Bakers know there's nothing more versatile than a custard base. This thick, creamy dessert sauce, can be the starting point for a variety of other desserts as it can be, frozen, baked, thinned, thickened, or even combined with other foods depending on the uses. The same can almost be said for rice given the many cuisines that employ if for desserts. So it was only a matter of time before the two foods intersect and this, Rice Pudding came into the world.

Today, there are many variations to rice pudding spread across several cultures, proving that this is one mean combination. The following recipe happens to be a widely known variant called coconut rice pudding; a popular infusion of baked vanilla custard, coconut, and rice.

And as a bonus to those who love baking, this recipe also includes other dessert variations to encourage further experimentation.

A tropical pudding recipe


  • 1/2 cups pudding rice
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp flaked coconut
  • 2 tbsp grated coconuts
  • Butter as needed


  1. Preheat an oven to 190°C. Place the coconut flakes on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Wash the rice thoroughly and drain well. Set aside. Pour the coconut milk into a microwavable bowl and heat in the microwave until bubbles form on the surface. Stir the milk every 15 seconds until then. Don't overheat or it will curdle.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, raisins, vanilla, and grated coconut by whisking. Temper the mixture by whisking 1/4 of the heated milk into it. Pour the mixture into the remaining milk and whisk until thick. Fold in the pudding rice.
  4. Grease the inside of a baking dish with the butter. Pour the mixture into a baking dish that can hold a quart and smooth down the surface evenly with a wooden spoon. Pour water into the pan at about 1 inch high, then bake for 1 hour or until the pudding sets and is lightly brown.
  5. Remove to cool. Garnish with the toasted coconut flakes, cut into four equal pieces and serve.

Serves: 4


  • Coconut lime: Add 1 teaspoon of lime zest to the base before cooking.
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg: Add 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the base before cooking. Substitute powdered or grated nutmeg for the toasted coconuts flakes.
  • Coconut rice souffle: Add 1 oz of cornstarch to the base before cooking. Fold 1/4 of meringue into the finished custard and pour the mixture into prepared ramekins before baking.
  • Non-baked rice pudding: Skip Steps 4 and 5. Just serve in bowls instead.
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