Tembleque is a delicious, creamy coconut pudding from Puerto Rico. Made with just 5 basic ingredients this easy dessert is vegan and gluten-free.
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I am such a big fan of Asian food that I keep on sharing Asian food recipes on my blog and completely forget about my food voyage through which I intend to explore and share vegan and vegetarian recipes from all around the world.
Today, I am trying to correct that mistake of mine by sharing an easy and delicious dessert from Puerto Rico called Tembleque.
Puerto Rican food is a rich blend of cuisines from different countries like the USA, Africa, and Spain, which have influenced it over many years. This influence makes Puerto Rican cuisine very interesting and a must-try for every foodie.
What is Tembleque?
As I mentioned above, Tembleque is a vegan coconut pudding from Puerto Rico. Tembleque is a Spanish word which means wiggly.
It's one of the most popular desserts in the country.
Though originally from Puerto Rico, slightly different versions of this Caribbean dessert can also be found in other countries like Brazilian Manjar branco.
What goes in Puerto Rican Tembleque?
To make Tembleque you need only 5 ingredients:
- Coconut milk: Canned or fresh
- Corn starch
- Sugar: White, brown, or coconut sugar all are fine. But if you want your tembleque to be white in color, use white sugar.
- Salt: Don't skip it. Salt doesn't make tembleque salty but balances the sweetness of sugar and coconut milk which will enhance the taste of this dessert.
- Ground cinnamon: You can also ground nutmeg in addition to cinnamon.
How to make?
Tembleque recipe is one of the easiest dessert recipes that I have ever tried. To make it, you just need to follow the steps below:
- Pour the coconut milk into a cooking pot. Add corn starch, sugar, salt. Whisk until everything nicely gets mixed.
- Put the pot on a stove and start cooking while continuously stirring the mixture. Cook until the mixture starts simmering. After that, you can take occasional breaks from stirring. But don't leave the mixture unattended and keep on stirring the mixture after every 2-3 minutes break. Once the mixture gets a custard-like thick and smooth consistency, switch off the gas. Allow the mixture to reach room temperature.
- Rinse the pudding molds with water and equally distribute the mixture into them.
- Gently tap the molds and then cover with either plastic film or lids and put in the fridge for 4-5 hours.
- Once the pudding gets set, take out the molds, release the side with the help of a knife then flip it over a plate. Tap the base of the mold and gently lift it so that the pudding gets released.
- Sprinkle some ground cinnamon and enjoy!
Recipe tips and tricks
- Don't skip the process of rinsing the molds from inside. Wet molds make the de-molding process easier.
- For a healthier version of Tembleque, you can also use brown sugar or coconut sugar but then the color of Tembleque will change.
- With the amount of sugar mentioned in the recipe, use unsweetened coconut milk. You can also adjust the amount of sugar to match your sweetness preference.
- Though the process of unmolding this Caribbean coconut pudding is very easy if you want to make it easier use silicone molds. Or, if you want to completely avoid the unmolding process, set Tembleque in the bowls you are planning to serve it into and then serve without unmolding.
I have shared the most basic and common recipe of Tembleque. If you want to make it fancier, you can try the following variations:
- Add vanilla extract to make Tembleque even more delicious.
- Add 2 teaspoons of rose water and green cardamom powder to the mixture and garnish tembleque with rose petals to make rose tembleque. You can also add rose syrup.
- Create your own version of fruit tembleque like mango tembleque by adding a few tablespoons of fruit purée to the mixture and then garnishing with chopped fruits.
- For a refreshing citrus taste, add lemon or orange juice and zest to tembleque.
- If you love coffee, add brewed coffee to the tembleque mixture and garnish it with powdered coffee and cocoa powder.
Step by step photo instructions
More easy vegan desserts from around the world
Looking for more easy vegan dessert recipes from around the world? Don't miss checking the following links:
- Chocolate Banana spring roll (Pisang Cokelat)
- Sweet potato dumplings
- Chocolate chip banana bread
- Easy peach cobbler
If you try any of my recipes, please rate it in the recipe card and also leave your feedback in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and subscribe to my youtube channel.
Puerto Rican Tembleque
- Pudding molds
- Put milk and cornstarch in a pot and mix well until it's lump free.
- Add sugar and salt. Mix and put the pot on the stove. Keep on stirring and cook until the mixture starts simmering. After that, you can take small breaks from stirring and can stir after every 2-3 minutes. Cook until the mixture gets a custard-like consistency. It will take around 10-12 minutes.
- Switch off the gas and let the mixture reach room temperature.
- Rinse pudding molds with water to make them wet from inside. Putting the mixture in damp molds will make de-molding easy. Put the pudding mixture in damp molds, gently tap. Cover the molds with plastic wrap or lids and keep them in the fridge (not freezer) for 4-5 hours.
- After 5 hours, take the molds out of the fridge, release the side of the pudding with the help of a knife then flip it over a plate. Tap the base of the mold and gently lift it so that the pudding gets released. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon and enjoy!
- Use full-fat unsweetened coconut milk to make tembleque.
- You may adjust the amount of sugar to match your taste.
- Don't stop stirring the mixture while cooking otherwise lumps will get formed in it.
- Sprinkle some toasted coconut flakes or mango to make a slightly fancy tembleque.
- More detailed recipe tips and tricks are given in the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.