Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

GF Friday: Cranberry-orange rice pudding parfaits with candied hazelnuts


You don’t need a magic wand to turn plain white rice into a creamy and decadent dessert. This seasonal rice pudding is nothing like the rice pudding Grandma made.

If you would have asked me how much I like rice pudding before I made this gluten-free dessert, I’m not sure what I would have said. It’s a dessert I never gave much thought to. Now? I think it might be a new fall favorite that’s creamy, sweet, tart and crunchy.

Cranberry-orange rice pudding with candied hazelnuts makes a great dessert

What makes this recipe for gluten-free cranberry-orange rice pudding parfaits with candied hazelnuts so special is the sweet and creamy base that is the rice pudding. Brown sugar, milk and a few other goodies combine to turn plain rice into anything but an ordinary dish.

The cranberry-orange sauce is a bit tart (which is the perfect complement to the sweetened rice), and it definitely brings a vibrant color to the dessert. To top things off, candied nuts, of course. I used hazelnuts, but just about any type of nut would be fine. They’re simple to pull together, and they add a nice bit of crunch. Serve this dessert in a clear glass for a beautiful presentation.

Dig into a smooth and creamy, gluten-free rice pudding dessert

Note: Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While SheKnows tries to ensure that these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.

Gluten-free cranberry-orange rice pudding parfaits with candied hazelnuts recipe

Add your favorite nuts as a topping to this delightful rice pudding dessert. You can even include them in the layers if you like. Serve these parfaits for a casual get-together or as a special holiday treat.

Serves 4

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 1 hour 5 minutes | Inactive time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes


For the rice pudding

  • 2/3 cup uncooked white rice
  • 3-1/4 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange zest

For the cranberry-orange sauce

  • 8 ounces fresh cranberries
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon orange zest, as garnish
  • Orange segments, cut small, as garnish

For the candied nuts

  • 3 tablespoons hazelnut pieces
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon butter


For the rice pudding

  1. To a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk, rice, butter, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Mix to combine and dissolve the brown sugar.
  2. When the mixture begins to simmer and develop small bubbles, cover the pan, and turn it to low heat. Cook for 1 hour. Remove from the heat, and stir in the orange zest. Cool to room temperature.

For the cranberry-orange sauce

  1. As the rice pudding cools, add the cranberries, orange juice, sugar, cinnamon and ginger to a saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir for about 15 minutes. The cranberries will pop as they cook.
  2. Remove from the heat, and press the mixture through a mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the cranberry pieces.
  3. Set the sauce aside. You may want to add a bit more sugar to the sauce to sweeten it to your liking.

For the candied nuts

  1. To a saucepan over low heat, add the brown sugar, maple syrup and butter. Stir to help melt the butter and dissolve the brown sugar.
  2. Add the hazelnuts, stir to coat, and remove from the heat. Set aside.

To assemble

  1. Add a thick layer of rice pudding to a serving glass. Spoon some of the cranberry-orange sauce on top, and then top with another layer of rice pudding.
  2. Dollop a teaspoon of the sauce on top, and garnish with the candied hazelnuts, a few pieces of orange and a bit of the orange zest.

More gluten-free recipes

Pumpkin-chai muffins with vanilla glaze and maple-coated almonds
Pumpkin pie ice cream bonbons
Blueberry-coconut bars

Leave a Comment