Arroz con leche. I called this lightly spiced and easy-to-make Colombian-style rice pudding recipe into heavy service this weekend with good results.

This past weekend, I made dessert for the SilverSundays project. SilverSundays is part of SilverBackks, a wonderful local group that does much to benefit the community. I had loads of rice leftover from previous cooking projects for them so rice pudding seemed like the direction to go.

This recipe is pretty simple and easy to multiply in the event you need to cook en masse. 1 batch makes approximately 7 cups. SilverBackks estimated that they’d have around 150 people and I planned on approximately 1/2 cup per person. I worked in double-batches, two at a time. Three rounds of that gave me 12 batches and around 196 servings.  (I’d rather prep a little too much than a little too little, you know?)

Arroz Con Leche

Arroz Con Leche

The next time I bust out this recipe, I think I’ll play around with the spices. A little whole allspice and cloves steeped with the cinnamon wouldn’t be a bad thing.

When I was testing the recipe, I also made a few sauces to try alongside. Neither of them panned out for the event but one in particular, the spicy salted butterscotch shown in the picture above, was delicious. Recipe to follow in a day or two!

Arroz Con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 7 cups
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed and soaked overnight in water
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  1. In a small saucepan, put water and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil and simmer for around 10 minutes. Remove from heat and take cinnamon sticks out of the water. (You can reserve the cinnamon sticks for another batch or to use later.)
  2. Put the rice and cinnamon water into a large sauce pan. I'd recommend at least a 4 quart pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for around 5 minutes.
  3. Add butter, vanilla, sugar, salt and 2 cups of the milk. Stir well and let simmer for around 15 minutes.
  4. Add the remaining 2 cups of milk and the sweetened condensed milk. Stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, until the pudding thickens to the desired consistency and the rice is cooked, about 45-60 minutes. The consistency will be creamy and thick but will still be a bit loose. It will thicken up as it cools.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. You can press a piece of cling wrap into the surface to prevent a skin from forming, if you wish. Just be careful of the heat! Once it has cooled to room temperature, place in a refrigerator to cool overnight.