Coconut Rice Pudding Brulee

coconut rice pudding brulee

Coconut rice pudding brulee combines two tasty things into one fabulous sweet treat. My opinion of rice pudding has always been meh, but I admit I’m a fan of créme brûlée. The addition of caramelized brown sugar topping transforms this into something far above the original, plain pudding.

An improved traditional pudding and the brûlée combination takes this to a level worthy of a pure dessert course.

What I Learned

Not long ago I suffered a failed star anise and bourbon infusion, so I used it with great trepidation. I learned it could impart a hint of anise without overpowering the entire dish. Unsweetened coconut milk is another first time ingredient that contributed another layer of flavor to complement the whole milk, cream and buttermilk. If you’re counting, that’s four types of milk in a single recipe and yes, it created deeper, nuanced flavor.

Complications, Missteps and Mistakes

This is an easy recipe and the closest thing to a problem was dispersal of the brown sugar. The moisture content defied spooning and I had to resort to a grinding sprinkle with my fingers, so I didn’t get a smooth, even layer.

I subbed vanilla extract for the vanilla bean and probably was lucky to do so, because if this tasted any better I would be in a diabetic coma. Finally, I was forced to use sweet basil, because of bad weather that kept me away from my Asian market. Thai basil does have a unique aroma and taste that I enjoy, especially in my panang curry.

Let’s Make Coconut Rice Pudding Brulée!

first step

cooked coconut rice pudding brulee

coconut rice pudding brulee in ramekins

coconut rice pudding brulee closeup


Coconut Rice Pudding Brulee

Coconut Rice Pudding Brulee

  • Author: TJ
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1/2 cup long grain white jasmin rice
  • 21/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 21/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract -or- 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 TBL brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 18 fresh raspberries
  • 12 fresh sweet basil leaves


  1. Combine the rice (do not rinse), milk, cream, coconut milk, vanilla extract, sugar and star anise pod in a heavy bottomed pot
  2. Bring it to a low simmer for 55-70 minutes until the rice is soft. Start tasting after 55 minutes.
  3. Stir occasionally while simmering and reducing, then transfer it to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature – about an hour. It will thicken as it cools
  4. Discard the star anise pod and the vanilla bean pod (if using)
  5. Add the buttermilk and fold it in gently and thoroughly with a spatula
  6. Divide the pudding evenly between (6) 4 oz ramekins and chill in the refrigerator 2 hours minimum or up to 12 hours
  7. Immediately before serving spread the brown sugar over each ramekin
  8. Use a kitchen blowtorch to melt the sugar until it’s dark liquid amber and let it cool until it hardens – about 30 seconds to 1 minute
  9. Garnish each portion with 3 raspberries and a couple of basil leaves
  10. Serve right away before the sugar begins to soften


Basic recipe from Chef Edward Lee of Louisville, Kentucky and his best selling cookbook Smoke & Pickles – Recipes From a New Southern Kitchen, 2013.