My Recipe Box

Best-Ever Rice Pudding


Serves 6

  • To learn more, read:
    How to Make Rice Pudding
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Rice pudding is the best kind of comfort food: sweet, rich, seductive, and easy to make. Although this pudding will look a bit loose when cooked and still warm, it will thicken to the perfect consistency upon cooling (if you prefer your rice pudding warm, see the variation below).

  • 4-2/3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup white rice, such as Carolina long grain,basmati, jasmine, or arborio
  • 7 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Lightly sweetened whipped cream for serving (optional)

In a 4-quart saucepan, combine 4 cups of the milk with the rice and sugar. With a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise, scrape out the seeds, and add them to the pan. Add the scraped vanilla bean and the cinnamon stick and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently but gently, until the rice is completely tender, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in about 1 cup of the hot rice mixture. Pour the egg mixture back into the pan, add the remaining 2/3 cup milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until thoroughly blended. Put the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, just until the mixture begins to boil, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on its surface. Set the bowl in an ice bath to cool the pudding quickly. When cool, discard the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean. Divide the pudding among 6 small bowls or ramekins, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Serve topped with a spoonful of whipped cream, if using.


Prefer your rice pudding warm? Not a problem. Use the recipe here, but when you add the egg yolks, omit the final addition of 2/3 cup milk. Cook as directed; remove the finished rice pudding from the heat and discard the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Spoon the warm pudding into small bowls and serve immediately with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 250, Fat (kcal): 8, Fat Calories (g): 70, Saturated Fat (g): 4, Protein (g): 8, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 2, Carbohydrates (mg): 37, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 0.5, Sodium (g): 82, Cholesterol (g): 80, Fiber (g): 0,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Really delicious. My sister and I both were very happy with this classic pudding. It is the essence of vanilla and creaminess (which is what I'm looking for in a rice pudding...)

I have tried many rice pudding recipes over the years. This is not the "best-ever" by a long shot. It needs tinkering, it takes a long time to cook, and it's too sweet. By the time I make all the changes, it becomes a different recipe. To my delight, the Fine Cooking recipe "Classic Rice Pudding" (search on it here) is imo THE best-ever, just as written--creamy and rich, subtly sweet, easy, and delicious.

I have been making this rice pudding since it was first published. It is excellent (my favourite rice pudding recipe). I recommend the addition of whipped cream folded in and it's lovely served with a rhubarb compote. This recipe has become a family classic in my home. For those who complain about this recipe I can only surmise that you are using inferior rice (I like jasmine rice and I'm picky about where I purchase it). If you are a fan of baked pudding this is not the recipe for you.

Made it today, but we didn't like it very much... 25 mn was not enough to cook arborio rice to perfection. It cookek about 35 minutes and I added almost 1 more cup of milk. But I think it would have been too much if it was basmati. A little too sweet to our taste.

This is the best rice pudding recipe. I like to use very short grain rice because I love the creaminess of the milk. Definitely my go to rice pudding recipe

I first made this recipe when it was published in the magazine. Now I make it quite often. This is my go to recipe for comfort food.

Something is wrong with this recipe. I think you need cooked rice or way increase the cooking time. I think you need more rice or a lot less milk.

Average rice pudding, flavor is good, but nothing special. This is another typical recipe, that is ok, but I look for outstanding coming from Fine Cooking.

An excellent, custard-style rice pudding. I used vanilla extract (1/2 tsp.) instead of a vanilla bean since I didn't have any on hand. I'm sure it would have been excellent with vanilla bean, but it was delicious with the extract. I used basmati rice, which has a lovely floral flavor and a nice texture. It was rich but not heavy and quite easy to make. PS: I love these repertoire recipes! I feel like they are a mini, long-term cooking class for mastering the basics. Keep up the good work, FC!

You either love rice pudding or you hate it. Fortunately, I'm the former and this is just the way I like it.

feels like velvet!

Worst version of rice pudding ever!

Even better with a pinch of nutmeg and ground ginger

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