Evaporated milk rice pudding is a rich and creamy dessert, lightly spiced with raisins, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. It tastes delicious warm or cold, and it’s one of the coziest, most comforting treats that your family will love!
Old-fashioned rice pudding with evaporated milk
This old-fashioned rice pudding with evaporated milk is the ultimate creamy comfort in a bowl. You’ll love having this easy rice pudding recipe in your back pocket for those times when you crave something sweet and homemade.
Enjoy it warm on cold winter nights or chill it in the fridge for a lovely warm weather treat. No matter how you choose to serve your evaporated milk rice pudding, this classic dessert will be a huge hit with your family!
Evaporated milk rice pudding is one of my go-to desserts when my family craves something cozy and sweet. It’s super easy to make, and I always have all the ingredients on hand. Please scroll down to the recipe card below to see full measurements.
- Short-grain rice adds the perfect amount of creaminess. During cooking, starch is release from the rice and ensures the rice pudding thickens up and becomes tender. You can also use leftover cooked rice – please check the FAQ section at the end of the post for instructions.
- Evaporated milk is shelf-stable, canned milk where 60% of the water content has been removed. As a result, evaporated milk is thicker than regular milk. It gives our rice pudding an unbelievably creamy texture that tastes rich and full-bodied, but without the heaviness of cream.
- Brown sugar sweetens the rice pudding and adds a subtle hint of caramel or toffee taste. Feel free to swap in white granulated sugar if that is what you have.
- Salt: A pinch of salt is all you needto highlight the other flavors in your rice pudding.
- Egg: 1 large egg helps to set the custard and creates a thick, creamy texture.
- Pure vanilla extract provides a delicious taste and depth of flavor in the custard.
- Cinnamon gives the rice pudding a warm, cozy taste. You can use a cinnamon stick, but I prefer ground cinnamon for convenience.
- Raisins or sultanas are a classic addition to rice pudding. They add a wonderful burst of sweet, plump fruity taste. You could also try other dried fruit, such as chopped dates, or leave out the fruit if you wish.
How to make evaporated milk rice pudding
The first step is to cook the rice and milk. Then the egg is tempered with some of the hot mixture and added back to the pot to thicken it up and make the rice pudding extra creamy. Here’s the process step-by-step:
#1: Cook the rice
- Put the evaporated milk, rice, and salt in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered until the rice is soft and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir often to prevent the rice from scorching to the bottom of the pan.
#2: Temper the egg
- Whisk the egg and brown sugar together in a small mixing bowl until well mixed.
- Add half a cup of the hot rice to the egg-sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk vigorously to incorporate.
#3: Thicken the rice pudding
- Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rice and milk.
- Stirring frequently, cook on low until thickened or until the mixture reaches 160°F / 70°C. Be careful to not boil the rice pudding at this point, or it might curdle.
#4: Add mix-ins
- Remove the rice pudding from the heat and stir in the raisins, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Evaporated milk rice pudding will be runnier when warm but thickens as it cools. You can serve the pudding warm, at room temperature, or chilled and cold.
Rice pudding with evaporated milk is surprisingly easy to make. And to make sure your pudding turns out perfect, here are a few more tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- Stir, stir, stir: Frequent stirring is essential to prevent the rice and milk from burning to the bottom of your pot. Use a wooden spoon and scrape down the sides and bottom of your saucepan.
- Why is my rice pudding too thin? It’s possible that you didn’t cook the rice pudding long enough at the end to thicken the custard. Simply pour it back into the saucepan and continue cooking over medium-low heat until the pudding reaches your desired consistency.
- Rice pudding is too thick: Evaporated milk rice pudding thickens as it cools. If the texture is a touch too thick for your liking, stir in a tablespoon or two of evaporated milk or cream to loosen it up.
- Easy clean up: I like to soak my pot and cooking equipment with plenty of water and a squirt of dish soap right after cooking. Rice pudding is difficult to remove once it has dried into the pot.
Variations & garnishes
Evaporated milk rice pudding is so dreamy! And the best part is that you can play with the flavor profile and top it with all kinds of delicious garnishes. Check out these ideas:
- Chocolate milk rice: Increase the brown sugar to 1/3 cup and add 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Other spices: You can mix and match your favorite spices to season the rice pudding. Try adding a pinch of nutmeg, ground cloves, or swap in gingerbread spice for a touch of holiday flavor.
- Pumpkin pie spice: For a tasty fall twist, add 1/4 cup pumpkin puree and 1 to 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice when cooking the rice.
- Add fruit: Once the rice has cooked, fold chopped poached apples, pears, peaches, or cherries into the rice pudding. It’s a fun way to switch up the texture and introduce a fruity flavor.
- Fruit compote & pie filling: Load up the rice pudding with your favorite fruit compote or pie filling. We love nectarine compote, blueberry sauce, cherry pie filling, peach pie filling, and strawberry sauce.
- Banana & honey: Garnish each serving with sliced bananas, a generous drizzle of honey, and a dusting of cinnamon. It’s super cozy, and kids love it!
- Fresh fruit & whipped cream: Dollop each serving with sweetened whipped cream and garnish with fresh blueberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries.
