1 Chill the coconut milk: The night before making this dessert, chill the unopened can of coconut milk (standing upright) in the fridge for at least 8 hours until solidified. (Be sure not to shake the can or turn it over. You want the fats to separate from the liquid, undisturbed.)
2 Scoop out the solid coconut cream: When ready to make the coconut whipped cream, chill the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl for 15 to 30 minutes until cold to prepare to make the whipped cream.
Gently (without tipping or shaking) open the can of coconut milk. With a spoon, scrape out the firm thickened cream from the top of the can, and stop when you get to the liquid layer. Transfer this thick cream to the mixing bowl. (Reserve the liquid for smoothies and other recipes.)
3 Make the coconut whipped cream: With the whisk attachment of your stand mixer or electric hand beaters, whip the cream on high for 2 to 3 minutes until it’s light, fluffy, and soft peaks form. (Be careful not to overbeat.) Add the sugar and vanilla, and beat just a few more seconds until combined. Transfer to the fridge to keep chilled while you make the pudding.
Get the step-by-step instructions: How to Make Coconut Whipped Cream
4 Make the pudding: Combine the almond or coconut milk, avocado, cacao powder, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla into a blender. Blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds until smooth and creamy. (If you have a high-speed blender, use the tamper to guide the ingredients through the blades. If you have a conventional blender, you will need to stop the machine and use a spatula to redistribute the ingredients.)
5 Assemble the pudding cups: Divide the pudding between four martini glasses, cocktail glasses, or dessert bowls. Top each pudding with 2 tablespoons sliced almonds or peanuts and a layer of sliced strawberries, if using, followed by a dollop of whipped coconut cream.
The pudding cups can be made an hour or two ahead, but after that, the avocado will start to oxidize and turn the pudding strange colors.