This simple Baked Rice Pudding is the perfect cozy night dessert! Made with tender rice, creamy milk, warm spices, and a touch of sugar, this luscious pudding comes to life in minutes! If you love pudding, you will love this Banana Fosters Pudding and Peach Cobbler Bread Pudding.
By Leidi Rodriguez
Bendiciones! Greetings! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Leidi and, occasionally, I share a recipe or two here on the GBC blog. Maybe you’ve tried my Ginger Brown Butter Blondies or my Cheesy Tarragon Tomato Tart? If not, it’s time to get on that!
Today, I’m sharing a simple, yet incredibly delicious recipe that takes me back to my childhood: Baked Rice Pudding. Growing up in a Latin household, I was constantly surrounded by food lovingly made by the generations that came before me. I spent most of my afternoons and weekends watching my mother, aunts, and grandparents effortlessly churning out the classics: arroz con gandules, pollo guisado, bistec encebollado, and so much more.
On extra special days, I’d get called into the kitchen in the early morning to make arroz con leche: a rice pudding made with fresh coconut, milk, and lots of spice. It was creamy, nutty, and so very comforting!
Though I don’t get the chance to make arroz con leche as much as I used to, I do often make a rice pudding of my own. In fact, I made THIS very recipe! Baked Rice Pudding is an easy, low-maintenance dish made with simple ingredients and lots of love. You’ll just have to keep reading to learn more!
WHAT IS RICE PUDDING?
To put it simply, rice pudding is a dish made from rice mixed with milk or water and other ingredients such as cinnamon, vanilla, and dried fruit. The end result is a sweetened, creamy rice perfect for cozy night snacking or served as a Winter dinner party dessert!
BAKED RICE PUDDING INGREDIENTS
SALTED BUTTER– Butter helps to grease the pan, toast the rice a bit as it cooks, and add a bit of flavor balance. You can use unsalted butter or a vegan margarine if you’d like, just add in a heavier pinch of salt instead!
ARBORIO RICE- I’ve found that the size and shape of Arborio is perfect for this recipe; it’s grains absorb just the right amount of liquid without getting soggy. But, any medium or short grain will do here.
GRANULATED SUGAR- I prefer my rice pudding to be sweet but not overwhelmingly so. If you’d like a sweeter pudding increase the measurement to a ½ cup. Too sweet for you? Lower the measurement to a ¼ cup.
PURE VANILLA EXTRACT- Vanilla layers in fragrance and flavor! Use the best stuff you got!
GROUND CINNAMON, CLOVES, & NUTMEG- Warm, nutty, floral, and spicy, each of these spices add a comforting and nostalgic taste. Feel free to adjust spice measurements according to your own preferences!
KOSHER SALT- Salt cuts through sweetness and enhances flavor.
WHOLE MILK- You can totally use just about anything you’ve got on hand! To make it vegan, use coconut, almond, oat milk, or a mixture of your own creation.
HEAVY CREAM- Cream is used here to create a thick, decadent pudding. If you prefer it a little lighter, swap out the cream for more milk or swap out 1 cup of milk for boiling water.
BAKED VS. STOVETOP
Growing up, my family and I solely used a caldero to make arroz con leche. Caldero, quite literally, translates to cauldron: a thick, large pot capable of cooking or boiling over an open fire. Our caldero was used to make rice, chicken stew, oatmeal, and delicious rice puddings like this one.
Though I still love to bust out my old, grease-stained, and creaky-lidded pot, I revel in the idea of taking something classic and making it my own way. Don’t get me wrong, nothing can replace the smoky, smooth flavor an open-flame imparts. But, there’s also something very special about the low and slow method of an oven. Not to mention the ease of it all!
Baking makes for less prep time, hands-free cooking, and a more flavorful, creamier rice pudding.
SERVING HOMEMADE RICE PUDDING
On most occasions, I take a spoon and dig into the pudding right away. I burn my tongue every time and I never regret it. But, if you’re actually serving this stuff, there’s a right way to do it.
- Make use of the hot milk- use a spoon to drizzle the pooled milk at the bottom of the dish over the top.
- Serve straight away- the longer you wait, the thicker and gloopier the pudding will get.
- Add some cold cream or milk- if you’d like to immediately cool your pudding, pour a little somethin’ cool on it.
- Layer on a fun topping- fresh fruit, jams, dried fruit or nuts, cinnamon apples, or a dribble of nut butter are all great choices!
HOW LONG WILL IT KEEP?
Rice pudding will keep for a couple days in the fridge but it’s definitely gotta be stored properly. While it’s still warm, transfer any leftover pudding to an airtight container and place it directly in the fridge.
Do not allow the pudding to cool at room temperature! The perishable ingredients in this recipe are not intended to sit out. If your pudding is left out for longer than an hour or so, you risk food poisoning.
CAN I REHEAT IT?
To reheat rice pudding, spoon your desired serving into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of milk (per serving) to the bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stopping halfway to mix. Repeat until steaming hot and creamy.
Alternatively, add the whole batch to a baking dish, mix in some milk, and heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.
GRANDBABY CAKES’ BEST PUDDING RECIPES
GBC knows its way around a good puddin’! So, don’t stop here y’all, come along for the ride and stir up some of our FAVORITE sweet and savory puddings!
- PEACH COBBLER BREAD PUDDING
- SOUTHERN CORN PUDDING
- HOMEMADE BANANA PUDDING
- STICKY TOFFEE GINGERBREAD BREAD PUDDING
- 2 tbsp salted butter melted
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of kosher salt
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Pour the melted butter into a pie or small casserole dish of your choice. Spread the melted butter around the sides.
- Add the rice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt to the dish. Mix to fully combine.
- Pour in the milk and heavy cream, then carefully stir to combine.
- Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and transfer into the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, give the pudding a good stir and rotate the baking sheet.
- A skin will form on the top of the pudding in the last 45 minutes of cooking. You can either stir it in again or just leave it.
- Once cooked through and tender, remove the pudding from the oven and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Spoon the remaining liquid over the top of the pudding and serve warm.
- Alternatively, you can bring the pudding to room temperature and chill it.
Rice pudding will keep for a couple days in the fridge but it’s definitely gotta be stored properly. While it’s still warm, transfer any leftover pudding to an airtight container and place it directly in the fridge. Do not allow the pudding to cool at room temperature! The perishable ingredients in this recipe are not intended to sit out. If your pudding is left out for longer than an hour or so, you risk food poisoning. CAN I REHEAT IT?
To reheat rice pudding, spoon your desired serving into a microwave-safe bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of milk (per serving) to the bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stopping halfway to mix. Repeat until steaming hot and creamy. Alternatively, add the whole batch to a baking dish, mix in some milk, and heat in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.