Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Parfaits

February 6th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Today is a day of celebration! My good friend Amy from Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free and her husband Joe are expecting their first little one any day now. To celebrate, a group of us bloggers are joining together today to throw Amy a SURPRISE virtual baby shower! And you know what that means? Delicious food!

What better way to celebrate the gift of life than with an array of healthy recipes? No baby shower would be complete without tasty nibbles for the mom-to-be, of course. So today we’re showering Amy with an assortment of delectable dishes from our kitchens to hers.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Pudding Parfaits

These dainty pudding parfaits are simply irresistible. Portioned into tiny glasses (I used shot glasses), they are easy to handhold and eat while mingling at parties and get-togethers. And doesn’t anything itty-bitty just shout “baby shower?”

The chocolate layer of these parfaits is a decadent Sunbutter ganache-like pudding, so rich and luxurious that just a few small spoonfuls will hit the spot. Layered atop the ganache is a vanilla-flecked panna cotta that sets up beautifully once chilled. Don’t let the fancy name throw you. Dairy-free, sugar-free panna cotta is incredibly easy to make.

Sprinkled atop the parfaits, a few raw cacao nibs offer crunch and rich chocolate flavor. Amy mentioned a while ago that the baby’s room would be decorated in a jungle animal theme, and since tropical fruits remind me of jungles, I couldn’t help but top the parfaits with a few tiny mango and kiwi chunks for color.

Maggie and I have been planning this surprise for Amy for over a month, and believe me when I tell you that it takes a staggering amount of self-control for me to keep a secret for that long!

Don’t miss the other amazing recipes for today’s celebration. Find them here:


Congratulations once again, Amy! We couldn’t be happier for you and can’t wait until your little bundle arrives. Much love from all!

Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding Parfaits
Makes 10-12 small parfaits (or 6-8 medium)

For the chocolate sunflower ganache:
1/2 cup (packed) pitted Medjool dates
1 tablespoon honey or organic agave nectar
1 medium ripe avocado, coarsely mashed
2 tablespoons natural (unsweetened) sunflower seed butter, such as Sunbutter
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt

For the vanilla pudding:
1 vanilla bean
1 cup coconut milk (full fat)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons water
1 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For garnish:
Raw cacao nibs
Chopped fresh fruit or berries

Make the chocolate sunflower ganache: place the dates in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Soak for 10-15 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1 tablespoon of the soaking liquid, and add both the dates and the 1 tablespoon of water to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the honey and avocado. Pulse until fairly smooth, stopping often to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the sunflower seed butter, cocoa powder, and salt. Process until very smooth and pudding-like, again stopping several times to scrape down the bowl. Set the pudding aside.

Make the vanilla pudding: using a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean down the center. Gently open the pod and scrape out the seeds using the side of the knife. Add the seeds to a medium pot with the coconut milk and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking occasionally. Meanwhile, combine the water and gelatin in a small bowl. When the milk mixture is just boiling, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the gelatin mixture until smooth and dissolved. Cool for 10 minutes.

While the pudding cools, combine the almond milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Stir this mixture into the pudding. Cool for 15 minutes.

Divide the chocolate ganache among small bowls or glasses. Pour the vanilla pudding mixture over the top. Refrigerate the parfaits for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.

Garnish with the cocoa nibs and fresh fruit before serving.




  1. This looks so refreshing and I love the “itty bitty” reference!! Mazel tov to Amy and her husband!!!

  2. LOVE chocolate pudding made with avocado, and I love the cocoa nibs. Yum. These are adorable!

  3. Hi Hallie,
    This has been so much fun and it is a great shower for Amy, she will love it. I love the presentation of your Chocolate and Vanilla Pudding Parfaits. I brought Cranberry Chicken Salad on Endive Spears to the party. It’s been fun cooking with you!
    Miz Helen

  4. Thank you so much for organizing this, Hallie! These little parfaits are too cute – then again I am a sucker for any kind of mini dessert :)

  5. You did such a great job organizing this Hallie – It has been a plesure. My only regret is that this is a virtual shower because I want to eat these babies right up!

  6. you guys rock! this is so cool! what a special, special thing for Amy. I love her site and am looking forward to “meeting” her little one! these pudding parfaits look delish Hallie!

  7. Hallie!! I was just thinking about you this morning in my meditation time – and about how loving and supportive you always are. And then I see this! I am so overwhelmed with gratitude. Having friends like you makes all the things we walk through in life so much easier to do. Thank you for taking the time to plan this for me.

    Much love,

  8. This looks fabulous! I just made a similar vanilla pudding yesterday for a banana cream pie, but I LOVE that yours doesn’t have eggs in it! Must try both of these recipes :)

  9. Hallie, you and Maggie did a fantastic job throwing this party! And these parfaits are just beautiful. You are making me muster up the courage to try avocado in a pudding. xoLexie

  10. I am going to have to exercise really really really hard to burn off all of these calories we are eating today! LOL These are absolutely beautiful! Such a brilliant idea, Hallie! And I make chocolate pudding with avocado all of the time for the kids. They think they are getting such a treat!
    By the way, a month is far too long for me to keep a secret too!

  11. So lovely Hallie! That’s exactly how I make chocolate pudding too!

  12. Love the avocado and dates in this pudding! They are sooo cute, and congrats to Amy!

  13. These parfaits are so perfect and beautiful Hallie! I love everything about them. Honestly, they’re perfect! The shot glass idea is genius. How fun for kids too! Congrats on such a great shower! I’m so glad you thought of this! xo

  14. So beautiful, Hallie! Thanks for organizing.


  15. These ingredients are calling to me! i love how you’ve made a treat that is still good for you, I am anxious to try this, so unique!

    If you get a moment, our new blog hop opens again tonight, stop by and add a favorite recipe (this one would be awesome!)!

    Allergy Free Wednesdays@

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I'm Hallie Klecker, a professional recipe developer, author, and passionate gluten-free foodie. As a certified holistic nutrition educator, my goal is to inspire others to live a balanced, nourished life through eating well and living pure—one bite at a time. Learn more.