Fine Desserts

The Creamiest Rice Pudding

4.75 from 151 votes
Just like the Creamiest Rice Pudding recipe my mum used to make me when growing up in Ireland, this is one sweet dessert you won't want to miss.

Hi Bold Bakers!

I’m convinced that there are two types of people in this world: those who never had good rice pudding and those who can instantly be transported back to a family kitchen table when they eat it! I’m definitely in the second category.

Nothing feels more like home to me than a bowl of this delicious dessert. I grew up on it! My mum would bake it in the oven, and the warm, creamy sweet treat was the perfect cure for a dark, Irish winter night.

In Ireland, it is always served warm. In America, it’s a familiar sight in your local diner’s dessert fridge. American grocery stores also don’t carry what we’d call “pudding rice,” a starchy, short-grained rice, but that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t create an incredibly creamy, rich, and flavorful rice pudding without it! 

A lot of internet recipes call for only rice, sugar, and milk. Simple enough! But let’s get bolder! My recipe calls for just a few additions that I’m sure you already have: butter, cream, cinnamon, and vanilla.

I guarantee every member of the family will love this treat. Even the ever-elusive and camera-shy Waffles showed up to have his share! 

What Is Rice Pudding?

This recipe starts with rice, milk, and sugar. While the rice cooks in the milk, its starch is released, which naturally makes the pudding creamier. Letting this combination of flavors, amped up by vanilla, cinnamon, butter, and cream, cook on low for around 30 minutes allows that process to take place. Afterward, letting this saucy mix sit off the heat will allow the rice to absorb all that delicious liquid back in. 

What you’re left with is this simply delicious creamy dessert.

A top-down view of the Creamiest Rice Pudding, topped with jam.

What Kind Of Rice?

You want to make sure you use very starchy rice. It is the key ingredient. Without “pudding rice,” (which is what we use in Ireland) I turn to Arborio or Calrose rice, which are typically used for risottos and paella. Sushi rice can be used as well, but out of the three, Calrose is the cheapest choice, and the results are always the same.

What You Need To Make Rice Pudding

Get ready for this extensive list:

A close up of The Creamiest Rice Pudding Recipe, on a spoon, to show texture and consistency.

How To Make Rice Pudding

Wouldn’t it be nice if making a creamy, heartwarming dessert was as easy as tossing all the ingredients into a saucepan and letting it do its thing? 

Good news, that’s exactly how you make this delicious, thick, and easy pudding (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, down below):

  1. Mix all ingredients into a medium saucepan over low heat until they come to a gentle simmer.
  2. Cook on low for 35-40 and stir occasionally until the rice is tender. The liquid should be thickened, but not fully absorbed in the rice. 
  3. When the rice pudding appears to be still “saucy,” remove from heat and let sit for 20 minutes as the rice absorbs the liquid. 
  4. Serve warm! Or cold! And a little raspberry jam on top couldn’t hurt!

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For The Creamiest Rice Pudding

  1. You do not want to overcook it on the heat! Leave it saucy: you want the rice to be tender, but you should take your saucepan off the heat when the liquid has ALMOST been absorbed. Letting your rice sit for 20 minutes afterward will cause it to absorb all that deliciousness and leave you with a rich and creamy dessert.
  2. Seasoning is everything! Pudding can be bland and mushy without the vital inclusion of cinnamon and vanilla. Adding a pinch of cinnamon and splash of vanilla really elevates this rice pudding recipe from the rest!
  3. While I love the texture and taste milk and cream give this dish, other liquids work as well! Try almond, goat, coconut, or soy milk instead.

My dog, Waffles, begging for my Rice Pudding, licking his chops and putting his paw on my arm.

How To Store Rice Pudding

Once your rice pudding has cooled, store in your refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Why is rice pudding such a comfort food to so many people? This dessert has been around, in all corners of the world, for generations. But this recipe always reminds me of home.

Get More Pudding

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking cookbook for more desserts!

Full (and printable) recipe below the video!

Watch The Recipe Video!

The Creamiest Rice Pudding Recipe

4.75 from 151 votes
Just like the Creamiest Rice Pudding recipe my mum used to make me when growing up in Ireland, this is one sweet dessert you won't want to miss.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Just like the Creamiest Rice Pudding recipe my mum used to make me when growing up in Ireland, this is one sweet dessert you won't want to miss.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (4oz/115g) starchy rice (Aborio, Calrose, Sushi rice)
  • 3 cups (24floz/675ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) cream*
  • 1/4 cup (2oz/57g) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz/28g) butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Into a medium saucepan over low heat add in all of the above ingredients and allow to come to a gentle simmer.
  • Cook on low for roughly 35-40 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid has thickened but not absorbed fully. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat while the rice pudding is still quite 'saucy' and allow to sit for 20 minutes. During this time the rice will continue to absorb the liquid leaving you with a rich and creamy rice pudding.
  • Serve warm or cold with a dollop of raspberry jam on top.
  • Once cold, store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Recipe Notes

*If you don't have cream feel free to use all milk. But I would use a higher fat milk because that will have more flavor and make creamier rice pudding. 

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Mary MacLeam
Mary MacLeam
3 months ago

Hi Jemma, being from Scotland, this is a very familiar recipe. My Mother, who was a magnificent cook and baker, with 6 kids, used evaporated milk, and baked the rice, which them formed a lovely skin, which we all fought to have a piece of. Those were the days. Love your recipes. Warmest regards Mary

3 months ago

Indian version of rice pudding is called kheer which is made with a little variation and same ingredients rice milk and sugar and cardamon powder or saffron for flavouring and dry fruits added to it

Kat
3 months ago

Hi Gemma, this seems to be like a Filipino dish I love which we call Biko. We use glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk with brown sugar. Yummm!!!

Eddie Black
Eddie Black
3 months ago

My mom loves rice pudding. If social distancing is lifted I will make this and take this to her for Mother’s Day 🙂

Shopperv
Shopperv
3 months ago

I’ve never made rice pudding so I was hesitant to try. This is the absolute best creamy rice pudding I’ve ever had. I didn’t have whole milk so I substituted Lactose free 1/2 & 1/2! Yummy…thank you!

Beth
Beth
2 months ago

Hi! Love your recipes! Before I make a fool of myself and prepare this recipe all I have in my pantry right now since I’m quarantined is long grain rice. Can I use that? Thanks! Stay safe.

#Owensbowl
3 months ago

I just finished making this! Absolutely fabulous 😉 It’s creamy and tender with just the right amount of sweet. Thank you!

Catherine Wevodau
3 months ago

It would be helpful to include the nutrients, etc. I am on Weight Watchers and having the calories, etc, included in your recipes, I can figure out my points. Thank you.

3 months ago

Hi Gemma, amazing recipe!
Can I make a single serving recipe in a small saucepan ?
You may try out another flavour combo: saffron strands instead of vanilla extract and cardamom powder instead of cinnamon.
Also, in the end you can garnish it with pistachios, roasted cashews and almonds , and raisins.
Dried or powdered rose petals will also be good in this pudding.
Can’t wait to try this out tomorrow. I will try out the cinnamon vanilla flavour combo with dry fruits.

Mary Dixon
Mary Dixon
1 month ago

Only thing about your recipe is the number of servings. It should say only one serving! And I love rice pudding hot! Once it is done being cooked, I can’t wait until it is cooled…ever. It is not just a dessert but something good for breakfast.

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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