A luxurious and rich dessert with simple ingredients and minimal effort. Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe with a dairy free option, is a go-to recipe for make ahead ease. This recipe is vegetarian, gluten free and easily dairy free. [ VIDEO on recipe card! ]
It’s that time of year… suddenly the stores turn pink and red with everything Valentines day. For me, I just take an opportunity to simply enjoy chocolate. And a little indulgent homemade meal with my love.
Why You Should Make Chocolate Pots de Crème
Of all the desserts I’ve ever made, Chocolate Pots de Crème (Po de Crem) is the one I come back to again and again. And for good reason.
- it’s simple and quick to whip up with just a few ingredients
- is make ahead easy
- is chocolatey rich (hello!)
- can be made as a gluten free dairy free dessert
Don’t let the fancy name dissuade you from giving this treat a go. Chocolate Pots de Crème is a custardy classic dessert loved by many and is so simple to whip up.
Ingredients for Chocolate Pot de Crème Recipe
With only a few ingredients you can create a luxurious, rich dessert (see recipe card for details):
- Whole Milk or Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 70%-85% Dark Chocolate – you’ll need one chocolate bar
- Cane Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Heavy Whipping Cream or Coconut Cream for Topping
- Chocolate Shavings or a Dusting of Cinnamon or Nutmeg for the Top
To make this Chocolate Pot de Crème recipe dairy free, whole milk can be swapped with full fat coconut milk, the canned variety. When I did this for the first time, Rob was pleasantly surprised that he didn’t taste coconut flavor in the custard. We prefer whipped cream on top, but if avoiding dairy, coconut whipped cream can be enjoyed instead.
How to Make Chocolate Pot de Crème
Making this recipe is a snap to make and it comes together fast. Baking takes longer and resting the custard, even longer. But the hands on time is minimal. In summary, here’s how to make em’ (see recipe card for details):
- First, preheat the oven, prepare the baking vessels, and pan and put a kettle of water on to boil.
- Next, heat the milk until just bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Give the pan a shake so that the chocolate is covered. Set a timer for one minute and allow the chocolate/milk mixture to set. Whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Set aside.
- Whisk the eggs, and sugar in a medium bowl, then, while whisking, pour the hot chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. A little first, then, the remaining hot chocolate. Add the vanilla and salt.
- Continuing, pour the custard into the vessels, add boiling water to the pan.
- Last, bake the custard for about 20-25 minutes.
This pots de crème recipe will need at least a few hours to rest in the refrigerator before they’re set and ready to enjoy.
Simple. Easy. Delicious.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Use a high quality dark chocolate bar for this recipe. You’ll need one, 3 oz bar. I like 80-85%, for a rich bittersweet dessert, but anywhere from 70%-85% can be used. See notes on recommended chocolate.
- Classic Chocolate Pots de Crème is baked in little lidded porcelain cups, but ramekins or oven proof glass jars work just as well. You’ll need four, 8oz baking vessels. I like glass jars but have also used ramekins.
- It’s super important for proper mouth feel, and silky smooth texture to bring the little pots out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before enjoying. One hour, if you can.
- Make ahead? Yes Please! Chocolate Pots de Crème can be made up to two days in advance!
- Can I make Chocolate Pots de Crème dairy free? Absolutely! Turn this recipe into a gluten free dairy free dessert by simply subbing the milk with full fat coconut milk (from a can) and whip coconut cream for the topping.
- Ri used coconut sugar as a sub for cane sugar.
- Margi subbed agave for cane sugar.
More Chocolatey Desserts to Love
- Chocolate Decadence
- Cheat’s Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse – by Kitchen Confidant
- Spiked Orange Hot Chocolate
- Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes – by Foolproof Living
- Chocolate Pudding – by The Bojon Gourmet
Chocolate Pots de Crème Recipe
- 1 C (240g or 260g) Whole Milk or Full Fat Coconut Milk (from a can)
- 3/4 C (3oz/85g) 70%-85% Dark Chocolate chopped fine, about one chocolate bar *see note
- 1 Whole Egg
- 1 Egg Yolk **see note for leftover white
- 2 Tbs Cane Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pinch of Fine Sea Salt
- Whipped Cream or Coconut Whipped Cream for topping
- Preheat oven to 300F (150C) and set oven rack in the center. Set four, 8oz (230g) ramekins or oven proof glass jars in the middle of a deep baking or roasting pan (at least 2"/ 5cm deep). Set aside.
- Put a kettle of water on to boil. This will be used to fill the pan 1/2 way, creating a water bath to gently bake the Pots de Creme.
- If using coconut milk, sometimes the fat settles at the top. Open the can and whisk until all the fat is incorporated with the liquid, then measure out one cup. In a medium sauce pot, heat the milk until just bubbling around the edges. Whisk, then allow the bubbles to return around the edges. Remove from heat and immediately add the chopped chocolate. Give the pan a shake so that the chocolate is covered. Set a timer for one minute and allow the chocolate/milk mixture to set. After one minute, whisk until all the chocolate is melted. Set aside.
- In a large spouted measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk the whole egg, egg yolk, and sugar together until throughly combined. While whisking the egg mixture, add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate mixture to the eggs and whip vigorously (this is tempering so as to not scramble the eggs with the hot milk mixture). After about 10 seconds, you can pour the remaining chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Add the vanilla extract and pinch of salt. Whisk again.
- *OPTIONAL* If you're concerned that there may be any bits of cooked egg in the chocolate mixture, you can run the custard through a sieve before pouring it into the vessels.
- Divide the chocolate custard evenly into the four vessels (a little under 1/2 C each) being careful not to spill into the pan. Carefully fill the pan 1/2 way with boiling water, then gently transfer the pan to the oven. Lay a sheet of foil over the top of the custards.
