Crock Pot Rice Pudding (Vegan and Naturally Sweetened)

Crock pot rice pudding recipe made dairy-free and refined sugar-free. This easy slow cooker rice pudding requires minimal ingredients and turns out so thick and creamy!
Crock Pot Rice Pudding - dairy-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened | #glutenfree #healthy #dessert #recipe

The first time I tried rice pudding, my whole world flipped upside down and sideways.

One of my best friends is from Bolivia, and back in our high school days, she would make a huge pot of arroz con leche (rice pudding) on the reg for her whole family (myself included) to enjoy. We’d eat it warm, cold, with extra sugar or milk…any way we’d choose. Arroz con Leche became my favorite thing to eat.

Like many things in life, when I idealize a food by putting it on a pedestal, I tend to stear clear of them, for fear of royally messing them up.

For this reason, I shied away from making my own rice pudding for the longest time. With crock pot season in full swing and my unrelenting need for carbs and sweets, I thought I’d plug in the ol’ slow cooker and give my own version a go.

Traditionally, rice pudding is made with short or long-grain rice, milk, cream, sugar, and sometimes cinnamon and raisins. In order to get the creamy pudding-like consistency, an egg is usually tempered in cream then added to the cooked rice.

Since we’re making this recipe silly simple in a crock pot, we’re skipping the egg altogether and giving the dessert creaminess with coconut milk. In essence, we’re doing this a la vegan, my friends. If you’re an egg-tempering maven, feel free to reserve some of the coconut milk and heat it up to temper two egg yolks, adding it to the rice pudding once it’s finished slow cooking.

What Type Of Rice To Use For Rice Pudding?:

What type of white rice should you use to make rice pudding? Short grain white rice is generally recommended, although you can get away with using other types of white rice. Sushi rice and arborio rice work great and yield a nice thick starchy result.

Crock Pot Rice Pudding - dairy-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened | #glutenfree #healthy #dessert #recipe

Origins of Rice Pudding:

As it turns out, there are tons of cultures worldwide that have their own take on rice pudding. Middle Eastern and North African countries have their own take, as well as Asian, Latin American, and European countries.

Some cultures use ginger and caraway for flavoring the rice pudding, where some even incorporate flour, rosewater, saffron, and/or date syrup, etc. Some cultures bake the rice pudding, where others slow cook it on the stove top. As it turns out, the Sri Lankan version of rice pudding incorporates coconut milk, which is the approach we’re taking with this recipe.

I figured coconut milk and rum are like two peas in a pod, so I decided to add rum once the rice had finished slow cooking. This give additional richness to the dessert without it tasting overly boozy – it just gives it that special je ne sais quois.

I also added cinnamon and cardamom, and sweetened the batch with pure maple syrup to keep it warmly spiced and refined sugar-free. For those of you who crave extra sweet in your sweet treats, feel free to go heavy on the pure maple syrup, or even add some brown sugar.

You can also add raisins, which plump up during the slow cooking process, and can serve the pudding with chopped nuts and/or fresh fruit.

And that is all! Set it, forget it, rice pudding for breakfast!

Can I Make Rice Pudding in an Instant Pot?:

Yes, absolutely! Just follow my Instant Pot Rice Pudding Recipe.

May all thy rices be pudding-d 😉

Crock Pot Rice Pudding - dairy-free, vegan, and naturally sweetened | #glutenfree #healthy #dessert #recipe

Crock Pot Rice Pudding (Vegan and Naturally Sweetened)

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dessert, gluten free, rice pudding, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Calories: 328 kcal
Author: Julia

Rice pudding made easy in your slow cooker.




