Cuban rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts I grew up eating as a little girl in a Cuban family. This rich and creamy dessert gives you a comforting hug with it's notes of cinnamon, anise and lime est.
When I think back to my childhood there's a few things that always stick out to me: my parents’ cooking. It’s a not so well kept secret that my dad was the real cook at home. He was a chef at a hotel in Havana, Cuba and although she won't admit it, he’s the one that taught my mom how to cook. So all of my mother’s recipes are really my dad’s, but he never complained and always let her take all of the credit.
This Cuban rice pudding recipe is usually served in my family's Christmas celebrations, but it's a great dessert any time of year.
- Valencia white rice (Can NOT be long grain rice!)
- Whole milk
- Sea salt
- Cinnamon stick
- Lime peel or lemon peel
- Star anise seeds
- Condensed milk
- Cinnamon for garnish
In a saucepan, over medium heat, mix the rinsed rice, 5 cups of whole milk, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, anise seeds and salt.
Once the milk is mostly evaporated, add an additional cup of milk and stir to incorporate.
Stir in butter and sugar into the cooked rice.
Add in the condensed milk and cook for another 10 minutes.
Spoon into individual serving dishes or eat it straight out of the pan, no one will judge you. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill for about an hour before serving.
Variations of arroz con leche
Vegan arroz con leche - Swap out the whole milk for coconut milk, swap the sweetened condensed milk for coconut condensed milk.
Place in an air-tight container and place in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
When placed in the refrigerator, the arroz con leche might lose its creamy texture a bit. Before serving, add some milk to the refrigerated arroz con leche and stir in.
More dessert recipes
Traditional Cuban Arroz Con Leche Recipe
- 14 oz package of Valencia rice short grain
- 6 cups of whole milk
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 cinnamon stick
- 2 strips of lime peel
- 2 whole star anise seeds
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- ¾ cup of sugar
- grated cinnamon for garnish optional
- Rinse the rice in water to get rid of as much starch as possible. To wash, place the rice in a large saucepan, cover with water and swirl around. The water will get cloudy. Pour out the cloudy water, use a strainer to keep the rice from making a giant mess. Repeat until the water is clear.
- In the same saucepan, over medium heat, mix the rinsed rice, 5 cups of whole milk, cinnamon stick, lime peel, anise seeds and salt. Bring to a simmer while stirring constantly to avoid the milk from burning and spilling over.
- Reduce heat to low. Once the milk is mostly evaporated, add an additional cup of milk and stir to incorporate. Cover saucepan, stirring occasionally to ensure that the bottom doesn’t burn. If the milk has evaporated, but the rice is still not tender add an additional cup of milk.
- Stir in butter and sugar into the cooked rice.
- Cook uncovered over low heat, stirring frequently until liquid is mostly absorbed, the rice is completely tender and you begin to see the texture of the rice. At this time, add in the condensed milk and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and Remove cinnamon, star anise and lime peel.
- Spoon into individual serving dishes or eat it straight out of the pan, no one will judge you. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chill for about an hour before serving.