Puerto Rican Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)

Tembleque was my favorite dessert growing up. Tembleque is a Puerto Rican recipe for a jiggly coconut milk pudding similar in texture to pannacotta or jello.

I actually think that there has never been a more perfectly named dessert than tembleque, which in Spanish roughly translates to "wobbly" or "trembling," and is what this pudding does when you give it a tiny shake.

It's sweet and creamy and rich with coconut flavor, though it's actually completely vegan and dairy-free, made from coconut milk and cornstarch, rather than gelatin. It's perfect for entertaining since there are few who can't enjoy it.

In Puerto Rico, they eat tembleque all year long. (It's one of my dessert-loving grandmother's favorite dishes.) But it's particularly popular during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing dessert this year, I recommend giving this one a try. It's ridiculously easy to make (seriously about as complicated as making a box of jello), and so very satisfying.

I love mine sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon, but a drizzle of chocolate would be fun, too!

Loved this recipe? Here are three other Latin holiday recipes you might like:

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Puerto Rican Tembleque Recipe
Serves 8

4 cups canned coconut milk (full-fat, please!)
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1⁄2 cup cornstarch
Ground cinnamon, for garnish

Grease 8 4-ounce molds or 1 large 4-cup mold (ramekins, baking pans, custard cups, etc.) with a small spritz of baking spray or coconut oil. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the coconut milk, salt, and sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Remove 1 cup of the warm coconut milk to a separate bowl, and whisk together with the cornstarch to create a smooth slurry. Slowly whisk it back into the pot. Let cook, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes or until thickened and pudding-like.

Remove from heat, divide into prepared molds, and let cool on the counter for 20 minutes before loosely covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the refrigerator.

Chill at least 4 hours until set. To serve, run a thin wet knife along the edges and carefully invert onto a plate.

 Garnish with ground cinnamon, if desired.

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