Vegan rice pudding with spiced pears is a comforting treat. A clever blend of vegan products and warming spices delivers heaps of flavour and a heartwarming, family-friendly dessert. It can even be made ahead and reheated.
If you are in the market for a bowlful of something sweet, comforting, filling, creamy and flavoursome try my vegan rice pudding recipe with spiced pears.
Why this Vegan Rice Pudding is Worth Making
Dairy-based rice pudding often relies on butter and egg yolks to give a creamy and rich finish to the dish. Since those ingredients are not consistent with a vegan diet, I've worked hard to develop a vegan recipe that is just as decadent:
- I made easy swaps to vegan butter and non-dairy milk
- I've also included a small amount of coconut cream. Its luscious thick texture results in a decidedly luxurious rice-based dessert - no need for those eggs.
- Gentle spices add extra bite to the flavour
- A touch of salt really brings the ingredients together
Topped with some roasted spiced pears this is an easy non-dairy dessert to wheel out on a regular basis.
A full batch can also be made and stored for later use, so it's a great make-ahead dessert.
Each and every ingredient in this recipe plays a vital role in creating a dessert that is just as creamy and luxurious as any dairy-based counter-part.
For that reason, I urge you not to leave out anything, especially not the salt and coconut cream. These really do boost both flavour and texture immensely.
Almond milk is my preferred non-dairy milk in this vegan rice pudding recipe. It is neither too thin nor too rich and gives the ideal final consistency.
Note: If you do not intend to make the pears, then you do not need to purchase them, the maple syrup or the chai spice.
Step by Step Instrcutions
This recipe contains two separate elements: the rice itself and the spiced pears. So I'm including step by step instructions for both parts.
Of course, you are free to add any topping you fancy to the rice pudding in place of the pears. But if you intend to make the pears get them into the oven before starting to cook the rice and both elements will be ready around the same time.
How to Cook The Rice
Vegan rice pudding is just as easy to make on the stove-top as the traditional version. Don't rush the cooking by boiling ferociously - a gentle simmer will not only suffice, but also ensure the best creamy texture is achieved:
Step 1: Put the rice, sugar, orange zest, salt, vanilla pod and spices into a medium-sized saucepan along with the almond milk
Step 2: Bring to a gentle simmer over a moderate heat. Let cook for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, then check the consistency of the rice. It should be firm but soft and easy to chew, without feeling gritty. Allow to cook for a few more minutes if not sufficiently cooked
Step 3: When ready, remove from the heat. Take out the vanilla pod and scrape any seeds back into the pan. Stir through the butter followed by the coconut cream
How to make Spiced Pears
These roasted spiced pears are simple and quick to prepare:
Step 1: Peel the pears and cut them in half, then scoop out the tough core from the middle. A melon baller is a great tool for this task but the end of a teaspoon will work just as well
Step 2: Mix the chai spice with the maple syrup and a little freshly boiled water. Toss the pears in the liquid then lay on baking parchment, drizzle over the remaining liquid, cover in foil and cook for 15 minutes
Step 3: Turn the pears and baste with the liquid in the bottom of the baking tin and cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes until the pears are fork-tender
These pears work wonderfully well with the creamy rice pudding recipe here today. However, they also partner well with vegan (or non-vegan) pancakes, yoghurts and ice cream.
Note: use the pears within 12 hours since they do discolour quickly over time, even if stored in the fridge.
Expert Tips and FAQs
This vegan rice pudding recipe is particularly easy on the skill front. But here are my top tips to ensure you achieve a wonderfully creamy and full tasting dessert:
- Do not rinse the rice before cooking. Doing so would remove starch and lead to a less creamy consistency, spoiling the dish
- Keep stirring the rice frequently to avoid it catching on the bottom of the pan
- And remember to keep the rice cooking at no more than a gentle simmer
- Add a little more milk if the dessert is getting too thick for your liking
- Or cook a little longer, to let the rice absorb more liquid, if you like a thicker pudding
- Check your rice is cooked sufficiently by tasting it. Aim for al dente - firm, with a little bite left to it
- Once cooked, cover the pan tightly to avoid a skin forming on the top of the rice
Frequently Asked Questions
No, you don't. You can use an alternative dairy-free milk in this vegan rice pudding recipe, but do keep in mind fat and sugar levels.
