Chocolate Custard

Yesterday being Valentines Day was if anything a great excuse to make dessert!  Inspired by Andy Deascoconut milk apple pudding, we decided to make a chocolate version. It was so sinfully easy that I can hardly call it a recipe but if you are looking for a special occasion dessert that is still somewhat paleo (minus the sugar in the chocolate of course) and tastes like you slaved away for hours; I highly recommend our Chocolate Custard! To make this treat 100% paleo, stick to Andy’s version for a yummy anytime snack!

Chocolate Custard

Chocolate Custard

Chocolate Custard

1 can coconut milk

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1 teaspoon cinnamon

A splash of rum (optional)

In a sauce pan, melt the chocolate chips into the coconut milk over medium low heat while stirring with a whisk.  Add the cinnamon and the splash of rum.  Pour the custard into small serving dishes and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.  Top with homemade whipped cream. If you do not want your kids to acquire a taste for liquor just yet, you can always pour half of the custard into serving dishes before you add the rum to the remaining half for grown ups! I am sure you can make this a million different ways so get creative and enjoy! Makes seven 1/4 cup servings – less if you serve in larger serving dishes.

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  1. Veronica says

    I have to hide the cream or the girls will use it all when they decide to make this for their little treat! Minus the rum of course!

  2. says

    Fantastic idea! Just like making a chocolate ganache but with coconut milk instead of heavy cream. You can make it even easier and let the heat do the work for you by pouring your heated coconut milk over the chips, walking away for a few minutes and come back to whisk – then it will only be a few stirs. Will definitely be trying this for a special treat – thank you!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Becca! All I do is use organic heavy whipping cream, pour it in a mixing bowl and use a hand held mixer to beat it until it turns into whipped cream! Super easy! We also have a little hand held milk frother that you see in the pictures of this post that my boys are using. If we are just making a little bit of whipped cream like we did last night we’ll use that to beat the cream into whipped cream. You can also make whipped cream with the fat from coconut milk! Here’s how:

    • Sarah says

      Oh sure! I don’t see any issues with agar-agar powder but the custard did turn out really nice and thick without any sort of thickener. : )

  3. says

    That looks so yummy! A perfect Valentine’s Day treat :)
    I just had my first CrossFit training by the way, and I loved it! (everything hurts now, but that doesn’t matter, it was awesome!) Do you know a good website where I can find some more theoretical information about CrossFit?

  4. Kirsten says

    I would use arrowroot powder instead of agar agar since agar agar is processed out of seaweed, which has the highest natural concentration of MSG naturally occuring. MSGs parent protein is glutamic acid, is used as a flavor enhancer due to it neurostimulating effect on the taste buds. When it reaches the brain, it induces migraines, seizures, the “MSG rush”, and lowers the pain threshold (e.g. people with fibromyalgia or other chronic pain syndromes). I don’t think agar agar has MSG, but the connection is enough for me to stay away. Arrowroot powder is just made out of arrowroot! :-)

  5. says

    That is so sinfully delicious looking! I love your recipes! Would by any chance a baker’s bar of chocolate work instead of chips, if a little stevia or something was added for sweetness?

    • Sarah says

      You could try that, it might be kind of bitter and I personally do not like how stevia tastes… Maybe a touch of raw organic honey?

    • Sami says

      Instead of Stevia (which doesn’t cut the bitter flavour, only adds a sweet flavor on top of the bitter one) you could use xylitol. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that doesn’t hurt your teeth and is actually health beneficial. I don’t think any sugar nor most sweeteners are paleo-approved, including Stevia. I however still use xylitol to sweeten things.

      PS Xylitol is not pet-safe. Well, nor is chocolate, but just wanted to be sure no one lets their pet eat it.

  6. Amanda J. says

    I had to make this like right now. So I drove to WF, got all the ingredients. Came home and the fun started happening…I shot coconut milk all over my kitchen, who says to be careful when removing the thick stuff at the top!? I added a tablespoon of extra coconut oil, thinking that would thicken it up more in the end, should have read the comments first, next time won’t add it. I only added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon as I am not much of a fan. Then added 1/2 tsp of extra dark cocoa powder, really helped deepen the color. And I added 1/2tsp of good vanilla at the end, skipping the rum. They are cooling in the fridge as I type, can’t wait till later. Thank you for the great post!

  7. Tiffany says

    I wonder how well it would set up in the freezer for making fudgesicles as a nice summery treat. I might have to try it.

