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.
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.
Cooked Medium Grain Rice
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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!