Heavenly Arroz Con Leche Recipe that Melts Hearts

I want to share with you a recipe that never fails to bring comfort and joy to my heart: Cuban Style Rice Pudding, or Arroz con Leche as we say in Spanish. This traditional Cuban dessert is made with simple but flavorful ingredients like cinnamon, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk, simmered until the rice is soft and creamy.

In Cuba, Arroz con Leche is often served as a sweet treat after a hearty meal. It’s one of those desserts that evoke memories of childhood, of family gatherings and warm hugs. And while there are many variations of this classic recipe, the one I’m sharing with you today is by far my favorite.

I know that rice pudding might seem unassuming compared to fancier desserts. But trust me, there’s nothing quite like a bowl of warm and deliciously creamy rice pudding on a cold winter night. It’s like a comforting hug in food form.

So whether you have a sweet tooth or simply enjoy trying out new dessert recipes from different cultures, I invite you to give this Cuban Style Rice Pudding recipe a try. You won’t regret it!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding “cuban Style” – Arroz Con Leche

Are you on the lookout for a dessert that delights your taste buds with its sweetness, creaminess, and warmth? Look no further because Arroz con Leche, also known as Cuban-style rice pudding, is here to make your dessert dreams come true!

I guarantee that once you try this dessert, you’ll fall in love with it. This recipe has a fantastic blend of flavors and textures that complement each other in every spoonful. The sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract add a sweetness that is not overpowering but rather balanced with the lemon peel strip and salt that gives it a subtle zing.

Arroz con Leche is a traditional Cuban dish, loved by many because of its creamy texture and unforgettable taste. Unlike store-bought pudding, this homemade version is rich and thick without feeling too heavy on the stomach. It can be served warm or chilled to suit your mood and preferences. The rice pudding rice contributes to the unique texture of this dessert – both fluffy and chewy.

One of the best things about Arroz con Leche is that it’s a dessert that anyone can make from scratch at home. You don’t need to be an expert chef to whip up a delicious batch in your kitchen. And if you’re not too fond of following recipes exactly, don’t fret! This recipe lends itself easily to substitutions and variations.

Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet after dinner or looking for a comforting snack on a chilly evening, Arroz con Leche has got you covered. So give in to your cravings and let Arroz con Leche transport you from your kitchen table to the streets of Cuba with every bite!

Ingredient List

“A taste of Cuba in every spoonful: Arroz con Leche is the perfect comfort food dessert.”

Let’s start with the ingredients needed to make this delicious creamy rice pudding. You will need:

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon peel strip
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 1 can (14 oz) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon powder (for garnish)

You can find most of these ingredients in your pantry or local grocery store. The cinnamon stick and lemon peel strip add a traditional Cuban twist to this recipe. Instead of using regular milk, I recommend using whole milk for a creamier result. Also, use good quality vanilla extract as it enhances the flavor of the pudding. Don’t forget the cinnamon powder for garnish, that extra touch will make it look like it came straight from a pastry chef’s kitchen!

The Recipe How-To

“Give me rice pudding any day of the week! This recipe is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth.”

Here it is, the recipe for my Cuban-style Rice Pudding! This recipe is creamy, sweet and a little bit spicy from the cinnamon. The prep time is around 20 minutes and the cook time is one hour, but it’s worth every minute.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of white rice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 strips of lemon peel
  • A pinch of salt
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon to sprinkle on top


  1. In a medium-size pot, add in the rice with two cups of water, cinnamon stick, lemon peel strips and salt. Turn on high heat and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot partially to let steam escape and let cook for around 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Add in four cups of whole milk and one can of sweetened condensed milk into your pot.
  4. Cook on medium-high heat for one hour stirring constantly until it reaches a creamy texture.
  5. Stir in vanilla extract.
  6. Remove from heat and discard lemon peels and cinnamon stick.
  7. Let cool slightly and transfer into a serving dish.
  8. Refrigerate until cold.
  9. Sprinkle top with ground cinnamon just before serving.

Enjoy this delicious creamy (Arroz Con Leche) dessert!

Substitutions and Variations

“Make your senses dance with the creamy, dreamy texture of this unforgettable dessert.”

When it comes to making Rice Pudding “Cuban style” or Arroz con Leche, there are quite a few substitutions and variations you can use to tweak the recipe and make it your own.

