Delicious Arroz Doce Recipe You Can’t Resist

Looking for a dessert that is easy, creamy and delicious? Look no further than Arroz Doce, the traditional Portuguese sweet rice pudding. This beloved pudding has been warming hearts and satisfying cravings in Portugal for many years, and now it’s time for you to bring this charming tradition to your own kitchen.

In this article, I will share my favorite recipe for Arroz Doce with you, along with some tips and tricks on how to get it just right. This recipe is all about simplicity and ease of preparation. It’s perfect for those times when you need a comforting dessert but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

This isn’t just any rice pudding – it’s an authentic taste of Portuguese sweetness. The cinnamon sticks and fresh lemon rind add a unique flavor that complements the creaminess of the milk and the slight chewiness of the short grain white rice. And while it may be simple, Arroz Doce is packed with flavor and can be served warm or cold.

So, are you ready to transport yourself to Portugal with each spoonful? Then let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice)
Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice)

If you’re looking for a unique and flavorful dessert that will delight your taste buds, then look no further than Arroz Doce, also known as Portuguese Sweet Rice. This popular dessert recipe made with cooked rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, and fresh lemon rind is a deliciously creamy and satisfying pudding that will quickly become a family favorite.

What sets this Arroz Doce recipe apart from other rice pudding recipes is the combination of cinnamon sticks and fresh lemon peel infused in the sugar water mixture that cooks the rice into a luscious base. The resulting rice pudding is subtly spiced and citrusy with just the right amount of sweetness to make it a crowd-pleaser.

The dessert has been enjoyed as a traditional Portuguese sweet since ancient times, often served at special occasions like weddings and baptisms. Today, this classic dish has become popular all over the world thanks to its simplicity and versatility.

Furthermore, this sweet rice recipe by Maria Lawton is easy to follow and requires only a few basic ingredients. With just white rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon sticks, fresh lemon rind, and water, you’ll be able to create this authentic Arroz Doce traditional Portuguese dessert in no time at all.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an impressive yet straightforward dessert that’s sure to impress your guests or satisfy your sweet tooth craving while also providing some cultural immersion experience in traditional Portuguese cuisine; then be sure to try this Arroz Doce recipe today! With every bite of this deliciously creamy pudding arroz doce, you’ll be transported to Portugal – in both your mind and your taste buds.

Ingredient List

 The first step is to wash the rice thoroughly and boil it in water till it's soft and tender.
The first step is to wash the rice thoroughly and boil it in water till it’s soft and tender.

Before we start cooking, let’s gather the ingredients needed for this delicious and creamy Arroz Doce recipe. Don’t worry, you probably already have most of these items in your pantry! Here is what you’ll need:


  • 1 cup of short-grain white rice (also known as sweet rice or Portuguese rice).
  • 2 cups of water to boil.


  • 1 cup of sugar, mixed with the cooked rice.

Milk and Eggs:

  • 2 cups of condensed milk.
  • 2 cups of whole milk.
  • 4 egg yolks.


  • Cinnamon sticks – two sticks will do it!
  • Lemon peel – fresh lemon rind is recommended.
  • A pinch of salt.

Keep in mind some variations may include coconut milk, vanilla extract and orange zest. However, it is up to preference and not necessary for a great result.

The Recipe How-To

 While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients, which include condensed milk, cinnamon sticks, and lemon zest.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the other ingredients, which include condensed milk, cinnamon sticks, and lemon zest.

Here’s how to make my favorite Arroz Doce recipe:

Step 1: Cook the Rice

Start by washing 1 cup of white rice until the water runs clear. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add the rice and reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Step 2: Make the Pudding

In another medium saucepan, mix 2 cups of milk, 1 cup of sugar, and a cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together 2 egg yolks with a splash of milk. Remove the cinnamon stick from the other saucepan and add the milk mixture slowly to the egg mixture while whisking constantly.

Add this mixture back into the saucepan with cooked rice along with two strips of fresh lemon rind, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir continuously for about 5 minutes until it thickens into a deliciously creamy pudding (arroz doce cremoso) consistency.

Step 3: Serve and Enjoy!

Keep stirring occasionally as it cools down. Once cooled slightly, discard the lemon rinds and cinnamon sticks.

Divide it into small bowls or ramekins and dust it with ground cinnamon.

Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to eat.

Enjoy your deliciously creamy Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice) pudding!

Substitutions and Variations

 In a saucepan, mix the condensed milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon zest together, and let it simmer over low heat for a few minutes.
In a saucepan, mix the condensed milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon zest together, and let it simmer over low heat for a few minutes.

