Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait

Creamy horchata chia pudding meets cacao and coconut yogurt in this healthy vegan chia pudding parfait, topped with cinnamon and cacao nibs.Cacao Horchata chia pudding

How’s your 2018? Treating you well, I sincerely hope. We here in the Santa Barbara area have not been faring so well.

We had a difficult close to 2017 when thousands, including my husband and I (and our three cats) were evacuated due to the largest fire in California history – smack dab in the middle of the holiday season, which was a doozy.

We were all just settling back into things, cleaning our ash-covered homes and yards, returning to our jobs and familiar routines, when heavy storms in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, January 9 sent the scorched, bare mountains over the small community of Montecito crumbling down, causing a massive and deadly mudslide.

This small town is where the majority of my clients, many whom I have cooked for for years and whom I consider friends and surrogate family members, reside.

close up of Cacao Horchata Vegan Chia Pudding Parfait layered in dessert jars

I can’t even explain the devastation.

It’s difficult to fathom that the images of the disaster-stricken areas I’m seeing on the news are the same streets I have driven to work every day; the same places I’ve dined, shopped, strolled, beached and hiked for the past eighteen years I’ve called this magical place home.

And it’s such a small, tight-knit community that everyone either knows or knows of someone who has been seriously affected by this tragedy.

Someone who has lost their home lost someone they love or someone who is still missing. Hundreds of local businesses (including my own) are likely to be impacted due to this event.

As much as I want this space to be a happy, sunny place that you come for nourishing, delicious recipes, this is just what’s going on in my world right now.

With rescue helicopters buzzing back and forth past my house, for now, the fourth day, I can’t just pop in and share a casual healthy breakfast recipe without acknowledging what’s happening in our neck of the woods.

Overhead close up of Cacao Horchata Chia Vegan Pudding Parfait with wooden spoons

Needless to say, it has been a very emotional time for so many of us.

Focusing on anything besides this situation is difficult.

But I’m trying to soldier on and part of that is bringing you this Cacao Horchata Chia Parfait.

This Cacao Horchata Vegan Chia Pudding Parfait!

It’s a lovely layered breakfast that combines cinnamon-spiked horchata flavored chia pudding with a dairy-free cacao flavored yogurt. Little did I know when I dreamed up this recipe in my head how beneficial it would be to me now.

Three jars of Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait

The healing and restorative powers of food never cease to amaze me.

We often think of the physical healing properties of certain foods, but perhaps even more incredible are the emotional benefits they can also impart, triggering feelings of happiness, satisfaction, nostalgia, calm.

Overhead close up of Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait with cinnamon stick

Why you will love this Vegan Chia Pudding recipe: 

  • It’s vegan and dairy-free.
  • Prep time is minimal – you can whip these babies up within 5 minutes.
  • The cinnamon-scented horchata chia pudding contrasts the dark cocoa coconut yogurt beautifully when layered in glass jars.
  • You can make a big batch on Sunday night and have your healthy chia pudding waiting for you in the fridge each morning of your workweek.

Two of the main ingredients in this Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait, cacao and cinnamon, are believed to be mood elevators. And right now I’ll take all the food mood boosters I can get.

One of the components of cacao is anandamide, also known as the ‘bliss molecule’ due to the feelings of euphoria it creates. 

The Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used cacao for spiritual purposes and in ceremonies, believing it to aid in creative guidance, therapeutic healing, heart opening and connection with the higher self.

Cinnamon is also known to have anti-depressant qualities. 

Here are some things to keep in mind with cinnamon:

  1. There are two main types, Cassia and Ceylon.
  2. While the Cassia variety does have health benefits, it also contains significant levels of a compound called coumarin, which may cause harm when consumed in large doses.
  3. Ceylon (also known as “true” cinnamon) is lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety. Most cinnamon found in grocery stores is the Cassia variety because it’s less expensive, but I like to keep a jar of Ceylon on hand for recipes that use a hefty amount of cinnamon (like this for this reason. My favorite is from Frontier Co-Op which I buy at Whole Foods, but you can also purchase it on Amazon. It’s organic and very affordable.

Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait partially eaten with spoon in jar

Tips for making this vegan Chia Pudding recipe:

  • I recommend full-fat coconut milk for this vegan chia pudding recipe as opposed to light products as it lends the horchata chia pudding so much more body and flavor.
  • Should the fish-egg look of chia seeds bother you, feel free to grind the chia seeds in your spice mill or small food processor. Don’t worry – this won’t compromise their gelling abilities.
  • If possible, use Ceylon cinnamon for this recipe. 

Thanks for reading, and for understanding that the most important thing to me right now is helping my community heal and rebuild from this tragedy.

I promise I’ll be back to more cheerful posts and recipes soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll make this Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding if you’re in need of a heart mending meal.

Thanks for reading! To keep up with my kitchen escapades, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest. If you make this Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding, please share it using the hashtag #LePetitEats!

5 from 2 votes

Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait

Creamy horchata chia pudding meets cacao and coconut yogurt in this healthy vegan chia pudding parfait, topped with cinnamon and cacao nibs.

Course Breakfast
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword cacao chia pudding, chocolate chia pudding, vegan chia pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Denisse


  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup light coconut milk from a can
  • 2 teaspoons cacao powder
  • 1 cup vanilla coconut yogurt or other vanilla yogurt of choice
  • 1 tablespoon cacao nibs


  1. Add chia seeds, maple syrup, cinnamon and coconut milk to a container and stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour up to preferably overnight.
  2. In a separate container, mix together cacao powder and yogurt.
  3. Spoon yogurt and chia pudding into jars, alternating layers. Top with cinnamon and cacao nibs.

Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait with cinnamon stick, cacao nibs and linen napkin

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Cacao Horchata Chia Pudding Parfait - Creamy chia pudding meets cinnamon, coconut milk, coconut yogurt and cocoa in this vegan breakfast parfait. The perfect sweet and easy make-ahead breakfast pudding for clean eating #vegandesserts, #veganmealprep
Horchata Chia Pudding - healthy chia pudding meets rich and smooth coconut cacao yogurt in this creamy vegan make ahead breakfast parfait. The perfect cleaneating meal prepping recipe for weekdays #chiapudding, #mealprep #puddingrecipes #brunch #superfood

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  1. The Crumby Vegan

    I love this recipe and my husband will go crazy for it, so thank you for the inspiration!

    However I am very sorry to hear what you have been going through and I do hope that your fortune and the fortune of the others around you soon changes. Weather can be so devastating 🙁 💚

    1. Denisse Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words and concern. We’re a united community and I know we’ll persevere after this event- enjoy the recipe!

  2. Albert Bevia

    So sorry for what you went/are going through, that part of California is the most beautiful…so sad….this is an incredible parfait you have created, so many great flavors and a great punch of health benefits


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