Though my father lives hundreds of miles away, and has chosen to celebrate this Father’s Day in Mexico (go dad!), this time of year always makes me think that much more about him … and his love of cream pies. In fact, when I was little, we would whip up not one, but two cream pies on his summer birthday so that he could enjoy a selection. And one of those delights was always chocolate. So in honor of my dad, and as a special treat for Tony (Yes, I married a man who also adores cream pies!), I created this delicious recipe for dairy-free and vegan chocolate cream pie (the ones pictured are even gluten-free, but I have included a few crust options for you to choose from!).
The rich, chocolaty, pudding-like filling in this vegan chocolate cream pie recipe is amazingly dairy-free, but unlike so many others it isn’t weighed down with lots of high fat ingredients. Most vegan chocolate cream pie fillings are quite heavy – the ingredients are relatively healthy, but with higher fat that often leaves my stomach a little upset. On the contrary, using milk beverage is usually a little too light for a proper set. So instead I use a good quality lite canned coconut milk.
Also, the sweetness of the filling in this vegan chocolate cream pie recipe can be adapted to your tastes. We like a combination of unsweetened (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) and semi-sweet dairy-free chocolate (for the rest), but you can go all dark and use whatever percentage you like. Just make sure it is very good quality, dairy-free chocolate!
And what would a vegan chocolate cream pie be without a creamy topping? I’ve enjoyed my cream pies two ways: with the scrumptious shortcut known as CocoWhip (available in Original and Light) or with homemade coconut milk whip (see the recipe notes). Both are amazing and soy-free, and can be spread over the whole top, or used as a topping like I did on these mini versions of this vegan chocolate cream pie recipe.
This post was sponsored by So Delicious Dairy Free, but the recipe, photos, and cravings for chocolate cream pie were all our own. I also love and have used their products for years, recommending without hesitation!
Special Diet Notes: Vegan Chocolate Cream Pie
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and generally top food allergy-friendly.
Crust Options (Wheat & Gluten-Free): For a traditional flaky crust, I’ve been using a recipe just like this No Roll Pie Crust for years. This is the one pictured in my recipe, but I swapped in Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour for the all-purpose flour and coconut milk beverage for the milk. For this gluten-free adaption, I did need to add a good splash more milk beverage, about 1 tablespoon. I pressed the dough into 12 4-inch “tarts”, which baked up faster, about 10 to 12 minutes. Another option is a Chocolate Cookie Crust. Simply sub in buttery spread, such as Melt Organic, and dairy-free crispy chocolate cookies, such a Mi-Del or Enjoy Life (gluten-free and allergen-safe, too).
- 3 cups lite canned coconut milk (a good quality one), divided
- ¼ cup mashed ripe avocado
- ⅔ cup sugar
- ¼ cup non-GMO cornstarch (can sub arrowroot starch)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cups (7 ounces) good quality, dairy-free chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- Dairy-free traditional, cookie, or gluten-free pie crust(s) (see post above)
- So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip or homemade coconut whip (see note below)
- Dairy-free dark chocolate shavings, for garnish (optional)
- Blend 1 cup of the light coconut milk with the avocado until smooth.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk the remaining 2 cups light coconut milk with the sugar, starch and salt, until the starch is fully dissolved. Turn on the heat to medium, and whisk often until the mixture begins to bubble. Whisk continuously as it cooks and thickens, for about 2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and whisk in the avocado coconut milk followed by the chocolate, coconut oil and vanilla. Whisk until the chocolate is fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Let cool 30 minutes.
- Pour into your prepared, cool pie shell(s). Loosely cover and place in the refrigerator to set up for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Once set, garnish with CocoWhip or homemade dairy-free coconut whip, and chocolate shavings, if desired.
Hi Alisa, im looking for a chocolate pie recipe that is milk free for my son but i can’t eat avocados. Are they necessary for the success of this recipe? Thanks, Kat
Hi Kat, if you can eat eggs, then you can temper in 1 egg in place of the avocado. That should work well. Otherwise, you can swap in coconut cream – I haven’t tested this as of yet, but believe it would work. You could actually use part full-fat coconut milk / coconut cream for the light coconut milk to ensure it sets up.
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This was AMAZING! My teenage son has all dairy intolerances and recently developed egg allergy. The entire family LOVED this pie. It was creamy-silky with a dark, rich but not overly sweet flavor. It filled a small-medium pie dish & then I put the extra in pretty mini trifle dishes & it set up beautifully in the frig. Topped with coco whip & sprinked with crushed Oreos. Better than pudding which he hasn’t been able to eat in 3 years. THANK YOU!!
That’s so wonderful! Love the crushed sandwich cookie idea – thanks for sharing this and your feedback Tara 🙂
Did I not add enough corn starch as mine never set. I have it in the freezer now for an ice cream/frozen pie for later. Tastes wonderful but a messy plate.
Oh no! I’m so sorry this happened to you. Troubleshooting should be easy as there aren’t a lot of factors at play here. First, you used coconut milk, not coconut milk beverage or another milk beverage, correct? A milk beverage (sold in the large cartons) won’t set up. As noted, I use the So Delicious lite Culinary Coconut Milk, which is even a bit richer than many canned lite coconut milks (though they should work, too – so canned or the little SD cartons). If your lite coconut milk is simply too watery, using half full-fat and half lite canned coconut milk should do the trick (you can even use all full-fat coconut milk – a good quality one will definitely set up!). Also, I have found that lite coconut milks with too many additives sometimes don’t thicken as well. Finally, with once you add the starch and cook, you only want it to bubble for 2 to 3 minutes maximum. After that time, the starch will start to break down and thin rather than thicken. Like most chocolate cream pies, this is a soft, not firm filling, but shouldn’t be messy pudding!
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i have been hunting for that cocowhip- It’s next on my list! This looks delightful!
Yum! This sounds like the perfect summer recipe!
I think it is Liz 🙂
I always find the best dairy free recipes here right when I need them! Chocolate cream pie?? CANNOT WAIT.
Aw, thanks Erin!
I love a good cream pie and this one looks delicious! I like the use of avocado with the chocolate and coconut milk!
It gives it that little extra creamy 🙂
I love pudding pies and family recipes are even better. This looks great!
Love this little pie! So good and creamy!
It really is 🙂
This looks beyond amazing! So easy to make and delicious!
Gawd-dang awesome vegan cream pie!!! Gotta try this! Looking for more dessert options that are vegan so this hits the spot! Thanks Alisa!
Aw, thanks Levan!
This looks wonderful! I actually just stuck a can of coconut milk in the fridge for whipped cream tomorrow. Such a cool little trick!
Nothing better than whipped coconut cream!
OH My goodness! I love this!!! I am actually planning a bridal shower for my friend who is vegan. I would try this anyday!
Thanks Kristen! I hope you get the chance to try it or pass on to your friend – though I think all will like 🙂
Oh yum! I love the CocoWhip – I could eat a container with just a spoon and some peanut butter – that stuff is so good!! This recipe sounds so easy – love a good cream pie!
Peanut butter and CocoWhip? Now that is brilliant!
Yum! There can never be enough chocolate in my life and this pie sounds both decadent and delicious! Top on my must make list 🙂
Thanks Lucie! Yes, never enough chocolate 🙂
This looks incredible!! what a great treat. I love how quick and easy it is too. Yum!
Yeah, pudding pies have so many great shortcuts, too – all from-scratch or a few little cheats 🙂
I’m pretty sure my dad would love this too! Looks amazing!