Mouthwatering Arroz Con Leche | Recipe and Video

If you’re looking for a comforting and delicious dessert that will transport you straight to the heart of Latin America, look no further than arroz con leche. This traditional rice pudding is a beloved staple of many Latin American cuisines, from Mexico to Puerto Rico to Colombia, and with good reason. Creamy, rich, and fragrant with cinnamon and lemon zest, it’s a dessert that will warm your soul and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time.

But don’t be fooled by its humble appearance – arroz con leche is a dish with many variations, from the simplest recipes that use just rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon, to more complex versions that add ingredients like raisins or vanilla beans for extra depth of flavor. Whether you’re using long-grain white rice or short-grain Spanish rice, evaporated milk or sweetened condensed milk or even coconut milk, there’s a recipe out there that will suit your taste and your pantry.

In this article, I’ll be sharing my favorite recipe for arroz con leche with raisins and cinnamon. This version is creamy and indulgent, with plump raisins that are perfectly balanced by the warm spice of cinnamon sticks. It’s a dessert that’s easy to make but impressive enough to serve at your next dinner party – or just enjoy on a cozy night in.

So let’s get started – grab your rice, milk, and cinnamon sticks, and let’s make some arroz con leche!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Rice Pudding  With Raisins and Cinnamon (Arroz Con Leche)
Rice Pudding With Raisins and Cinnamon (Arroz Con Leche)

Are you looking for a comforting dessert that’s perfect for any occasion? Look no further than Arroz con Leche, also known as Rice Pudding. This traditional Mexican dessert is creamy, sweet, and full of comforting flavors that will warm your heart.

One reason you’ll love this recipe is its simplicity. With just a handful of ingredients, you can whip up a delicious and satisfying dessert in no time. All you need is rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and raisins – ingredients that are common to most kitchens. The result is a hearty and satisfying dish that will satisfy your sweet tooth and leave you feeling warm and cozy.

Another reason to love this recipe is its versatility. You can make it with long-grain white rice or short-grain rice for more creaminess. Add some coconut milk for an extra twist of flavor or top it with fresh fruit like strawberries or mangoes. Swap out the raisins for chocolate chips or dried cranberries for a twist on traditional flavors.

Last but not least, Arroz con Leche is loved by many cultures from Puerto Rico to Peru and Colombia; it is a dessert that brings comfort across all borders! Whether you grew up with this dessert or are trying it out for the first time, there’s no denying that Arroz con Leche will quickly become a beloved part of your dessert repertoire.

In conclusion, Arroz con Leche is the dessert you never knew you needed; delicious, easy to make with ingredients in most pantries at home and full of comforting flavors. So next time you’re craving something sweet and heart-warming, give this recipe a try -we promise it won’t disappoint!

Ingredient List

 A warm bowl of rice pudding on a chilly evening is what dreams are made of!
A warm bowl of rice pudding on a chilly evening is what dreams are made of!

Check your pantry because most of these ingredients are probably already there. Here’s everything you need to make this delicious Rice Pudding With Raisins and Cinnamon or Arroz Con Leche:


  • 1 cup long grain white rice (or short grain if you prefer it extra soft)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken into smaller pieces)
  • 4 cups whole milk (or use evaporated milk for a creamier rice pudding)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or scraped seeds from one vanilla bean (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • sugar, to taste

It’s best to use long-grain white rice for the recipe, but if by chance, you have short-grain white rice in your pantry, that works too. The lemon zest will add a tangy flavor to the pudding, so don’t skip it!

The Recipe How-To

 A sprinkle of cinnamon and a handful of raisins can elevate your rice pudding game to the next level.
A sprinkle of cinnamon and a handful of raisins can elevate your rice pudding game to the next level.

Once you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to start cooking Arroz Con Leche. Here is how to make this delicious and creamy rice pudding.

Cook the Rice

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup of long-grain white rice with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir occasionally, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.

Add in the Milk Mixture

In another medium saucepan, mix 3 cups of whole milk, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 1 can of evaporated milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 cinnamon sticks, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and the zest of one lemon. Cook over medium-high heat until it starts boiling. Then cover the pan and turn off heat.


Add in your cooked rice slowly into your evaporated milk mixture. Stir to combine. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer while constantly stirring. Lower heat and continue cooking for about 20-25 minutes while constantly stirring until it thickens.

Add Some Raisins

Optional: In a small saucepan, combine one cup of water with one cup of raisins and half a cup of sugar. Cook over medium-high heat for two minutes or until sugar has dissolved completely. Add one cinnamon stick and let steep for five minutes before adding them into your pudding.

Chill Your Pudding

Remove from heat and discard cinnamon sticks. Pour pudding into individual serving dishes or bowls, sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top, chill for at least an hour, serve cold or hot, and enjoy!

