Apple and Rhubarb Baked Rice Pudding

Apple and Rhubarb Baked Rice Pudding

Apple and Rhubarb Rice Pudding.jpg
Cinnamon Rice Pudding

When I originally created this recipe back in 2018, My friend Sarah and I had eaten 90% of it before I thought to take a recipe photo, so this baked rice pudding recipe was in desperate need of a re-shoot and what better time to bake a coconut rice pudding than in the middle of Winter, and amidst our apple feature!

This baked rice pudding recipe was born when my good friend Sarah came over for dinner/dessert (we know which one she was really here for…) I had been craving rice pudding, but she was on a strict dairy-free diet, and so I accepted the challenge, a dairy-free rice pudding! I know that technically, I could have just swapped out the full cream milk for equal parts of, really any non-dairy milk substitute, my go-to usually being almond milk. But this recipe also called for thickened cream! I can’t replace thickened cream with almond milk! Then I remembered my dad telling me (who is also dairy-free) that when he orders coffee he gets half almond milk and half coconut milk because it tastes so much better than either by themselves, and that gave me an idea. Almond milk, and coconut cream! Now I just had to find the perfect ratio! Not too bland, but not too coco-nutty yet thick enough that it bakes into a custard-like pudding consistency and not just come out a sloppy mess. And for future reference for all those wanting to use my dads almond and coconut combo, it seems that roughly a 2/3 almond milk to 1/3 coconut milk/cream ratio works a charm! Not too bland, but not too coco-nutty.

But seriously, you wouldn’t guess that this baked rice pudding is dairy-free, it’s rich, it’s creamy, it’s all the things that a good baked rice pudding should be! So even if you’re not dairy-free (I’m definitely not) I’m telling you right now, it’s not missing it! In fact, I think the hint of coconut from the coconut cream really brings this dish up a notch! But if you’re really against baking dairy-free, I know some people out there either despise the flavour of coconut (like my mum) of which, would really be a deal breaker with the recipe, or maybe you just don’t believe me and think dairy-free ANYTHING is bland, well either way, you can check out the notes for the full cream, pro-dairy version of the recipe. 


#1 I’ve had people asking if 1/2 cup of arborio rice is correct as there’s almost a litre of liquid to accompany it, and honestly, when I pulled this dairy-free rice pudding recipe out of the archives to bake today… I had the same thought, but it is correct. Trust me :) For a stove-top rice pudding you would require much less.

#2 If you don’t have vanilla bean pods, you can replace it with 2tsp vanilla essence.

#3 If you are really adverse to using coconut cream/milk and almond milk in your baked rice pudding recipe and you don’t need it to be dairy-free, you can replace the coconut milk for equal parts thickened cream and almond milk for equal parts full cream milk. Note that if you do this the cooking time may require adjusting as generally recipes containing milk substitutes require a longer baking time, so if you’re using full cream milk, keep an eye on your pudding, it might be ready quite a bit earlier than the recommended baking time in this recipe.

#4 Don’t worry if your pudding mixture becomes aerated while whisking all your ingredients together, the bubbles won’t affect the end product at all.

#5 You may need to bake your rhubarb more or less than the time we’ve recommended depending on the thickness so make sure you keep an eye on it in the oven to ensure it doesn’t turn to mush. You want it tender, but still able to hold its shape.

baked rice pudding, coconut rice pudding, dairy free rice pudding
Yield: 4

Apple and Rhubarb Baked Rice Pudding

prep time: 15 Mcook time: 2 H & 20 Mtotal time: 2 H & 35 M
An old fashioned dessert with an old fashioned fruit pairing, the classics are classics for a darn good reason! But this one is dairy-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly. You can thank me later.


  • 1/2 cup arborio rice 
  • 400ml coconut cream 
  • 500ml almond milk 
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 2tbsp white granulated sugar 
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 3 sticks rhubarb 
  • 1 granny smith apple 
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar 
  • 1tsp water 
  • 2tbsp white granulated sugar


How to cook Apple and Rhubarb Baked Rice Pudding

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. 
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of arborio rice into the base of your 1.75-litre ovenproof dish. 
  3. Combine coconut cream, almond milk, sugar and ground cinnamon together in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Using a sharp knife, slice your vanilla bean down the centre lengthways (if you're planning on using the pod for presentation later, stop cutting roughly 0.5cm from the end of the pod to ensure it holds together and set aside after scraping out the seeds) and scrape the seeds out into the mixing bowl. Whisk until all ingredients are well combined. 
  5. Pour your milk mixture over the arborio rice and gently stir the rice through the mixture. 
  6. Cover the dish with tin foil and place in the oven to bake for 1 hour. 
  7. Remove your rice pudding from the oven, remove the foil, mix gently and return to the oven uncovered for a further 45 minutes. 
  8. Retrieve your rice pudding from the oven, sprinkle 2tbsp of sugar evenly across the surface and gently press your vanilla bean pod into the rice so as it's only partly visible.
  9. Return to the oven uncovered for a further 15 minutes. 
  10. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool and thicken slightly. 
  11. Turn the oven up to 180 degreed Celsius. 
  12. Line a baking tray with baking paper and set aside. 
  13. Using a sharp knife, remove the dry ends of your rhubarb sticks and cut the remaining rhubarb into long lengths, preferably into lengths just shy of the width of your dish. 
  14. Quarter your apple, slice out the core and then cut those quarters into eighths and those eighths into sixteenths. 
  15. Place your apple and rhubarb onto your pre-prepared baking tray, sprinkle with 1/4 cup of brown sugar and 1tsp water. 
  16. Toss the fruit through the sugar, cover the baking tray with tin foil and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes. 
  17. Remove the tin foil and bake for a further 5 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender and a sharp knife can be inserted into it with ease. 
  18. Place your roasted fruit atop your rice pudding and serve. 


EQUIPMENT 1/75-litre ovenproof dish parchment/baking paper baking tray tin foil sharp knife whisk
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