Chocolate Coconut Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce (Vegan)

This is up there with the longest post titles I have ever published. Let’s just go with it, though, because it’s a special occasion.

One year ago today, I posted my first recipe on this blog. The site wasn’t beautiful, the recipe wasn’t great, and the food photos were taken with my iPhone on my living room floor. But I posted it anyway, because I knew I had to start somewhere.

I actually registered this domain name and published an introductory post almost 2 weeks earlier. But then I was kind of… paralyzed with fear. What should I write about? Should my first recipe involve quinoa? Crap, I don’t even know how to develop my own recipes – I always follow other people’s! So my little blog sat with no content for a while, until I figured it out. And that’s why I’m considering the date of my first recipe post as my blogiversary – the day I decided to put my food out into the world and see what happened.

Chocolate Coconut Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce (Vegan)

I knew that a year later, I might not be blogging anymore. And if I was, I would be embarrassed to look back on my first posts. I knew there were thousands of other bloggers out there who would always do it better than me. I decided to be OK with that and just take baby steps.

So here I am, a year later! The proud mama of a little toddler one-year-old blog. Happy to say that I am still blogging and that yes, I am embarrassed of my first posts, especially the pictures. But also that I know I have a loooot further to go… and I fervently hope that a year from now, it’s these pictures I’ll be embarrassed of, because I will have progressed that much further. There are still thousands of bloggers who do it better than me, and I’m still OK with that. Because the truth is that I love creating recipes and sharing them here with you all. It’s the best creative outlet I’ve found, not to mention such a great community. That means YOU! Thank you so much for reading this food-related mumbo-jumbo that I post here. Every comment and email means so much to me – seriously. I feel so lucky to have you all as readers and invisible internet friends.

But enough of the mushy stuff. Let’s eat dessert, shall we?

Chocolate Coconut Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce (Vegan)

I whipped up this chocolate coconut pudding in celebration of my one-year blogiversary. I wanted to celebrate with a dessert, and it had to be two things: 1) chocolate and coconut flavored, in honor of my first post, and 2) vegan, in honor of the beginning of this blog. I snuck the caramel in there afterwards because I’ve been wanting to try a coconut caramel, and this seemed like the perfect time. (Still vegan though!)

Although the idea of a coconut pudding intrigued me, even I was surprised how well this turned out. I started with The Kitchn‘s recipe and modified it according to Deb Perelman’s logic – basically, why settle for the type of sugar and fat used in solid chocolate when you can use cocoa powder and choose your own sugar and fat? This pudding, with its base of coconut milk and cocoa powder, turns out rich and chocolatey with just a hint of coconut. The caramelized notes of the brown sugar come through, using cornstarch as a thickener means we can make this totally vegan and low(-er) fat, and the coconut oil lends a silky finish. Topped with the coconut caramel sauce and more coconut (in flake form), it’s just insane.

I will say, though, that the caramel and toasted coconut flakes are totally superfluous. If I were making this pudding on your average night, I would skip all the toppings and just go straight for the chocolate. But top with the caramel and coconut and you have a festive presentation, not to mention added depth of flavor, turning this into the perfect dessert to impress guests with.

Friends, throw yourself a party and serve this pudding. That’s kind of what I’m doing right now!

Or, even better idea: throw your DAD a party if it’s his real birthday tomorrow, not just a fake blog birthday you made up for yourself. Happy early birthday, Dad!

Chocolate Coconut Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce (Vegan)

4.7 from 9 reviews

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Pudding with Coconut Caramel Sauce
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
Yields: 4 small or 2 generous portions
For the Chocolate Coconut Pudding:
  • 14-oz can lite coconut milk, divided
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
For the Coconut Caramel Sauce (optional):
  • 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
For garnish (optional):
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, lightly toasted
To make the pudding:
  1. In a bowl, whisk half the can of coconut milk, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and espresso together to make a slurry. Get it nice and smooth! This will ensure there are no clumps in your pudding.
  2. In a saucepan, bring the remaining coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a low simmer. Slowly pour in the cornstarch and cocoa mixture, whisking constantly. Continue simmering and whisking constantly until mixture thickens, about 2 more minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and coconut oil. Pudding should be smooth and glossy. Pour into a bowl (strain if necessary) and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 2 hours. To prevent a skin from forming, press a sheet of plastic wrap down over the top of the pudding.
To make the caramel sauce:
  1. Stir together all caramel sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a light simmer over low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Let simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before serving.
To serve:
  1. Stir pudding and portion into bowls. Top with caramel sauce and toasted coconut flakes. Enjoy!
  2. Pudding and caramel sauce can each be stored individually in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Pudding adapted from The Kitchn. Coconut caramel sauce from Blogging Over Thyme.


