A classic old fashioned creamy rice pudding is the ultimate comforting dessert. Soft rice in a rich creamy milk sauce with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon. This is a no-fail, one pot recipe that involves just 2 minutes prep time and minimal ingredients.
Most of us have probably got memories of school rice pudding, and you might get flashbacks of it being bland and a weird gluey texture! This is nothing like that! This is cooked low and slow (but totally worth it) and is rich, creamy and luxurious. Super filling, but you are going to want seconds!
There are lots of different ways to cook rice pudding out there, but this is our family favourite. It's simple, works every time and you get perfect result. If you are looking for something a little different, then why not try our Coconut Rice Pudding?
- Pudding rice - We used pudding rice. You can find this in the same aisle as the pre-made rice pudding in the supermarket. However any medium grain white rice will work.
- Milk - For the best flavour and creaminess, use whole milk. You could use skimmed, or even oat milk or almond milk if you wanted to make it vegan. You won't get as good results though.
- Sugar - We used dark brown sugar, as it adds a nice colour and lovely rich sweet flavour.
- Vanilla - This adds a depth of flavour to the rice pudding. Vanilla does to sweet food what salt does to savoury food - it really brings out the other flavours.
- Cinnamon - This adds a lovely warming flavour.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make rice pudding - Step by step
One: Preheat your oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas 3. Wash and drain the rice.
Two: Grease a large oven-proof baking dish. Add the rice, sugar, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. Stir well.
Three: Put into the oven and cook for 2 hours.
Watch our Rice Pudding web story.
Why should you try it?
- Less than 5 minute prep time - All you have to do is mix everything together in a large pan and then put it in the oven and leave it until it is cooked to perfection.
- Adaptable - There is so much you can do with this dessert and we have shared all our favourite topping ideas below.
- Total comfort food - Rice pudding is such a warming dessert, it will feel like a big hug in your belly.
- Stores well - Make a big batch of this, as it stores well. More on the storage instructions below.
- Fool proof - this is such an easy recipe to make and anything that could go wrong, is easy to fix.
- Budget friendly - This is really cheap to make, and much cheaper (and better tasting) than the tinned kind.
The best rice for rice pudding
The type of rice you use is important, as you will get different results depending on the rice you use. Trust me on this, I have made MANY batches of this, using every different type of rice.
Pudding rice - You can buy pudding rice, a long grain rice, which is specifically for rice pudding. It results in the best finished pudding in our opinion.
Short/Medium grain rice - If you want a mushier pudding, then this would be the rice to use. We like ours to still have a little bit of texture though, as it's too easy for it to turn to baby food texture with short grain.
Risotto (arborio) rice - This works just as well as pudding rice in my opinion, however you will need to use a little extra liquid and it will take a little longer to cook.
Basmati - In terms of texture, this will work the same as pudding/long grain rice. However the flavour doesn't work well with all the rest of the ingredients.
Brown rice - This doesn't work in my opinion. It doesn't soften as well and it has a nutty texture.
There are so many options when it comes to rice pudding, which is one of the many reasons we love it. We went with some raspberry jam and a little extra cinnamon and sugar. But here are some more of our favourite topping ideas:
These storage instructions assume you have used pudding rice. Other rice will store and reheat with mixed results in our opinion.
Store: Put the pudding in an air tight container and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Freeze: You can store it in the freezer for up to 3 months in ziplock freezer bags.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: You will need to loosen it up a little before reheating, as it firms as it cools. Add a little water or milk and reheat in the microwave. You can also eat rice pudding cold.
Frequently Asked Questions
This is just a natural result of baking the rice and milk. The skin is actually very delicious.
No, it needs to be uncooked rice. This is because the starch that is released from the rice as it cooks is what makes the sauce nice and creamy. The rice will also become too mushy.
Every oven cooks differently, so if yours still isn't cooked, then put it back in the oven until cooked.
Yes, you can cook this in the slow cooker, but the texture will be a bit different and a little more mushy. Simply stir everything together in the slow cooker and then cook on high for 2-2.5 hours stirring every hour. You may need to add a little more milk if it is too thick.
Portion control is always key, however a lot of rice pudding recipes add egg yolk and cream, which ours doesn't. So this is a lighter option.
• Make sure you butter the baking dish well before you add the rest the ingredients. This will stop everything sticking to the sides.
• For some extra richness, stir in a little cream before serving.
• To make this dairy free, swap the whole milk for almond or cashew milk. It won't have the same rich creamy texture though.
More dessert recipes
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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- 200 g Pudding rice
- 1.4 l Whole milk
- 2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 100 g Light brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 165°C/325°F/Gas 3. Wash and drain the rice.
- Grease a large oven-proof baking dish. Add the rice, sugar, cinnamon, milk and vanilla. Stir well.
- Put in the oven and cook for 2 hours.
- Make sure you butter the baking dish well before you add the rest the ingredients. This will stop everything sticking to the sides.
- For some extra richness, stir in a little cream before serving.
- To make this dairy free, swap the whole milk for almond or cashew milk. It won't have the same rich creamy texture though.