Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding

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Small dessert glass filled with vegan rice pudding and garnished with ground cinnamon and a cinnamon stick

Does it get more classic than a bowl of rice pudding? Talk about nostalgia! We’d been craving this comforting dessert for far too long, and so our perfected vegan version was born. It’s perfectly sweet, super creamy, and SO classic!

Naturally sweetened and just 7 ingredients, 1 pot, and 25 minutes required. Let’s make rice pudding!

Rice, salt, cornstarch, vanilla, maple syrup, coconut milk, almond milk

Origins of Rice Pudding

Rice pudding exists in many forms in cultures around the world (source). From Trinidad to Venezuela, Ireland, Thailand, India, and beyond, a creamy rice-based concoction has found its way onto dessert menus worldwide.

The exact ingredients used vary by region and preference, but most recipes include some sort of rice, milk, spices/flavorings, sweetener, and sometimes eggs. The following is our inspired vegan version based on what we grew up knowing and loving!

How to Make Vegan Rice Pudding

Our version begins with combining dairy-free milk (we like almond for its neutral flavor) with maple syrup for natural sweetness, cornstarch to thicken, and sea salt to enhance all the flavors.

The cornstarch is the egg replacement in this recipe. We tested both with and without it and prefer the creamy, cling-to-the-rice texture it provides.

Pouring coconut milk into a pot with maple syrup, vanilla, almond milk, and cooked white rice

Once the mixture has cooked with the rice, we add light coconut milk to make it rich and creamy with minimal coconut taste and vanilla for classic rice pudding flavor.

Placing parchment paper over a bowl of rice pudding to prevent a film from forming on the top

The result is tender, fluffy rice coated in sweet, creamy perfection! You can either enjoy it warm (with optional toppings like cinnamon and raisins), or cover with parchment paper or plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming) and enjoy after chilling.

Spoon scooping out rice pudding from a glass

We hope you LOVE this rice pudding! It’s:

Super creamy
Cinnamon-spiced
Perfectly sweet
Comforting
Quick & easy
& Kind of perfect!

It’s a great way to repurpose leftover rice in an extra delicious way. Rice pudding also keeps well, making it the perfect dessert to have on hand in the fridge throughout the week.

More Creamy Vegan Desserts

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Spoon holding a bite of rice pudding sprinkled with cinnamon

Creamy Vegan Rice Pudding (1 Pot)

Creamy, perfectly sweet vegan rice pudding made in 1 pot with just 7 ingredients. Naturally sweetened and SO comforting and nostalgic!
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Using a wood spoon to scoop up a bite of creamy vegan rice pudding
4.89 from 9 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 (Servings)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 4-5 Days

Ingredients

RICE PUDDING

  • 1 ½ cups cooked white rice (we prefer jasmine rice because it holds its shape well while still being soft)
  • 1 ½ cups dairy-free milk (plain, unsweetened // we used almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk (we like Whole Foods 365 brand)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

FOR SERVING optional

  • Cinnamon
  • Raisins

Instructions

  • If you don’t already have cooked white rice, prepare it at this time using these instructions. 1/2 cup dry rice yields ~1 ½ cups cooked. Set aside.
  • To a medium saucepan, add the dairy-free milk, maple syrup, cornstarch, and sea salt. Whisk to combine, then add cooked white rice and stir with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Heat the saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for about 13-16 minutes or until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid but is still slightly runny. It should resemble risotto. Next, add the light coconut milk and vanilla extract and stir constantly for 2-4 minutes until the mixture is thick yet pourable. It should look like a loose risotto — it will thicken as it cools.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and let the pudding cool for a few minutes if serving warm (option to top with cinnamon and raisins). Alternatively, you can let it cool completely.
  • To cool the pudding, place into a medium heat-proof bowl and cover the top of the pudding with parchment paper or plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Again, option to serve with cinnamon and raisins. We prefer the chilled rice pudding.
  • It will keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. It can be frozen, but we find the texture becomes grainy and brittle rather than smooth and tender.

Video

Notes

*To prepare your rice pudding in the Instant Pot (using DRY white rice), add 1/2 cup rice to the Instant Pot along with the remaining ingredients. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 6 minutes. Let pressure release naturally (~15 minutes). Remove the lid and stir. The rice pudding will thicken as it rests. For a thicker pudding, you can set the Instant Pot to sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.
*Loosely adapted from Allrecipes.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 170 Carbohydrates: 32.9 g Protein: 2 g Fat: 3 g Saturated Fat: 1.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.6 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 138 mg Potassium: 124 mg Fiber: 0.4 g Sugar: 13.3 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 192 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

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    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re glad you enjoyed it overall! One idea – if using standard table salt (vs. fine sea salt), it will taste saltier. Either way, feel free to reduce to preference next time!

  1. Sophia says

    Hi! I have yet to make this because I do not have coconut milk or cornstarch on me!! What are substitutes for those?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sophia, you could sub another dairy-free milk (such as almond, oat, or cashew), but it won’t be as creamy. For cornstarch, we’d suggest trying arrowroot starch or leaving it out (though we prefer the texture it adds). Hope that helps!

  2. Viktoriya says

    Yummmm!! This will be my go-to recipe for leftover rice. I never know what to do with it if I have too much. I don’t know that I’ve ever had rice pudding, so I don’t really have anything to compare it to. Unless mango sticky rice is considered as rice pudding? Either way, I’m saving this and will be making it again. Thank you!!

  3. heather says

    For those asking about brown rice I am here to say that I have made this twice now, both times with short grain brown rice, and in my opinion it was perfect!
    Leaning into the coconut flavour I added ground cardamom, freshly grated nutmeg and some coconut extract.
    Loved it, thanks!

