This article originally featured in the January 2021 issue of Connect.

Day Bulger (Gunma)

Searching all over for a fun and unique holiday recipe? Well, look no further! This chocolatey treasure not only looks (and tastes) like Christmas incarnate, but it’s also totally vegan and easy to make in Japan and beyond! Your guests will never believe that the mastermind behind its rich and creamy texture is none other than the humble avocado!

This chocolate pudding tastes great all on its own, but if you’re looking to take your festive game to the next level, grab a bag of oranges and make your own serving bowls! This recipe whips up in about 30 minutes and is easily customizable to suit your holiday cravings. Feel free to put your own little spin on it while enjoying some dainty, avocado magic over the holidays.

Servings: 3-4 people (can be doubled or tripled according to your guest list)

For the Pudding:
1 large, ripe avocado
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Festive Garnish:
several medium-sized oranges (at least one for each person)
several mint leaves (optional)


Step 1: Prep the Orange Bowls
Cut the top off of each of the oranges. You can slice them off horizontally, or you can be really fancy and cut them off in a zigzag pattern. Scoop out the middle of the oranges (being careful not to poke any holes in them), and transfer the contents to a separate bowl. Squeeze out as much juice as you can from the orange contents and set aside. Rinse off the outsides of the orange bowls and dry with a paper towel.

Step 2: Prep the Chocolate-Orange Pudding
Place the four pudding ingredients together in a blender (a Magic Bullet blender is the perfect size for this job). Add about four tablespoons of the freshly-squeezed orange juice. Blend the ingredients together. The pudding will thicken up very quickly, so add more orange juice to thin it out as needed.

Step 3: Serve and Enjoy!
Spoon the chocolate-orange pudding from the blender into each orange bowl. Put each bowl on a plate. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. If not serving right away, cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


Day is a second-year Canadian JET and copy editor for CONNECT who currently resides in Annaka, Gunma. She adores cooking up tasty treats and is always on the lookout for new, plant-based recipes. In her spare time, she enjoys playing music, studying Japanese, and playing video games to her heart’s content.