- Bake the custards for 22-25 minutes or until the custard is set but the center still juggles a bit. Remove from oven. Use tongs to transfer the vessels to a plate, then transfer to the refrigerator. Allow to set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours so the custard has time to set. If needed, the pots can be made up to two days ahead. Once chilled, cover the pots until ready to share. Remove from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes prior to enjoying.
- Share with lightly sweetened whipped cream or whipped coconut cream, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, or with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.
Traci!!! Thank you so much for this recipe! I made these yesterday and today’s morning started with this absolutely decadent dessert!! I love it so much, its one of the best I’ve made and tried! and so easy to do!! the only problem – can’t stop eating it)) I used coconut milk and coconut sugar and it turned out perfect!
Your blog is a source of inspiration for me! Sending you good vibes all across the globe from Moscow.
Hello Ri from Moscow! Thank you for your note, kind words and sharing your tip about coconut sugar! I’ll add a note. Hooray for a fabulously chocolatey treat!
These look perfectly divine!
Thank you Alanna! :D
I made the Chocolate Pot de Cremes for Valentine’s Day. Traci’s photos made them look delicious and indeed they were! I don’t eat gluten, dairy or sugar. I wrote Traci to get her recommendation for substituting something for the sugar. She wrote me right back suggesting maple syrup. I was concerned about the maple flavor showing up in the taste so I substituted the sugar with agave. It was seriously delicious! No gluten, no dairy, and no sugar! Loved it! What a treat! Thanks Traci! Love your blog! Always look forward to your new creations!
Hiii Margy! Thank you so much for your note and sharing your agave sub… so happy to hear you enjoyed these little treats! :D
Kelly | Foodtasia
Traci, these look like a chocolate dream! The small serving containers are essential – I couldn’t restrain myself from eating a whole dish-full!
Hi Kelly! Thank you for your note! I’m SO with you! hehe… I’ve double batched these little pots and let me just say my it was challenging not to indulge just a little more :D
Sarah | Well and Full
What a delicious, sweet treat! So gorgeous, Traci! :)
Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
These couldn’t be more perfect for Valentine’s Day! They’re so beautiful and I love that you can make them dairy-free too. Happy Valentine’s Day, Traci!
Looks yummy!! Can you use granulated sugar instead of cane sugar!
Hi Lisa, thank you and yes!
Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
This is my kind of Valentine’s Day dessert! So pretty
These are so cute! Thanks for sharing!
Hi Karly! Thank you so much! :D
Miiiiam ! it’s very delicious dessert for me
So happy to hear! Thank you for your note!
I just made these and don’t have whipping cream. What can I whip up to dollop on top?
I Lynne… You can make coconut whip cream if you like. Put a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge. It needs to set a few hours or overnight. Open the can and scoop out the fat layer on top (use the remaining liquid for a smoothie, or curry – it freezes with ease). Add a bit of sugar to taste, about 1 Tbs to start and a bit of vanilla extract. Whip using a stand mixer or hand beaters for about 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy (sometimes it can take a bit longer, depending on the speed of the mixer). I hope this helps and you enjoy the recipe.
Thanks so much! My coconut milk is chilling now. If I remember before the guys eat it, I’ll take a picture.
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
Oh my goodness, these are so cute and yummy! The perfect Valentine treat (or really any time)! Love how easy these are to make and your photos are just gorgeous, Traci!
It’s so true… for any time! I make these quite a bit. I like that they don’t have a lot of sugar in them too… but just enough to soothe a sweet tooth! Thank you so much Geraldine! (trade for a brownie!)
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
You’ve stolen my heart with these wonderful little pots de creme Traci! And Tom’s too! These would be a hit for Valentin’es Day here. I bet Tom would have a hard time sharing. Your photos, as usual, are making me incredibly hungry! Well done my friend!
Tom too!?! I know that doesn’t happen very often, so I gotta relish in that spotlight! (hehe)! Rob loooves these, but always with extra whipping cream! I hope you and Tom enjoy them as much as we do! xo
Be still my heart! Exquisite, my friend! Have a beautiful weekend! xo
Thank you so much Annie! I knew you’d appreciate these! xo
Auuuuhhhhhgh – i’m so glad to see these on here! I can attest with firsthand knowledge how good they are from the times you’ve made them for us for dessert. It amazes me every time that you haven’t spent hours in the kitchen, creating these delights. So luxurious!
Oh myyy! Yes, you know it! You’re going to love how easy these are Jen! xo
Have you done this with soy milk?
Hi Tonya! I have not. If it’s store bought, most non dairy milks are mostly water, so there may not be enough fat in soy milk for these pots to set. I hope this helps
I’m so excited about this recipe Traci – february is a busy month in our home with 4 birthdays (we are swimming in dem highly sensitive pisces, haha) – anyhoot, the idea of an elegant make-ahead dessert that I can have in the fridge for the 14th is just perfect! thank you my friend, x.
My goodness! It’s a whole house of birthday celebrations! What fun! I hope y’all enjoy these simple pots, Kelly! Happy Birthday my dear! xo
I never realized how relatively easy pots de creme are to make. I usually don’t have much success with stove top custard recipes so this intrigues me. Thanks for spreading the love, Traci! Enjoy your Valentine’s Day! Also, the changes to your site look great.
Hi Jean! Thank you for your feedback… it is really helpful! Ohh I hope you’ll give these a go Jean.. they really are simple to pull together. And with delicious results!
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
You can be my valentine any day, Traci! Just bring me these chocolate treats…that’s the way to be heart! Beautiful photos, as always. Have a fabulous weekend!
I’m SO with you Liz! Bring on the chocolate!