These Peppermint Chocolate Pudding Parfaits are perfect for holiday parties and Christmas dessert! Layers of chocolate graham cracker crumbs and creamy, dairy free peppermint chocolate pudding. Top them with coconut whipped cream for a fun and festive treat!
Thanks to my friends at Pacific Foods for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are my own.
Looking for an easy, but beautiful dessert to serve at your holiday party or after Christmas dinner? These Peppermint Chocolate Pudding Parfaits are the answer! They only require a couple of steps to make and neither of them involve baking.
Have you ever made homemade pudding? I know it’s convenient to just grab a box at the grocery store, but nothing compares flavor wise when you make your own from scratch. Another benefit is you can pronounce and know what all of the ingredients are. No dyes, chemicals or mystery ingredients to worry about.
This particular chocolate pudding recipe is so simple and also happens to be dairy-free and vegan. I think a lot of people are intimidated to make their own pudding because they see eggs in the recipe and are afraid of curdling them as mixture cooks on the stove. You don’t have to worry about that with this pudding recipe because no eggs are needed to make it.
What Ingredients are in the Peppermint Chocolate Pudding?
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Granulated sugar, sub coconut sugar if you prefer
- Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Vanilla Beverage
- Dark chocolate (no higher than 65%), dairy-free chocolate if needed
- Vanilla extract
- Candy canes or peppermint extract
For this pudding recipe I used Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Vanilla Beverage. My go-to when cooking or baking dairy free is to use their Organic Unsweetened Almond Original beverage. However, since vanilla is a great way to enhance the flavor of chocolate, I decided to try their unsweetened vanilla version.
The flavor is nutty with a hint of vanilla and worked wonderfully in this pudding recipe. Most pudding recipes call for using whole milk so you get an extra richness to your pudding. However, that also means a lot more calories. Pacific’s Unsweetened Almond Vanilla Beverage only has 40 calories and 3 grams of fat per cup. Not only is it a great dairy free alternative, but a good choice if you’re looking for lighter options this holiday season.
Candy Canes vs. Peppermint Extract
You probably saw that there is an option to use either candy canes or peppermint extract in this pudding. I tried it both ways and found that I preferred crushing up a few candy canes and stirring them into the hot pudding until they dissolved. The flavor tasted more true to that of peppermint. I find peppermint extract to be a little overpowering and artificial tasting. It’s also a lot cheaper to crush up candy canes (which are also used to garnish the parfaits) than buy a bottle of extract that you’ll only use 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of.
Once the peppermint chocolate pudding is made, you’ll want to put it in a bowl with plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding and refrigerate it for at least a few hours or until it’s cold. The second step to these parfaits is to make a chocolate graham cracker “crust”. To make the crust you’ll need graham crackers, unsweetened cocoa powder, sugar and either melted coconut oil or butter if you aren’t worried about it being dairy free.
Everything is pulsed together in a food processor or you can do it by hand. For this method put the dry ingredients in a freezer bag, seal it and roll a rolling pin over it until you have fine crumbs. Dump the crumbs into a bowl, pour in the melted coconut oil or butter and stir until you have what looks like wet sand.
Are Graham Crackers Vegan?
There are several brands of graham crackers out there that are vegan and one that I found was both vegan and gluten-free. If you’re feeling ambitious try making homemade graham crackers. The reason I didn’t just use chocolate graham crackers is because I wasn’t able to find any that fit either dietary criteria. Of course if dietary intolerances aren’t a concern, feel free to use chocolate graham crackers and skip adding in the unsweetened cocoa powder.
How to Assemble the Parfaits
To assemble the parfaits, start by adding a layer of the chocolate graham cracker crumbs to the bottom of a small glass, jar or bowl. Next add a layer of the chilled pudding. Repeat the process once more and top with coconut whipped cream and crushed candy cane pieces. You should be able to make 6 parfaits with this recipe if you use approximately a 1/2 cup of pudding and 1/4 cup of chocolate graham cracker crumbs in each parfait.
Feel free to make the parfaits bigger or smaller, you could even make them in shot glasses if you’re serving a crowd. These Peppermint Chocolate Pudding Parfaits are a festive and sweet way to celebrate the holiday season!
More Parfait Recipes
Peppermint Chocolate Pudding
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cups Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Vanilla Beverage
- 3 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate, dairy free if needed, no more than 65% dark
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 tablespoons crushed candy cane pieces, plus extra for garnish or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 9 graham crackers
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar or coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil or butter
Coconut Whipped Cream (optional)
- 14.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk, refrigerated and coconut water drained from the can
- 1-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium sized saucepan whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, cornstarch and salt. Turn the heat on to medium-low and slowly whisk in the almond vanilla beverage until all the lumps are gone. Stir the mixture occasionally being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan. After about 10 minutes the mixture should start to thicken.
- When it’s thick enough that it coats the back of a spoon, stir in the dark chocolate and crushed candy canes. Continue to stir for another 2-3 minutes or until the chocolate is fully incorporated and candy canes are dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. If you choose to use peppermint extract instead of candy canes you’ll stir it in with the vanilla.
- Pour the pudding into a bowl and lay a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the top of the pudding. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until it’s chilled.
- In the bowl of a food processor add all of the chocolate graham cracker crumb ingredients except the melted coconut oil. Process the mixture until it resembles sand. Slowly add in the melted coconut oil or butter and pulse until the crumbs start to come together. It should look like wet sand. Set aside.
- Remove the canned coconut milk from the fridge being careful not to tip or shake it. Open the can and remove the coconut cream (you don’t need the coconut water) placing it in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment to beat the coconut cream for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy, on medium-high speed. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat another 2-3 minutes on medium speed.
- To assemble the parfaits, divide half of the chocolate graham crackers crumbs evenly into 6-8 glasses, jars or bowls. Top the crumbs evenly with half of the pudding. Repeat the steps once more and top with any extra graham crumbs, the coconut whipped cream and crushed candy canes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 345Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 316mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 3gSugar: 31gProtein: 4g