Food + Drink Spain Taste of Travel

Recipe: Spanish Rice Pudding

November 9, 2016

A colourful and decadent twist on the old-fashioned Spanish rice pudding. How to turn this beloved, humble pudding into a show-stopping dessert.

There are variations of rice pudding desserts all over the world from Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia – you’ll find an assortment of recipes. Inspired by a recent trip to Spain, I’ve decided to make the famous Spanish riza con leche, which is characterised by a hint of vanilla, lemon and cinnamon.

It is deliciously fragrant with a decadently creamy, yet light and pillowy texture. Riza con leche is the ideal treat all-year-round that can be served either warm or cold depending on the season. I’ve decided to jazz it up with some other sweet Spanish specialities to turn this humble pudding into an indulgent dinner party dessert.

That’s where the dulce de leche comes in. It’s a thick, glossy caramel made by slowly heating sweetened milk. It translates to ‘jam made of milk’ and is popular in Spain and Latin American countries. Dulce de leche adds a rich, decadent flavour when a generous dollop is added to the rice pudding upon serving. Warning: it’s so good you will most likely eat spoonfuls straight out of the jar!

candied orange chocolate

The candied blood oranges coated in chocolate is a fancy little twist to make the dish pop with colour. Plus, the warm citrusy notes add an aromatic complexity, whilst the dark chocolate slowly and gloriously melts into the pudding. You can find my recipe for the candied blood orange dipped in chocolate here.

rice pudding recipe


Makes: 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 90 minutes


30g unsalted butter

160g pudding rice (use a short grain rice such as Arborio)

750ml milk

750ml cream

140g caster sugar

2 vanilla pods (split and seeds removed)

1 t/s lemon zest

250ml milk

4 egg yolks

Pistachio nuts (chopped)


Part 1: Cook the rice

  1. Pre-heat oven to 110°C.
  2. Melt the butter over a low heat and add the rice. Make sure the saucepan is heatproof.
  3. Stir the rice through the butter for 60 seconds before adding the milk, cream and sugar to the saucepan.
  4. Add the split vanilla pods as well as the scraped seeds and then bring to a simmer. You will need to stir frequently.
  5. Cook gently over a low heat for 20 minutes and then place a lid on the saucepan before popping into the pre-heated oven.
  6. Bake the rice for about 90 minutes, and be sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes. This will prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
  7. Once the rice is cooked remove the saucepan from the oven. Leave to cool to room temperate and discard the remaining vanilla pod.

Part 2: Make the custard

  1.  To make the custard; warm the milk in a small saucepan.
  2. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk egg yolks and caster sugar together until the mixture appears light and pale. Then gently pour the warmed milk into the bowl and mix together.
  3. Return this mixture to the saucepan and cook over a low heat. Be sure to stir continuously until the custard reaches around 85°C and has thickened. At this point remove the mixture from the heat, and then fold the custard through the cooked rice.


Makes: 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours


2x 400g cans Condensed milk

Pinch of sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
  2. Place baking dish filled with sweetened condensed milk and a pinch of salt into a large roasting pan and cover the top of the baking dish with aluminium foil.
  3. Fill the roasting pan with water until halfway up the sides of the baking dish.
  4. Bake in oven for about 2 hours, until the mixture is darker in colour and caramelised.
  5. Remove from oven and once cool, whisk the mixture until smooth.
  6. Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.


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1 Comment

  • Reply Jess November 9, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe I’ve been trying to find a succinct version since trying Riza con Leche in Spain..! Yours looks particularly good.

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