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Coconut Rice Pudding

Rice pudding gets a bad rap. Most of us think of the thick and bland dish often served in cafeterias or pre-made in little plastic dishes. The rice tended to be overlooked, too thick or too watery, and not particularly appetizing.

I think homemade rice pudding makes for the best January dessert. Why, you ask? You can enjoy it warm or cold, and topped with some of your favourite dried fruits like goji and blueberries. It’s the kind of dessert you tuck into with a sort of childlike excitement, personalizing it based on the flavours of the day.

I think arborio rice, the kind used to make risotto, makes for the best rice pudding. The higher starch content makes it extra rich and delicious, making it feel sinfully creamy.

This recipe has a milder coconut flavour in order to top it with any sort of dried fruits and nuts you desire. If you want the coconut flavour to be more pronounced, then simply alter the coconut milk to regular milk ratio.

Coconut Rice Pudding


  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 4 cups whole milk (or milk alternative)
  • 160mL coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dried fruits and chopped nuts to garnish, if desired (or grated dark chocolate for extra decadence)


  1. In a large pot, bring the milk, coconut milk, sugar, and arborio rice to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and add the salt, vanilla, and cinnamon stick.
  2. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until thickened and the rice is tender. Add the ground cinnamon and whipping cream. Remove from heat and pour rice pudding into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap right onto the surface of the rice to prevent it from forming a skin.
  3. Place in the fridge and allow it to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Serve cold or warm, garnished with dried fruits and/or chopped nuts. Keep in the fridge for up to one week.