Coconut rice pudding

Easy recipe with photos for Coconut Rice Pudding

Mexico’s tropical climate is perfect for coconut palms. They grace the coastline in much of the country. Coconut water and cocadas (coconut macaroons) are sold everywhere along roadsides and in markets. Rice came to Mexico by way of the Philippines, and was quickly embraced by the everyday cook, usually as a course on its own served as a sopa seca, a dry “soup”, before the plato fuerte, the main course. Rice and coconut seem like a natural combination in this creamy, flavorful pudding.

Rice pudding is a favorite Mexican dessert at fiestas, especially birthday parties. But I can’t say it is a favorite of mine, because it us usually dry, thick  and gluey. Coconut Rice Pudding corrects all of these shortcomings, but then it is no longer an authentic recipe. There are times when authenticity is not as important as making a dish that is very inviting and tasty. This recipe was inspired by one that is served at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. You can find it on

Coconut Rice Pudding
serves 6-8

  • 1 cup (7 oz./200 grams) raw rice
  • 2 cups (480 ml.) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3.5 grams) salt
  • 6 tablespoon (2 oz./60 grams) sugar
  • 3 tablespoon (.75 oz./80 grams) cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups (480 ml.) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon (.5 oz./12 grams) vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) coconut extract (optional)
  • 1/2 (3.5 grams) teaspoon salt
  • Toasted dried coconut flakes
  • Fresh fruit slices
  1. Bring water and salt to a boil. When water reaches a boil, add rice and swirl pan for a few seconds to dissolve salt. Cover and cook on very low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Do not lift the lid. Let rest for 10 minutes to completely absorb water. After 10 minute rest, fluff with a fork.
  2. Bring coconut milk to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring every few minutes.
  3. While coconut milk is heating, whisk sugar and cornstarch in a 1-quart bowl until blended. Whisk in eggs one at a time, until very smooth. Whisk in salt.
  4. When coconut milk reaches a simmer, slowly add to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour back into a  pan on the stove and cook over medium-low heat stirring constantly until thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.
  5. Pour coconut sauce over rice and gently fold together. Stir in vanilla and optional coconut extract.
  6. Press plastic wrap on surface of rice pudding and refrigerate until cold, 4-6 hours.
  7. Serve garnished with toasted coconut and slices of fresh fruit.


The small dish pictured above is a piece of inexpensive, low-fired pottery that is ubiquitous in Mexico. Dishes range from small bowls to very large cooking pots called cazuelas. I love the primitive look and feel of them, though they chip easily. I could use a pressure-cooker to cook beans, but I prefer to use the clay bean pot, which Mexican cooks claim gives a better taste to the beans. While potters assure us that today’s pottery is lead-free, just to be safe, I do not use them for storage or for acid foods.

10 thoughts on “Coconut rice pudding

  1. Pingback: Breaking Loose with Coconut Ice Cream « Cooking in Mexico

  2. Pingback: Coconut Muffins « Cooking in Mexico

  3. Noble Kassabaum

    Thanks for that , very interesting. I get so bored of plain rice recipes but i’m not very good when it comes to cooking. There’s loads of good ideas at this rice recipes site I found that you might find useful too.

  4. Dear Anon,I'm always happy when I see a reader inspired by a recipe and then personalizing it, making it their own. There are no rules in cooking. Thanks for your kind words. It's always great to get feed-back.

  5. Your enticing coconut pudding led me to try a similar version. Not having enough coconut milk, I used half soy milk and half coconut milk. I used approx. 2 cups of leftover cooked rice and simmered the rice and milks and eggs until thick and creamy. Omitting the cornstarch and sugar completely, I just added honey and vanilla to taste. The result was very satisfactory and could be eaten chilled or hot. Fresh fruit is always a great addition. Your recipes are very appealing and I enjoy your blog very much!

  6. a cool dish of this was fantastic today on the beach in san pancho nayarit!!! comfort food from the instant it enters your mouth.for readers who do not know what a great and healthy food coconut (and coconut oil) is do a little googling. you will be surprised. some form of coconut is a part of my daily diet. we have about 150 or more waiting to be harvested in our yard. aside from not wanting to have anything of value or living interrupting their earthward path when they decide to fall, they are a true wonder and gift of the tropics here.i'll bet your readers would like to see some of what we do with them in their various stages of development.

  7. Don Cuevas,I know what you mean. I just want my readers to know this is not a recipe one would find in authentic Mexican cuisine. There is always room for improvement, and the most important consideration is that we and those we feed like it.

  8. Kathleen said:"Coconut Rice Pudding corrects all of these shortcomings, but then it is no longer an authentic recipe. " "Authentic"? Does that characteristic matter so much if it's not appealing to you, your family and guests? There's plenty of "authentic" gruel and fat laden dishes around here, but they are not for me. Don't get me started on some of the unappealing "authentic" dishes. There'd be a long list.Fortunately, there are also good foods, some of which may happen to be authentic.Saludos, Don Cuevas

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