Arroz con Leche IV Recipe from Spain | Sweetened Condensed Milk, Rice, Cinnamon, and More

Arroz con Leche IV

Arroz con Leche IV Recipe from Spain | Sweetened Condensed Milk, Rice, Cinnamon, and More
Region / culture: Spain | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes | Servings: 6


Arroz con Leche IV
Arroz con Leche IV

Arroz con Leche, or rice pudding, is a classic dessert that spans many cultures and cuisines. This particular version, Arroz con Leche IV, combines the creamy sweetness of condensed and evaporated milk with the comforting texture of rice, enhanced by the aromatic flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. It's a simple, yet indulgent treat that evokes nostalgia and warmth, perfect for any occasion or season.


The origins of Arroz con Leche can be traced back to the Moors during their occupation of Spain. The recipe has since traveled across the globe, adapting to the tastes and available ingredients of various cultures. This version, with its use of sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk, is reminiscent of the Latin American variations, where the dessert is particularly beloved and often enjoyed during celebrations and family gatherings.


How to prepare

  1. First, in a large cooking pot, add the water, 4 cups of milk, uncooked rice, cinnamon, evaporated milk, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  2. Once on the stove, bring the liquid to a boil.
  3. Boil for about 5 minutes. Then, add the sweetened condensed milk.
  4. Add a little water to the milk can and empty its contents into the pot, by this time the liquid should be simmering, on low heat.
  5. The milk should just barely simmer, with bubbles breaking only the outside edge of the surface.
  6. As the liquid begins to reduce, add the remaining milk in small increments while continuing to stir.
  7. While adding the milk, stir the mixture to ensure even cooking.
  8. Continue to stir intermittently until the liquid has become a gooey paste.
  9. Then add raisins and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Total cooking time is 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  10. Serve chilled or at room temperature.


  • For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk with almond, coconut, or oat milk. You can also experiment with different spices like cardamom or cloves for a unique flavor profile. Adding a zest of lemon or orange can introduce a refreshing citrus note to the dessert.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

For the creamiest Arroz con Leche, use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent the milk from scorching. Stirring frequently is key to achieving the perfect texture and to ensure the rice cooks evenly. Soaking the rice in water for about 30 minutes before cooking can also help speed up the cooking process. For an extra touch of flavor, consider using a cinnamon stick instead of ground cinnamon, removing it before serving.

Serving Suggestions

Arroz con Leche IV can be served chilled or at room temperature, garnished with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a few raisins on top. For a festive twist, serve it in small, individual cups decorated with a cinnamon stick.

Cooking Techniques

The key technique in making Arroz con Leche IV is the slow simmering process, which allows the rice to cook thoroughly and the mixture to thicken to the perfect consistency. Gentle, continuous stirring is crucial to prevent sticking and ensure an even texture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If sweetened condensed milk is too rich for your taste, you can substitute it with additional evaporated milk and a sweetener of your choice, adjusting to taste. Brown rice can be used instead of white for a whole-grain, fiber-rich alternative, though cooking times may vary.

Make Ahead Tips

Arroz con Leche IV can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. In fact, letting it sit overnight can enhance the flavors and texture of the dessert.

Presentation Ideas

Serve in elegant glasses layered with fresh fruit, such as berries or sliced peaches, for a visually appealing and refreshing dessert. A mint leaf can add a pop of color and freshness to the presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

This dessert pairs beautifully with a light, fruity wine such as Moscato or a sparkling cider. For a non-alcoholic option, a cup of spiced chai tea or a latte can complement the creamy texture and rich flavors of the Arroz con Leche.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, gently warm on the stove over low heat, adding a splash of milk if the pudding has thickened too much. Avoid microwaving, as it can unevenly heat and alter the texture of the dessert.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Arroz con Leche IV contains approximately 300-350 calories, making it a relatively high-calorie dessert option. Enjoying it in moderation as part of a balanced diet is recommended.


