Creamy Rice Pudding Recipe | Easy Dessert Idea

Hey there, food lovers! Do you crave something sweet and creamy to satisfy your taste buds? If that’s a yes, then I’ve got just the right recipe for you. Today, I’m going to teach you how to make one of my favorite comfort desserts – Rice Pudding, also known as Arroz Doce in Portuguese.

Rice pudding is a traditional sweet dish from Portuguese cuisine that has become quite popular all around the world. It’s a simple yet indulgent dessert made with just a few pantry staples – rice, water, milk, sugar, butter and some flavorings. This dessert might sound basic at first, but it has stood the test of time due to its decadent, creamy texture and the aromatic flavors that come along with it.

In this recipe article, I’m going to share with you my favorite Brazilian-inspired version of this pudding – Doce Arroz Cremoso, which translates to “Sweet Creamy Rice.” This delightful dessert is perfect for special occasions such as birthdays or Christmas or simply when you’re looking for something that feels like a warm hug in a bowl!

Trust me, once you try this recipe, it will quickly become your go-to comfort dessert. So let’s get started on this unforgettable culinary adventure!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)
Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)

Are you ready for a mouthwatering dessert that can transport you straight to the streets of Portugal? Arroz Doce, also known as Portuguese Rice Pudding, is here to bring some sweet and comforting flavors to your life.

What’s not to love about this dish? It’s creamy, sweet, and incredibly satisfying. With its thick and plump short-grain rice, it has a unique texture that is both tender and chewy at the same time. Plus, the combination of cinnamon and lemon peel creates a burst of fragrant aromas that will fill up your kitchen and make your taste buds sing with joy.

Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it’s also incredibly versatile. You can customize it by adding raisins, nuts or shredded coconut to give it an extra crunch. You can also swap out the traditional portuguese sweet rice for whichever type of rice you prefer or have on hand.

And let’s be real, rice pudding isn’t just a dessert for any old day. It’s a delightful treat for special occasions like Christmas or Thanksgiving that calls for something festive but possibly a bit exotic.

So why not take your taste buds on a little adventure with this traditional Portuguese dessert? Trust me; once you take a bite of this creamy and aromatic Arroz Doce recipe, you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 A warm and cozy bowl of Arroz Doce on a chilly night
A warm and cozy bowl of Arroz Doce on a chilly night

Let’s break down the ingredient list for a traditional Arroz Doce recipe. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of short-grain rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 cups of whole milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • Optional toppings: ground cinnamon and/or shredded coconut.

It’s important to note that you will need to use short-grain rice, specifically Carolino rice for the recipe to turn out as expected. This rice variety is widely used in Portuguese cuisine and can be found in most grocery stores. You can also use regular medium grain rice if Carolino rice is not available. Be sure to avoid using long grain or jasmine varieties as they will not yield the same result.

The Recipe How-To

 Smooth, creamy pudding with hints of cinnamon and sweetness
Smooth, creamy pudding with hints of cinnamon and sweetness

Welcome to the main event, the recipe! This rice pudding or Arroz Doce is a traditional Portuguese dessert that has been passed down for generations. It’s sweet, creamy, and a perfect comfort food to enjoy any time of the year. Follow these simple steps to make this delicious pudding in the comfort of your kitchen.


Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 cup short grain rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. In a medium saucepan, bring water and salt to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add rice and cinnamon stick, lower heat and simmer until the rice is tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes.
  3. Remove cinnamon stick and lemon rind from the rice mixture.
  4. Add milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and butter.
  5. Cook over medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly for about 25 to 30 minutes. It should have a thick consistency almost like oatmeal.
  6. Pour into a serving dish or individual bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon on top.

That’s it! Your authentic Portuguese Arroz Doce is ready to be enjoyed. Try this rich and creamy dessert as a perfect end to any meal or as an indulgent snack during any time of the day.


For a twist on the traditional recipe, try adding egg yolks for extra creaminess!

Now that you know how to create this sweet treat at home, impress your friends and family with an authentic dessert straight from Portuguese cuisine. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different substitutions and variations to create your own unique version of rice pudding arroz doce.