As a chef, I understand that one of the keys to creating delicious dishes is experimenting with different ingredients and variations. If you’re looking to switch things up with this Arroz Doce recipe, here are some substitutions and variations you can try:

– Sweeteners: While granulated sugar is the traditional sweetener used in Arroz Doce, you can also play around with alternative sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind that these options will alter the flavor profile, so be sure to taste as you go.

– Milk: The milk traditionally used in this recipe is whole milk. However, if you’re looking to cut down on fat content, you can use skim or 2% milk instead. Another variation is using coconut milk for a tropical twist.

– Rice: While short-grain white rice is the staple ingredient in this recipe, you can experiment with other types of rice such as jasmine or basmati. Keep in mind that the texture and cook time may vary depending on the type of rice used.

– Aromatics: A popular addition to this recipe is fresh lemon rind and cinnamon sticks. However, some people also like to include vanilla extract or ground nutmeg for added flavor.

– Eggs: Some versions of Arroz Doce call for egg yolks to make the pudding extra creamy. If you prefer a vegan or egg-free version, simply omit this ingredient.

Remember that cooking is all about finding what works best for your individual taste buds. So don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own!

Serving and Pairing

 Once the rice is cooked, strain any excess water and add it to the saucepan with your sweet condensed milk mixture.
Once the rice is cooked, strain any excess water and add it to the saucepan with your sweet condensed milk mixture.

Once your Portuguese Sweet Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce) is finished, it’s time for the best part- serving it! This delicious pudding can be served both hot and cold, depending on your preference. When serving hot, make sure to sprinkle some cinnamon on top for an extra dash of flavor.

This dessert is a popular treat in Portugal and can be enjoyed as a standalone dessert or paired with your favorite complementary dishes. Some people prefer to have rice pudding as a comforting breakfast meal, while others may choose to serve it at dinner parties or special occasions.

If you’re feeling adventurous, pair your Arroz Doce with coffee or tea for that perfect after-dinner treat. The creamy and sweet flavors of the pudding are balanced nicely by the bitterness of coffee or the natural sweetness of hot tea. Alternatively, try pairing it with fresh fruit to add a tangy twist to this classic dish.

For those looking for a more indulgent option, you can serve this deliciously creamy Arroz Doce with a dollop of whipped cream on top. It’s not just visually appealing but also adds an extra layer of richness to this already decadent dessert.

In summary, there are countless ways to serve Portuguese Sweet Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce). Whether you choose to enjoy it alone as a comforting breakfast meal or serve it at dinner parties with complementary dishes and add-ons, rest assured that it will satisfy any sweet cravings you may have.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Gently stir the mixture and let it cook over low heat, until the mixture thickens to the right consistency.
Gently stir the mixture and let it cook over low heat, until the mixture thickens to the right consistency.

Arroz Doce is a versatile and convenient dessert that can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave.

To make Arroz Doce ahead of time, simply follow the recipe instructions and store the pudding in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat the pudding, pour it into a saucepan and heat it over low heat, stirring frequently until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until heated to your liking.

If you have leftover Arroz Doce that you want to store for later, transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate immediately. The dessert will keep well in the fridge for up to three days. However, keep in mind that rice pudding tends to thicken when cool, so you may need to add a little bit of milk or water to thin it out before reheating.

Arroz Doce can also be frozen for up to three months. Let it cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze. To thaw and reheat, let the pudding defrost overnight in the refrigerator before reheating as directed above.

Whether you enjoy Arroz Doce hot or cold, as a standalone dessert or paired with your favorite fruit compote, this sweet rice pudding is sure to delight your taste buds every time. So don’t be afraid to make a big batch ahead of time and enjoy it at your convenience!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Once the
Once the

To achieve the perfect arroz doce, it is essential to follow some tips that will enhance the flavors and textures of this Portuguese sweet rice pudding. As a chef specializing in Brazilian and American cuisine, I have tried and tested numerous arroz doce recipe variations over the years. Here are my recommendations to consistency yield deliciously creamy, aromatic, and traditional arroz doce.

1. Cook the rice properly

The way you cook the rice determines the texture of your pudding. Use short-grain white rice or Arborio, which provides a natural creamy texture when cooked. Rinse the rice several times to remove any excess starch, which can cause the pudding to be too thick or pasty.

2. Don’t rush the cooking process

Cooking arroz doce takes time and patience. To achieve maximum creaminess, cover the rice in plenty of water and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Use high-quality cinnamon sticks

Cinnamon sticks are a key ingredient in arroz doce, providing delicate spice and aroma. Choose high-quality sticks with more essential oil to make your pudding more fragrant.