  8. James says

    I’m always seeing these references for coconut oil and coconut milk, but I’m always afraid to try them! I’ve never liked the coconut flakes they put on cupcakes and stuff. Does coconut milk taste like . . . coconut? I feel like the coconut lovers of the world have united under the Paleo banner. :)

    • Sarah says

      Hi James,
      Coconut milk does not taste like those sweetened coconut flakes on cupcakes. It has a mild almost sweet taste to it. I would recommend just giving it a try and see what you think! Same with the coconut oil, it’s so yummy I could just eat it straight from the jar! I have never been a huge coconut fan either but that was when I never had the real deal!! Let me know how it goes!

  9. says

    Looks so yummy! I was doing the 30 day challenge which ended for me on Feb 2, but my husband chose to do the 60 day. I’ve decided to wait for him to have a “cheat day”. He started a little earlier than me, so I’ll probably be on day 45 or so when he’s done. I listened to Robb Wolf’s take on “cheat days” and I was wondering what you thought of them.

    Also, my daughter made 4 months yesterday and I’m still trying to increase or at least maintain milk production so I’ve been not worrying about caloric intake so much right now. However, I do want to start losing the stubborn 10 pounds. I’ve reached my pre-preggo weight this week, but my body does not look like my pre-preggo body as I probably have a way different fat to muscle ratio. Any suggestions for what I might do at this point?

    Thanks! And I also posted this under podcast questions.

    • says

      I would keep doing what you are doing, focusing on eating plenty of healthy paleo foods, taking care of that precious little baby, and enjoying life. Those last 10 lbs will go away, I wouldn’t worry about rushing it right now! I bet you’ll be surprised in a few months the changes your body will go through and just focusing on being healthy and taking care of little one right now will only help the process. : )

    • Christine says

      I breast fed my children exclusively for the first 6 months. After that I breast fed a few times a day until about the age of one to 1 1/2 yrs old. Then we only breast fed about 1 or 2 times a day and finally quit completely when they hit the 2 year mark. I noticed for me, I couldn’t shake the last 10 to 15 pounds of pregnancy weight until we started breastfeeding once a day and most of it came off after we quit completely. My body just wanted to hang on to the fat so tightly. Once we stopped though, the weight came off really fast.

  10. David D'Amato says

    Tried this one last night. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any rum in the house, it would have added a nice spice flavor to the dark chocolate. Thanks for all the great recipes. Love your podcast as well. Keep up the good work!

  11. Kimberly says

    I didn’t have any canned coconut milk, so I used my So Delicious coconut milk and left it overnight in the refrigerator. The mixture taste delicious, but unfortunately has not set. Do you have any recommendations on how I can thicken the custard? Baking powder? Any suggestions would be great. Thanks!

    • Sarah says

      Hi Kimberly, Another reader suggested using arrowroot powder but I personally have not used it in my cooking so I’m not sure what the end result would be. I would not use baking powder, that wouldn’t thicken it unfortunately. You really need the fat content to be higher for it to set which is why the canned milk works so well. You could also try adding some coconut oil. Or, you could call it a wash and get the canned stuff and try again! LOL!! Good luck!! : )

  12. Linda says

    I love chocolate etc. But with PMR aka polymyalgia chocolate was a no, no until I found a web site that lists veggies, fruits, meats, fish, spices etc that are anti-inflammatory. Yes, 70% choco was on the list that I could have. So I made this recipe sort of like this one. The one I have only uses 2 organic eggs, bake it and top fresh ground cinnamon whip cream. I top the cinnamon whip cream with fresh sliced strawberries, raspberries and a mint leaf. All which are on that list of food I can eat and I have gotten off of the predsisone.

    PS. Tastes great, Love it!

  13. says

    Made this custard tonight with my son and they were fantastic! I just nuked the chips and coconut milk ’cause I’m too lazy to clean a pot. I also used a teaspoon of vanilla extract instead of the cinnamon. Thank you so much for your constant inspiration! When my kids cook with me, they are so proud of the outcome and eat it willingly. I already have your book on pre-order and can’t wait to get it in the mail!

  14. says

    RE: using So Delicious coconut milk instead, why not add a beaten egg to the mix and cook it in while melting the chocolate? That would thicken and “set” it for sure.

    RE: MSG in agar agar, indeed it is in seaweed of almost all types, but in varying concentrations. That wouldn’t be my biggest worry when consuming sea vegetables, however, as they are somewhat of the first response toxin/chemical accumulators in the oceans. So buy your sea veggies from areas where they are cleanly harvested. The MSG that we should be most worried about is the chemically synthesized MSG that is in processed foods, etc., not the form that is naturally occurring in seaweed. We do need glutamic acid in our bodied, namely our brain, but it’s the massive overconsumption that is the problem and excessive addition of it to foods to “enhance the flavours”… just a thought.