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  • Julia October 3, 2013, 7:23 am

    Haaaaappy blogiversary!!! I can’t believe it’s only been one year for you…feels like it took me forever to get my shhh together! Beautiful pudding and keep up the great work, my dear! I love me some Coffee & Quinoa!

    • Erica October 3, 2013, 9:13 am

      Thank youuu!

  • morgan October 3, 2013, 7:33 am

    Thank you so much for this post! It was honest and exactly how I felt when starting mine. I’ve hit some bumps along the way, but this gives me inspiration to keep going. Putting your voice out there takes courage. So, congratulations on your one-year blogiversary!

    • Erica October 3, 2013, 9:15 am

      Thanks Morgan!

  • Daphne - Veggiestyle with Daphne October 3, 2013, 9:07 am

    Congrats! A blog is a work in progress, so I found out myself ;-) I hope for many more years of Coffee & Quinoa to come! Love, Daphne

    • Erica October 3, 2013, 9:18 am

      Thanks Daphne! :)

  • kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies October 3, 2013, 10:25 am

    Congrats on 1 year! I’m still working my way there, but it’s nice to see how great your blog looks 1 year in (gives me hope that I can make mine a little prettier! ha)

  • holly ; the hobbit kitchen October 3, 2013, 12:04 pm

    Love this post! I’ve just started up my own food blog literally a week ago & I’m so excited to see where I’ll be in a years time :)

  • Gretchen @ Two Healthy Kitchens October 3, 2013, 8:21 pm

    Awww! Happy Blogiversary, Erica!!! What a huge milestone!!! Congratulations! You have so much to be proud of – your amazing site, your BEEEAUTIFULLL pictures, and your super awesome recipes! You go girl!!!!

    My partner-in-crime (the other kitchen in Two Healthy Kitchens!) Shelley and I have been working on making caramel – I cannot wait to try your method. So easy!!

    So kick back, have a glass and wine and celebrate with some chocolate coconut pudding – you’ve earned it!

    • Erica October 4, 2013, 9:25 am

      Thanks Gretchen! Yes, I loved making caramel this way – boiling sugar usually scares me!

  • Dad October 4, 2013, 5:56 am

    Happy blog-b-day, Erica! Congratulations on a year full of blogging and such delicious recipes. Your blog has totally changed the way Mom and I eat, and we love it. We’re both very proud of your courageous creativity, not to mention loving the photos, writing and yummy food. Well done!

    • Dad October 4, 2013, 5:57 am

      Oh, and I know what dessert I want on my birthday, some chocoloate coconut pudding :-)

    • Erica October 4, 2013, 9:24 am

      Thanks Dad :)

  • Mom October 4, 2013, 7:47 am

    Happy Blogiversary! I am so proud of you, also delighted to be Coffee and Quinoa’s Grandma!
    Love reading your posts, getting great cooking ideas and especially hearing your sweet voice through this blog.
    And keep everything coconut coming my way!

    • Erica October 4, 2013, 9:25 am

      Thanks Mom :)

  • Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies October 4, 2013, 11:25 am

    Oh my goodness, I have such a soft spot for pudding and this looks AMAAAAZING. And the caramel sauce! Wow. :D

  • Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health October 4, 2013, 2:23 pm

    Happy one year blog bday! :) I think your blog is AMAZING for only being one year old. You have clearly come so far and will continue to grow.

    I also loved reading this because I can completely relate. I actually named one of my first recipes “I Don’t Have Thyme Tomato Soup”- SO embarrassing!

