Spanish Rice Pudding – Venezuelan Arroz Con Leche

Classic quick, simple, easy, and comforting, this Spanish Rice Pudding recipe is sweet and simple. Deliciously creamy and rich it’s the best cool weather dessert, perfect for the whole family to enjoy at any time.

This is one of my favorite Venezuelan desserts ever.

Rice Pudding Delicious Arroz con leche cover with text overlay

Venezuelan Arroz con Leche- AKA Spanish Rice Pudding with sweetened condensed milk

But I must confess, I never thought about cooking rice could be used to make something different than savory meals and oh my! It can make the most delicious sweet dessert ever!

I learned this Venezuelan Arroz con Leche {Spanish Rice Pudding} recipe when I was like 13 years old by accident trying to make something else (Venezuelan Chicha drink). I really haven’t gone through other Rice Pudding recipes back then so couldn’t tell if it is the original recipe or not.

But this one has been a total success in my family since I first made it. My dad is the first one to ask me to make it every holiday and even many friends ask me to make it when they are visiting!

As soon as I visit my family, my dad and my little brother always ask me to make rice pudding and I thought it would be nice to share it with you as well!

About this Delicious recipe

One of the most common desserts in Venezuelan culture is Arroz con Leche or also called Spanish rice pudding. Even though it might be a daily dessert in other cultures, it is considered part of the culture of this Caribbean country. Consumed especially during the Easter festivities, it is very pleasant and exquisite.

This dessert is a hard one to pinpoint its specific origin. It is prepared in Spanish and French cuisines, in Arab countries and other Latin American regions. All with their variants, it’s considered an inheritance product of the Andalusian migration, who prepared it on Venezuelan soil and sprinkled it with cinnamon.

closer view of Rice Pudding with cinnamon sticks served in a cup

It is said that the primary origin of this dessert comes from Asian lands. From that point and due to the constant travel of Europeans and inhabitants of Arab countries, it became popular in these regions. After the colonization of America, it spread throughout this region, remaining anchored to Latin America.

The truth is that since its preparation by the Venezuelans, rice pudding has become a part of the culture. Nursery songs have been written around it. Easter is unthinkable without tasting this dish or its variant, coconut rice.

Now that you know its origin, get ready to make this delicious dish and show it off to your guests.

How to make this delicious Venezuelan Rice Pudding

The Spanish Rice Pudding recipe is very simple and straightforward and one of my favorite in Venezuelan cuisine. It’s also gluten-free.

Ingredients:

  • White rice (regular) – The base of the recipe, should be normal white, long rice.
  • Sweetened Condensed milk – This will give a silky and creamy texture.
  • Cinnamon sticks – This will bring the whole delicious scent of this recipe.
  • White sugar.
  • Whole milk
  • Water
  • Ground Cinnamon.

Venezuelan cuisine: Variations and alternatives

It has many variations when it comes to its preparation. In some places, flour, cream, or egg are used to create a creamy consistency, a characteristic aspect of this dish. In Venezuela, there is the coconut rice variant, incorporating grated coconut and coconut milk instead of milk.

Many uses evaporated milk, some use sweetened condensed milk (like me), and others just sugar. Some use an egg. Raisins, or coconut, are optional but common.

My take on this traditional Venezuelan dessert is very simple and easy to make. I use whole milk to cook the rice, not water.

Sometimes, to make it even richer, I like to add a couple of tablespoons of powdered milk to the mix. This makes it creamier milk and works great.