  15. Kori says

    I love the innovated paleo treats. My only issue is that I am allergic to coconut and it seems to be used everywhere. Does Almond milk work also? I was not sure if it would change the consistency along with the flavor, or are they interchangable? I’ve done well to avoid any snacks that call for Coconut milk, but this looks too good to pass up.

    • Sarah says

      I have never tried it with Almond milk but if you do make sure you use a full fat version, not the lite almond milk because it’s the fat that makes it thicken. If you try it, let me know how it turns out! : )

  16. Amy R. says

    We had this a few nights ago. OH MY you weren’t kidding! It was so easy and absolutley delicious! I was definitely a hero that night:-) On a side note, I added vanilla beans to the homemade whipped cream. It was fantastic with the chocolate.

  17. Grace Owens says

    Hi Sarah! I’m new to Paleo, and have found your site a great help. I’ve been seeing a lot of people saying 80% paleo is good enough and the other 20% just do what you can. I have been shooting for 100% paleo, but falling around 90%. (I have a sweet tooth!) But even infrequent cheating makes me feel like I’m just on a really high fat diet. How do you feel about cheating? With a recipe like this a couple times a week? Am I doing myself a big disservice? I appreciate any feedback :)

    Thanks again –


  18. Betty says

    I’m new to your website but your recipes look amazingly good. I can’t wait to try this chocolate custard!! :o) I’m planning to order your book for myself and also my daughter-in-law. I’ve been eating paleo for a few months now (except I have not totally given up dairy). I still eat grass fed cheese, full fat cream and some yogurt from trader joes. Still a little confused about the whole dairy thing. Some say it’s ok (in moderation) but I’ve also read that a true paleo diet eliminates all dairy.
    I’ve been using a lot of coconut oil and coconut milk lately and just had blood work done and my cholesterol is extremely high (380). Trigycerides are good as well as HDL and also the Cholesterol/HDL ratio is within range. Do you know if using coconut oil and coconut milk could raise my cholesterol? I know you are not a Dr. but I was wondering if you know of any information out there you could possible direct me to regarding what I can do?

  19. Nicole says

    Made this today, put it in the freezer to chill quickly and forgot about it. It makes FABULOUS ice cream!! So thrilled with this discovery.

  20. B says

    I made this abut with JUST choco chips and coconut milk, no cinnamon or run, and I put a tsp of cornstarch in to thicken it up because my kids will just not eat the runnier consistency. Took a lot of patient whisking over low heat to get all the chocolate melted in and the cornstarch disSolved. The pudding was good enough, but…..I froze some of it in small popsicle molds (which I will do next time minus the cornstarch). Bill Cosby eat your heart out – these pudding pops are A-MAZ-ING. Even my super picky, you can’t fool me into eating anything healthy 10 year old with oral sensory issues devoured the popsicle. YUM.

    • Paleo Chef says

      A little late for response, but someone might read this at some point. Great recipe! For melting Choc Chips, warm your coconut milk to almost scalding, take off the heat and pour over choc chips and let sit a few minutes, they will instantly dissolve as you whisk them together. Take just a small amount of the melted chocolate and add the cornstarch and mix together. The cornstarch will dissolve a lot easier in just a little chocolate and leave you less clumps to work out (which can be very exhausting…but a good arm workout, none the less:) ). Once dissolved in small amount of chocolate, add back to large mixing bowl of chocolate and whisk to desired consistency. You will see it thicken up once the dissolved cornstarch incorporates into the rest of the chocolate. Refrigerate up to 2 hours and you should be good. Hope this helps!

  21. says

    Oh this is a great idea/receipe! I was wondering what dessert to make for this weekend, wanted something chocolatey and healthy…and now I found this! :-) Perfect!!!!!!! And might do the same as Nicole and put it in the freezer and turn it in to icecream! Thank you for the awesome idea!!!
    I am definately a fan of your website!!!!

    • Charlotte says

      Ha! I had the same idea so I came back to comment, he he. I made this last night and topped each one off with a spoon of defrosted frozen raspberries and it was divine. Because they were previously frozen the berries released some lovely magenta juice which pooled on the top of the dessert and ran down into the gaps every spoonful made, it works sooo well! Especially since I used 80% cocoa chocolate which gave the custard a very dark, bitter, grown-up flavour that really benefited from the extra sweetness and colour (and vitamin C!). Oh… and I halved the recipe but only served 2, so we basically had a double portion! It worked out at 100ml coconut milk and 2 squares bitter chocolate each, so I felt pretty good about serving it up. My partner LOVED it.

