Rice Pudding is a deliciously creamy dessert recipe made with rice, milk, and sugar. Infused with hints of almond extract and cinnamon, enjoy this comforting treat served warm or cold and topped with plump golden raisins, slivered almonds, and sweet maple syrup.
Best Rice Pudding Recipe
Rice pudding is one of the very best underrated desserts. Whether you’ve tried it before, or it’s your first time, I highly recommend that you give it a try – it’s uncomplicated, fast, and quite delicious.
Flavored with cinnamon and almond extract and made with less sugar, you’ll find that this rice pudding is perfectly creamy-sweet, rather than just sweet-sweet. Top yours with candied slivered almonds, golden raisins, and a drizzle of maple syrup and this delicious dessert will be gone before you know it!
What is rice-pudding?
Rice pudding is a comforting dish made of cooked rice that is mixed with milk or water, and often includes sugar and spices, such as cinnamon. Found all over the world, rice pudding may be sweet, savory, boiled or baked, and served warm or cold. While many types of rice pudding varieties are thickened only by the starches from the rice, others may include eggs.
Most rice pudding recipes typically include these fundamental ingredients,
- Rice– white rice, brown rice, or even black rice may be used to make rice pudding. Most often short-grain white rice will be used, but long-grain rice, like jasmine or basmati, may also be used.
- Milk– the type of milk used will depend on the recipe. For sweeter rice pudding recipes, one may choose to use sweetened condensed milk, for creamier rice pudding recipes, one may choose to add heavy cream or whole milk. For dairy-free alternatives, try adding almond milk, soy milk, or coconut milk.
- Sweetener– sugar (both brown sugar or white sugar), honey, maple syrup, sweetened condensed milk, or even fruit may be used.
- Flavoring– different flavorings and extracts can turn a classic rice pudding into a completely different recipe. In this recipe, for example, I added almond extract. A popular addition is pure vanilla extract. Other flavorful additions may include orange or lemon extract, as well as different nuts and dried fruits.
- Spices– cinnamon (whole cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon) is hugely popular, in addition to cardamom and nutmeg.
Ingredients in this Creamy Rice Pudding Recipe
- white rice
- almond extract
- raisins (optional)
What type of rice should I use to make rice pudding?
Let’s start with the types of rice that you should not use – do not use parboiled rice or Instant rice. The texture, creaminess, and taste are subpar at best.
So, what should you use? Long-grain white rice or medium-grain rice are your best bets, though short-grain rice will also work if that’s all you have available.
- Long-grain white rice: regular white long-grain white rice, basmati rice, or jasmine rice
- Medium-grain white rice: Calrose rice or Arborio rice
RELATED: Different Types of Rice: Varieties and What to Do With Them
Can you use pre-cooked rice?
Yes, you can… However, when you make rice pudding pre-cooked or leftover rice you will be missing out on half the flavor!
Pre-cooked rice will have been cooked in water rather than milk and sugar. I don’t know about you guys, but if I had to choose which rice I’d rather eat it would definitely be the latter.
For this recipe, you will start with uncooked rice and cook it directly in milk and sugar. This makes for the creamiest, most delicious rice pudding ever.
Can I add sweetened condensed milk?
Absolutely. If you’re more partial to sweeter tasting desserts, try adding a small can (14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk. For best results, add this after the rice has already cooked in milk (while it is still warm) as condensed milk is more likely to burn (reduce the total amount of milk from 5 cups to 6).
Can I use vanilla extract instead of the almond extract?
Yes. Add approximately one teaspoon vanilla extract.
How to Make Rice Pudding (Stovetop)
1. Cook the rice in milk. In a medium saucepan, bring the rice, milk, sugar, and salt to a low boil over medium-high heat. Immediately reduce to low heat, cover, and simmer for approximately 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract, cinnamon, and golden raisins. At this step, add any additional spices or flavorings.
3. Transfer the rice pudding to a container and cover with a tight-fitting lid or plastic wrap. Allow your rice pudding to rest, at room temperature, for approximately 30 minutes, or until it has cooled slightly.
4. Serve and enjoy or (for best results) transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours to overnight. This will allow your rice pudding to become nice and creamy (without the need to add eggs or egg yolks).
5. When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator and garnish with additional raisins, slivered almonds, and maple syrup, if desired.
How to Make Rice Pudding (Slow Cooker)
You can also make this easy recipe in your crockpot!
1. Add the rice, milk, sugar, salt, almond extract, and ground cinnamon to the bowl of a large slow cooker. Whisk well to combine the cinnamon with the milk.
2. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours or on LOW for 4-5 hours. Stir once halfway through cooking.
3. Serve immediately garnished with raisins and slivered almonds, or allow the rice pudding to cool slightly before covering and transfer to the refrigerator to chill and thicken.
More Rice Recipes,
Arroz Caldo Recipe (Filipino Chicken and Rice Porridge)
Thai Mango Sticky Rice Recipe (Khao Niaow Ma Muang)
Coconut Rice Recipe (How to Make Coconut Rice)
Congee Recipe (Chinese Rice Porridge)
If you try making this Rice Pudding Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Easy Rice Pudding Recipe
- 6 cups milk
- 1 cup long-grain or medium-grain white rice
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon almond extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ¾ cup slivered almonds - I used honey roasted sliced almonds from Trader Joe's
- maple syrup or honey - for drizzling, optional
- Cook the rice in milk. In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, bring the rice, milk, sugar, and salt to a low boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking and burning to the bottom of the pot. The rice is ready when it is tender, but not mushy.
- Remove the rice from heat and stir in the almond extract, ground cinnamon, and golden raisins.
- Transfer cooked rice to a container and cover with plastic wrap. Allow rice to cool for 30 minutes at room temperature before transferring to the refrigerator to chill four hours to overnight.
- When ready to serve, top with slivered almonds, additional golden raisins and maple syrup or honey, if desired.
- The best rice to use: basmati, jasmine, long-grain white rice, or arborio rice.
- This recipe is gluten-free.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)
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