  4. Lisa says

    Despite the issues I had making this— it came out sooo good! I made it using the instant pot recipe and had “food burn”, likely because I have a huge instant pot and the overall quantity was too low. I was still able to salvage it and cook the remnants on the stovetop and it was amazing. Next time I will try doubling it to put in the instant pot to hopefully avoid the food burn issue.
    My question is whether the instant pot recipe is correct— since you are starting with dry rice, shouldn’t there be extra liquid? I’d appreciate any additional input before I make it again! Thanks!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing your experience and sorry that method gave you some trouble! We were using a 6 quart Instant Pot. We initially tried with more liquid using the Instant Pot, but were surprised to find that it was too liquidy at the end and required more time sautéing after pressure cooking to evaporate excess liquid.

      • Rachel says

        I doubled the recipe based off Lisa’s comment, am using the 6 qt instant pot and still experienced the burn notice :/.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Aw, bummer! We wonder if doubling the recipe doesn’t work well. Or perhaps your coconut milk was thicker?

        • Ehud Shavit says

          Hi!
          I’ve yet make this recipe.
          Do you think it would be a possibility to make a bigger batch and freeze some to use at a later time or it would ruin the experience?

          Thanks!

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Hi Ehud, we tested freezing it and didn’t love the texture!

  5. Dana C. says

    This recipe came out at the left time—I just had an oral surgery and needed an easy to eat snack that would meet my sweet tooth needs. Needless to say, I’ve made this every day for the last week! And plan to make it every day until my recovery is done. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying it, Dana! Wishing you a speedy recovery! xoxo

  6. forest says

    This turned out great! I used full fat coconut milk, warmed on the stove so that the fat would melt into the liquid before adding to the pudding. I also cooked the pudding on medium low rather than medium, because medium seemed way too hot. The rice was almost a little too hard, so maybe next time I would decrease the heat further and cook longer. I also found it to be a little too sweet with the addition of raisins, so I’d probably reduce the maple syrup as well.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Forest! So glad you enjoyed it with some modifications!

  7. JMae says

    Wow! This was easy to make and absolutely delicious. Thick, creamy, flavorful! I followed the recipe to a tee, even the making of the rice. It was perfect.
    Seriously better than Kozy Shak!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Whoop! We’re so glad you love it so much! Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  8. Nicole says

    I was so excited to see this recipe as I looove rice pudding and this was lovely! I had a bowl hot, oatmeal style with sliced banana, toasted almond slivers, hemp hearts, flaked coconut etc and am looking forward to trying the leftovers cold.

  9. Lilia Diaz says

    You’re always spot on with all your delicious recipes. I’ve 45 years of cooking experience and I’ve had my share of rice pudding. The most flavorful one has been from Puerto Rico. It’s fragrant from within not only sprinkled on the top. The milk base is all coconut. Fresh, not canned. The milk “soup” as it is referred to is simmered with allspice, cinnamon sticks, cloves and the most important, lemongrass. Once you have it you’ll never want another. The rice is short grain. Starchy enough on it’s own. It’s wonderful. I hope you do experiment this indulgence of flavor.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sheila! You can leave it out! It’s still really tasty without cornstarch, it just adds a little extra cohesiveness.

    • Andrew Daigle says

      You might try arrowroot powder as well. I use that as a replacement for cornstarch all of the time

    • SNL says

      I used arrowroot starch 1:1 substitute and I enjoyed it. I feel the arrowroot made the pudding creamier, rather than cooking the rice in water and then milk (traditionally English rice pudding cooks raw rice in milk). Hope that helps! P.S I won’t rate the recipe as I used cooked brown basmati rice, 75g leftover yoghurt (omitted coconut milk) and a random amount of oat milk.

  10. Denise says

    My daughter is allergic to coconut. Is there something else I could substitute for the canned coconut?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Denise, yes, that would be fine! We’d suggest another thick milk like homemade cashew milk. Hope that helps!

  11. Nanette Wild says

    I am allergic to all milk except coconut milk. Can I use it instead of the other milk?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nanette, Yes! We’d suggest diluting it with water to avoid a coconut taste. Hope that helps!

  12. kim jackson says

    Thanks for sharing! I have been trying different vegan Rice Pudding recipes and have not found “the one” so I am excited to try yours! Quick question – would this work with brown rice?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kim, We hope this is the one :) Can’t wait to hear what you think! We think the texture of brown rice would be too firm, unfortunately.

    • Joan says

      Delicious! I just made this today and my husband and I loved it! I used brown rice and coconut milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and raisins on top and it’s scrumptious! So easy and so good! Thank you for another easy and delicious vegan recipe!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Amazing! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Joan! xo

    • Mary says

      To start, I have not made this yet, though it does look good. I have made rice pudding with leftover brown rice many times. It can be delicious, but you need more liquid and you need to cook it longer. You might want to cook it in some milk for a while before adding the cornstarch mixture.

    • SNL says

      I used brown basmati and enjoyed it, but I agree it does a little texture – which is what I wanted. If you want cohesive mush (in the best way), you need white sticky rice such as jasmine or short grain (sushi, UK sells pudding rice for this purpose, Nigella swears by arborio risotto rice).

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi, we think arrowroot would make it bouncy, but we haven’t tested it. Another option would be to leave it out! It’s still really tasty without cornstarch, it just adds a little extra cohesiveness.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Bethan, We think the texture of brown rice would be too firm, but let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Andrew, we haven’t. We think the texture of brown rice would be too firm, but let us know if you try it!