Substitutions and Variations

 Creamy, sweet and oh-so-comforting, this arroz con leche will transport you straight to grandma's kitchen.
Creamy, sweet and oh-so-comforting, this arroz con leche will transport you straight to grandma’s kitchen.

As with any recipe, there are always opportunities to adjust the ingredients and create something unique. Here are some substitutions and variations you can try with this rice pudding recipe.

If you prefer a sweeter pudding, you can substitute the white sugar with brown sugar or honey. You can also add a few tablespoons of sweetened coconut flakes for a tropical twist.

For a richer, creamier pudding, swap out the evaporated milk with heavy cream or coconut milk. You can also use almond milk or soy milk for a dairy-free option.

If you’re not a fan of raisins, try using other dried fruits like cranberries, currants, or diced apricots. You can also add chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or pistachios for added texture.

To change up the flavors, consider adding different spices to the mix. Instead of cinnamon sticks, you can use ground cardamom, nutmeg, or allspice for an aromatic touch. A dash of espresso powder will give your pudding a slight coffee flavor.

For a unique twist on this classic recipe, experiment with different rice varieties such as short-grain brown rice or basmati rice. You can also try using quinoa or couscous for a gluten-free alternative.

Whatever substitutions and variations you choose to make, remember to keep tasting as you go until you find the perfect combination that satisfies your palate.

Serving and Pairing

 Perfect for a cozy night in, or as a nostalgic dessert to share with loved ones.
Perfect for a cozy night in, or as a nostalgic dessert to share with loved ones.

Once your Arroz con Leche pudding has thickened and achieved that rich, creamy texture, it’s time to plate it up and serve! It’s best served either chilled or at room temperature, so be sure to chill the pudding in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours if you are serving it cold.

You can serve Arroz con Leche solo, but a toppings bar with cinnamon sugar or raisins is a great addition for guests to customize their desired sweetness level. You could also add some chopped nuts, such as toasted almonds or pecans, for added crunch.

In terms of pairings, this sweet delight pairs wonderfully with coffee or tea. The contrast between the warm beverage and the cold, creamy dessert creates a lovely balance of flavors. If you’re feeling adventurous, try pairing it with a spiced chai tea or Mexican hot chocolate.

For those wanting to incorporate Arroz con Leche into a meal rather than just as a dessert option, I suggest trying it as a breakfast dish. You could serve it alongside tamales or huevos rancheros for a traditional Mexican breakfast spread.

Overall, Arroz con Leche is an incredibly versatile dish that can be served on its own or paired with other complementary flavors to create the perfect meal experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Don't let the simplicity of this dessert fool you - it's loaded with flavor and comfort.
Don’t let the simplicity of this dessert fool you – it’s loaded with flavor and comfort.

If you’re planning to make this arroz con leche in advance, it keeps well in the fridge for up to 4 days. Just transfer the rice pudding to an airtight container and let it cool down at room temperature for about 30 minutes before storing it in the fridge.

When reheating, add a splash of milk or water to loosen up the rice pudding and prevent it from drying out too much. Then gently heat it up over low heat while stirring constantly until evenly warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat individual portions in the microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes, checking frequently and stirring in between.

If you have any leftovers, don’t hesitate to get creative! Arroz con leche is versatile enough to be served both hot or cold, so try using it as a topping for pancakes, waffles or oatmeal in the morning. You can also mix it with a bit of yogurt for a creamy breakfast parfait, or use it as a filling for pastries and cakes.

In terms of freezing, rice pudding isn’t the best candidate due to its high dairy content. Freezing rice pudding can cause textural changes and separation when thawed. However, if you really need to freeze it, make sure to do so within 24 hours after cooking and keep it stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To defrost, transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge overnight and reheat following the instructions above.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The ultimate comfort food that's also a breeze to make? Sign me up
The ultimate comfort food that’s also a breeze to make? Sign me up

Now that you have learned how to make a delicious Arroz con Leche, I would like to share with you some tips to ensure that your rice pudding turns out perfectly every time.

First, it is important to use the right type of rice. Long-grain white rice is the best option for this recipe since it contains less starch and will not become mushy. Short-grain rice or sweet rice is not recommended as it tends to become too sticky.

It’s also crucial to soak the rice beforehand. Soaking the rice for at least 30 minutes in water helps it to cook more evenly and will prevent scorching on the bottom of the pan.

To infuse the cinnamon flavor into your pudding, use a whole cinnamon stick in addition to ground cinnamon. Adding cinnamon sticks to the milk and allowing them to simmer at a low temperature with the milk will produce a more concentrated flavor.