Substitutions and Variations

 A traditional Brazilian dessert that will warm your heart
A traditional Brazilian dessert that will warm your heart

Now, let’s talk about substitutions and variations. I know that sometimes you might not have all of the ingredients at hand or perhaps you want to spice up the recipe a bit. Fear not! Flexibility is key in the kitchen.

First off, for those watching their sugar intake, you can substitute regular sugar with a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup. Keep in mind that these substitutions will add more flavor to your dish and may also change its consistency, so adjust accordingly.

If you’re looking for a healthier option, swap out the butter for coconut oil or vegan margarine. This will give your rice pudding recipe’s mixture a different taste profile that complements its sweetness.

For those without traditional Portuguese sweet rice, use short-grain or medium-grain rice instead. While still suitable, these variations will alter the texture and overall nuttiness of the final product. Additionally, try mixing in raisins with cinnamon sticks for added flavor and texture.

To elevate your rice pudding dessert, consider a unique serving method. You can try baking it in individual ramekins or muffin tins topped with whipped cream or fresh fruit for extra decadence.

Finally, experiment with incorporating other spices into the recipe depending on your taste preference. Nutmeg and cardamom complement the sweetness present in doce portuguese (Portuguese Rice Pudding) quite well, giving it an elevated flavor profile.

Remember, this recipe is incredibly versatile. Make it your own by building upon these variations and substitutions which allow us to create countless versions of this popular dessert according to our preferences and requirements.

Serving and Pairing

 Don't be fooled by its simplicity, this pudding is bursting with flavors
Don’t be fooled by its simplicity, this pudding is bursting with flavors

Are you ready to take your taste buds on an adventure? I’ve got just the thing for you: a hot, creamy bowl of arroz doce! Whether you’re enjoying this traditional Portuguese rice pudding as a standalone dessert or pairing it with some complementary flavors, there’s no doubt it will leave you feeling satisfied.

One of my favorite ways to serve arroz doce is warm and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The heat of the pudding brings out the spicy notes in the cinnamon, creating a perfect balance of sweet and savory. For something extra special, try adding a dollop of whipped cream or indulging in some crushed nuts on top.

Want to take your arroz doce pairing game to the next level? Look no further than some fresh fruit! Sliced strawberries or bananas are great amicable additions that can help cut through the richness of the pudding. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Portuguese rice pudding without some freshly grated lemon zest as a finishing touch.

Not in the mood for something sweet right now? No worries – arroz doce is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed as a side dish alongside savory meals. It pairs very well with slow-cooked stews and other comforting main dishes. Or if you’re looking for something lighter, team up arroz doce with a side salad to make for a well-balanced meal.

So go ahead and get creative – the possibilities for serving and pairing this spectacularly sweet treat are truly limitless.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 A spoonful of love, a spoonful of memories - that's what Arroz Doce is all about
A spoonful of love, a spoonful of memories – that’s what Arroz Doce is all about

Listen up, folks. You don’t want to miss this crucial information on making ahead, storing, and reheating this delicious rice pudding recipe. Arroz Doce is a traditional Portuguese rice pudding that can be stored and reheated without losing its creamy texture and satisfying flavor.

To make-ahead, cook the rice pudding and allow it to cool before placing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last for up to three days before you need to consume or freeze it.

Let’s talk about storing this sweet rice concoction. The best option is to transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge. This will help prevent any bacteria growth while also locking in the flavor of your arroz doce.

To reheat your pudding arroz doce, remove it from the fridge and scoop out the amount you want into a saucepan or microwave-safe dish. Add a splash of milk or water to loosen it up, then heat over low heat on the stovetop or warm in the microwave. You do not want to overheat your arroz con leche as it may become dry or even burnt.

If you have some leftover arroz doce but don’t feel like consuming it again soon, then here’s some good news for you! You can easily freeze your rice pudding by transferring it into a freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to serve again, simply thaw it overnight in your fridge and reheat using one of the methods described above.

