and a little at a time.
Cook for 10-15 minutes
Cook for another 10-15 minutes. This time is when the pudding really thickens up.
Stir intermittently, making sure the ingredients are cooking well together. This also ensures nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Tips for success
- Use softened butter – Take the butter out of the fridge a bit early to allow it to soften. It will melt easier if it is already softened.
- Meal prep your dessert – Before storing it in the fridge, divide the pudding into smaller containers (if your fridge space allows) so you have an easy, ready-to-go dessert (or snack).
- Try different flavors – You can make whatever flavor you want with this recipe. My favorite is creamy vanilla pudding with fresh berries on top.
Storage and Freezing
Storage – Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to three days. You can use plastic wrap over the container, but I find an airtight container lid works best.
Freezing – Put the pudding in an airtight container and store it in the freezer. The pudding will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
To thaw the pudding, just put it in the fridge. I recommend putting it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw and be ready the next day!
What is the best non-dairy milk to use?
You can use any milk substitutes you prefer (like cashew milk, rice milk, soy milk, oat milk, unsweetened almond milk, etc.), but we recommend using coconut milk. We have found it has the most similar consistency to regular milk.
Is there non-dairy pudding mix?
Some brands make dairy-free pudding cups, making them nice and easy to pack for a school snack. Most instant pudding packs are dairy free until you add in the milk, so you should be able to use them and use dairy-free milk as a substitute.
Can you make Jell-o pudding without milk?
You can replace milk with water in your Jell-o instant pudding mix to make it dairy-free; it just won’t be as creamy. For the best results, go for dairy-free milk if you plan to make pudding without cow’s milk.
Ways to enjoy
Our pudding recipe would go perfectly with a tasty mocktail. I believe any event, big or small, should have a fun drink. We have so many mocktail recipes that I know you will find one you love.
Our sour cream chip dip is similar, but the recipe does use dairy products. Luckily, you can easily make it dairy free.
I don’t know about you, but my kiddos are constantly snacking on something. I always keep these banana protein muffins around for a healthy snack.
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Easy Dairy Free Pudding
- 3 cups full fat canned coconut milk
- 3 cups dairy free heavy whipping cream (we love So Delicious brand)
- 3 tablespoons dairy free butter
- 1 1/3 cups sugar divided
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla extract
- Place 2 1/2 cups milk, cream, 1 cup sugar and butter in a heavy saucepan or double boiler
- Cook until butter is melted and milk is slightly scalded
- Whisk together egg yolks and 1/3 cup sugar
- Slowly add this mixture to the hot milk mixture, whisking lightly
- Continue cooking for 10-15 minutes on a low heat until mixture starts to thicken a bit
- Whisk reserved 1/2 milk and cornstarch together
- Add to hot milk mixture slowly, whisking constantly
- Intermittently whisk mixture & continue to cook for the next 10-15 minutes
Another great dairy free recipe! Your recipes are always so good. I didn’t tell my husband this pudding was dairy free and he couldn’t even tell!