Arroz con Leche II Recipe - Cuban Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract

Arroz con Leche II

Arroz con Leche II Recipe - Cuban Rice Pudding with Cinnamon and Vanilla Extract
Region / culture: Cuba | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 30 minutes | Servings: 4


Arroz con Leche II
Arroz con Leche II

Arroz con Leche, or rice pudding, is a classic dessert found in many cultures around the world. This comforting dish combines simple ingredients like rice, milk, sugar, and spices to create a creamy, satisfying dessert that appeals to a wide range of tastes. The version we're discussing today is a traditional approach that highlights the warmth of cinnamon and the bright note of lemon, creating a delightful balance of flavors.


The origins of Arroz con Leche can be traced back to many different cultures, each adding its own unique twist to the recipe. It is believed to have Moorish origins, given the significant influence of Moorish cuisine in Spain. From Spain, the recipe spread to Latin America, where it became a staple dessert in many households. Over the centuries, various regions have adapted the recipe, incorporating local ingredients and techniques, making Arroz con Leche a versatile dish that reflects the culinary traditions of many cultures.


How to prepare

  1. Wash the rice.
  2. Cook the rice in water, lemon peel, and cinnamon stick until the rice is soft (about 10 minutes or so).
  3. Add the milk, salt, vanilla, and sugar.
  4. Bring it to just under a boil and reduce the heat.
  5. Cook at medium-low heat, uncovered, until it thickens and the rice has absorbed most of the milk, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  6. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Pour the mixture into one large bowl or several smaller bowls and sprinkle with cinnamon.


  • There are countless variations of Arroz con Leche. Some popular variations include adding coconut milk for a tropical twist, incorporating chocolate or cocoa powder for a chocolate version, or mixing in fruit like raisins or chopped apples for added texture and flavor.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To achieve the perfect consistency and flavor for your Arroz con Leche, consider the following tips:

- Use short-grain rice for a creamier texture.

- Stir the mixture frequently as it cooks to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot and to ensure an even texture.

- Adjust the amount of sugar based on your preference for sweetness.

- Experiment with different types of milk (such as whole milk, coconut milk, or almond milk) to vary the flavor and richness.

- For an extra creamy texture, consider adding a small amount of condensed milk during the final stages of cooking.

Serving Suggestions

Arroz con Leche can be served warm or cold, making it a versatile dessert for any season. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dash of nutmeg for added flavor. For a festive touch, top with raisins or a dollop of whipped cream.

Cooking Techniques

The key to perfect Arroz con Leche lies in the cooking technique. Simmering the rice slowly and gently in the milk allows it to absorb the liquid and flavors fully, resulting in a creamy, rich texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk with almond, coconut, or soy milk. If you're looking to reduce the sugar content, consider using a sugar substitute or reducing the amount of sugar called for in the recipe.

Make Ahead Tips

Arroz con Leche can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In fact, some find that the flavors meld and deepen when allowed to sit overnight.

Presentation Ideas

Serve Arroz con Leche in individual bowls or glasses for an elegant presentation. Garnish with a cinnamon stick or a twist of lemon peel for a decorative touch.

Pairing Recommendations

Arroz con Leche pairs beautifully with a cup of strong coffee or a glass of dessert wine. For a non-alcoholic option, consider a spiced apple cider or a chai tea.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftover Arroz con Leche in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, gently warm on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of milk if necessary to thin the consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

A typical serving of Arroz con Leche contains about 250-300 calories. This can vary based on the ingredients used and the portion size.


A serving of Arroz con Leche is primarily a source of carbohydrates, with the rice and sugar contributing the majority of the carbs. A typical serving may contain approximately 45-60 grams of carbohydrates, depending on the specific recipe and serving size.


The fat content in Arroz con Leche can vary based on the type of milk used. Using whole milk will result in a higher fat content, while using skim milk will reduce the fat content. On average, a serving made with whole milk may contain about 8-10 grams of fat.


Arroz con Leche provides a modest amount of protein, primarily from the milk. A serving may contain approximately 6-8 grams of protein, making it a dessert that can contribute to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This dessert is a source of several important vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D from the milk, as well as trace amounts of iron and potassium from the rice and other ingredients.


Common allergens in Arroz con Leche include dairy (from the milk) and potentially gluten, depending on cross-contamination with the rice. Those with allergies or sensitivities should adjust the recipe accordingly.


Overall, Arroz con Leche is a comforting dessert that provides carbohydrates, a moderate amount of protein, and various vitamins and minerals. It can be adjusted to suit different dietary needs and preferences.


Arroz con Leche is a timeless dessert that combines simple ingredients into a comforting, creamy dish. With its rich history and versatility, it's a recipe that can be adapted to suit any taste or occasion. Whether served as a cozy winter treat or a refreshing summer dessert, Arroz con Leche is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a joyful one. It was many years ago when I was just a young girl, eager to learn the art of cooking from my own grandmother. She was a master in the kitchen, creating delicious meals with ease and grace. I would watch in awe as she effortlessly whipped up dishes that seemed to be pure magic.

One day, as we were rummaging through her old recipe box, my grandmother came across a worn and tattered card with the words "Arroz con Leche II" scribbled on it in faded ink. She smiled and told me that this was one of her favorite recipes, passed down to her from her own grandmother.

As she began to gather the ingredients and explain the steps to me, I could see the passion and love she had for this dish. Arroz con Leche II was a traditional Mexican dessert, a creamy rice pudding infused with cinnamon and sweetened with sugar. It was simple yet comforting, a dish that could bring warmth and joy to any occasion.

I watched intently as my grandmother carefully measured out the rice, milk, and sugar, adding a touch of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon for flavor. She explained how the rice needed to be cooked until tender, absorbing the creamy milk and sugar as it simmered on the stove. It was a labor of love, requiring patience and attention to detail.

As the sweet aroma of cinnamon and vanilla filled the kitchen, I could hardly contain my excitement. This was a recipe that I knew I would cherish for years to come, a dish that would bring back memories of my grandmother and the time we spent together in the kitchen.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the Arroz con Leche II was ready. My grandmother spooned the creamy rice pudding into bowls, garnishing each with a sprinkle of cinnamon. The first bite was pure bliss, a taste of tradition and love that I would never forget.

From that day on, Arroz con Leche II became a staple in our family, a dish that we would enjoy on special occasions and holidays. My grandmother would often make a big batch of the creamy rice pudding, sharing it with friends and neighbors who marveled at its simplicity and deliciousness.

As the years passed and I grew older, I found myself making Arroz con Leche II for my own family, passing down the recipe and the tradition to future generations. It was a dish that brought us together, a reminder of the love and bond we shared as a family.

Now, as I sit here reminiscing about that fateful day when I first learned to make Arroz con Leche II, I am filled with gratitude for my grandmother and the legacy she left behind. Her passion for cooking and her love for her family are evident in every spoonful of this creamy rice pudding, a dish that will forever hold a special place in my heart.


| Cuban Desserts | Cuban Recipes | Rice Pudding Recipes |

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