This arroz con leche recipe has been passed down from generation to generation in my family!
When I was little I used to help my grandmother prepare arroz con leche for the whole family. I recall the delight on our faces as we ate this sweet treat.
Today, a spoonful of creamy rice pudding with a pinch of ground cinnamon on top still takes me back to my childhood, no matter where or when I eat it!
That’s why I’m going to share with you this arroz con leche recipe with special affection.
What is Arroz con Leche?
Arroz con leche, which means “rice with milk” in Spanish, is a popular dessert dish that is enjoyed in many countries around the world. The exact origins of arroz con leche are unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Spain during the Moorish occupation in the Middle Ages, when rice was introduced to the country by the Moors.
This sweet delicacy is made with rice, milk, and sugar, often topped with cinnamon.
Chefs from all over the world add their own flair to it; that’s what makes it so special. In this case, we will prepare this dessert the traditional way.
What Rice is Best for Arroz con Leche?
I use short-grain rice, also known as pearl rice or glutinous rice, to make a creamy arroz con leche. This rice has a high starch content, which releases from the grain when cooked, adding creaminess to your rice pudding. The brand I use is SOS postres.
With its creamy texture and comforting taste, this Spanish rice pudding will quickly become one of the family favorites! On my dessert list, it is in the top 3 without a doubt. And I have a feeling it’s on my children’s list too.
Once you’ve finished preparing this easy recipe for arroz con leche without condensed milk, it’s time to serve it to your loved ones! You will see, the moment they put the spoon in their mouths, they will not be able to do anything else but…. mmmmmmmm….
How to Make Creamy Arroz con Leche
This recipe is explained step by step so that your arroz con leche comes out delicious the first time! However, don’t get discouraged if the first time it doesn’t come out as expected. Persist, be patient and you will see how eventually you will make a creamy arroz con leche.
I hope you end up loving this Spanish rice pudding as much as we all do at home!
Arroz con Leche Recipe: Step by Step
1. In a cooking high pot (without turning on the heat yet), add 6 cups of whole milk, 1⅓ tablespoon of butter, one cinnamon stick, a lemon peel and ½ cup of rice.
Tips for this 1st step:
- When peeling the lemon, make sure to avoid the white part right under the skin since it has a bitter taste. For this, I recommend using a vegetable peeler.
- Use a cinnamon stick, not ground cinnamon.
2. Stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes over high heat ( level 9 on glass-ceramic ).
3. Reduce heat to medium ( level 4 on glass-ceramic ), stop stirring and let the rice with milk cook for 15 minutes.
4 . Then, add ¾ cup of sugar into the rice with milk mixture and stir again for 5 more minutes!
Tips for this 4th step:
- One last stirring effort! In this step you have to stir well to keep sugar from sticking.
- At this step the mixture starts to thicken. Don’t worry if you see it a little runny, the rice will thicken as it cools. If you keep cooking until it thickens as desired, the rice may harden.
5. Pour the mixture into a bowl. Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel.
6. Allow your arroz con leche to cool to room temperature for 20 minutes and then put it to chill in the refrigerator.
Tips for this 6th step:
- During resting time, rice thickens as it cools. Then, you can serve it.
- If it is stored in the refrigerator, I recommend you taking it out a few minutes before serving so that your guests can savor its creaminess.
7. Et voilà! You have made a delicious Spanish arroz con leche!
If Your Spanish Rice Pudding Is A Little Liquid, Here’s How to Make It Creamy
Don’t worry if your rice pudding comes out a little runny. First, let it sit at room temperature and then taste it. Keep in mind that it will thicken as it cools. If it’s a little too runny, you can pour it back into the pot and cook it over low-medium heat for a few more minutes. It may only need 5 to 10 minutes more.
If you are preparing this dessert for a dinner party, I recommend that you make it in the morning. Every diner can sprinkle a little cinnamon powder to their portion to taste. It can be served chilled or warm.
If you liked this creamy arroz con leche recipe, I also invite you to try this delicious flan with sweetened condensed milk.
Authentic Spanish Arroz con Leche
- 6 cups whole milk (1½ liter)
- 1⅓ tablespoon butter (20 grams)
- ½ cup pearl rice (85 grams)
- ¾ cup sugar (170 grams)
- 1 lemon peel
- 1 cinnamon stick
- In a cooking high pot (without turning on the heat yet), add 6 cups of whole milk, 1⅓ tablespoon of butter, one cinnamon stick, a lemon peel and ½ cup of pearl rice.
- Stir with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium, stop stirring and let the rice with milk cook for 15 minutes.
- Add in ¾ cup of sugar and stir again for 5 more minutes.
- Pour rice pudding into a bowl. Remove lemon peel and cinnamon stick.
- Allow your arroz con leche to cool to room temperature for 20 minutes and then put it to chill in the refrigerator.
- Et voilà! You have just made a Spanish arroz con leche!