Arroz con leche (rice with milk) recipe

Arroz con leche (rice with milk) recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Dessert
  • Puddings
  • Rice pudding

This is the Mexican version of rice pudding. It's sweet, creamy, custardy and lightly spiced with cinnamon. Enjoy as a comforting dessert over the cold winter months.

25 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 190g uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 475ml water
  • 475ml full fat milk
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 65g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 250ml full fat milk
  • 150ml double cream
  • 70g raisins (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:35min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Bring the rice, butter and water to the boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.
  2. Whisk together 475ml milk, flour, sugar, egg and vanilla extract in a bowl and pour the milk mixture over the cooked rice. Stir to combine, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in 250ml full fat milk, double cream, raisins and cinnamon until thoroughly mixed and allow to cool for a few minutes. Serve warm or cold.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(50)

Reviews in English (41)

by ben's mommy

This is a great recipe!! I made a few minor changes and substituted the 1 cup of whole milk with evaporated milk and used sweetened condensed milk instead of the heavy cream. This is the closest I have come to finding a recipe that tastes like my Grandma's!! Thanks!-13 Jun 2010


SMOOTH & CREAMY! This is not overly sweet. I thought I had made it wrong because it wasn't thick like other rice puddings. I researched Arroz con Leche and found it is "soupier" than American rice puddings. I cooked it a little longer to thicken to my preference, and once it cooled, it was perfect. SMOOTH & CREAMY! Thank you crys7422 for sharing your recipe. I learned something new tonight!-13 Jan 2011

by lenihan5

I did as one reviewer and used sweetened condensed milk to replace that 2nd cup of milk. It was very good and made it more rich. If you do this, remember, do not add that 1/3 cup sugar. Try it first.-27 May 2011

Peruvian Arroz con Leche: Scrumptious Peruvian Rice Pudding

Craving a satisfying Peruvian dessert after your main course? We’ve got the perfect recipe to complete your full course menu from South America’s hottest food destination. Arroz con leche will definitely hit the sweet spot! Try this combination of white rice, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, evaporated and condensed milk tonight! Trust us, your taste buds will love you. If you’re the kind of person who likes to impress your dinner guests (or your immediate family) with the background to a dish, keep reading. Or scroll straight down for the recipe and get started right away!

The easiest arroz con leche recipe

Looking for a fun dessert? This Mexican sweet rice is the perfect recipe.

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I missed the craziest things while we lived in Michigan. Homemade tortillas smothered in butter. Quesadillas with extra grilled onions. Big fat avocados. Homemade arroz con leche. All things comfort food that I grew up enjoying.

Arroz con leche means rice with milk if you translate it correctly but most people call it Mexican sweet rice. And that&rsquos essentially what it is &ndash rice pudding drenched in sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon. It&rsquos absolutely delicious! The best part of this sweet treat is that it is really easy to make. Toss all the right ingredients together and then let it simmer to perfection.

To make this easy sweet rice recipe you need just a few ingredients &ndash rice being one of them! Once you have all your ingredients you start with adding the cinnamon sticks to the water until it boils. This infuses the water with a cinnamon-y goodness. Once the water has started to boil you add in the rice and reduce the heat. Allow the water to boil until the rice is almost soft and then add half the milk.

This is where is starts to get good yall! The rice starts to thicken and the milk and cinnamon combine together to create a dreamy dessert. But it gets better! You then drizzle in the sweetened condensed milk over the already creamy rice. Stir it together, remove the cinnamon sticks and allow to cool. Which is easier said then done!

You can sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top and you have arroz con leche perfection!

I think the best part about this recipe is that it&rsquos also great for breakfast. My kids gobbled it up the next morning. We just added a little extra milk before we warmed it up and it was so, so good!

