This classic, comforting, creamy Rice Pudding recipe is made with just 5 ingredients right on your stovetop. A delightful, easy dessert flavored with vanilla and cinnamon that’s perfect for holidays and cozy nights by the fire.
There is something so nostalgic about rice pudding. Something truly magical in it’s creamy simplicity that really is heartwarming as well as tummy warming. Perfectly sweet and made with a simple list of ingredients that call for pantry staples, it’s one of those desserts that are delightful to have simmering away on the stove in the fall and winter.
It’s simple enough to be pulled together at the last second and is a comforting dessert after any meal. I call it dessert, my boys call leftovers breakfast so, really, it’s your call.
Easy Rice Pudding
I’ve seen a lot of recipes for rice pudding that call for eggs which, of course, means you have to temper them. Not a fan. I’ve tried several methods and the one I’m sharing with you today is my hands down favorite for several reasons.
No eggs, no tempering. This recipe is super simple with a short list of ingredients. The best part is that we are going to let the natural starch in the rice create the creamiest rice pudding imaginable without using eggs. Which means, of course, no tempering!
Cooked with cinnamon. I like to add a cinnamon stick right at the beginning and as the rice cooks, it absorbs some of that delicious cinnamon flavor. It’s incredible! So much better than just stirring in cinnamon at the end.
Vanilla options. In this recipe, I really like to use vanilla bean paste because it’s so beautiful and fragrant and the flavor has a lovely intensity. You can absolutely use vanilla extract instead.
For maximum vanilla flavor, split half of a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Add it to the mixture when you add the cinnamon stick. Make sure to throw in the pod as well!
Rice Pudding Recipe: With Raisins vs Without Raisins
There are two camps when it comes to rice pudding: raisins or no raisins. I’m a raisins girl through and through but I’ve got two in my household that can’t handle them. What to do? Simple enough. When the pudding is done, scoop out half for those that like their pudding without raisins and then stir raisins into the remaining rice pudding. I like golden raisins for this recipe.
I like to put my pudding into little ramekins or small containers for serving. That way if I need to, I can refrigerate and serve chilled, or serve warm. We definitely prefer it warm though!
More Easy Desserts To Try
We love easy desserts like this easy rice pudding recipe. Here are more of our favorite go-to desserts:
Just 5 ingredients in this easy homemade rice pudding recipe! As always, you can find the full printable recipe with complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:
- whole milk – this provides the richness needed to make this pudding extra creamy.
- granulated sugar – you can use a little less or a little more than I do if you like your pudding more or less sweet. Also delicious with a little brown sugar.
- cinnamon stick – 3 or 4 inches long will do the trick. I also like to use a second cinnamon stick to grate over the top of the rice pudding just prior to serving. You can use ground cinnamon if you prefer.
- Arborio rice – this is the same rice you would use to make a risotto or look for Boomba rice that is used in paellas. Both are short grain rice. You do not want to use long grain rice in this recipe because it does not have enough starch.
- vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract – adds a lovely flavor to this pudding recipe. For maximum vanilla flavor, split half of a vanilla bean pod and scrape out the seeds. Add it to the mixture when you add the cinnamon stick. Make sure to throw in the pod as well!
- raisins – optional and controversial. I love golden raisins in mine but regular raisins will work too.
How To Make Rice Pudding
This is a great dessert to have cooking on a back burner while you’re getting the rest of dinner going. Let’s see how easy this is to make:
- Combine the milk, water, sugar, cinnamon stick and rice. Stir to combine.
- Bring to an intense simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, stirring often, cook until the rice is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon stick.
- Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and raisins, if using.
- Transfer the rice pudding into individual ramekins or small containers OR a large serving dish.
- Cool the pudding cool slightly before serving or let cool to room temperature, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day in advance.
- Just before serving, top with freshly grated cinnamon or ground cinnamon. Pudding can be enjoyed warm or cooled.
Rice Pudding FAQs
Can this be made in advance? Rice pudding is really best served warm or cooled the day it’s made but it can absolutely be made up to 1 day in advance. Serve chilled or warm pudding gently on the stove top or microwave. You may need to add some more milk to loosen the pudding as it will have likely absorbed all available liquid.
How should rice pudding be stored? The pudding should be cooled completely and then stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Can rice pudding be frozen? Yes, it can, for up to 3 months, but you might notice a change in texture. Let defrost in refrigerator overnight.
Variations To Try
More Pudding Recipes
- Chocolate Bread Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
- The BEST Banana Pudding
- Homemade Butterscotch Pudding
- S’mores Pudding Parfaits
- No Bake Banana Cream Pudding Cheesecake
- Easy Banana Pudding Pie
How To Make Rice Pudding
- 4½ cups whole milk
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick 3 or 4 inches long
- 1 cup Arborio rice or look for Boomba rice that is used in paellas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup golden raisins optional
- 1 cinnamon stick grated or ground cinnamon
- In a heavy bottomed, 3 quart sauce pan, combine the milk, water, sugar, cinnamon stick and rice. Stir to combine.4½ cups whole milk, 1½ cups water, ¾ cup granulated sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 cup Arborio rice
- Bring to an intense simmer (just below boiling) over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer and continue cooking, stirring often until the rice is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Some liquid will remain. The mixture should have the consistency of a thin oatmeal but will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon stick. Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract and raisins, if using.1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, ⅔ cup golden raisins
- Spoon the rice pudding into individual ramekins or small containers OR transfer to a large serving dish. Let the pudding cool slightly before serving or let cool to room temperature, cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve, up to 1 day in advance.
- Just before serving, top with freshly grated cinnamon or ground cinnamon. Pudding can be enjoyed warm or cooled.1 cinnamon stick