A serving of Arroz con Leche IV is rich in carbohydrates, primarily from the rice and sweetened condensed milk. Each serving contains approximately 60-70 grams of carbohydrates, providing a quick source of energy. The dessert's high carb content makes it an ideal treat for replenishing energy stores after physical activity, though it should be enjoyed in moderation due to its sugar content.


This dessert contains moderate amounts of fat, primarily from the evaporated and condensed milk. Each serving has about 10-15 grams of fat, including saturated fat, which contributes to the creamy texture and rich flavor of the dish. Using low-fat milk options can reduce the fat content if desired.


Arroz con Leche IV provides a modest amount of protein, with each serving containing approximately 8-10 grams. The protein comes from the milk and to a lesser extent, the rice, making it a dessert that can help contribute to your daily protein intake.

Vitamins and minerals

This dessert is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, thanks to the milk content. It also provides small amounts of iron and potassium. These nutrients are essential for bone health, muscle function, and overall well-being.


The primary allergens in this recipe are dairy (milk) and potentially gluten, depending on the cross-contamination with the rice. Individuals with allergies or intolerances to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Arroz con Leche IV is a comforting, creamy dessert that offers a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, along with essential vitamins and minerals. However, due to its calorie and sugar content, it's best enjoyed in moderation.


Arroz con Leche IV is a timeless dessert that combines simple ingredients into a rich, comforting dish. With its creamy texture and warming spices, it's a versatile treat that can be customized to suit various dietary needs and preferences. Whether enjoyed as a sweet end to a meal or a comforting snack, this version of Arroz con Leche is sure to delight.

How did I get this recipe?

The first time I saw this recipe, I was immediately hooked. It was a warm summer day, and I had been invited to a potluck dinner at a friend's house. As I walked into the kitchen, the aroma of cinnamon and vanilla wafted through the air, drawing me in like a moth to a flame.

I watched as my friend's grandmother, Abuela Rosa, stirred a pot of creamy rice pudding on the stove. She smiled warmly at me, her eyes twinkling with mischief. "Would you like to learn how to make arroz con leche, mi hija?" she asked, her voice as sweet as the dessert she was preparing.

I eagerly nodded, my mouth watering at the thought of tasting the delicious treat. Abuela Rosa beckoned me closer, her hands deftly measuring out ingredients and explaining each step of the process. She told me that arroz con leche was a traditional Mexican dessert, passed down through generations of her family.

As we worked together, stirring the rice and milk mixture until it thickened into a velvety pudding, Abuela Rosa shared stories of her childhood in Mexico. She told me about how her own grandmother had taught her to make arroz con leche when she was just a young girl, and how it had quickly become her favorite dessert.

I listened intently, savoring every word and every spoonful of the delicious dessert. By the time the arroz con leche was ready, I felt like I had been transported back in time to Abuela Rosa's childhood kitchen, learning the recipe from her own grandmother.

As I took my first bite of the creamy rice pudding, I knew that this recipe would become a cherished part of my own culinary repertoire. I thanked Abuela Rosa profusely for sharing her family recipe with me, and she smiled warmly, her eyes twinkling with pride.

From that day on, arroz con leche became a staple in my own kitchen. I experimented with different variations, adding raisins, almonds, and even a splash of rum to the traditional recipe. Each time I made it, I was transported back to that warm summer day in Abuela Rosa's kitchen, learning the secrets of a delicious dessert that had been passed down through generations.

Over the years, I shared the recipe with friends and family, each time adding my own twist to make it uniquely my own. And as I stirred the pot of creamy rice pudding on my own stove, I couldn't help but think of Abuela Rosa and the bond we had formed over a shared love of cooking and tradition.

Now, whenever I make arroz con leche, I think of Abuela Rosa and the lessons she taught me about the importance of family, tradition, and delicious food. And as I serve the sweet dessert to my loved ones, I know that I am passing on a piece of my own culinary heritage to the next generation.


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