How to Make Rice Pudding

Whether served as a delicious dessert or a hearty breakfast, rice pudding is a filling meal enjoyed around the world. With just five ingredients, you can make a rich and flavorful rice pudding recipe on your KitchenAid® cooktop. Read more to learn how to make your own rice pudding.

A bowl of rice pudding topped with raspberries A bowl of rice pudding topped with raspberries

What Is Rice Pudding?

A global dish, rice pudding can be found in nearly every region of the world. Which variety of rice pudding you eat will depend on regional preferences of rice and preparation of the dish. Traditional rice pudding is incredibly rich, though its creamy texture carries a surprising amount of sweetness with added spices and flavorings.

This is true of other global variations, such as kheer (made from coconut milk and cardamom), bilko (which uses coconut milk and coconut topping) or arroz con leche (created from evaporated milk, making this version of rice pudding even sweeter).

Rice Pudding Recipe

Cooking rice pudding is a simple process when approached with patience and a steady hand. Start by combining rice, liquids, sugar or other sweeteners or spices and salt, then pouring the mixture into a saucepan. Next, you will heat the ingredients and stir for about 40 minutes, depending on what type you’re making. Once the pudding has cooled, you will add vanilla extract or other delicate flavorings and serve.

Use this simple rice pudding recipe to learn the basics, then layer in your own favorite flavorings and experiment with textures by using different types of rice and cooking methods like steaming instead of simmering.

8 servings


  • Rice

  • Milk
  • Sugar

  • Heavy cream

  • Salt

  • Vanilla bean 

  • Cinnamon


5 minutes

40 minutes

45 minutes

A hand whisking rice and heavy cream A hand whisking rice and heavy cream

Step 1: Combine Ingredients

In a large saucepan, combine rice, milk, heavy cream, sugar and salt. Stir the saucepan until all of the ingredients are blended together.

A saucepan boiling on a KitchenAid® cooktop A saucepan boiling on a KitchenAid® cooktop


Place the saucepan over a burner on your cooktop or range. Continue to stir the ingredients together while increasing the temperature of the burner to bring the mixture to a near-boiling temperature. Once the pan has heated, set the burner to low and continue to stir gently for about 40 minutes.

Rice pudding boiling on a burner Rice pudding boiling on a burner

Step 3: Inspect Pudding

At this point, you should remove your rice pudding from the burner and check to make sure that it has thickened. If cooked correctly, it will show the consistency of oatmeal. If it still seems too thin, place it back on the burner and continue to stir.

Tip on Excess Liquid

If your mixture contains excess liquid when you are finished stirring, don’t panic. Instead of draining the mixture, allow it sit to let the rice absorb the liquid as it cools.

A series of rice pudding flavorings laid out A series of rice pudding flavorings laid out

Step 4: Stir in Flavoring

Now that your rice pudding has finished cooking, it is time to add the finishing touches. Take your vanilla extract (or your favorite rice pudding flavoring) and add it to the dish, stirring thoroughly for the flavoring to blend with the dish.


If you’re looking to elevate your rice pudding beyond the usual dish, take a stick of cinnamon and grate the spice over your rice pudding to infuse additional flavor.

A bowl of rice on a hotpad A bowl of rice on a hotpad

What Rice Is Best for Rice Pudding?

There are many opinions regarding what rice is best for rice pudding. Some claim short-grain rice is best due to its high-starch content, while others say long-grain rice, like jasmine rice, works just fine. The best answer is that you can use any type of rice provided your recipe adjusts for length of grain.

Can You Use Leftover Rice for Rice Pudding?

You are able to use leftover rice for rice pudding, provided your recipe calls for it. However, do not add leftover rice to any recipe that calls for uncooked rice unless you have converted the volume of uncooked rice to the new volume of cooked rice.

What Thickens Rice Pudding?

Your rice pudding may or may not have an explicit thickening agent. For many recipes, what thickens rice pudding is the reaction of the starch content of the rice of milk when heated. However, some rice pudding recipes call for eggs, which create a denser mixture, and some even call for cornstarch.

Do You Eat Rice Pudding Hot or Cold?

Depending on where you are in the world, rice pudding can be eaten cold or warm. In the United States, where rice pudding is traditionally served as a dessert, rice pudding is usually cold. Whereas in Sweden, for example, rice pudding is warmed and eaten for breakfast as a meal.

Can You Freeze Rice Pudding?

Due to the ingredients used to make rice pudding, freezing the dish may alter its taste upon thawing. Instead of placing your rice pudding into long-term storage, try your hand at new recipes that utilize leftover rice pudding. One example is adding eggs, flour and lemon zest to the rice pudding and frying it in a pan to create a unique and hearty pancake.

Shop KitchenAid® Cooktops and Ranges

Cooking the best dishes means using the best tools for your making style. Designed with the maker in mind, select KitchenAid® cooktops carry features like the 20,000 BTU Ultra Power Dual-Flame Burner, so you can reach the temperatures you need for nearly any technique while offering a simmer/melt burner to keep your rice pudding warm.

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