So, there you have it- perfect ways to make-ahead, store, and reheat this scrumptious Brazilian rice pudding recipe without compromising its mouth-watering taste!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Add some texture to your pudding by topping it off with crunchy nuts or fruits
Add some texture to your pudding by topping it off with crunchy nuts or fruits

Alright, folks, it’s time for the tips and tricks that will take your rice pudding (arroz doce) to the next level. Trust me on this – I’m a chef who specializes in the intersection between Brazilian and American cuisine. So, let’s get started!

First off, when cooking the rice, make sure to use a medium saucepan. If it’s too small, you risk overcrowding the rice and having an uneven cook which can lead to mushy or undercooked bits. On the other hand, if it’s too big, it might evaporate too much liquid from your pudding resulting in a dry consistency.

Speaking of liquids; have you thought about using evaporated milk instead of whole milk? Trust me on this one – it’ll take your pudding experience to another level! If you’re going for a creamier consistency go for condensed milk but if you’re not a fan of overly sweet pudding then stick with regular whole milk.

Another way to get creamy rice is by adding eggs yolks. They help to emulsify the mixture and improve texture. But you have to be careful here – ideally, you want to add only when the mixture has cooled down so that they don’t turn into scrambled eggs!

Alright, alright, I’ve got one more trick for you – do not add any additional liquids until after you’ve cooked your rice. Many people believe that adding water halfway through is necessary to ensure complete absorption but doing this can lead to overcooking and ultimately ruining the texture of your beloved arroz doce.

Lastly, should you find yourself dealing with lumps in your pudding then simply pass it through a sieve or blender! Golden rule; nobody likes lumpy pudding!

So there you have it – these are some guidelines that will put your arroz doce game ahead of anyone else’s. Until then happy cooking!

Bottom Line

My fellow food enthusiasts, I hope you enjoyed this exquisite recipe for Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce). As a chef specializing in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I can attest to the fact that this dish is a perfect blend of both cultures. The creamy texture and warm cinnamon flavor make it a popular dessert in both Portuguese and Brazilian cuisines.

But let me tell you why you’ll love this recipe. It’s easy to make, and the ingredients are easily accessible at your local grocery store. The combination of sweet rice, condensed milk, and cinnamon sticks is an absolute delight to the senses. This traditional Portuguese recipe is sure to bring back memories of family gatherings and shared meals.

You can serve it warm or chilled, making it suitable for any occasion throughout the year. It’s also a great make-ahead option; you can store it for up to two days in the refrigerator, and it still tastes delicious.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try variations such as adding evaporated milk or egg yolks for an even creamier texture. You can also pair it with fresh fruit like berries or top it with caramel sauce for an extra touch of sweetness.

I highly recommend trying out this recipe and experiencing the essence of both Brazilian and Portuguese cuisine. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you.

In conclusion, this Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce) recipe is a must-try for any food lover out there looking to expand their culinary horizons. Its simplicity combined with its delectable flavors make it stand out as one of the most authentic and delicious desserts across different cultures. Give it a chance, and you won’t regret it!

Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)

Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce) Recipe

This Recipe came from my boyfriends mother, it is very creamy and delicious. I hope you enjoy it as much as i do.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 2 platters
Calories 334.2 kcal


  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups rice, i like river rice (Medium Grain)
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2-2 cups sugar


  • In a large pot add water rice and butter and begin cooking, You want to cook the rice until almost all of the water has been obsorbed,
  • in a seperate pot add milk and salt, on very low heat begin to warm the milk, You should warm the milk as the rice is cooking.
  • When the rice is ready add in the warm milk, mix well you will need to keep a close eye on the rice now, the milk will start to thicken the rice and it could stick, continue stirring on medium heat until it thicken
  • then add the sugar 1/2 a cup at a time mixing well.
  • Finally take the 3 egg yolks and beat together slowing add to the rice mixture while stirring as to not scramble the egg. this will add that nice yellow color to the pudding.
  • Plate and top with cinnamon. let stand 10-15 minute to thicken.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 275gCalories: 334.2kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 7.4gFat: 7.3gSaturated Fat: 3.9gCholesterol: 74.3mgSodium: 187.9mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 37.7g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert, Healthy, Low Protein, Medium-Grain Rice, Rice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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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.