Creamy coconut rice pudding is a simple one-pot dessert. Add a little granola, and you've transformed it into breakfast. The rice is perfectly tender without being mushy. This will become a family favorite.
Some of my favorite dessert recipes are ones that can also be served for breakfast! This coconut rice pudding is a perfect example. It's sweet, yet balanced by the flavors of coconut and cinnamon. Topped with a scoop of granola, this pudding transforms into a delicious breakfast. And if granola isn't your thing, then a scoop of fresh fruit, toasted coconut flakes or nuts are all excellent options or even no toppings at all.
What you need to make coconut rice pudding
Digital scale (or measuring cups and spoons)
Arborio rice. Using Arborio rice for this recipe is important because it is more starchy than long grain rice. This will cook your coconut rice pudding into a creamy texture. Additionally, arborio rice grains will keep their composition and will be pleasantly firm and chewy.
Whole milk. The milk, along with the starches of the rice, acts as the thickening agent in the rice pudding. Using full-fat milk will yield the creamiest pudding.
Coconut milk. Imparts the flavor of coconut. Using unsweetened coconut milk will allow you to control the overall sweetness of the coconut rice pudding.
Sweetened condensed milk. This will not only add sweetness to the pudding, but it also adds to the creaminess of your final product.
Ground cinnamon. This is completely optional, but ground cinnamon adds a lovely balance of flavor to the sweet and creamy pudding.
Salt. Using even just a bit of salt will help enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
Granola. This will add a nice texture. It is optional, but a scoop on top is delicious.
How to make coconut rice pudding
- Cook rice. Combine rice and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until most of the water is absorbed and then add both kinds of milk. Simmer over medium heat while stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened and rice is soft. This will take about 20-24 minutes.
- Add flavorings. Stir in condensed milk, cinnamon, and salt. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the mixture is slightly thick and creamy.
- Cool. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Spoon into serving dishes, top with granola, and serve immediately.
Tips and takeaways
- When making coconut rice pudding, do not rinse the rice. The starchiness is key to creating a creamy and thick mixture.
- Don't worry if you see that coconut milk has separated in its can. Add the entire contents of the can into the milk mixture. The coconut milk will melt right into the hot mixture and it won't affect your final product.
- If the cinnamon forms tiny clumps when you add it to the pudding mixture, then use a whisk to whisk the mixture until the clumps have dissolved.
- Note that your rice pudding will thicken as it cools. If it is still slightly runny when you remove it from the heat, it will set up and absorb the remaining liquid as it cools. For a very thick texture, allow your coconut rice pudding to cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. For a thinner texture, cook until consistency lightly coats the back of a wooden spoon.