I personally would not recommend using rice milk for this recipe since it is very light and will not add much creaminess to the recipe.
In contrast, coconut and cashew milks are more creamy and may be too cloying for this recipe.
Oat milk is a good nut-free option, but since it is sweeter than almond milk, I'd suggest reducing the sugar in the recipe by half.
I chose almond milk because it has a delicate taste that would not overpower the other flavours in this dessert. Other kinds of milk will add a slight variation to the flavour, so please bear this in mind.
Any rice pudding that is leftover should be cooled to room temperature and stored in the fridge in a sealed pot for up to 48 hours.
Reheat in a pan until piping hot, adding extra milk as required to loosen the mixture to your desired consistency.
The consistency of this dessert is at its prime when freshly made and served. Leftover rice can, however, be frozen.
Simply let cool to room temperature before sealing in a pot, labelling and placing in the freezer for up to 6 weeks. Defrost at room temperature and reheat until piping hot.
Sadly, the pears need eating quickly and do not freeze well.
Though some people may approve this suggestion, I cannot recommend using leftover rice in this recipe.
Rice that has been pre-cooked should already be cooked to perfection and in getting to that stage, it will have absorbed a great deal of liquid. Adding more liquid (the milk) will push the rice itself into the mushy territory and will not result in such a deliciously creamy texture in the dish overall.
If pears are not grabbing your attention try the following vegan options:
- mixed seeds and maple syrup (try pumpkin, chia, linseed and sunflower)
- apple, raisin and cinnamon compote
- roasted balsamic cherries
- trail mix
- your favourite jam
- fresh blackberries
Find more Vegan Desserts:
- Vegan ginger loaf cake
- Amaretto poached pears
- Vegan lemon & elderflower cupcakes
- Mango & cherry popsicles
Have you made this vegan rice pudding recipe? I’d love to know how you got along. Leave me a comment, rate the recipe or post your creation on Instagram, tagging me @jane_littlesugarsnaps.
Vegan Rice Pudding with Spiced Pears
For the Pears
- 2 Pears
- ½ teaspoon Chai spice
- 1 tablespoon Maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon Water just boiled
For the Vegan Rice Pudding
- 100 g Short grain rice
- 500 ml Almond milk
- 45 g Light brown sugar
- 1 Vanilla pod split lengthways
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon ground
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg ground
- 1 Star anise
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 Strip orange zest
- 30 g Vegan butter
- 30 g Coconut cream
For the Pears
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM 4 and lay some baking parchment into a roasting tin
- Mix the spice, maple syrup and water together in a bowl
- Peel the pears, cut in half and scoop out the middle core and (optional) any stringy membrane. I used a melon baller to help me do this
- Toss the pears in the syrup then lay on the baking sheet. Pour over any remaining liquid over the pears, cover with foil and bake for 30 mniutes. Half way through the bake time turn the pears over, baste with the liquid in the pan and remove the foi before returning to the oven
Make the Rice Pudding
- Put the rice, sugar, orange zest. salt, vanilla pod and spices into a medium sized saucepan
- Pour in the almond milk and bring to a gentle simmer over a moderate heat. Let cook for around 20 minutes, stirring frequently
- After 20 minutes, check the consistency of the rice. It should be firm but soft and easy to chew, without feeling gritty. Allow to cook for a few more minutes if not sufficently cooked
- When ready, remove from the heat. Take out the vanilla pod and scrape its seeds back into the pan. Stir through the butter followed by the coconut cream
- Serve straight away with the pears