VeganS

I know many people replace the whole milk with Coconut milk for a vegan and lactose-free version of this recipe. I have never done it myself but I know it’s possible.

view of Rice Pudding with cinnamon sticks served in a cup

Instructions:

  1. In a big pot stir the rice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, milk, and water. Mix everything with a wooden spoon.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat (never use high heat as the milk could rise very quickly) uncovered mixing almost constantly.
  3. Once it starts boiling, take it to low heat to simmer and leave it to cook for around 90 minutes to 2 hours stirring every now and then. In my opinion, this is key to getting the rice to release its starch and create its own delicious creaminess.
  4. You should check for the texture of the rice after about 90 minutes. The liquid should decrease considerably but not completely. It should get thicker and the rice should be very soft (slightly overcooked).
  5. Some people like it more al dente, the choice is yours but we love the rice soft for this recipe.
  6. Then it will be ready.
  7. Before turning off the heat, stir in the condensed milk and mix well.
  8. Put it away and wait until it cools and put it in a glass bowl that you can put in the fridge.
  9. When it’s cool, it’s ready to eat.

I usually wait until the next day to eat it because it tastes way better.

When serving, sprinkle some ground cinnamon and it’s good to go!

This recipe tastes so good. I know that people change some things depending on the country. For example in Spain they add orange or lemon peel or lime zest, in Venezuela, they add some cloves, in some other places they add raisins, and so on. But I don’t like any of them so I make it simple!.

top closer view of Rice Pudding with cinnamon sticks served in a cup

What do you think? Doesn’t it look delicious?

closer view of Rice Pudding with cinnamon sticks served in a cup

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of rice is best for rice pudding?

Some recipes might focus on different varieties or flavors, but traditional Spanish rice pudding uses plain regular White Rice.

Why does my rice pudding get watery?

If you mix it too vigorously, it can become too watery. If you mix it too little, the ingredients won’t combine the way they should.

What thickens rice pudding?

The mix of sugar, milk, and rice as it cooks starts thickening the texture. Then evaporation also plays a role in the texture and finally, the sweetened condensed milk finishes the process. Some people add a teaspoon of cornstarch with a tablespoon of water to thicken it but I rather not.

Where did rice pudding originate from?

This dessert is a hard one to pinpoint its specific origin. It is prepared in Spanish and French cuisines, in Arab countries and other Latin American regions. All with their variants, it’s considered an inheritance product of the Andalusian migration, who prepared it on Venezuelan soil and sprinkled it with cinnamon. However, it is said that the primary origin of this dessert comes from Asian lands.

More Venezuelan Desserts to Try

If you found this Spanish Rice Pudding recipe delicious, you might also love these other delicious desserts too:

✂️ Recipe

Delicious Rice Pudding Recipe Arroz con Leche

Spanish Rice Pudding – Venezuelan Arroz Con Leche Recipe

Camila Rojas
Classic quick, simple, easy and comforting, this Spanish Rice Pudding recipe is sweet and simple. Deliciously creamy and rich it's the best cool weather dessert, perfect for the whole family to enjoy any time.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine International, Venezuelan
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup of white {normal} rice.
  • ¾ cup of white sugar.
  • 2 stick of cinnamon.
  • 5 cups of milk (Whole milk)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 can of Sweetened Condensed milk.
  • Cinnamon in powder.

Instructions
 

  • In a big pot stir the rice, sugar, cinnamon sticks, milk and water and mix everything with a wooden spoon. Bring to a simmer over low heat and leave it for around 2 hours mixing every now and then.
  • It should get thick and the rice very soft. Then it will be ready.
  • Before putting it away stir the condensed milk and mix.
  • Put it away and wait until it’s cool and put it on a glass bowl that you can put in the fridge.
  • It’s ready to eat. I usually wait until next day to eat it because it tastes better. When serving add some powdered cinnamon and it’s good to go!

Notes

This Rice Pudding tastes so good. I know that people change some things depending on the country. For example in Spain they add orange peel, in Venezuela, they add some cloves, and so on. But I don’t like any of them so I make it simple!.
Keyword arroz con leche, rice pudding, spanish rice pudding, spanish rice pudding recipe

So what do you think have you tried this before? If so how do you like it???

Some international dessert recipes I love from my favorite bloggers:

Don’t forget to pin it so you keep this recipe for the future!

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Til' next time...

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