The perfect cup of arroz con leche Colombiano with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon – warm or cold, is a fail-proof and comforting dessert.
This delicious Colombian rice pudding with condensed milk recipe adds rich notes of vanilla that slowly develop when milk and sugar are cooked on low heat over several hours.
Table of Contents
What is arroz con leche?
Arroz con leche, or traditional rice pudding, is a decadent milk-based traditional Spanish dessert with a touch of sweet cinnamon and vanilla.
This easy recipe starts with raw or pre-cooked rice and is cooked in milk or water, then some more milk, condensed milk, and slow-cooked on the stovetop until the rice pudding mixture is thickened and fully cooked.
Rice Pudding Cubano
Cuban arroz con leche is slightly different and incredibly delicious. Cuban rice pudding is cooked with cascara de limon or lemon zest in addition to the traditional ingredients – cinnamon, condensed milk, and evaporated milk.
Spanish Arroz con Leche
In Spain, arroz con leche is made with lemon peel or orange peel without condensed milk and instead has sugar and milk.
Arroz con Leche Colombiano
Colombian arroz con leche is made with condensed milk and without citrus (lemon peel, lemon zest). It’s a rich and creamy recipe – perfect warm or cold. And raisins soaked in rum are optional.
- When cooking arroz con leche, cook the rice with water on low heat before adding milk to prevent it from burning.
- Condensed milk is sweet. To increase sweetness, add sugar. To reduce the sweetness, add milk.
- Stir, and stir to prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Condensed Milk (Leche Condensada)
Condensed milk is slow-cooked milk and sugar that thickens and develops into a heavenly milky syrup. I am a huge fan of condensed milk in my recipe because it adds depth and a layer of flavor and richness.
However, if you want to substitute condensed milk for sugar, you can. Instead of a can of condensed milk, combine two cups of milk and sugar and cook slowly until it thickens. Cook the combination of milk and sugar over low heat until it turns an off-white color.
Should I cook the arroz con leche with powdered cinnamon or cinnamon sticks?
This recipe calls for organic Ceylon cinnamon, and I am hesitant to use cinnamon sticks because there are brands who advertise natural cinnamon sticks when they’re genuinely a different plant that is much cheaper.
However, if I’m out of cinnamon powder, then I’ll swap the powdered cinnamon for cinnamon sticks at the very beginning and remove them before serving.
Arroz con leche is an easy dessert because it doesn’t require exact measurements. There is room to swap one rice for another, and I would stick with medium to short-grain rice.
It can’t go wrong if you stir well to prevent it from sticking and burning.
Storage and Reheating
Arroz con leche can be safely stored in the refrigerator for a few days, no longer than a week.
Freeze arroz con leche to last a few more weeks, and defrost before serving.
For a cold bowl of arroz con leche, you can defrost it after freezing or serve cold right out of the fridge.
If you prefer a warm bowl of arroz de leche, warm a serving in a small pot and add water or milk.
Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer until the water is clear. Cook the rice with water at low heat until the water has evaporated.
Add the milk to the cooked rice (note that the rice will not be fully cooked), add half the cinnamon and vanilla extract, and cover.
Cook for 30 minutes at low heat.
After 30 minutes, add the remaining vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir, then increase to medium to high heat – until it comes to a boil. Then cover and reduce to low heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Arroz con Leche Colombiano (Colombian Rice Pudding)
- 1 Cast Iron Signature Round Dutch Oven
- 1 Fine Mesh Strainer
- 1 Spatula
- 2 cups White Rice
- 3 cups Water
- 1 can Condensed Milk
- 6 cups Whole Milk
- 3 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp Salt Optional
- 1/4 cup Raisins Optional
- Step 1 Rinse the rice in a fine mesh strainer.Cook the rice in water at low heat until the water has evaporated.
- Step 2 Add the milk to the cooked rice, (note that the rice will not be fully cooked) add half the cinnamon and vanilla extract and cover. Cook for 30-minutes at low heat.
- Step 3 After 30 minutes, add the remaining vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir, then increase to medium to high heat – until it comes to a boil. Stir to prevent it from burning or sticking to the bottom. Let it boil for 5 minutes or until it thickens. NOTE: As the mixture cools, it will continue to thicken. If you want a looser pudding, you can either add more milk or reduce the cooking timeThen cover and reduce to low heat for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
6 responses to “Arroz con Leche Colombiano (Colombian Rice Pudding)”
My mom makes the best arroz con leche, and this recipe closely mirrors hers. I can’t wait to try this! Great job. I love your website and the beautiful pictures of your dishes.
I heard you on ” Yo Quiero Dinero” and I was curious to see what you were cooking up!
This is delicious and perfect! Great recipe. It reminds me of a rice pudding I had years ago.
Quedo muy deliciosa esta receta de arroz con leche.