Ingredients for Arroz con Leche

– 1 cup Arborio Rice (use regular short grain rice if absolutely necessary)
– 2 cups water
– 1/2 lemon rind
– 1 can evaporated milk (12 ounces)
– 1 can sweeten condensed milk (14 ounces)
– 2 sticks cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/4 teaspoon salt

Throughout the world

Arroz con Leche --Rice Pudding in English-- is truly a nearly-universal dish. It is made in many ways and with varying ingredients throughout the world. This Arroz con Leche recipe is just one of the many Hispanic rice pudding recipes.

Different countries may use different combinations of ingredients, but the basis will be rice, milk, sugar, and some type of spices.

In Denmark, a country where I have spent a lot of time, Rice Pudding is a Christmas tradition, and it's called Risalamande. It's prepared with cream, instead of milk, and served as part of the traditional Christmas Eve dinner.

Arroz Con Leche Recipe

All the young people in my big, fat, Cuban family seem to be getting married all of a sudden. I think there’s something in the water.

My nephew, Michael got married last summer (which gave us an excuse to GO to Miami, but that’s not important right now) and now there are two more weddings coming up, one in February and one in March.

What do the weddings in my family have to do with Cuban food recipes, you may ask?

Well, a little Spanish song keeps going off in my head about “wanting to marry a girl from the capital who knows how to sew and play and do other stuff…”

“Arroz con leche. Me quiero casar…..” (“Rice with milk. I want to marry….”) What is that all about?

Seriously. What’s the connection? And who comes up with this stuff? It must be a Cuban thing.

Of course, as is so often the case with the nonsensical rhymes we methodically repeated as kids, it breaks down some when translated into English. Not really sure what the rice pudding thing has to do with the desire for marriage, but because it’s been playing relentlessly in my head, I realize that I suddenly have an extraordinarily Pavlovian craving for arroz con leche.

So what does this mean to us, Marta?

It means that you, my friends, are the direct beneficiaries of my sudden craving for arroz con leche.

And, happily for my husband, I just happen to be a Cuban girl from the capital who can sew and play and do other stuff, but that’s really not important right now.

Arroz con Leche Recipe

  • 1 cup rice (short grain)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 strips of lemon peel (or zest)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • grated cinnamon and or cinnamon stick for garnish

1) Wash the rice – this gets rid of much of the starch. To wash, place the rice in a large saucepan, cover with water and swirl around. The water will get cloudy. Pour out the cloudy water, use a strainer to keep the rice in the pot. Repeat 3 or 4 times until the water is clear.

2) In the same saucepan, over high heat, mix the following ingredients: rinsed rice, 2 1/2 cups water, cinnamon stick, lemon peel and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil.

3) Reduce heat, cover and simmer until water is mostly absorbed and rice is tender. About 15 to 20 minutes.

4) Remove cinnamon and lemon.

5) While the rice is cooking whisk together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and the vanilla.

6) Stir the milk mixture into the cooked rice.

7) Cook uncovered over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until liquid is mostly absorbed and you begin to see the texture of the rice as the liquid becomes absorbed. The mixture will take on a slightly caramel color – THIS IS A GOOD THING. Stir in sugar.

8) Remove from heat and spoon into individual serving dishes. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill for about an hour before serving.

Cajeta Arroz Con Leche

  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 3½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup cajeta, divided
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook rice as you normally would or use leftover rice. In separate pan, combine milk, sweetened condensed milk and ½ cup of cajeta. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Stir into cooked rice.

Cook uncovered over low heat for 8–10 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping bottom to prevent sticking, until thick and creamy. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla. Spoon into serving bowls and refrigerate. Drizzle with cajeta before serving.

Janet Blaser has been a writer, editor and storyteller her entire life and feels fortunate to be able to write about great food, amazing places, fascinating people and unique events. Her first book, Why We Left: An Anthology of American Women Expats, is available on Amazon. Contact Janet or read her blog at whyweleftamerica.com.

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Tony Richards, Publisher

This traditional Arroz con Leche recipe is made with a secret weapon – mezcal infused raisins and cinnamon on top! All of the creamy goodness of your favorite traditional homemade dish with an added sorpresa.

