Spiced Tembleque de Coco (Coconut Pudding)

Tembleque de Coco with Mandarin Oranges and Pomegranate | CafeJohnsonia.com

This recipe for Spiced Tembleque de Coco is perfection with the tart, juicy burst from the pomegranate arils and mandarin oranges.  
Spiced Tembleque de Coco with Orange and Pomegranate

I’ve fallen completely in love with coconut milk. I loved it enough before, but now it’s official. This Tembleque de Coco sealed the deal.

I bookmarked this recipe in Joy of Cooking a long time before I stopped eating dairy. We’ve had a lot of sickness at our house the last two weeks, so I made pudding. Like you do.

My husband said his mother used to make a nice warm pudding when he’d come down with a cold as a kid. I ate a little bowl of this warm and it was definitely comforting.

Tembleque translates to trembling. I chose to make individual puddings rather than a large one. The original recipe calls for oiling a mold and turning it out onto a platter – trembling I’m sure – for a more dramatic presentation. These little puddings didn’t tremble too much, but they were sure delicious.

I infused the coconut milk with whole spices and a few strips of orange zest. Feel free to leave them out if you’d rather have a plain coconut pudding. I also halved the recipe.

If you want to make one big pudding, double everything and put it in an oiled 1 1/2 quart dish. Proceed with the directions as written. A big pudding would be a fantastic addition to any holiday dessert table or as a deceptively light dessert following a holiday dinner.

Spiced Tembleque de Coco with Orange and Pomegranate

The creamy coconut was great with the tart, juicy burst from the pomegranate arils and mandarin oranges.  I would have loved to have fresh slices of mango with this too.  Any fruit would be fantastic here.

Spiced Tembleque de Coco with Orange and Pomegranate


Spiced Tembleque de Coco with Orange and Pomegranate
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A creamy, non-dairy pudding infused with delicious spices and orange zest, and topped with fruit.
Recipe type: desert
Cuisine: Spanish
Serves: 4
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2½ cups canned coconut milk, light or full-fat, divided
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2-3 allspice berries
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • ½" piece peeled ginger, cut into four ⅛" slices
  • 2-3 strips of orange zest (removed with a vegetable peeler, orange part only)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • For serving:
  • 1-2 cans mandarin orange segments, or 2 fresh clementines, peeled and segmented
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  1. Sift cornstarch and whisk with salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk in the maple syrup slowly, followed by ¼ cup of the coconut milk. Set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat the remaining coconut milk with whole spices. Bring to a simmer and turn off heat. Let steep for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl or large measuring cup. Discard the spices and orange zest.
  5. Whisk the cornstarch mixture onto the coconut milk. Pour back into the saucepan and bring to a boil.
  6. Whisk constantly and cook for 1 minute, until thickened. Remove from heat and pour into four 8-ounce bowls. Press plastic wrap on the surface and chill until cold.
  7. To serve – top the pudding with mandarin oranges and pomegranate arils. Serve chilled.

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