    This pudding sounds out of this world amazing and I love the moody lighting in your photographs- beautiful! Oh, and I’m glad I get to be one of your invisible internet friends. :)

  • Christine @ Gotta Eat Green October 4, 2013, 2:57 pm

    GAH I love pudding!! And I love easy to made delicious puddings that have chocolate and coconut. You’ve gone to a whole other level by adding caramel!! YUM!

  • Melanie October 5, 2013, 7:18 am

    I just found your blog and I’m thrilled to find out I have a year’s worth of posts to look at! Congrats on one year, and this recipe look to die for. Will definitely try it out, and soon!

  • Emma (This Kind Choice) October 6, 2013, 12:50 am

    Such a great post! I recently started my blog and had exactly the same thoughts as you. If I wait to have everything worked out, for my pictures to be perfect etc etc., well then it’s never going to happen. And yes, I am also anticipating cringing at what I’m posting now in a years time, but I guess that shows progress :P
    Oh, and the fact that this pudding is vegan just tops it off for me :D

  • Anne @hungrygriffin October 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

    Congrats on one year! I am amazed at how together your blog is after only one year. This pudding looks so great, but can I ask, is there a reason you chose lite coconut milk instead of using full fat?

    • Erica October 6, 2013, 4:10 pm

      Thanks Anne! Lite coconut milk is generally what I keep on hand. Full fat will certainly work too!

  • Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} October 6, 2013, 7:28 pm

    How exciting–Happy blogiversary! I just found you today. :) I’m really excited to try this recipe. Looks like a perfect treat.

    • Erica October 7, 2013, 8:04 am

      Thanks Maryea!

  • Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli October 7, 2013, 3:14 am

    Awww! Happy (now belated because I’m behind) bloggy birthday! It’s funny, I was just over at Kristin’s blog (Iowa Girl Eats) where she was talking about bringing back old recipes in order to revamp the ingredients and the pictures! I feel the SAME way with my old posts…and my FIRST post?! Oh dear lord, so embarrassing!

    Love how you described this pudding! I swear I could practically feel the spoon in my mouth! I love making my own chocolate so I can control the amount of sugar. I tend to be a bit of a wimp when it comes to sweets so it’s a total bummer not to be able to enjoy them along with everyone else! I made a German chocolate cake for my mom’s birthday a few months ago and decided to make my own chocolate glaze for it and even though I had NO idea what I was doing (I’m so not a baker), it came out perfectly! That was also my very FIRST cake from scratch! Definitely a proud moment! :D

  • dishing up the dirt October 7, 2013, 11:32 pm

    Happy blogiversary! Love this recipe, love your site, love everything about the way you cook! There are wonderful things in store for you and your blog Erica!!! So happy to be along for the ride!

    • Erica October 8, 2013, 11:09 am

      Thanks Andrea! You are sweet as always!

  • Natasha @ The Cake Merchant October 8, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! Your photos are lovely, and this pudding looks amazing! I recently passed the one year mark as well, so I know what you mean about looking back at old photos, but it’s fun to see how far you’ve come as well.

    • Erica October 8, 2013, 2:27 pm

      Thank you Natasha!

  • Shel@PeachyPalate November 21, 2013, 3:26 pm

    Congrats on the year anniversary! You’ve come so far in a year, your photography is beautiful!! Love the recipe! Whats the consistency of the caramel when its done?

    • Erica November 21, 2013, 3:49 pm

      Thanks Shel! I would say the caramel is the consistency of a thick syrup, but you can also take it off earlier to keep it thinner. The cooler it is, the thicker it will be, so I like to heat up the leftover sauce before using.

  • Stacy March 4, 2014, 7:03 pm

    I made this recipe for a family party with a small substitution. I had to substitute tapioca starch in place of corn starch because a few family members are allergic to corn. I also made a version that used half the amount of brown sugar and used a couple of stevia packets from Whole Foods because some family members are diabetic. Both versions turned out well, although stevia does leave a slightly more bitter after taste. The diabetics are used to such occurrences and appreciated that they did not experience a huge blood sugar spike.
    Many Thanks,


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