Rice Pudding is an ultimate sweet (yet not too sweet) comfort food with nourishing rice, milk (or vegan milk), nutmeg, vanilla, and optional add-ins like fresh seasonal fruit or berries, dried fruit, or berries and cinnamon. Have it customized to your tastes for breakfast, snack, or dessert!
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Hi Everyone, I developed this recipe when I was back in college (which at the time of my writing this post was about 14-20 years ago!).
To me, rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food that can be enjoyed throughout the day as a breakfast, snack, or dessert.
It’s not overly sweet (unless you want it to be) and can be customized in any way you want with candied citrus, raisins, or other dried fruit or fresh fruit.
I also like adding a little sprig of mint!
Optional Ingredient Add-ins to Rice Pudding
For the rice pudding in these photos, I added cinnamon, prunes as my add-ins and when I served it, I topped it with mixed berry jam, frozen Wineberries (wild Japanese raspberries) in my freezer from last season and a sprig of fresh mint from my garden which is plentiful now.
I also imagine that turmeric or a golden milk powder mix would be good in this too.
In the recipe card at the end of the post, I do into detail about other add-ins you can do.
This recipe is important to me because I would make it with a few simple pantry ingredients and during a time that I needed comfort food, like moving out for the first time and being away at college and then living through 9/11 in the Fall of my Sophmore year.
I am posting it because right now, as I write this, we are living through the Covid-19 pandemic and I am sure there are a lot of people out there that could use a comforting recipe that is also flexible.
Using Canned Evaporated Milk if you are out of Regular Milk
When I made this recipe for the site, I used canned evaporated milk and I have a workaround to show you in case you are out of regular milk.
I had to do this because we were 1 day away from our regular weekly grocery shopping day and I can’t just run out to the store with my kids so easily during this pandemic (that’s hard during normal times and my 2 -year old wouldn’t keep a mask on, so it’s not even an option for us – not worth the stress!).
To make canned evaporated milk into regular milk, add 1 part evaporated milk to 1 part water and stir to combine. For example, this recipe calls for 3 cups of milk, use 1.5 cups evaporated milk and 1.5 cups water, and mix together.
It will not taste exactly like regular milk (due to the processing of canned milk) you would buy in the store but it’s great if you are in a pinch or need to use milk for baking.
This recipe is adapted from “Traditional Rice Pudding,” in the Le Cordon Bleu Complete Cook Home Collection.
Rice Pudding is a Versatile Recipe
I love rice pudding because it’s so versatile, it’s simple, humble and so easy to make yet it can be served in a fancy way for holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or any other special day or gathering.
If you try this Rice Pudding recipe and like it, please give the recipe a rating in the recipe card below and let us know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading and following along!
- 3 cups milk (I use whole milk) *or for a vegan option, you can substitute the same amount non-dairy milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated white sugar (preferably organic, if possible)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (preferably organic, if possible) *see notes for the link on how to make your own homemade vanilla extract
- 1/3 white or brown rice, short grain, if possible
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon, ground nutmeg (freshly ground, if possible)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional (Saigon cinnamon is more fragrant)
- Optional add-ins: plumbs, fresh seasonal fruit, berries, raisins, currants, candied citrus (in the photos, I added in prunes)
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, for dotting the top before baking (you can substitute a vegan butter, like Earth Balance)
- Prepare the Rice Pudding: In an 8 x 8-inch baking dish, add milk, rice, sugar, ground nutmeg, vanilla extract, and optional cinnamon and add-ins. Whisk the mixture to combine. Cover and allow the rice pudding mixture to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the Oven: Make sure the oven racks are adjusted for baking the pudding in the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Before Baking the Pudding: Dot the top with the unsalted butter and cover with aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack for 1 hour in a 350 degree preheated oven. During baking, you can stir 1-2 times with a fork, if you want an even consistency.
- Baking the Rice Pudding: After 1 hour, remove the foil, reduce the oven heat to 300 degrees F. If serving hot, bake for an additional 1 hour. If serving hot, bake for 1 hour. When it's done, if serving hot, spoon into bowls or cups, you can add your favorite jam, syrup or whipped cream or fresh fruit and enjoy. If serving cold, allow to cool completely on a trivet and then cover and transfer to the refrigerator. Allow to get cold 6 hours (or until completely cold) or overnight.
- Tip: If you find that the rice pudding is too dry when it's done, lift up the skin and add some more milk (cold is fine) and mix it in until desired consistency is reached.
- Vegan/Vegetarian Milk Options: You can substitute the same amount (3 cups) oat, cashew, soy, almond, banana milk.
- Using Evaporated Milk: To make canned evaporated milk into regular milk, add 1 part evaporated milk to 1 part water and stir to combine. For example, this recipe calls for 3 cups of milk, use 1.5 cups evaporated milk and 1.5 cups water and mix together. It will not taste exactly like regular milk (due to the processing of canned milk) you would buy in the store but it’s great if you are in a pinch or need to use milk for baking.
- If you want to make your own vanilla extract, see our recipe post on How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 430Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 131mgCarbohydrates: 69gFiber: 6gSugar: 47gProtein: 11g
Please note that the Calculated Nutrition is an estimate at best.