I couldn’t wait for colder weather to post this Easy Baked Rice Pudding recipe. It may be warming up here but it’s getting cooler on the other side of the world and I can tuck away a bowl of this deliciousness almost any time of year.

Rice pudding is a nostalgic recipe for me as my mum used to make it regularly. Now, it’s right here with all the tips and tricks so you can get it just the way you like it.  Along with easy comforting desserts like this Warm Apple Crostata with Quick Caramel Sauce and Apple Plum Cobbler, this baked dessert is a winner.

Close up view of a pie dish filled with rice pudding with a gold spoon in it.

Ok, so it’s cold and you’re wrapped up on the couch on a Sunday afternoon, wrapped in a blanket and you aren’t moving for love or money but you should move for this.

  • quick to prepare – I mean like 5 minutes quick
  • takes only 5 ingredients 
  • creamy and cosy
  • the absolute perfect comfort dessert

So what is it?

Rice pudding is a mixture of rice, milk or cream, sugar, cinnamon and butter cooked together until creamy. Sometimes ingredients like raisins, sultanas or vanilla are added too and it’s often made with different types of milk or cream. While some contain eggs, this rice pudding has no egg making it even easier.

As for cooking methods, it can be made on the stovetop, baked in the oven or even made in a slow cooker.

It’s a truly versatile and comforting dessert and all of this results in tender rice, wrapped in a silky, creamy sweet sauce that is totally irresistible.

A grey bowl filled with rice pudding and blackberry compote.

How do you like yours?

Do you like your rice pudding thick or swimming in sauce? With or without the skin? This one is a perfect balance of creamy rice with a sauce, the continues to soak up as it sits out of the oven.

The rice pudding forms a skin on top, which you can either mix in as it cooks or leave the skin to form and eat that too. I personally don’t like the texture of the skin but I love the way it looks –  the golden colour gives me cosy nostalgic vibes, so I leave it on mine.

My mum always used evaporated milk in her rice pudding – the benefit of this is that, with evaporated milk being shelf stable, it can be made at a moments notice without the need for fresh milk. I use fresh milk in mine, but choose whichever you prefer. 

I always would add a dribble of cold milk to my bowl too – for one, to cool it so I could get it in my tummy quicker and two because I liked a little more sauce.

When you first pull it out of the oven, there will still be a lot of liquid in the bottom but don’t worry, mix it all through (after peeling away the skin if you want it) and then drizzle some of it over as you serve. The rice will continue to absorb any liquid in the dish so if it isn’t there, you’ll end up with stodgy dry rice pudding. For the same reason, make sure to serve it up quick.

How to make it, step by step

A simple process of mixing together ingredients in a pie or casserole dish and then throwing it in the oven makes Baked Rice Pudding incredibly easy to make.

A collage of 3 photos showing how to make rice pudding.

  1. Mix melted butter, rice, sugar and cinnamon in a pie dish, then add milk and mix it through
  2. Bake it for around 1 hour and 10 minutes until it’s golden on top and the rice is cooked through.

Remember, it will still look like it has quite a bit of liquid when you dig below the surface but it should no longer be swishing around when you move the dish.

How to serve rice pudding

  • Make sure to drizzle over some of the hot milk from the dish
  • Have some cold milk or cream at the ready to cool it and create even more sauce.
  • You can add a side of baked fruit or compote (like I have in these photos with my Blackberry Compote) or with stewed cinnamon apples (you can use the apples from this recipe but double or triple the quantity)

How long will it keep?

It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge but you must take the right precautions to avoid food poisoning whenever rice is involved.

While still hot, transfer any leftover rice pudding to an airtight container and place it straight in the fridge.

Don’t let it cool at room temperature but instead it should cool, from hot, in the fridge. When you reheat it, make sure it is steaming hot before eating it. No luke warm rice.

To reheat rice pudding, spoon it into a serving bowl and add a tablespoon or two of milk per portion. Heat on high in the microwave for 2 minutes. Alternately, mix the whole batch with some milk and heat in the oven on 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced for 10 to 15 minutes until hot.

Variations

  • Add insvanilla is a common add in as are raisins. I’ve also made it adding1/2 teaspoon of orange zest which gives it a lift and a lovely aroma. Nutmeg is also a common addition and cardamom works really well too. Make it your own.
  • Change the rice – I use arborio rice which is a short grain rice normally used for risotto. It has a great combo of soaking up loads of liquid and a creamier finish, while also have a great texture. You can try other rices though. A medium or short grain will work best but I’ve made this exact recipe using Jasmine rice and it was still lovely. The grains were just a bit firmer and smaller.
  • Make it even creamier – swap half cup of the milk for cream. Or swap all the cream for evaporated milk.
  • Make it lighter – swap out 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of boiling water.
  • Make it vegan – use coconut milk, almond milk or a combination of the two. Swap out the butter for a vegan spread or leave it out altogether.
  • Make Chocolate rice pudding – add ¼ cup of cocoa and an extra ½ cup of milk

Turn it into a Mason Jar Gift

If you love gifting food the way I do then you’ll love this idea. You can turn this gorgeous and simple baked rice pudding into an EVEN EASIER mason jar gift. A comforting food you can gift and it takes just minutes to create for both the gifter and the giftee. Or make a bunch to store in the pantry so you can have a cosy, comforting dessert in the oven at a moments notice. 

I’ve added the recipe and video link to my Tangi recipe below. Check it out. 

An image of baked rice pudding with a video play button

So jump out from under that blanket, throw some ingredients in pie dish then back to comfort while you rice pudding bakes away. Now you just need to be patient for an hour while it’s doing it’s thing.

More Comforting Desserts

See the rice pudding web story

Birdseye view of a pie dish filled with rice pudding. A gold spoon on the side and a pot of blackberry compote behind it.

Easy Baked Rice Pudding

3.88 from 8 votes
This easy Baked Rice Pudding recipe is the perfect creamy, comforting dessert on a cool night and it takes literally minutes to prepare. Just 5 ingredients and you can be settling back with a hot, cosy bowl of rice pudding tonight.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup arborio rice
  • cup white granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ½ cups whole milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.
  • Place the butter in a pie dish and melt it in the microwave - (alternatively melt the butter and pour it into your chosen pie dish).
  • Brush the melted butter around the sides of the dish.
  • Add the rice, sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine everything.
  • Pour in the milk and carefully stir it to combine.
  • Place the pie dish on a baking tray and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. After ½ an hour, give it a good stir (mixing in any skin) and turn the tray around so that it browns evenly.
  • The skin will form in the final 45 minutes of cooking. You can stir it in again if you like as it bakes or just leave it.
  • Test the rice for doneness by tasting a bit, it should be cooked through and tender but not soggy or falling apart.

Notes

  1. All ovens vary – always test for doneness 3-5 minutes before the recipe suggests
  2. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest, a little nutmeg or vanilla for other flavours.
  3. Serve immediately, spooning any excess liquid over the top
  4. Make it creamier by swapping 1/2 cup of milk for 1/2 cup of cream.
  5. Make it lighter by swapping up to 1 cup of milk for 1 cup of boiling water.
  6. Make it vegan by swapping the milk for almond or coconut milk and swapping the butter for vegan spread.
  7. Rice - Arborio works best but you can use jasmine or another medium grain rice also.
Want more dessert recipes? Click here
Have you tried this recipe?Rate or comment below and let us know how it was!