Puerto Rico- Tembleque Recipe

Tembleque served with cinnamon

When I first started making this recipe for tembleque, I noticed the similarities with Hawaiian haupia. The main difference is the addition of spices, cinnamon and cloves. This recipe for tembleque is very simple and is a good way to use up any spare coconut milk. The coconut milk is thickened using corn starch. The coconut milk is naturally sweet so the amount of sugar needed is low for a dessert. My favourite part of making this recipe was smelling the spices while they were boiling. The dessert tastes best when chilled for a few hours.

Main tembleque ingredients
Main tembleque ingredients
Boiling cinnamon and cloves
Boiling cinnamon and cloves


2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1/4 c granulated sugar
6 Tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 c water


First, in a small saucepan combine the water, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to
give it flavor. Boil for 10 minutes.

While the spices boil, in a medium saucepan combine the granulated sugar and cornstarch. Then add the coconut milk and whisk constantly to keep the mixture from forming lumps. Finally, add the vanilla.

Strain the spices out, and add the water to the other ingredients. Place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a slow boil and is smooth and thick, about 5 minutes.

Finally, pour the pudding into 3-4 ramekins. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes at room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours until firm.

Enjoy in the ramekin or remove from the mould onto a plate. Decorate with
ground cinnamon, a cinnamon stick and/or toasted coconut.

Thickening the tembleque
Thickening the tembleque
Thickened tembleque
Thickened tembleque

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