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Arroz con Leche recipe

Arroz con Leche recipe

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

This Arroz con Leche is the Cuban version of rice pudding. It's richer and sweeter than regular rice pudding. Before serving, sprinkle with cinnamon or garnish with a cinnamon stick.

56 people made this

IngredientsServes: 10

  • 525ml water
  • 300g short grain rice
  • 1 (5cm) strip lime peel
  • 125ml water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons anise seed, crushed
  • 1 (410g) tin evaporated milk
  • 1 (397g) tin condensed sweetened milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 125g raisins or sultanas

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:50min

  1. Combine 525ml of water, rice and lime peel in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes until the rice is tender.
  2. While the rice is cooking, combine 125ml of water, cinnamon stick and anise in another saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a low boil for 3 minutes, then remove saucepan from heat. Strain flavoured water into a bowl and set aside, discarding cinnamon stick and anise pieces.
  3. After rice has simmered for 20 minutes, carefully remove the lime peel with a slotted spoon. Over low heat, gradually stir evaporated milk and condensed milk into the rice. Mix in the cinnamon and anise-flavoured water, vanilla and salt. Add raisins, if desired. Continue to stir until the mixture thickens, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. If the pudding is too watery after 10 minutes, turn up heat to medium-low and stir continuously. When pudding reaches desired consistency, remove from heat and pour into individual dishes, or a large bowl. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(63)

Reviews in English (49)

by jessitlv

This recipe is 5 stars with my modifications. I'm used to the Mexican version so I had to change just a few things. I left out the lime and anise and simmered 1 cup of milk with a cinnamon stick and some whole cloves. When the rice was done cooking I put a strainer over the pot and poured the milk in. I added 3-5oz cans of evaporated milk instead of 12oz and added only 3/4 of the can of condensed milk. I sprinkled in more ground cinnamon and nutmeg too. The vanilla and salt I added as the recipe states. I only let it simmer for about 5 minutes because we like a lot of liquid with the rice.-13 Mar 2010

by HealthNut Cook

I grew up with this dish. So I had great expectations. I followed this recipe to a tee. Don’t know if there is a difference between the Cuban version and the Mexican version but this dish was a bit too sweet for my taste. I'll share my beloved mother’s recipe for those who prefer a mildly sweet rice dessert.-29 May 2009

by Ileana

EXCELLENT! Just like my grandmother use to make. I am also Cuban, and I have been searching for an "Arroz con Leche" recipe like this one for a very long time. A++-24 Jul 2007

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.

Add 2 cups water to medium, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring water to boil. Stir in rice and salt. Return water to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 20 minutes

Stir in milk, cinnamon sticks and lemon or orange zest. Increase heat to medium-high bring milk to boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and scorching, until mixture is thick and creamy, about 25 minutes. Stir in condensed milk and vanilla. Cook, stirring often, until flavor is absorbed, about 5 minutes more.

Pour rice pudding into serving bowl serve warm or chilled. Sprinkle with cinnamon before serving, if desired.


  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Two 2 1/2-inch cinnamon sticks
  • Three 4-inch strips of orange zest, removed with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Ground cinnamon and finely grated orange zest, for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine the rice with 7 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Uncover and continue cooking until the rice is tender, about 14 minutes. Drain well and rinse the rice with cold water. Wipe out the saucepan.

Return the rice to the saucepan and add the whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange zest, vanilla and the remaining 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Stir in the raisins and continue cooking over low heat, stirring frequently, until the rice is very tender and the pudding is thick, about 30 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks and the strips of orange zest. Stir in the sour cream. Serve the rice pudding warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with ground cinnamon and finely grated orange zest.

Rice pudding (arroz con leche)

I’m sure my family have clocked their one-hundredth round on this recipe – we love it and make it all the time. Although using the condensed milk might be cheating a little bit, it makes a creamy, luscious and very indulgent dessert – thank you Rosalia! In case you’re wondering, Rosalia says this definitely can’t be made with skim milk – "You use full-cream then go for a run!"



Skill level


  • 250 g medium-grain rice
  • 1.25 litres full-cream milk
  • 1–2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 strip lemon rind
  • 395 g tin sweetened condensed milk
  • ground cinnamon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place the rice in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain.

Heat the milk in the saucepan with the cinnamon sticks and lemon rind. When it comes to the boil, add the rice and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the rice is half cooked.

Add the condensed milk and continue cooking and stirring until the rice is cooked through (test by squashing a rice grain in your fingers). Spoon into bowls and dust with ground cinnamon.

How to Make Arroz Con Leche

Add water, rice and cinnamon sticks to a large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and let cook for 16-18 minutes.

Drain liquid from the sauce pan, remove cinnamon sticks and put rice back in the pan. Add all 3 milks – evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk to the pan. Let come to a boil.

Reduce heat to LOW and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. The milk can easily burn so it’s important to stir as much as possible as it thickens.

Pour rice into cups and sprinkle on cinnamon. If you like more cinnamon, add 1 tsp of cinnamon (or more) in when adding the milks. We like to serve it warm, but it can also be cooled too.

Lissane Kafie

Step 1

Before you begin gathering your ingredients, wash the rice that you will be using thoroughly with water. In a big cooking pot, bring the water to a boil.

Step 2

Add the rice, sugar, and cinnamon sticks to the boiling water and let it cook for approximately 30 minutes. Once the rice is fully cooked, add in the milk and the sweetened condensed milk.

#spoontip: if you'd like a thicker consistency, drain the rice before adding the milk.

Step 3

Cover the pot with its lid and let it cook for about 10 more minutes. Stir occasionally so that the rice does not clump together.

Step 4

Serve and enjoy hot or cold, you choose! Sprinkle ground cinnamon on top for more flavoring.

This Honduran-style arroz con leche recipe will hopefully give you a glimpse of all that Honduran cuisine, specifically dessert is about—simplicity and palatable taste. This recipe will have you coming back for more (and trust me, that’s totally acceptable).

Arroz Con Leche

  • 1 1/2 ounce Barbados rum, preferably Real McCoy 5 Year
  • 1/2 ounce overproof aged rum, preferably Plantation O.F.T.D.
  • 1/2 ounce amontillado sherry, preferably Lustau
  • 1/2 ounce coco syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1/2 ounce cinnamon syrup (see Editor's Note)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 barspoon condensed milk
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

Garnish: rice crispy treat

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
  2. Strain into a chilled coupe.
  3. Garnish with rice crispy treat.
Editor's Note

Coco Syrup:
1/4 cup coconut milk powder, preferably Coconut Dream
200 grams sugar
200 grams water
4-5 cans of unsweetened coconut milk.

Chill the cans of unsweetened coconut milk for 24 hours. Separate the solid fats from the liquid until you have 2 cups of fat and discard the liquid. Combine all the ingredients in a pot over low heat and blend using an immersion blender.

Cinnamon Syrup:
50 grams Saigon cinnamon powder
400 grams water
sugar (see below)
Combine the water and the cinnamon in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Fine strain the mixture through a chinois lined with a cheesecloth. Add equal parts sugar by weight and bottle.

Variations and Mix-Ins

Since I like to keep things simple I didn’t add any mix-ins, but there are many popular variations that include:

If you’d like to add in a mix-in, I recommend adding it when you add in the milk.

I’ve had the variation with raisins before and I love it. The raisins get super warm and plump up in the pudding and when you finally eat them, and they practically burst in your mouth! It’s so good!