Growing up, I enjoyed baking, and I had a few staple desserts I would make regularly.

Besides anything with chocolate, milk rice was always on the list.

My dad and grandmother used to make this often. Both had their version, and both desserts were enjoyed without resistance.

Coconut Milk Rice

Easy to make and has nothing to it besides keeping a watchful eye on the pan so that it will not scorch and burn.

It has been a while since I decided to make milk rice. However, I wanted to make it a bit differently and give it my spin.

Having some extra coconut milk on hand that was screaming to come off the shelf and be used, here is my version.

Incorporating a bit of my dad and grandmother’s touch and adding my own. This Coconut Milk Rice will soon become your and your children’s favorite afternoon snack. Besides being super delicious, it is super easy to make too.

This dessert is lighter than its counterpart rice pudding.

In this Article

coconut milk rice

What is coconut milk?

Coconut milk is an opaque, milky-white liquid extracted from the grated pulp of mature coconuts.

Thick consistency and a rich, creamy texture. A great alternative to cow milk and provides several health benefits.

Please do not confuse it with coconut water found in immature green coconuts.

What type of rice is best for rice milk?

Medium grain white rice or risotto rice such as Arborio.

Arborio rice is the best suited for this dessert. However, it requires more liquid and takes slightly longer to cook.

Here are a few helpful tips for the ingredients needed

Vanilla bean: slit in the middle and remove all with the back of your knife all the seeds. Do add the empty vanilla pod to the milk rice. There is still so much flavor left in it to enjoy. Sacrilegious to throw it away. You can save the vanilla pod and place it inside your sugar bowl to flavor your sugar.

Cinnamon stick: There are so many types of cinnamon on the market. Ceylon cinnamon is one of my favorites; I always have it in my pantry.

Whole milk: Do not substitute. The richness of the milk gives it another layer of flavor and consistency.

Coconut milk: Yummy and the star of this dessert.  Shake it well, as it tends to clump together. If you forget this step, fret not; it will eventually melt and do what it needs to do. However, it will take a bit longer in the cooking process.

Almond extract: a nice flavor that, combined with vanilla and milk, brings a hint of sweetness.

Butter: use non-salted butter.

Coconut Milk Rice
coconut milk rice

Cooking tips and step by step to make this beautiful coconut milk rice recipe:

Very easy to make the recipe. Just keep a watchful eye that it will not burn by stirring occasionally.

I do not rinse the rice as the starch it contains is the binding agent in this recipe.

  • I love arborio rice, it is more starchy, and I enjoy the feel and taste when cooked.
  • Bring water, whole milk, rice, and cinnamon stick to a boil. Keep an eye as the milk tends to boil relatively fast.
  • Shake the coconut milk can well before opening it. It tends to coagulate and sit on a mass instead of being fluid. Not to worry, as the mass will dissolve while cooking.
  • Cinnamon stick, once cooking, gives out such a great flavor that I highly recommend using it. If none is on hand, replace it with one teaspoon of ground cinnamon.
  • Add coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, pod, almond extract, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Adding the egg yolk is optional. I do want to add that it adds a nice rich flavor to your coconut rice pudding.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick.
  • Clean the vanilla bean for another use.

Here is a short video on how to clean your vanilla pod:

Storage instructions

If you have leftovers, place the remaining coconut milk rice in an air-tight glass container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to three days.

A super easy dessert, ready in 30 minutes, can be enjoyed either lukewarm or cold.

One word of advice: do not eat it all while cooking.

The temptation is there, and I can vouch for it 🙂

Products and equipment used to achieve this great recipe

Coconut Milk Rice

5 from 21 votes
coconut milk rice
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
This Coconut Milk Rice will soon become your and your children’s favorite afternoon snack. Besides being super delicious, it is super easy to make too.


  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 cup arborio rice,
  • 1 cinnamon stick,
  • 13.5 ounces unsweetened full-fat coconut milk,
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten


  • Bring the water, milk, rice, and cinnamon stick to a boil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the water is almost absorbed, 10 minutes.
  • Stir in coconut milk, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and bean, almond extract, butter, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low and cook rice uncovered, stirring often until the mixture has thickened to almost a pudding-like consistency, 20 minutes. Remove from heat add the egg yolk. Mix well and transfer to a large bowl.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Keep the vanilla bean for another use. Discard the cinnamon stick. Serve lukewarm or cold.


Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 21g | Cholesterol: 106mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 339mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 6mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

Did you make this?

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coconut milk rice

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Originally published on December 20, 2020. Updated on December 3, 2022.