This Rice Pudding with condensed milk is a comforting dessert that always hits the spot. It takes just minutes to prepare and you can enjoy it warm or chilled.
Rice pudding with condensed milk is a creamy and slightly sweet delicious dessert with subtle warm vanilla and spices. The milk and starch from the rice create a creamy and smooth texture. Sugars in the condensed milk give a moderately sweet flavor while still letting the natural and nutty flavors of rice and milk come through. The rice, while softened during the cooking process, is such a nice soft chewy bite. Finally, the vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon give this creamy dessert it's warm, aromatic, and nostalgic flavors.
- Rice Pudding in Brazil
- Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
- Simple Equipment
- Top tip For Rice Pudding With Condensed Milk
- Cook the Rice first
- Make the Rice Pudding with condensed milk
- Storing your Rice Pudding
- Variations on Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk
- Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk FAQs
- More Delicious Brazilian Desserts!
- Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk
Rice Pudding in Brazil
My first time enjoying creamy Rice pudding in Brazil was at a dessert buffet at a hotel in Angra dos Reis, which is a beautiful area in the state of Rio de Janeiro that has 365 islands and a small port surrounded by steep, forested coastline. Rice pudding, known as "arroz-doce" in Brazil, is a popular dessert with origins in Portuguese cuisine, where it was traditionally made with rice, milk, and other flavorings. However, in Brazil, sweetened condensed milk is a common variation and traditional way to make it here, which is so creamy and delicious!
Simple Ingredients and Substitutes
This is an easy recipe with minimal ingredients.
- Uncooked long grain rice - I recommend long-grain rice in this recipe as the condensed milk brings so much creaminess and I didn't want the pudding to be too thick or sticky. Short-grain or medium-grain rice generally have a higher starch content. The starch combines with the liquids to create a thick and sticky pudding texture, which I find can get too thick when serving chilled. You can always adjust the thickness by mixing in more or less milk.
- Water - water is needed for cooking the rice before making the rice pudding.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk - The sweetened condensed milk brings a creamy consistency and sweetness to the recipe. You can substitute with coconut milk, regular milk, or other liquid, but then you need to make sure to also add in the sugar.
- Whole Milk - You can substitute with lower fat content milks, but you may not get the same rich and creamy flavor.
- Vanilla extract - I love the warm nostalgic flavor that vanilla brings. You could also use coconut, almond, or other extract that you like.
- Ground Nutmeg - Nutmeg brings such a delicious warmth to the pudding and helps bring out the nuttiness of the rice. You can also use cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, clove, other combination of warm spices that you like. Of course, you can leave this out as well.
- Ground Cinnamon - I like to add this at the end as a finishing touch. You could also add it to the pudding mixture if you love cinnamon or add a cinnamon stick and then discard it when the pudding is done. Or you can eliminate the cinnamon all together to go for a different flavor profile (check out the variation ideas below!).
- Pinch Salt - The pinch of salt just brings helps all of the flavors pop. Just a pinch is needed here.
See recipe card for quantities.
Nothing special for this recipe, just a medium pot with a lid that fits tightly.
Top tip For Rice Pudding With Condensed Milk
Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch from the rice and prevents the pudding from becoming too sticky.
Cook the Rice first
After you have fully rinsed the rice, cook it according to the package instructions. Or add the rise to 2 cups of water and bring up to a boil. Turn the water down to a low simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Once the rice is done, turn off the heat, but leave the pot covered and undisturbed until you are ready to use.
Make the Rice Pudding with condensed milk
Using the same pot on the stove top, fluff up the cooked rice with a fork.
Pour in the milk.
Then the sweetened condensed milk.
Add your flavorings: nutmeg, vanilla, and a pinch of salt.
Over low heat, bring to a gentle simmer stirring often so that the pudding doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Cook for about 15-20 minutes until thickened.
TIP: For the best flavor and texture, remove from the heat when the rice pudding is still a little looser than you want. It will continue to thicken off the heat and especially if you chill it.
Serve the rice pudding warm or chilled with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top!
Storing your Rice Pudding
Store the rice pudding in the refrigerator in an airtight container. You can either store it in one large container or individual bowls. It will last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
Variations on Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk
As you can imagine, there are so many ways that you can change up and add extra flavor to this recipe. Here are a few ideas, but have fun with it!
- Berries - Fresh fruit brightens up this delicious rice pudding. You can top this delicious pudding with the berries or berry compote of your choice. Strawberries with a little whipped cream, blueberries cooked down into a thick syrup, or even cherries.
- Banana - Try layering into servings cups as follows: rice pudding, crushed cookies (vanilla wafers), sliced bananas, then repeat!
- Chocolate - When you are simmering the rice with milks, add in chocolate chips or some cocoa powder.
- Nutty - Try adding peanut butter, almond butter, or chopped nuts to the rice pudding.
- Maple Brown Sugar - Turn this rice pudding into a delicious breakfast treat by mixing in maple syrup, a touch of brown sugar, and topping it with toasted oats. You could also add dried fruit to it!
Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk FAQs
You can use any rice in rice pudding as long as you understand the differences and adjust your recipe accordingly. I use long-grain rice in this recipe as the condensed milk brings so much creaminess and I didn't want the pudding to be too thick or sticky. Short-grain or medium-grain rice generally have a higher starch content. The starch combines with the liquids to create a very thick and sticky pudding texture, which I find can get too thick when serving chilled. You can always adjust the thickness by mixing in more or less milk.
Rice pudding can be served both hot or cold, depending on your preference.
To make this rice pudding dairy free, you will need to replace both the milk and the condensed milk (about 3 ½ cups in total). The best substitute that I have found is coconut milk or coconut cream. You can also use oat milk, almond milk or soy milk. You will also need to add sugar. Depending on how sweet you like it, you will need about ⅓ cup to ½ cup of sugar, added to the rice and the milk before it simmers.
If your rice pudding is too thick, stir in a splash of milk to get it to it's desired consistency. Continue to add a little more milk at a time. Remember, you can add more, but you won't be able to take it out once added.
If your rice pudding is too thin or runny, then the best way to thicken it is with a cornstarch slurry. In a separate bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into ¼ cup of cold milk or water. Whisk or stir the mixture until the cornstarch is completely dissolved. Gently heat your rice pudding in a saucepan over low to medium heat and then slowly stir in the cornstarch slurry. Keep stirring the rice pudding as it heats up and thickens. If it reaches your desired thickness, remove from the heat and you're done. If not, repeat this process with another slurry.
More Delicious Brazilian Desserts!
If you like this Rice Pudding, then you have got to try these other amazing Brazilian desserts.
Rice Pudding with Condensed Milk
- 1 cup Uncooked white rice, long grain
- 2 cups Water
- 14 ounces Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 cups Whole Milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
- Pinch Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon (to sprinkle on top)
- Rinse the rice under cold water until the water runs clear. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the rinsed rice and 2 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and tender.
- Once the rice is cooked, pour in the sweetened condensed milk, the whole milk, and the vanilla, nutmeg, and pinch of salt. Stir well to combine everything.
- Increase the heat to medium-low and let the rice pudding mixture simmer, stirring frequently, until it thickens to your desired consistency. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on it and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Remove the rice pudding from the heat and let it cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle the cinnamon on top.You can serve it warm, at room temperature, or chilled, depending on your preference.