  22. Stephanie says

    Made this chocolate custard, topped with blueberries and coconut whipped cream, it was to die for.

  23. Amy Bowes says

    I attempted to make this tonight but it turned out gritty and never really became custard-like…what did I do wrong?

  24. joyce says

    Thanks so much for this recipe. I am on wk 2 paleo and wanting something dessertish for this weekend. Any ideas on a paleo pumpkin dessert? I am missing the pumpkin treats from fall. Thanks again, trying this one saturday.

  25. says

    I just tried this over the weekend. I cooked chateaubriand and asparagus for my wife and I was looking for a good, clean dessert to top off the meal.

    I was afraid that this recipe was too simple to be that good, but I forged ahead based on the reviews. I used 53% cacao dark chocolate chips (the best I could find at the little grocery store close to me) and Thai Kitchen coconut milk. I added about a tablespoon of spiced rum and a dash of vanilla. Mine set perfectly after being in the refrigerator for two and a half hours. I served it with a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

    It was fantastic. My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so much so that we decided to finish the leftovers later that night instead of saving them for the next day. We rarely indulge in dessert, aside from a piece of dark chocolate or two. However, this will be our new go-to dessert for special occasions. Thank you!

    • says

      I’m thinking of trying a dash of creme de menthe instead of the rum, to change things up a tad. I could go all college-y and go equal parts alcohol to coconut milk….a paleo grasshopper anyone?!

  26. Erin says

    I am making this for church tonight so that I am guaranteed to be able to eat at least one thing and not feel guilty! I am doubling it though and thought about mixing up the chips so that half are 60% dark and the other half is semi-sweet. I’m also thinking about adding a pinch of chili powder…Chocolate and chili always go well together!

    • Erin says

      I made this and it was a HUGE hit!!! I sliced some strawberries and whipped some cream with cinnamon and vanilla to go on top and there was none left! This will be a go-to dessert in our house!

  27. Jen says

    I tripled this dessert for Easter today. It was a huge hit with my un-paleo in-laws! I couldn’t get the mixture to firm up even after 4+ hrs in the fridge. I put it in the freezer for an hour and it was perfect! I will be making this again for sure!

  28. Lizzie says

    I know this post is from awhile ago, but I just switched to paleo and needed something sweet to get me through this week. I know dairy is a mixed bag, but I added a spoonful of full fat organic plain yogurt and a dollop of sunflower butter and YUMMMM … just eating it now with a glass of red wine and its DELICIOUS!!!! Thank you!

  29. sherri says

    I am just confused. I thought that any dairy, including homemade whipped cream, was not Paleo and is a strict no-no. Secondly, has anyone tried this with almond milk? I have a distaste for anything coconut! Thank you.

  30. Rombout says

    This is a great dessert. We’ve added some finely grated orange peels in the mix and sprinkled some coconut flakes and pecan on top. Was a big hit! Thanks.

  31. Patty says

    I made this last night for my son and daughter in law because they eat mainly Primal. I have to say we were disappointed. The custard never set and this much cinnamon makes it very “grainy”. I’m sorry, but would not recommend this. I am always looking for new recipes to make for them, but this one is a big NO.

    • Sarah says

      What type of coconut milk did you use? I’m so sorry to hear that this did not turn out for you. What about the chocolate, it wasn’t powdered chocolate was it? Again, I’m very sorry I always test my recipes before I post them and this one was very successful for myself and several others as well.

  32. Elizabeth says


    I am new to paleo and am wanting to keep it pretty strict for the first while. I have been craving chocolate (chocolate ice cream more than anything) and thought this sounded like a good and simple chocolate treat. I am wondering though, is chocolate considered paleo? What about carob? I feel I am reading conflicting things on many different websites.

    Thanks, Elizabeth

    PS I just bought your book today :)

    • Sarah says

      Hi Elizabeth,
      This recipe is most definitely considered a special treat and not specifically paleo (because of the sugar in the chocolate) but because it is dairy and gluten free, if you want to have a treat now and then this is a better choice than something that has not as optimal ingredients. As you will read in my book, I suggest that you do strict paleo for 30 days before you have any treats or anything containing sugar. If fat loss is your goal, I would not suggest that you use treat recipes such as this one on a regular basis. I hope that helps!!!

  33. kelly says

    Hi! Can you use LITE coconut milk for this chocolate custard recipe? Will it still make the custard firm? Thank you.

  34. Wendy says

    Just started recently and this is the first “sweets” I’ve had. Very good. I only had light coconut milk so I added a splash of heavy cream. Very easy and delicious, thanks. :)

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