The Best Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding had traditionally been a very polarizing treat in my family. There are those that simply can’t get enough of it, but there are also those (not naming names…Erik!) who have never cared for it. There’s just something about sweet rice that throws some people off. That was up until I used THIS particular recipe to make rice pudding. And let me tell you, it’s been a complete game-changer.

Those who assured me they didn’t care for rice pudding agreed to have a bite, and ended up coming back for second, third, and fourth bites! The common refrain became “Wow, I would love rice pudding if it all tasted like THIS!”

Related: Why You Should Always Rinse Your Rice

This rice pudding is a bowl of creamy heaven, with the perfect amount of sweetness. There is one small catch though – the process of making rice pudding is similar to making risotto, which means a lot of stirring for the cook. It really isn’t as bad as it sounds though. Crank some tunes or an audiobook, and you’ll have stirred your way to a creamy treat in no time! Trust me….it is worth the wait!

Rice Pudding

Vanilla Rice Pudding

from King Arthur Flour

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean seeds*
  • pinch of salt
Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding

*Note: Vanilla bean seeds are the black stuff inside a vanilla bean. To collect it, cut a vanilla bean open lengthwise, and use the point of a small knife to scrape out the contents. If you can’t find whole vanilla beans at the store, that’s fine! Just add an additional teaspoon of vanilla extract instead.

To a large pot, add the milk, 1 and 1/2 cups of the cream, sugar, rice, and vanilla extract, and place on the stove over medium heat.

Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding

Bring the pot to a simmer and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes. It will be done cooking when the pudding is thick and the rice is firm, but not crunchy.

Remove the pot from heat and add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, along with the teaspoon of vanilla bean crush (or vanilla extract,) and a pinch of salt. Stir well.

Rice Pudding

Serve the rice pudding warm, with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Alternately, you can cover and refrigerate it, and serve it chilled, depending on your tastes!

Prepare to turn rice pudding non-believers into believers!

Rice Pudding
Rice Pudding

Creamy Vanilla Rice Pudding

Jill Nystul
Not everyone in my family loves rice pudding, but after trying a bite of this recipe they keep coming back for second, third, and fourth bites! 
4.59 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 420 kcal


  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean seeds
  • pinch of salt


  • Add milk, 1 and 1/2 cups of the cream, sugar, rice, and vanilla extract to a pot over medium heat.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add remaining 1/2 cup of cream, vanilla bean seeds (or additional teaspoon of vanilla extract), and a pinch of salt.
  • Serve warm, or chilled.


Calories: 420kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 6gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 93mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 224mgSugar: 18gVitamin A: 1070IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 177mgIron: 1.1mg

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

    • Arborio rice is definitely used for its unique texture, but I’m sure it still works with other types of rice! It will probably just be a little less smooth :-)

  • My grandmother made this frequently, and now I make it frequently for my grandchildren. .. The only difference is we add raisins (that have been soaked in warm water) The flavor is heavenly, cinnamon, sugar, rice and raisins!!!!!

  • Hi Jillee,

    I cannot wait to try this recipe! It looks delicious.
    Is there a possibility to make the recipes a little more ink and paper conscious? This recipe printed out to ten pages of pictures and print.
    Thank you for all you share with us. Your efforts are truly appreciated.

    • There is a print friendly button at the bottom of the post, before the comments. If you click the green print friendly button, it brings up a preview where you can remove the images and any text that you want. It makes it easy to get any post down to a page! There’s also recipe card at the bottom of this post and you can print only that :-)

  • I love rice pudding,but I’ve never attempted to make it. This looks scrumptious enough for me to try at least once! I’m curious about Kris’s comment regarding adding the sugar at the end, and wonder if it would still have time to dissolve. Also, I’m curious to know if the vanilla extract should be added at the end also, because the alcohol dissipates so quickly when hot. What do you think?

    • Mine definitely didn’t burn and had an amazing vanilla flavor, so I’ll keep making it this way :-) If you try adding the ingredients after taking it off the heat, let me know how it turns out! I’m sure it’s still delicious. :-)

  • is there an alternative for those of us who are diabetic and are also trying to loose weight in order to get the diabetes in check..?? can l use light milk and cream and instead of the half cup of sugar artificial sugar instead..?? thanks..Carol..

  • Hi, looks delicious ! My mom taught me to make rice pudding, but with saffron, instead of vanilla. She also taught me to add the sugar at the end, after the rice pudding is cooked, to prevent burning. Sugar tends to burn it, so I add it only after I’ve taken it off the stove.

  • I have been making this for years it was my Mother’s favorite, but we use reg. milk and & add raisins.
    We also, after we take it off the stove, mix in 2 eggs. Add some of the hot mixture a little at a time to
    the eggs so the eggs down become scrambled. Put it back on the stove for 2 mins. so the egg mixture
    is fully cooked.

  • This looks good. I would love to know if you can sub different kinds of milk. Looking at the picture it reminds me a lot of tapioca pudding. We used to have that frequently when I was a kid and my siblings were little.

    • Research is showing the nutrition advice we’ve been getting from the USDA is garbage. In the ’80s, I bought into the low-fat, pasta, low-fat, pasta, low-fat, pasta mantra and promptly gained 25 pounds, where it stayed for the last 30 years. I’ve started to add back fat — all butter, heavy cream in my morning coffee, and cut way back on sugar and flour — and have lost about 15 pounds since Christmas.

      The only thing in the above recipe that would set off my “still-hungry” meter would be the sugar; arborio rice isn’t on the high-glycemic charts. Cream, eggs and whole milk are not the culprits in the obesity, diabetes, high-cholesterol epidemic.

  • Hi Sue, I don’t know about coconut milk but as I’m lactose intolerant I’ve made this with Goat’s milk and providing no one sees the carton even regular milk drinkers enjoy it.
    Recently I’ve tried it with Almond milk but I did need to reduce the sugar for this. Hope this helps :~)

  • Thank so much for this recipe! I am one of those people who can’t get enough rice pudding! My Dad would save left over rice and pour milk and sugar on it and give it to us for breakfast. Oh so good! You rock!

    Donna B.

  • >