How to store evaporated milk rice pudding
This traditional rice pudding recipe makes great leftovers. Keep leftover rice pudding in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Be sure to let it cool to room temperature first, then place it in an airtight container in the fridge.
Reheat evaporated milk rice pudding
Loosen cold rice pudding with a bit of milk and reheat in a microwave-safe bowl or container in the microwave in 20-second increments until warmed through.
As mentioned earlier, rice pudding is also delicious cold. I like to fold 1 cup sweetened whipped cream into cold rice pudding to soften the texture and make it extra decadent.
Can I make rice pudding in advance?
Although rice pudding is best the day it’s made, you can prepare it up to 1 day in advance. You may have to add some extra evaporated milk to loosen the texture, as it will likely have absorbed all the liquid.
Can you free evaporated milk rice pudding?
Yes, you can freeze rice pudding made with evaporated milk, but in all honesty, freshly made is best. The pudding can separate a bit and might not be as creamy after freezing and thawing.
Still, you can freeze rice pudding in a freezer-friendly, sealed container for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a sauce pan on the stove or microwave.
I recommend adding a splash of evaporated milk or creamy to hydrate the rice and improve the texture.
- 2 1/2 cups / 600 ml / 20 fl oz evaporated milk
- 2/3 cup / 130 g / 4.6 oz uncooked short-grain white rice
- pinch of salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup / 40 g / 1.4 oz raisins (optional)
- Cook the rice. Put the evaporated milk, rice, and salt in a medium heavy-bottom saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer partially covered until the rice is soft and tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir often to prevent the rice from scorching to the bottom of the pan.
- Temper the egg. Whisk the egg and brown sugar together in a small mixing bowl until well mixed. Add half a cup of the hot rice to the egg-sugar mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time, and whisk vigorously to incorporate.
- Thicken the rice pudding. Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the rice and milk. Stirring frequently, cook on low until thickened or until the mixture reaches 160°F / 70°C. Be careful to not boil the rice pudding at this point, or it might curdle.
- Add mix-ins. Remove the rice pudding from the heat and stir in the raisins, vanilla, and cinnamon.
- Serve. Evaporated milk rice pudding will be runnier when warm but thickens as it cools. You can serve the pudding warm, at room temperature, or chilled and cold. It tastes delicious with fruit compote or pie filling (like cherry, apple, or peach) and whipped cream. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 320Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 223mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 13g
What is the best rice for rice pudding?
Generally speaking, you want starchy rice for rice pudding. The shorter the grain, the higher the starch content. The starch is what thickens the rice pudding and makes it creamy.
I recommend the following short-grain rice varieties for rice pudding:
- short-grain white rice
- sticky rice
- Arborio rice (and any rice that works well for risotto)
- sushi rice
Longer grain rice contains less starch and holds its shape better than shorter or medium grain rice, which isn’t what you want for rice pudding.
You can also try this evaporated milk rice pudding recipe with regular white rice, medium-grain white rice, jasmine rice, and basmati rice. I haven’t tested these rice varieties, but they will probably still work well.
You can also use brown rice, but the results won’t be as creamy, it will take longer to cook, and you’ll likely have to add more evaporated milk.
Should I rinse rice for rice pudding?
No, there is no need to rinse rice beforehand to make rice pudding. In fact, rinsing would remove some of the starches we need to create a thick, creamy rice pudding.
Can I use leftover rice to make evaporated milk rice pudding?
Absolutely! You can definitely use leftover rice to make rice pudding. It’s a great tasty way to use leftovers in a new way and avoid food waste.
Short-grain rice, risotto rice, and sticky rice make for the best rice pudding, in my experience. Still, really any cooked rice you have available will work, from long-grain rice to basmati rice and even brown rice.
What is the cooking time if using leftover rice?
If you make this evaporated milk rice pudding recipe with cooked rice, the cooking time will be closer to 15 to 20 minutes. The rice is ready when it’s warmed through and soft, and the mixture has a creamy consistency.
Can I skip the egg in rice pudding?
No, not in this evaporated milk rice pudding recipe. The egg thickens the pudding since we essentially make a custard at the end.
Can I use sweetened condensed milk for this rice pudding recipe?
No. Evaporated milk and sweetened condensed milk are 2 different products and can’t be substituted for one another. Both are types of canned milk, but condensed milk contains added sugar. Instead, try our condensed milk rice pudding recipe.
Reasons to love evaporated milk rice pudding
- Taste: This sweet, creamy, evaporated milk rice pudding is every rice lover’s dream. Vanilla and cinnamon load the pudding with cozy, warm flavors. Yummarillo!
- Texture: The recipe is so creamy and delicious. The custard is rich and luxurious, without being too heavy. The addition of evaporated milk makes it even better.
- Ease: As fancy as it may seem, making homemade rice pudding is so easy. And in less than 40 minutes, you’ll be spooning this treat into your tummy.
More evaporated milk recipes
There really isn’t anything better than a delicious, homemade dessert. Here are a few more of our favorite evaporated milk recipes to indulge in. They are perfect as a standalone treat or to bring to a potluck or gathering.