4. Fresh lemon rind adds an extra zing

Add fresh lemon rind during cooking to give your arroz doce an extra kick of citrusy flavor. Be sure only to use the rind as opposed to juice; adding liquid may change the overall structure of the pudding.

5. Balance sugar and cinnamon

Sugar and cinnamon are the flavors that define this dessert recipe completely! In this sweet recipe, I suggest using one cinnamon stick per 2 cups of water and reduce sugar by half if you prefer less sugary things.

6. Dilute condensed milk with regular milk

Condensed milk is deliciously creamy but can overwhelm other flavors if it’s not diluted correctly with regular milk at 1:1 ratio for optimal creaminess.

7. Temper eggs before adding to the hot mixture

Don’t cook the egg yolks by adding them directly to the hot pudding mixture. Instead, temper them with a small amount of hot pudding mixture to raise their temperature gradually and prevent curdling.

Follow these tips for perfect results each time you prepare this traditional Portuguese dessert, and you will have a deliciously creamy arroz doce everyone will love!


As with any recipe, you may have some questions or concerns before getting started. That’s why I’ve put together this FAQ section to help guide you through any issues that may arise while making arroz doce. From substitutions to cooking methods, these commonly asked questions will help ensure your pudding arroz turns out deliciously creamy every time. Let’s get started!

What is arroz doce in english?

Arroz Doce is a classic dessert from Portugal that features rice, sugar, milk, eggs, cinnamon, and lemon zest in its recipe.

How to make a sweet rice?

Let’s get this party started by bringing some water to a boil over medium heat. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, throw in some cinnamon sticks and let them work their magic. Next, it’s time to add the rice to the pot and let it boil until it’s ultra-soft and sticky, almost like pudding.

Once the rice is cooked to perfection, it’s time to take things up a notch by adding some evaporated milk, condensed milk, and a splash of vanilla or mixed essence to the mix. Remember to keep the flame low and stir everything together for a few minutes to combine all the flavors.

Now comes the fun part! Take a handful of raisins and cherries and toss them in the pot, stirring everything together until they’re evenly distributed throughout the rice pudding. If you’re feeling impatient, let everything cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Of course, if you’re looking for a cool and refreshing dessert, this pudding works great served cold too.

Where does arroz doce come from?

Arroz doce, a dessert that originated in Portugal, has gained worldwide popularity with diverse variations in its recipe. It can be made using a range of ingredients, including condensed milk and egg-free options. The ideal arroz doce should have a crispy exterior and a soft, custard-like interior.

What kind of rice is used for rice pudding?

When it comes to making this dish, there are different types of rice you could use. While many people opt to use long grain white rice or even Thai jasmine rice, there are some who believe that the best choice is aromatic basmati rice due to its starch content, which helps to achieve a balance between consistency and flavor.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a delicious and traditional Portuguese dessert that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, then look no further than Arroz Doce!

With its simple ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, this creamy and fragrant rice pudding is the perfect comfort food for any occasion. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just looking for a satisfying treat to enjoy on a lazy afternoon, Arroz Doce is sure to please.

So why not give this recipe a try today? With its sweet and comforting flavors, it’s the perfect way to indulge your senses and delight your taste buds. And with all of the tips, substitutions, serving suggestions and make-ahead options provided in this article, you’ll be able to make the perfect bowl of Arroz Doce every time!

Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice)

Arroz Doce (Portuguese Sweet Rice) Recipe

This was always a family staple and while searching the Portuguese recipes, I noticed it wasn't there and I just have to add it.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Calories 442.7 kcal


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 cups hot milk (whole works best)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 fresh lemon rind (use a vegetable peeler for big pieces for easier removal)


  • cinnamon


  • Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan.
  • Add rice and cover, simmering for 20 minutes.
  • Add milk, sugar and lemon rind, stirring constantly until thickened to oatmeal consistency, about 15-20 minutes.
  • It will also thicken some while cooling.
  • Pour into one large serving plate and remove lemon rind.
  • Spread flat and allow to cool on wire rack.
  • You can be decorative with cinnamon by pinching a bit between your fingers and place while your hand is no more than an inch away from the rice (criss cross patterns are traditional), or you can just dust the entire top with the cinnamon.
  • Serve at room temp, but refrigerate uneaten portion.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 224gCalories: 442.7kcalCarbohydrates: 93.4gProtein: 7.2gFat: 4.7gSaturated Fat: 2.8gCholesterol: 17.1mgSodium: 65.4mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 50g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert, European, Portuguese
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Dora is a chef well-versed in Brazilian and American cuisine. After a hard day's work in the kitchen of her restaurant, she finds the time to jot down recipes for her food blog. Her recipes are sure to delight foodies everywhere, as she strives to make each one unique and enjoyable to read.