Coconut Milk Cream of Wheat, or "Puerto Rican Farina"

coconut milk cream of wheat

The weather here in northern Florida has finally gotten chilly. And by chilly I mean in the 60s.

I got mildly chided by Elora’s preschool teachers about not sending a jacket to school with her (as I was wearing a tank top and sandals) and I apologized and explained that I was from San Francisco so it wasn’t cold to me. They looked at me blankly. And I’ve sent Elora with her jacket every day since. 😉

In any case, it’s finally fitting to make cold-weather breakfasts, and this coconut milk cream of wheat is the perfect stick-to-your bones, smooth and warm, fall-spiced treat. I have no idea how authentically Puerto Rican this breakfast is, but I’ve included the title used by the dear Puerto Rican friend who taught me how to make it.

coconut milk cream of wheat ingredients

Coconut Milk Cream of Wheat Ingredients

  • Fall spices, including cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves. You could also use some ginger, or even throw in a bit of fresh ginger. Just a pinch of each, according to taste.
  • Coconut milk. I usually use coconut milk for the full amount of liquid I need to use per the cream of wheat instructions. You could use some coconut milk, some water, etc.
  • Lemon or lime. Just peel off a little chunk of skin and throw it in with the cooking cream of wheat. Discard when you’re done cooking.
  • Cream of wheat hot cereal.
  • Sugar (not pictured) and a pinch of salt (not pictured). Use enough according to taste and health preferences.

coconut milk cream of wheat cooking

Bring the coconut milk to a boil and whisk in the appropriate amount of cream of wheat per package directions. IMPORTANT to whisk in a little at a time and whisk without stopping so that no lumps form.

coconut milk cream of wheat cooked

  Lower the heat and cook until desired consistency.

coconut milk cream of wheat cooked

 Spread on plates and sprinkle with cinnamon.

coconut  milk cream of wheat with cinnamon

Such a treat!

Coconut Milk Cream of Wheat


  • Coconut milk
  • Cream of wheat
  • Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger) according to taste
  • Lemon or lime peel
  • Sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Boil the coconut milk.
  2. Add spices, lemon or lime peel, sugar, and salt as it’s coming to a boil.
  3. Whisk in cream of wheat (amount per package instructions).
  4. Turn down heat and thicken to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.
  5. Discard lemon or lime peel.
  6. Spoon onto plates and spread.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon.


  1. This looks amazing (even if dangerous to the gluten-intolerant)!


  2. I tried it this morning and it is delicious, much tastier than regular cream of wheat made with milk…I found the texture lighter and smoother than preparation with milk…I follow the recipe but instead of lime/orange that I did not have, I substitute it with lemon extract. I added vanilla extract too.
    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Grew up on Farina, I have never used coconut milk but the rest of the ingredients are spot on! We moved to NYC from Puerto Rico so I guess coconut milk in the 60’s was not available and my mom used regular milk. I have continued this recipe with my children and grandchildren. They love it plus over the years I changed it doing it in different ways. Their favorite is Lemon Farina, made with fresh lemon juice and shaved lemon rind. Just remember the fresh lemon juice is used at the end of the recipe or it will spoil the milk. You can adapt this and use fine corn meal if you don’t like Farina. ?