For starters, instead of using milk, you can use coconut milk for a tropical twist. You can also swap out the water with evaporated milk for a richer flavor or add a can of sweetened condensed milk for extra sweetness.

If you’re looking for a vegan version, you can use rice milk or coconut cream in place of dairy milk and leave out the cinnamon stick and lemon peel strip if you would like a more classic flavor.

When it comes to the rice, any white rice will do, but you could also try using Spanish rice or basmati rice for some added texture. You can also experiment with adding in dried fruit like raisins or cranberries or topping off your pudding with toasted almonds or hazelnuts.

For those who want to create a more traditional Cuban flavor, opt for using actual Cuban style arroz con leche by using saffron instead of cinnamon and nutmeg. However, if you don’t have that on hand, cinnamon works just fine!

Regardless of what ingredients you end up using, keep in mind that the cooking time tends to vary depending on your stove temperature and the type of pot used. Be sure to keep an eye on your pudding whilst cooking so that the rice doesn’t become mushy nor too hard.

Serving and Pairing

“There’s nothing like a warm bowl of Arroz con Leche on a cold winter’s day.”

Let me tell you about serving and pairing this sweet treat. This Cuban-style arroz con leche is best enjoyed straight from the fridge, chilled to perfection. The coldness of the pudding perfectly balances the warm spices, like cinnamon and vanilla extract, to create a refreshing sensation for your taste buds.

As for pairing, you have several options. You can serve it with a hot cup of coffee, tea, or even a glass of cold milk, which elevates the creaminess of the dessert. Alternatively, you can add some extra flavor by garnishing it with shredded coconut or chopped nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, or pecans. Trust me; this will give your arroz con leche rice pudding recipe a delightful texture and crunch.

In addition to that, if you want to get more creative with your pairings, try serving it with some fresh fruit like berries or sliced mangoes. Fruits add natural sweetness and acidity that will complement the flavors of the dish without overpowering it.

As an avid fan of Cuban cuisine, I must say this dessert can also be paired beautifully with other traditional Cuban foods like plantains or crispy churros that add some saltiness to contrast the sweetness of the arroz con leche. If you want something more decadent, try pairing it with a glass of rum!

So there you have it – versatile serving options and pairing recommendations for this authentic Cuban-style rice pudding recipe. It’s time to grab a spoon, indulge in this mouth-watering dessert and let your taste buds embark on a heavenly journey!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

“Treat your taste buds to a symphony of cinnamon and vanilla flavors in every bite.”

The beauty of Arroz con Leche is that it can be made ahead, making it a perfect choice for entertaining. In fact, I recommend making this the day before serving to give the flavors extra time to meld together.

To make-ahead, simply prepare the recipe as directed and allow it to cool completely at room temperature. Once it has cooled, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When ready to serve, you may find that the pudding has thickened up quite a bit in the fridge. Don’t panic! This is easily remedied by reheating it in a saucepan over low heat while gradually adding milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.

Alternatively, you can add some coconut milk or even evaporated milk for added creaminess and flavor. If using evaporated milk, be sure to reduce the amount of regular milk accordingly.

When reheating, be sure to stir constantly and avoid overheating the pudding. You want to warm it through gently without breaking down the texture or curdling the milk.

To store leftovers, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Arroz con Leche can also be frozen for longer storage; Simply place in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 2 months.

When ready to enjoy again, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating as directed above.

Arroz con Leche is one of my favorite desserts of all time because it is so versatile and forgiving. It’s easy to make-ahead and store, and even easier to reheat without sacrificing its delicious creamy texture or flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

“Whether you’re young or old, this childhood classic will take you back to a time

If you’re looking to perfect your Cuban-style rice pudding, here are some helpful tips to get the most delicious creamy rice pudding every time.

1. Soak the Rice: Soaking the rice helps to soften it before cooking, which results in a more delicate and tender pudding. Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, fill with enough water to cover it completely, and let it sit for at least an hour before cooking.

2. Use a Cinnamon Stick: A whole cinnamon stick will infuse more flavor into your pudding than just using ground cinnamon. Also, make sure it’s a fresh cinnamon stick—you can tell by its fragrant aroma.

