This chocolate and vanilla pudding pops recipe uses date sweetened chia pudding to give a long lost frozen dessert favorite a healthy vegan makeover!
Chocolate or vanilla?
This has always been one of the hardest food decisions for me. Picking an ice cream flavor as a kid I always deliberated between these two (because I was distrustful of any flavor that looked like a rainbow or had too many unidentified chunks). Usually I decided on vanilla. You can always turn vanilla into chocolate with enough syrup, but there is no turning chocolate into vanilla.
Or trying to pick a birthday cake flavor. Did I want chocolate cake with vanilla frosting or vanilla cake with chocolate? Ugh, why must seven-year-old life be so hard?! I was a very non-adventurous child, so nothing as crazy as strawberry or carrot or coconut even had a chance.
I sometimes still struggle with picking a flavor of protein powder for my smoothie–chocolate or vanilla? It always comes back to those two.
I honestly cannot pick a favorite. But why should we when they are so good together!
I’ve had this idea floating around in my head to recreate pudding pops using chia pudding. What are pudding pops? Well apparently they are a much missed Jello product from the 80s. I wasn’t alive, I’ve never had one, but I very much like the sound of frozen pudding on a stick.
The original ones came in chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate-vanilla swirl flavors, so of course I went with the chocolate-vanilla swirl for my pudding pops recipe. Less decisions please!
The chocolate pudding in this pudding pops recipe is adapted from my Chia Pudding Dirt Cups. The vanilla pudding is similar but with vanilla bean powder instead of cacao, and white chia seeds instead of black to preserve the lighter color.
Thick creamy date-sweetened pudding makes for a wonderfully fudgy pop…
Snack? Dessert? Maybe even an on-the-go breakfast?
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Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Chia Pudding Pops
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 480 minutes
- Total Time: 510 minutes
- Yield: 6 pops 1x
- 1 1/4 cup non-dairy millk
- 3 tbsp white chia seeds
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 tsp vanilla bean powder
- 1 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 3 tbsp white or black chia seeds
- 2 tbsp cacao powder (or cocoa)
- 4 pitted medjool dates
- In one jar, combine all the ingredients for the vanilla pudding. In another jar, combine all the ingredients for the chocolate.
- Stir or shake each jar to combine.
- Let them sit for about 15 minutes to soften the chia seeds.
- Pour the entire contents of the vanilla jar into a blender. Blend until smooth. Repeat with the chocolate.
- Layer the chocolate and vanilla puddings into your popsicle molds, swirling with a chopstick or the back of a spoon as you go.
- Freeze overnight.
- Remove from the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until they are soft enough to come out of the molds. You can run them under warm water to help it along as well.
- Enjoy your popsicles and keep the rest in the freezer.
Chocolate and vanilla meet again! Chocolate + Vanilla Caramel Core Ice Cream Cups
And our favorite flavor friends are together once more in these Healthy Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes
Leah M | love me, feed me says
I’ve always been a vanilla > chocolate person, but given the option to have both – yes yes yes please! These look so fudgy and delicious! I’m going through such a popsicle phase right now and I think these are what are going to happen next! So goooooood.
I’m in a popsicle phase too right now, but that’s probably because I just got a popsicle mold and I’ve been seeing popsicles all over the place all summer so now I’m like GOTTA CATCH UP!!!!! Plus they are so dang easy Chocolate and vanilla are best together I think 🙂
I literally JUST wrote down a “pudding pop” recipe yesterday. Great minds! These look fab! I used to LOVE pudding pops and fudgsicles!!
Hahaha! I’ve been meaning to do it for forever and I saw something similar on IG last week that finally pushed me to do it. Can’t wait to see yours too! 🙂
HaHa, well, can’t guarantee it will be anytime soon….
Shelby @ Go Eat and Repeat says
Why choose when you can have both?! I love that you swirled them together to make these delicious little popsicles! Yummy!
Better together 🙂 Thanks Shelby!