Step 1
Rinse rice in cool water until water runs clear. Drain any excess water.

Step 2
Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan.

Step 3
Stir in the Basmati rice. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.

Step 4
Add the milk, cinnamon sticks, lime zest and sugar.

Step 5
Return to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.

Step 6
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over low heat.

Step 7
Add raisins and sauté 2 minutes. Turn off burner. Tilt skillet away from you and add mezcal.

Step 8
Carefully light liquid and allow alcohol to burn off and flame to die.

Step 9
When the rice is done, remove the cinnamon sticks.

Step 10
Serve garnished with the mezcal infused raisins and ground cinnamon.

Homemade Tradition

Just like your abuela used to make, this traditional Arroz con Leche, or rice pudding recipe is homemade with milk, cinnamon, vanilla, lime zest, basmati rice and of course love.

In order to get the texture just right, you’ll need to start with the right rice. Basmati is a great option because it is a fragrant long-grain rice that, when cooked, releases less starch so the texture is separate but also absorbs the great flavors.

Although you may not expect it, the lime zest provides a nice citrus touch without overpowering the flavor. If you don’t have a lime on hand, sub in lemon zest or even orange zest. You’ll also want to use fresh cinnamon sticks as that will give your dish the best flavor. If you only have powdered cinnamon, make sure to use it to taste and add some in at the end if the flavor is not as strong as you like.

Once you master the classic version, try out your skills with a chocolate version or Pumpkin Spice Latte.


That’s right, this version of your favorite Arroz con leche is an adult version topped with Mezcal infused raisins.

Mezcal is a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from agave. Many people compare it to tequila, however the two are not one in the same. There are many differences but mainly they are distilled differently and may result in different flavors. Try it out with your favorite version or If you want to make some plates alcohol free leave them off or top with uncooked raisins.

Bring whole milk and water to a slow simmer in a large pot over medium-low heat.

Stir in rice, add cinnamon sticks, and barely simmer, uncovered, until rice is softened, which should be about 20 to 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

When rice is soft, remove cinnamon sticks.

Stir in condensed milk, vanilla, salt, and raisins.

Return to a slight simmer and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed and rice has a pudding-like consistency.

One of our favorite Mexican desserts is arroz con leche, a Mexican style rice pudding. From a simple list of ingredients rice, milk, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla extract, you create a rich dessert great than the sum of its parts. It’s delicious served warm or cold. Our photographer Andrés shares his family’s authentic recipe.

An Adaptable Easy Recipe

Every cook in Mexico has their favorite arroz con leche recipe that they have tweaked and modified over the years. Some add sweetened condensed milk, some add evaporated milk, some add raisins. Some make it very sweet others make it lightly sweet. Some prefer it very moist almost to the point of being wet while others like it a little bit dry. You get the idea. It’s really up to you.

It’s a kid-friendly dessert too that I also consider Mexican comfort food at it’s best.

How to Make Arroz con Leche

The ingredients you need you probably already have on hand. All are inexpensive pantry staples.


  • long grain white rice
  • whole milk
  • water
  • sugar
  • cinnamon stick
  • salt
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • ground cinnamon
  • raisins (optional)

Cook the Rice First

Bring the water to a boil, then add the rice, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Your cooked rice is ready.

Prepare the Arroz con Leche

While the rice is cooking in a medium pan soak the cinnamon stick in 1 cup of milk.

When the rice is ready add it to the milk with the cinnamon stick and turn the heat to low.

Add the salt then cook for 10 minutes stirring regularly.

After the rice has absorbed some of the milk add the butter.

And add the remaining cup of milk.

Stir to mix the ingredients well. Continue cooking over low heat for 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat then cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Getting Your Rice Pudding Recipe Just Right

The rice pudding will have absorbed much of the liquid but it should still be creamy. Here is how to adjust it to your liking.