Chacha's Arroz Con Leche: Cuban Rice Pudding

"Growing up, my aunt ChaCha cooked 6 nights a week for 6-8 people. She used traditional Cuban recipes, made EVERYTHING from scratch and bought everything fresh. This is my all time favorite dish."
photo by Chilicat photo by Chilicat
photo by Chilicat
photo by bostonterr05 photo by bostonterr05
Ready In:
1hr 10mins




  • Boil rice, lemon zest, vanilla & cinnamon stick in water until rice is soft.
  • Add milk, salt, and sugar.
  • Cook over medium flame stirring occasionally until it thickens (about 1 hour).
  • Turn over into a Pyrex-type dish & powder with cinnamon.
  • I leave zest & cinnamon stick in the dish and serve around it as it continues to put out flavor.
  • Serve warm or chilled.

Questions & Replies

  1. How many does this rice pudding serve?
  2. Can long grain rice be used?


  1. I've done this recipe twice now and it is absolutely delicious! Yes, it may have been a little tedious to stir frequently for an hour but it was oh so worth it. In my house I get people asking for it all the time now. I read that some people don't like the strong cinnamon flavor. In that case, feel free to leave out the cinnamon stick. It will taste great without it too!
  2. Strongly cinnamon-flavored and with a smooth, soft texture, it makes a generous batch. Its somewhat sweeter than I care for and took longer than expected to thicken. It reminded me of some of the very sweet desserts that my Puerto Rican stepmother makes. It would probably be a good dish to tempt a kid with a sore throat.
  3. This is the first time I've tried rice pudding, and I am definitely sold! I wasn't sure how thick it had to be before I stopped cooking, so I did 1 hour exactly. It does thicken a bit more once it cools, but 1 hour was really just right. This pudding is SO creamy and delicious! Thanks Chessie!
  4. I've been trying to make good rice pudding for a long time. This is a perfect recipe. I made 1 1/2 times the recipe so I cooked it a few more minutes than 1 hour. Other then that, I didn't change anything. My Cuban husband loved it as well. Thank you Chef Chessie for this recipe.
  5. This was awesome! Perfect just the way it is directed. If making for a party, I would double the recipe because it will be a hit!


My favorite cookbook is the one from the 1940's that belonged to my Cuban great-aunt. The best recepies are the ones she had written in the margins & on the covers. My favorite childhood memory is sucking on a cinnamon stick I pulled out of hot rice pudding on a rain afternoon.
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