3. Choose Good Quality Milk: The richer and creamier the milk, the creamier your pudding will be. For the best results, use whole milk or coconut milk, but avoid using skim milk as it may not yield optimal results.

4. Stir Frequently: As with any stovetop pudding recipe, stirring is important to ensure even cooking and a smooth texture. Stir frequently throughout the cooking process to prevent clumping and burning.

5. Go Easy on the Lemon Peel: Lemon peel can add a nice zesty flavor to your rice pudding, but be careful not to overdo it as too much can make your pudding bitter.

6. Check Consistency Often: Keep an eye on your pudding’s consistency during cooking as different types of rice absorb liquid differently. You want your rice to be tender but not still hard when finished—test by tasting and observing rather than relying solely on time.

7. Sweeten with Condensed Milk: For a traditional Cuban-style arroz con leche recipe, sweetened condensed milk is the way to go as it provides a rich creaminess while also adding sweetness.

By following these tips, you’ll be making perfect Cuban-style rice pudding every time!


As a chef specializing in both Brazilian and American cuisine, I know that some recipes can be tricky and have many questions associated with them. In this section, I am happy to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about this Rice Pudding “Cuban Style” – Arroz Con Leche Recipe.

What is Cuban arroz con leche made of?

Indulge in the simplicity and creaminess of Arroz con Leche, a delectable Cuban rice pudding that’s made with the perfect blend of sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and a touch of zesty lemon. This dessert is sure to satisfy your craving for something sweet, any day of the week.

Is arroz con leche Cuban or Mexican?

Arroz con Leche, a delicious dessert made with rice, milk, cinnamon, and sugar, is a popular dish in Mexico. However, this tasty treat can be found in various parts of the world, and its ingredients may vary depending on the region.

Why is my arroz con leche still hard?

For those who enjoy a sweet treat, Arroz con Leche is a dish that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to four days. If the rice is still too hard or crunchy even after all the liquid has been absorbed, you can add a ¼ cup more of milk and water and return it to a simmer while keeping the lid on. It’s essential to note that this recipe is relatively sweet, so if you prefer your dessert to be less sugary, consider adjusting the amount of sugar used.

What is arroz con leche Costa Rica made of?

For a delectable dessert that can be enjoyed either warm or cold, try making arroz con leche from Costa Rica. This dish is made using white rice, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla to create a creamy and sweet treat that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, if you want to try something new and delicious, this Cuban-style Arroz con Leche recipe is your answer. It’s an easy and delicious dessert that anyone can make, regardless of their cooking level. With some rice, milk, and a few other ingredients, you can create a creamy and sweet treat that will make all your taste buds happy. Follow my tips and recommendations to get the best results possible.

Believe me; once you try this Arroz con Leche, you’ll fall in love with it! This dessert is incredibly versatile and can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature. You can enjoy it as is, or with some fresh fruits on top to add more flavor and texture. It’s perfect for any occasion from a casual dinner at home to a special celebration.

Lastly, I’d like to encourage everyone to experiment with the recipe by trying different substitutions and variations. You can use coconut milk or evaporated milk instead of regular milk or substitute the white rice with Spanish or Mexican rice. The possibilities are endless!

So don’t wait any longer; grab the ingredients, combine them as instructed in this recipe and let’s get ready to experience a mouth-watering Cuban-style Arroz con Leche like never before!

Rice Pudding "cuban Style" - Arroz Con Leche

Rice Pudding "cuban Style" - Arroz Con Leche Recipe

Rice Pudding "Cuban Style" - Arroz Con Leche
No ratings yet
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine Cuban
Calories 364.6 kcal


  • 1/2 cup rice (california pearl rice valenciano small grain)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 -2 lemon peel strip (for zest)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cinnamon, powder


  • In a nice size pot, place the rice in water, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick until the rice is fully cooked. Make sure to remove the peels & cinnamon stick before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  • Please stir in the milk "room temperature", vanilla, salt and condensed milk while adding them, as it may stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Let it cook at Medium-Low temperature until it thickens, approximately 1 hour. Continue to stir frequently.
  • Let your guests choose to add cinnamon powder.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 201gCalories: 364.6kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 10.7gFat: 10.7gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 41mgSodium: 247.5mgFiber: 0.2gSugar: 38.4g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Dessert
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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.