Demeter | Beaming Baker says
Lolol. I can totally see you as a kid, Natalie, giving some rainbow, gumball-filled ice cream the stinkeye. Like, what’s going on with this ice cream? Do I chew it, do I eat it, what should I do? 😉 Well thank you for saving us all from having to choose! No one wants to do that, especially on a Monday. Yes, I just harrumphed! You know I love my popsicles and this one is sure to please. Plus, a little birdy told me that I could eat these for breakfast. And if there’s one thing I for suresies want for breakfast, it’s these!! Less decisions and more pops, please! <–unintentional rhyming happening here!! Must be all of that free space I've incurred due to less decision-making. Yes, that's it! I'll be dreaming about these pops to get me through the week! Have a great one, Nat! xoxo
Oh don’t even get me started on the gumballs in the topping bar…silliest thing ever!! You would end up with a mouthful of gum, a sore jaw (because frozen gum = jaw workout) and no place to shove more ice cream. A very sad end to an ice cream outing I think. So yeah, major stinkeye from me. Double stinkeye even ? (<- imagine these but stinkier). Although I did put gummy bears on mine so...weirdo lol. I do love that birds that makes the is-it-breakfast-approved? decisions...I may have paid him off a few times 😉 "...suresies" hehe, had to do that. None of this swirling would've happened without ya! You are the reason I bought the whole popsicle thing so...THANK YOU <333 I hope your weak is free of any and all hard decisions and full of loads of muffins and pops and other such sweet matters! xo
Hahaha!!! I can totally relate to that ice cream decision as a kid! I usually went for the vanilla drowned in chocolate syrup or caramel sauce 😉 But you get the best of both worlds with these pudding pops! YUM!! Aren’t popsicle molds the greatest?! We’ve been using ours to pour leftover smoothies – anything in popsicle form tricks Willow into believing it’s dessert. I would totally eat these for breakfast! Need to get my hands on more vanilla powder and white chia seeds. <3
Willow and me both! I play that popsicle trick on myself too, there is just something more fun when you can lick it instead of drink it 🙂 Plus you don’t have to blend it’s just in the freezer waiting to be eaten. Yeah, I feel a bit annoying calling for the white chia seeds, but otherwise it would probably have turned out the color of cement and nobody wants to see that lol. Thank you for your sweet (as always) comment <3
Woow this recipe is definitely my kind of Ice-favorite. I truly had the same issue deciding between chocolate or vanilla. This one is such a great solution :)! Hope to try it soon. Still don’t have popsicles “forms” :/. xX much Love!
You too?! Thank goodness for some ice cream shops that actually had a choco-vanilla swirl flavor, saved me some stress lol. Ugh I finally broke down and bought the popsicle mold…a pain to store for half the year, but (I think) worth it for the summer months. You could always use paper cups, that’s what I used to do! Thanks Annelina <3 xo
Hi Natalie, these pops look amazing! I’m pinning the recipe for later this week. Thank you!
Hi Francesca! Thank you, and thanks for the pop pin 🙂
Heather McClees says
This recipe looks great! Pops are so fun! 🙂 I have never seen a recipe using chia before, very cool! 🙂
Thanks Heather! I’ve seen some pop recipes with the actual chia texture going on, but ever since I discovered the smooth chia seed thing I can’t help but always blend them 🙂
rachel @ athletic avocado says
So stoked I don’t have to make that decision anymore! All the chocolate AND vanilla! These are genius Natalie, pinned for later 🙂
I know right, big sigh of relief lol 😀 Thanks Rachel!
The Vegan 8 says
These are so healthy, they could totally pass for breakfast!! I absolutely love both vanilla and chocolate and definitely hit different moods and cravings for each one, but believe it or not, I love vanilla slightly more! Shocking, I know, haha! I love the smell, the gourmet-ness of it, the calming taste and sweetness that naturally comes from vanilla. But when I’m having a rich attack happen, I need chocolate, which happens very often. These are so fabulous and I love, love that there is no banana! I am not a fan of traditional chia pudding at all because of the grainy texture but since you blend this up, I bet it is so much better that way and in popsicle form, heck yeah! I love your video, it’s one of my favorites yet, love all the different angles and the music! Loving those gorgeous swirls and pics!!
If I was forced to choose I think I would have to agree with you on that bold vanilla > chocolate statement actually! Yes the smell…ahhh <3 It's my favorite scent for body care products too. "Rich attack" lol 😀 I know the feeling, but that is a great name for it. Basically life needs both I think 🙂 I didn't even intend for them to be breakfast appropriate, that was just a lucky realization that hit me afterwards. And yes the creamy chia beats funky textured chia any day for me too! Thanks Brandi 🙂
Aimee | Wallflower Kitchen says
YYYEEEEESSSSSSSSS. I am so trying these! No one should ever have to choose between chocolate or vanilla. We deserve both. Looks SO good, Natalie 😀
Yay!!! And they are banana free for once 😀 I hope you love them Aimee!
