Created by: Chef Paul Shufelt
Twitter: @ChefPaulShufelt
Instagram: chefpaulshufelt

I feel the need to pre-empt this recipe by sharing with you the knowledge that I have never made rice pudding, having spent most of my life loathing the idea of eating rice for dessert. After diving in and giving this dish a go I will be the first to admit that I might have been wrong for overlooking this hearty dessert as an option. I have shared this recipe with you because I was very impressed with the resulting flavours, but I also discovered along the way that the rice, or in this case barley, pudding is much like it’s savory counterpart in that it is extremely versatile. If you’re not a fan of coconut leave it out.


  • 1 cup (250 mL) pearl barley
  • 1 cup (250 mL) water
  • 2 cups (500 mL) milk
  • 1 can (400 mL) coconut milk
  • 1 cup (250 mL) heavy cream
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (62.5 mL) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (62.5 mL) sugar

Heat the water, milk and coconut milk in a heavy bottom pot. Once it begins to simmer add the pearl barley and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continuing to stir regularly, let cook until the starch begins to release and the barley begins to soften, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the cream, salt, cinnamon, maple syrup and sugar. Continue to simmer until the barley is tender, another 5 to 10 minutes depending on the heat level. The final consistency should be similar to that of a loose porridge or oatmeal.

Taste the pudding. Adjust the sweetness to your liking by adding a little more maple syrup or sugar, if necessary. Adjust the consistency to your liking by adding a little additional milk, if necessary.

To finish

  • 1 cup (250 mL) fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted coconut
  • handful fresh chocolate mint
  • drizzle maple syrup

Ladle the pudding into serving dishes. Drizzle a little more maple syrup over the top, then garnish with slivered almonds, toasted coconut, assorted fresh berries and the chocolate mint. Serve while warm.

Feel like saving this one for the wintertime? No problem. Flavor it with roasted apples, dried cranberries and raisins. Try a chocolate and banana option while you’re at it. The world is your oyster and once you get the basics you can really get as creative as you want.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6 people
Special Tools: none required