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Dairy Free Coconut Rice Pudding

Dairy-free rice pudding is the perfect dessert. It’s creamy, lightly sweetened, and can be enjoyed warm or cold. It’s so good you’d never even know it’s a dairy-free/vegan rice pudding recipe.

What’s Rice Pudding?

Traditional rice pudding is an easy dessert, that’s naturally gluten-free and made with whole milk or heavy cream, rice, white sugar, and spices. It gets cooked on the stove top until thick and creamy. Another popular Mexican variation is Arroz con leche, made with sweetened condensed milk

This healthier version of rice pudding is dairy free and has a smaller amount of sugar than many traditional homemade rice pudding recipes.

Ingredients

  • White jasmine rice – the best type of rice to use for coconut rice pudding.
  • Unsweetened full-fat coconut milk (from a can) – the good, healthy fats in canned coconut milk make it extra creamy, but you can also use canned light coconut milk if it’s what you have on hand.
  • Maple syrup – to lightly sweeten the rice pudding.
  • Orange zest – adds a lot of flavor and pairs nicely with the cinnamon and vanilla.
  • Vanilla extract – adds another layer of flavor. You can also use vanilla bean if you’d like.
  • Cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon – to infuse the milk with flavor and warmth.
  • Salt – to balance out the flavors.

How To Make Creamy Rice Pudding

Step 1. Add the rice and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.

Step 2. In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3. Pour the infused coconut milk over the rice and remove the cinnamon stick. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4. Serve with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, toasted coconut, nuts or seeds, miso caramel, etc.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.

How can you make this dairy-free rice pudding using what you already have? Here are some ideas

  • No jasmine rice? – use arborio rice instead for a similarly creamy texture.
  • No maple syrup? – use another sweetener of choice: honey, cane sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc.
  • No orange zest? – any type of orange citrus is great: blood orange, mandarine, tangerine, etc.
  • Coconut allergy? – use a creamy non-dairy milk such as oat milk, cashew milk, or soy milk. I wouldn’t recommend using almond milk unless the one you have is homemade or has a creamy consistency. Most tend to be too watery.

Helpful Tips

Don’t use brown rice. It still has the bran which gives it a chewier texture than white rice and won’t yield as creamy of a result.  

Have leftover cooked white rice in the fridge? Skip straight to the second step.

Use canned coconut milk. Not the kind in a carton like many dairy-free milk varieties. Canned coconut milk contains coconut cream which is what helps contribute to the creamy consistency.

More Dairy Free Desserts

Dairy Free Coconut Rice Pudding

5 from 3 votes
A mug of dairy free coconut rice pudding topped with fresh raspberries, blood orange slices, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Dairy-free rice pudding is the perfect dessert. It's creamy, lightly sweetened, and can be enjoyed warm or cold. It's so good you'd never even know it's a dairy-free/vegan rice pudding recipe.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Serving Size 4

Ingredients
 

  • ¾ cup dry white Jasmine rice or 1 ½ cups cooked rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 13.5 oz can unsweetened full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • zest of 1 orange
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cinnamon stick or ¼ tsp ground
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions

  • Add the rice and water to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover with a lid, and reduce the heat to low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is soft.
  • In a small saucepan, combine coconut milk, maple syrup, orange zest, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Pour the infused coconut milk over the rice and remove the cinnamon stick. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh fruit, a sprinkle of cinnamon, toasted coconut, nuts or seeds, miso caramel, etc.

Notes

Don’t use brown rice. It still has the bran which gives it a chewier texture than white rice and won’t yield as creamy of a result.  
Have leftover cooked white rice in the fridge? Skip straight to the second step.

Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations

No jasmine rice? – use arborio rice instead for a similarly creamy texture.
No maple syrup? – use another sweetener of choice: honey, cane sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, etc.
No orange zest? – any type of orange citrus is great: blood orange, mandarine, tangerine, etc.
Coconut allergy? – use a creamy non-dairy milk such as oat milk, cashew milk, or soy milk. I wouldn’t recommend using almond milk unless the one you have is homemade or has a creamy consistency. Most tend to be too watery.

2 Comments

  1. Joelle A Jennings says:

    5 stars
    This is so good! I love how the orange zest adds so much flavor (I used cutie zest).

    1. Lindsey Jenkins says:

      I’m glad you like it Joelle! Thanks for your review! 🙂

5 from 3 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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