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Puerto Rican coconut pudding. Adapted from a recipe from the Associated Press. My changes are in parenthesis below. I replaced a portion of the coconut milk with richer, thicker coconut cream. The rose water and orange blossom water are my addition but are optional. You can substitute real vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste instead. Reduced fat coconut milk doesn't work well in this pudding.


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15 Min
Stove Top


  • 1/2 c
    sugar (used unbleached white granulated)
  • 1/3 c
    arrowroot (subbed for cornstarch)
  • 20 oz
    coconut cream
  • 6 oz
    coconut milk
  • 1 pinch
  • 2 tsp
    finely grated orange zest (original recipe specified zest of 1 whole orange)
  • 1/2 tsp
    rose water (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp
    orange blossom water (optional)
  • 1 tsp
    vanilla paste or extract (can also use a piece of vanilla pod, about 1")
  • 1 Tbsp
    sugar (unbleached white granulated)
  • scant 1/2 tsp
    ground cinnamon (reduced from 1 teaspoon but add more if you wish)

How to Make Tembleque


  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of the sugar and the arrowroot. Whisk in the coconut cream, coconut milk and salt, then set over medium heat. Whisk until simmering and thickened-do not boil! Reduce heat if necessary.
  2. Remove from the stove and stir in the orange zest, (rose water and orange blossom water if using) and/or vanilla paste/extract. Pour the pudding into a 9-by-9-inch baking dish or individual ramekins. (I use and prefer clear glass ramekins).
  3. In a small bowl or cup, mix together the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar with the cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the pudding, then cover and refrigerate until set and completely chilled, about 2 hours.

Printable Recipe Card

About Tembleque

Course/Dish: Puddings
Main Ingredient: Nuts
Regional Style: Puerto Rican
Dietary Needs: Vegan Dairy Free

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