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Creamy Rice Pudding

This homemade rice pudding made with evaporated milk is ultra creamy and lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Learn how to make perfect old fashioned rice pudding on the stove top with this easy recipe! 

Rice Pudding has always been a favorite dessert for me. 
But I’m particular about it. Not just any old rice pudding will do. 

The best rice pudding should be creamy and sweet, not too grainy and not too soft. It strikes the right balance between the pudding and the rice. There can’t be too much of one or the other. 

To make this rice pudding recipe, I experienced with a few different rice and milk combinations. When I found one I absolutely loved, I scribbled it down right away.


What is rice pudding?

Rice pudding is a comforting dessert made with cooked rice, milk, eggs and sugar. It’s often flavored with spices and served with additions like nuts and dried fruit. 

While no one knows for sure who invented the first rice pudding, it’s easy to see why this easy dessert became a staple for so many families.

Rice pudding is made with inexpensive, simple ingredients. You probably have everything you need to make this recipe in your kitchen already!

It’s a fast, sweet way to use up leftover or fresh cooked rice. 

The pudding tastes great served warm or chilled! 

Serve it on its own or with a handful of your favorite nuts and raisins. 

You can find hundreds, if not thousands, of different rice pudding recipes out there. This one is the best rice pudding recipe I’ve had because it balances the heartier grain texture of the rice, with the soft, creamy consistency of the pudding. 

Let’s go over what ingredients you need to make this simple pudding recipe.

Easy Rice Pudding Recipe Ingredients 

Cooked Medium Grain Rice

Evaporated Milk

Ground Cinnamon

Kosher Salt


Whole Milk



Vanilla extract

Choosing the right type of rice is key here! I use a medium grain white rice. Arborio rice can also be substituted. Both have a high starch content which thickens the rice and helps create the creamy texture. 

Along with using the right rice, here are more of tips for rice pudding success. 

How to Make Creamy Rice Pudding 

Use the right rice-to-liquid ratio: I tweaked with this recipe to get the ratio of milk to cooked rice I wanted. Make sure to measure carefully to keep the ratio correct. 

Use evaporated milk: This canned milk is condensed to a syrupy consistency, but not sweetened. It adds richness without making it overly sweet. Evaporated milk rice pudding consistently had the best texture and flavor of any version I tried. 

Cook on medium to low heat: A slower cooking process helps the rice release its starch gradually, so the pudding is creamy and not lumpy. Low and slow is definitely the best way to go here. Trust me.

Stirring: Frequent stirring helps distribute the starch evenly and prevents it from sticking to the bottom of a large pot. Stir the rice and milk mixture gently but consistently. It may become tiresome, but it’s necessary and you’ll love the results!

Temper your egg: Eggs are the key to a creamy, custard-like pudding. To avoid ending up with flecks of cooked egg in your custard, follow my directions for tempering below.

What is Tempering?

Tempering is a process of slowly heating room temperature eggs to stabilize their proteins. By gradually adding hot liquid like water or milk to eggs, you cook them without allowing them to congeal. In contrast, if you add room temperature eggs to direct heat, they cook quickly and coagulate like scrambled eggs. 

 In this recipe, the hot, thickened rice mixture is used to temper the egg. As a result, you get a perfect silky pudding — no unwelcome cooked egg pieces ruining your dessert! 

Step-by-Step Instructions 

Let’s walk through the steps for making rice pudding. 

First, add the rice, evaporated milk, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg to a saucepan. Cook on the stovetop, stirring regularly, until thickened. 

Now, combine whole milk and eggs in a mixing bowl. Whisk the sugar into the egg mixture.

Next, it’s time to temper the eggs. Ladle about ⅓ cup of the hot rice mixture into the bowl with the egg, sugar and milk. Gradually add this mixture back to the saucepan on the stove.

Continue cooking and whisking the rice pudding for another couple of minutes until everything is thickened, warm and well combined. Remove the pudding from heat, then stir in vanilla extract and butter. 

You’ll find the detailed ingredient list and full instructions in the recipe card below.

Is creamy rice pudding better hot or cold?

Whether to serve this pudding warm or cold is a matter of personal preference. I occasionally enjoy sitting down to a hot bowl of this cinnamon-infused dessert on a chilly day, but I love, love, LOVE it cold for its refreshing sweetness — and the fact that you don’t have to reheat it!

Leftover rice pudding should be stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, and will keep well for up to 4 days. 

More Old-Fashioned Pudding Recipes

Step back into grandma’s kitchen with these other classic homemade pudding recipes! 

My Easy Homemade Banana Pudding is sweet southern comfort at its best. Nilla wafers and fresh whipped cream make it the best you’ll ever taste. For those late night chocolate cravings, this from-scratch Chocolate Pudding has your back! 

Like rice pudding, bread pudding is a dessert that’s been around for countless generations! My Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake Bread Pudding is a decadent version of the traditional treat, made with French bread, juicy red cherries, and lots and lots of chocolate. 

Looking for a savory pudding side dish? Corn Pudding is a creamy custard-like casserole flecked with kernels of fresh sweet corn! You’ll fall in love with it at first bite. 

Stovetop Recipes

When it comes to no-bake desserts, your mind probably jumps to cold goodies. Chilled treats like No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake and Orange Creamsicle Dream Bars are some of my all time most popular recipes on the blog for a good reason!

But did you know you can also make tasty WARM desserts without the oven? 

Chocolate Fondue is one of the easiest desserts you can make. It’s ready in minutes and always a crowd pleaser! For citrus lovers, I have a zesty Lemon Curd recipe to replace the canned stuff. Drizzle it over berries, ice cream or whipped cream for a refreshing summer time indulgence. 

Sweet, creamy pudding with cooked rice, a hint of vanilla and a touch of nostalgic comfort, and perfect for cold winter nights. Try this easy evaporated milk rice pudding recipe next time the craving strikes! 


Creamy Rice Pudding

This homemade rice pudding made with evaporated milk is ultra creamy and lightly spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon. Learn how to make perfect old fashioned rice pudding stove top with this easy recipe!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Creamy Rice Pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes minutes
Total Time 25 minutes minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 341kcal
Author Lynne Feifer


1 ½ cups cooked medium grain rice12 ounces evaporated milk1 large egg lightly beaten¼ teaspoon cinnamon¼ teaspoon kosher salt teaspoon nutmeg½ cup whole milk cup granulated sugar1 tablespoon butter¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Combine the rice, evaporated milk, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes until thick and creamy.
In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup or medium bowl, combine the milk and egg and mix well. Gradually add the sugar while whisking constantly to incorporate completely.
Once the rice has thickened over the stove, slowly add about ⅓ cup of it to the milk, egg and sugar mixture to temper the eggs. Slowly add this to the saucepan while whisking it in. Continue to cook while continuously stirring for an additional 2-3 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add the butter and vanilla. Stir well to combine. Serve warm or refrigerated.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 341IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 263mg | Iron: 1mg

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