Classic rice pudding is one of our all time favorite desserts. It’s thick and creamy, not too sweet, and perfect with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon on top to add to its rich flavor. The best part? Learning How To Make Rice Pudding at home takes very little effort and can easily be made a day or two in advance!
We love to serve rice pudding warm in the fall and winter, but you can also enjoy it cold, making it a perfect year round treat the whole family will love. And it’s 1000x better than that boxed KozyShack rice pudding you pick up at a store, I can guarantee you that.
How long will it take to make? If you’re standing at the stovetop and stirring while it cooks, you can expect it to take about 45 minutes. If you’re walking away from the saucepan and stirring it occasionally, every 5-10 minutes, you can expect it to take closer to 55-60 minutes.
Let’s make it!
In addition to white rice, you’ll also need whole milk, heavy cream, granulated sugar, a tiny bit of Kosher salt, and a cinnamon stick.
Once the rice is cooked to your desired consistency, you’ll add in a couple of tempered egg yolks (more on this below!), pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste), and then top it off with ground cinnamon.
How To Serve And Optional Add-In’s
Some people really love to add raisins or other dried fruit to rice pudding, but honestly, we’re purists and prefer to leave it plain. Other optional add-in’s: chopped nuts, a drizzle of caramel, toasted coconut, or even a pinch of cardamom in place of cinnamon. Feel free to experiment!
The Best Rice For Rice Pudding
Short-grain vs long-grain rice: the quick takeaway is that, generally speaking, the shorter the the grain, the more starch the rice has. And in this instance, more starch is a good thing, because it leads to a creamier rice pudding recipe.
We’d recommend short-grain white rice or something similar, such as Arborio rice or sushi rice. Medium-grain or long-grain will work, but the pudding will have a slightly less creamy texture. Honestly, use what you’ve got! However, we do not recommend using brown rice.
Ultimately, regardless of which variety you go with, make sure that the cooked rice is tender. That’s the key to making a perfect rice pudding at home!
- Simmer until the rice is tender! This is important — even if you cook the rice for the specified time, you have to take into account the texture of the rice. Don’t move onto the next step until the rice is fully cooked, or it will continue to have a slight bite when you go to eat it. And we want this to be a super creamy rice pudding.
- Related…. if you stir the rice constantly over medium-low heat, it’ll take about 45 minutes, but if you’re walking away and stirring only occasionally (this is what we do!), it’ll take closer to 55-60 minutes to cook.
- Cook the rice over medium-low heat! If you raise the heat to medium-high heat, you risk burning the rice at the bottom of the pan. Can’t have that!
- Temper the eggs! This is the most important: if you add whisked eggs to the creamy rice mixture without tempering them — stirring a little bit of the how liquid into them to raise their temperature — you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.
- If enjoying cold, stir in a little extra milk before serving. This is only necessary if you plan to eat it cold, as the texture is plenty loose and creamy when eating warm.
Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
We haven’t tested this with non-dairy milk. If you’re looking to make rice pudding with something other than cow milk (almond milk, coconut milk, etc.), we recommend looking for a recipe with those ingredients for best results. However, a quick search online seems to suggest that while any variety of milk will work, those with a higher fat content yield creamier results.
Not if you want the rice pudding to be extra thicks and the sauce to be silky… If you insist on leaving them out, stir in 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter at the end, just before serving.
This homemade easy rice pudding recipe is the stuff of dreams! It is unbelievably rich and creamy — truly comfort food in a bowl! Be sure to give it a try, then please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Creamy Stove Top Rice Pudding
- 3½ cups whole milk plus ¼ cup milk if serving chilled, optional
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ½ cup short or medium grain white rice
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Ground cinnamon for serving
- Bring ingredients to a boil. Combine 3½ cups milk, 1 cup heavy cream, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp Kosher salt, and cinnamon stick in a medium saucepan, then stir. Bring to a boil over medium heat. This takes about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the rice. Stir in ½ cup rice, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45-60 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Once you remove it from the heat, it will stop cooking, so make sure its cooked to your desired doneness before removing from the heat.
- Temper the eggs. In a small mixing bowl, whisk 2 egg yolks. Slowly pour in about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture while whisking to temper the egg. Once tempered, pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rice, stirring very well. The rice pudding will thicken.
- Finish, then serve. Stir in 2 tsp vanilla extract. Transfer to a serving bowl (or a mixing bowl), then either serve warm with cinnamon sprinkled on top (we add more once it's divided between bowls), or place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the rice, pressing down slightly to seal. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then serve.
- Optional, for serving cold: As the rice pudding cools, it will thicken even more. If serving cold, we recommend stirring in ½ cup of milk to create a looser texture. If you're reheating from cold, you don't need to add any additional milk, the rice pudding will loosen as it heats.
- Storage: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 5 days.
- We do not recommend freezing rice pudding.