  1. Add all of the ingredients except for the vanilla extract and rum to a slow cooker (crock pot). Stir well, secure the lid, and turn the slow cooker on to its lowest setting. Allow the rice to cook 6 to 8 hours, stirring occasionally if possible.
  2. Once rice has finished cooking, add the vanilla extract and rum and stir well. Taste rice for flavor and add more pure maple syrup, cinnamon, rum, and/or coconut milk to taste. Note: If rice appears dry, continue adding coconut milk until it reaches desired creaminess.
  3. Serve either hot or chilled.
  4. Note: Store leftover rice pudding in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Recipe Notes

Check on the rice after a few hours and give it a

Nutrition Facts
Crock Pot Rice Pudding (Vegan and Naturally Sweetened)
Amount Per Serving (1 of 8)
Calories 328 Calories from Fat 207
% Daily Value*
Fat 23g35%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 20g22%
Protein 3g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Royal® Basmati Rice. All thoughts, feelings, and opinions expressed are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the brands that support this site.


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  1. Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)

    Lovely recipe and post! Yes rice pudding holds distinct memories for me, my twin and I when we were five or so, she insisted on piling up salt in hers (?), I remember telling her not to, but she’s incredibly stubborn. On eating it she cried and never ate rice pudding again. More for me. I come from a big family and the competition for the coveted skin on top was fierce! 🙂

  2. Mindy

    Do you think this would work with brown rice. I want to make this right now and it’s the only rice I have in the house!

    1. Julia Post author

      I would think brown rice would work fine, as long as you’re okay with the pudding turning out a little grainy. Although the texture won’t be super soft, I think it would still taste great! Let me know if you try it with brown rice, Mindy!!

  3. Erin @ The Almond Eater

    Loooooove that this is made in the crock pot. The first time I tried arroz con leche I was with Miguel at an authentic restaurant in DC and it was SO GOOD. I’ve only ever made my own once but never in the crock pot–brilliant!

  4. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I can’t remember the last time I had rice pudding (or which cultural version it was) but this definitely has me craving some! I love that you thought to make it in a slow cooker too. It doesn’t get better than waking up to warm, creamy and bowl of rice pudding, all ready to go! And a touch of rum first thing in the morning? 🙂

  5. Katie (The Muffin Myth)

    I looooove rice pudding! Making it in the crock pot is such a good idea, especially because my favourite recipe involves quite a lot of stirring. I also do an Indonesian black rice pudding which uses coconut milk – something I had for breakfast while in Bali last winter. Defo gonna make this one stat!

  6. Ashley

    I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never made rice pudding!! This sounds fantastic with the coconut milk and that rum! And now I want this for lunch…

  7. Julie

    OMG! YOU PUT RICE PUDDING IN THE CROCK POT!!!!!! I didn’t think I could love you anymore than I already did, but clearly I was wrong. Have I ever mentioned that I love rice?? Like, please let it be my last meal kind of love. Granted, the rice pudding I grew up on is more like bread pudding consistency because it’s baked, but whatever. I’d never turn down a helping of this. Also, I probably wouldn’t tell ol’ Jerry I had made it because then I would have to share. P.S. Miss you. Let me know what’s happening. Nosy minds want to know. haha

  8. Jennie @onesweetmess

    Your friend sounds amazing, and so does this rice pudding. I love that you made it crazy easy to make by using the help from the slow cooker. Also, now that you’ve made rice pudding so simple, I fear I may make it weekly.

  9. marcie

    I love rice pudding, and you’ve made it so approachable by using a slow cooker! You’ve got two of my favorite ingredients in here too…maple syrup and coconut milk…so this is just a sure fire for me!

  10. Olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    Rice pudding is very popular in Brazil too. My mom used to make for me and my sister when we were little. So this recipe brings me good memories. But I can’t remember the last time I has rice pudding. I love that this is made in the slow cooker, Ju. Hope you are having a great week 😉

  11. Georgina

    I have just made this but is extremely watery. I used short grain (pudding) rice instead of the brown rice. Any help with this please?


    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Georgina, I’m sorry to hear that! What kind of coconut milk did you use? My guess is the rice had something to do with the wateriness, and if you used a lighter coconut milk than the full-fat canned coconut milk, that could be the culprit, too. For the time being, can you drain some of the liquid out? Has the rice finished cooking, or is it still in the process of cooking?


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