When cooking, resist the urge to stir constantly, as this can cause the pudding to become too thick and mushy. Instead, stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and scrape the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.

To avoid lumps in your pudding, mix sugar with some warm milk before mixing it with the rest of the milk. This will help dissolve the sugar evenly.

Also, when adding raisins, keep in mind that they will plump up during cooking. So add them towards the end of cooking time or soak them ahead of time if you prefer softer raisins.

Finally, remember that dairy products can burn easily. It is important to keep an eye on the pot especially towards the end of cooking time when evaporated milk and condensed milk are added. Too much heat can cause scorching on the bottom of your pot.

Keep these tips in mind and enjoy your creamy and delicious Arroz con Leche again and again!


As a baker, I understand that cooking can be very finicky, and even with the most detailed of instructions and precise measurements, some questions may arise. To help you make this Rice Pudding recipe successfully, I have compiled a list of FAQs that will hopefully answer any doubts or concerns you may have.

What’s the difference between horchata and arroz con leche?

Arroz con leche is a dessert that originated in Spain, made by cooking rice and milk together with sweetener and flavoring to create a thick and creamy pudding-like dish. On the other hand, horchata is a refreshing drink made with milk, sugar, and soaked rice, but with the solids strained out to create a smooth and chilled beverage. Both dishes utilize rice as a key ingredient in different ways to create unique and delicious culinary experiences.

Is arroz con leche good for losing weight?

As with most foods, overindulging in Arroz con Leche may result in unwanted weight gain. This dessert is frequently rich in calories and fat content, hence it should be consumed in reasonable amounts. Remember to keep moderation in mind while enjoying this dish. Written on December 23rd, 2022.

Why is my arroz con leche still hard?

Ever wonder why the rice in your arroz con leche turns out hard? Well, there could be a few factors at play. For one, the rice may not have been cooked for a sufficient amount of time. Alternatively, it’s possible that the rice wasn’t given enough time to soak in water before cooking. Another possibility is that the rice was cooked with an inadequate amount of liquid, causing it to turn out less than tender. Whatever the cause may be, there are some steps you can take to ensure your arroz con leche turns out perfectly every time.

Bottom Line

Without a doubt, this Rice Pudding with Raisins and Cinnamon (Arroz Con Leche) recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves simple yet delicious desserts. The creamy and comforting texture of the rice, complemented by the sweetness of the raisins and cinnamon, is simply irresistible.

This recipe is incredibly easy to make with pantry staples, and it can be customized in so many ways. Whether you opt for short or long-grain rice, coconut milk or regular milk, or you add different spices to enhance its flavor, the possibilities are endless!

So what are you waiting for? Take a chance and try out this recipe today. It might even become your go-to dessert on special occasions or just when you’re craving something sweet and comforting. Trust me; your taste buds won’t regret it!

Rice Pudding With Raisins and Cinnamon (Arroz Con Leche)

Rice Pudding With Raisins and Cinnamon (Arroz Con Leche) Recipe

Yes, it's a bit time consuming . . . but worth every minute of it! Even though the recipe calls for vanilla beans, I've successfully substitued 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Found this recipe while cleaning out my old recipe box. Comes from May 2003 Bon Appetit. NOTE: The rice will seem soupy at first, but don't panic it will set up as it chills.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Latin American
Keyword: < 60 Mins, Dessert, Long-Grain Rice, Mexican, Rice
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Calories: 483.4kcal


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 1 large lemon, cut into 6 - 2 x 1/2 inch strips lemon peel (yellow part only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise in half
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • additional cinnamon stick (optional)


  • Bring 2 cups water to boil in medium saucepan.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add rice; let stand 15 minutes.
  • Pour rice into strainer and drain, then rinse rice under cold running water until water runs clear.
  • Bring 4 cups water to boil in large saucepan.
  • Add rice, lemon peel strips, and salt and return to boil.
  • Reduce heat to low cover and simmer until rice is almost tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Drain and discard lemon peel.
  • Combine 5 cups milk, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, and 2 cinnamon sticks in large saucepan.
  • Scrape in seeds from vanilla beans; add beans.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until mixture thickens and is reduced to 2 3/4 cups (45-50 minutes).
  • Remove vanilla beans and cinnamon sticks.
  • Stir in rice, raisins and sugar.
  • Continue to cook on low; stirring until raisins are plump and flavors blend, about 5 minutes.
  • Spoon pudding to bowls,.
  • Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and grated lemon peel.
  • Garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 475g | Calories: 483.4kcal | Carbohydrates: 83.4g | Protein: 13.8g | Fat: 11.1g | Saturated Fat: 6.5g | Cholesterol: 37.4mg | Sodium: 302.4mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 40.1g

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