Tembleque (Coconut Puerto Rican Custard)

by Sabrina Bonaparte
A blue rimmed plate featuring a round tembleque, which is a solid custard topped with cinnamon. Surrounded by cinnamon sticks, papaya, pineapple, lime, and a custard dish filled with more custard all on a bamboo mat and black kitchen towel.

Tembleque is a popular Puerto Rican dessert that is perfect to enjoy during Passover or Shavuot.


2 cups full-fat canned coconut milk
½ cup starch (cornstarch*, arrowroot, potato starch)
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup organic cane sugar

*corn is kitniyot and may not be suitable for Ashkenazim

  1. Shake your cans of coconut milk well, then pour them into a large bowl and stir coconut water and fat from the top of the can together to combine. Note: in warmer climates, this step may not be necessary if the fat has not settled on the top of the can.
  2. Pour mixed coconut milk into a large saucepan.
  3. Add sugar and salt and mix until combined.
  4. Slowly sift in starch little by little and whisk vigorously to combine (prevents clumping).
  5. Turn on heat to medium and stir continuously for 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
  6. Pour mixture into molds: single-serving ramekins, silicon muffin molds, parfait glasses, drinking glasses, or larger sized Bundt pan, 8×8 pan, or round cake pans.
  7. Cool on the counter until the mixture reaches room temperature.
  8. Place plastic wrap over containers and refrigerate until thick, cool, and springy to the touch (3-4 hours).
  9. To remove, slide a butter knife around the edges of the container and flip onto a plate.
  10. Dust with cinnamon and serve with a side of mango or papaya slices. Enjoy!


Recipe by Jewish Veg supporter Sabrina Bonaparte.