Zoë Barefoot says
Hey Natalie! So I was wondering how many cups your dates make? I think my dates are quite small I’m not sure so my 4 dates is totally different.
Dates are hard to measure, but I would estimate my 4 dates to be about 1/3 cup. It doesn’t have to be exact though, so if yours are smaller anywhere from 6-8 should be fine. Just taste the pudding and make sure it’s sweet enough for you!
Zoë Barefoot says
Haha well thanks! I didn’t know if it had to also do with consistency
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy says
Yay you bought and used popsicle molds…I imagined that if you had some, you’d be creating magic with them and these are awesome! Of course, love the use of chia seeds…these popsicles are so easy. Going to see if i can squeeze in some time to try them out, but I’m reaching my end limit of being overstretched at the end of summer ha! Although once school starts it’s still hot here for awhile, so I’ll definitely be trying them out then.
Yes!! Finally! And totally worth the 15 bucks for all the new recipes I can try with it. I know I’m feeling the same way–so many chilly treats to make, not enough summer left? I really want to get to try your fudge pops soon! It will be hot enough here for another month or two as well, but it just feels out of season posting pops in October, ya know? lol Wow I can’t believe school starts soon, but at least you will have more blog time then!
Anjali @ Vegetarian Gastronomy says
Yes definitely feels out of season in october to POST about popsicles, but at least it’s not out of season for us to make and enjoy them! =) I expect many more from you at some point! And YES…you’ll LOVE my fudge ones…they REALLY taste like chocolate fudge! Still my fav…and YES, I am so burned out by summer…tons of fun, but I need some time for myself so it’ll be a nice change.
Terrific webpage you have there
Nelli Kübarsepp says
Hey Natalie! Found your popsicle recipe on IG few days ago and today I got the one missing ingredient – and – now the popsicles are waiting in the freezer to be eaten!! Can hardly keep my fingers away because the few leftover bites were simply amazing 🙂
Thank you so much for the inspiration!
Hi Nelli! Did you like them?! I hope they were frozen pop perfection? Oh I know, it’s hard not to just eat all the pudding before freezing it! Thanks for the sweet comment, and I hope you enjoy? (Sorry for the late response btw, traveling and poor wifi?)
Nelli Kübarsepp says
Hi Natalie! Yess I love them! My dates were quite small, therefore the end result wasn’t as sweet as you expect from the sweets (hehe 🙂 ), but it’s exactly perfect for me 🙂 Thank you again for the inspiration!
And, have a great and spontaneous trip 😉
audrey @ unconventional baker says
But why were you distrustful of the colorful things?! 😀 That really made me laugh — for some reason I really associate your style with a lot of color. Vanilla is great either way though. Now I was alive in the 80s (getting old… ?) but have no recollection of pudding pops being associated with that time period.. so interesting! These sound really yummy.
That’s a good question? There’s just something shady about rainbow sorbet…like I knew even then it was all lies. I’ve gotten more colorful in my old age? I had to wikipedia pudding pops to find out when they were a thing, perhaps you were already too cool to be eating frozen treats from a box back then?
audrey @ unconeventional baker says
Haha. Definitely not! I was still having McDonald’s multiple times a week almost into my 20s ???. However, now that you’ve elaborated I know exactly what you mean. There’s something very scary about American culture and neon rainbow colored things… like all those muffins and cakes… ? … they always scared the heck out of me. Vanilla it is for me ? Though some of my friends were really into those things, so to each his own I suppose…
Nisha / @rainbowplantlife says
Superfood popsicles? You don’t say! Such a fun and healthy way to celebrate warm weather! And I love that they’re healthy enough to eat for breakfast 🙂
Seriously I think the healthy food world eats more “ice cream” for breakfast than anyone else 😀 Thanks Nisha!
So yummy!! I used coconut milk for the chocolate pudding and almond milk for the vanilla pudding, and they turned out great. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! I’ll definitely be making these again.
I am so happy you tried them! Mmm that coconut milk + chocolate pudding would’ve been quite the challenge not to just eat by the spoonful unfrozen haha 😀 Thanks for the feedback Tracy 🙂