November 17, 2017

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Cardamom

rice pudding with coconut milk and cardamom

Creamy and delicious rice pudding with a twist.

Creamy rice pudding, known around these parts as arroz con leche, is a typical Spanish treat that you are likely to encounter in both Spanish homes and traditional restaurants all around the country. Personally, I’ve always had a soft spot for a good bowl of rice pudding, as I grew up ordering it in New Jersey diners when visiting my grandparents.

When I first came to Spain to study abroad I basically survived on rice pudding at my homestay, as the women who was hosting me couldn’t cook, and would serve me frozen foods and pasta salad with tuna night after night. One of the only things that she made that I actually liked was her rice pudding– so I ate that for dinner before a night out in Granada’s tapas bars. Later in life, when I met my Spanish mother-in-law, I was happy to find out that her specialty was also a good homemade rice pudding– in fact, it’s the only homemade dessert she makes!

This recipe for rice pudding with coconut milk and cardamom is far from Spanish– it has more of an Indian influence I believe. But one day I was craving rice pudding and decided to experiment. This is what came out– and trust me, it is pure heaven in a bowl.

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Cardamom

My twist on Spanish rice pudding

Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk and Cardamom
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


An easy and quick recipe for rice pudding with coconut milk and cardamom!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Spanish Fusion
Serves: 2

  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (freshly ground if possible)
  • 2 cups of full fat, high quality coconut milk (I find Goya to be poor quality for this recipe and here in Spain I buy the brand sold at Corte Inglés)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (you can always add more)
  • ¼ cup basmati rice
  • Pinch of salt
  • Lime zest
  • Toasted almonds
  • Toasted coconut
  • Fresh fruit (optional, but I like mango or berries)

  1. In a saucepan bring the coconut milk, whole milk, and sugar to a bubble (stir to make sure the bottom doesn’t stick or burn).
  2. Add in the rice, cardamom, and salt. Stir well and lower the heat to a simmer. Let it reduce over the next 45 minutes until it is a thick and creamy pudding consistency. Make sure to stir every few minutes so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom or burn.
  3. Taste the pudding, add more sugar if necessary and let it cool. You can serve it warm, or spoon it into serving bowls and refrigerate until cold.
  4. In the meantime, toast slivered almonds and sweetened coconut in a hot oven (don’t let them burn!). Top the rice pudding with the toasted almonds and coconut, grated lime zest, and mango or other fresh fruit.
  5. Enjoy your very own rice pudding with coconut milk and cardamom!

Even if you aren’t a big rice pudding fan, give this version a try. It has an amazing flavor and with the right toppings is one of my favorite desserts!

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