Place of originPuerto Rico
Region or statePuerto Rico
Main ingredientsCoconut milk, heavy cream, cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon

Tembleque is a coconut dessert pudding from Puerto Rico[1] similar to blancmange and related to Latin American manjar blancos and Filipino maja blanca. It is one of the most popular desserts in Puerto Rican cuisine.[2]


Tembleque is made by cooking coconut cream, coconut milk, heavy cream (optional), salt, cornstarch, sugar, frequently orange blossom water, and garnished with ground cinnamon.

Tembleque can also be topped with a relish or syrup usually made with sugar, liqueur, spices, fruit juice or diced, and wine or simply chocolate shavings on top.[3][4][5]

Cultural importance

It is a holiday dish, served on New Year's Day throughout the island of Puerto Rico.[6] While the recipe may have originated in Puerto Rico,[7] there are variants on the dish manjar blanco in Latin America, manjar branco in Brazil, and maja blanca in the Philippines. According to the Encyclopedia of Puerto Rico, published by the Foundation for the Humanities, each time a Puerto Rican migrant to the United States comes closer and closer to forgetting their roots, foods like tembleque bring them back and remind them of who they are, of their island, and of their grandmother.[8]


In Spanish, the word tembleque is an adjective used to describe something that shakes, or a noun to describe the shakes themselves. The dessert, due to its Jell-O-like gel texture, trembles, shivers, and shakes[9] if it has been prepared correctly.[10]

In popular culture

See also


  1. ^ "Puerto Rican Coconut Pudding". Taste of Home. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  2. ^ EPRL, Publicado por Grupo Editorial (May 8, 2016). "Cultura popular - Cultura Popular". EnciclopediaPR (in Spanish). Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Tembleque (Coconut Pudding)". The Noshery. 2018-12-14. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  4. ^ "Tembleque - Coconut Pudding". www.goya.com. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  5. ^ "Tembleque (Puerto Rican Coconut Pudding)". Delish D'Lites. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2019-07-17.
  6. ^ "Salsa stories : Delacre, Lulu". Internet Archive. October 23, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  7. ^ "CCNY Recipe Book 2017". Internet Archive. October 23, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Ramis, Publicado por García (July 9, 2016). "Estampas del comer boricua - Proyectos FPH". EnciclopediaPR (in Spanish). Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  9. ^ "tembleque". Diccionario Inglés-Español WordReference.com. Retrieved July 20, 2019.
  10. ^ Daisy Cooks! : Latin Flavors That Will Rock Your World. (eBook, 2013) [WorldCat.org]. February 22, 1999. OCLC 880406782.
  11. ^ "TEMBLEQUE Reggaeton song by Jon Erik". Internet Archive. October 23, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2019.