Recipe for family-style Cuban rice pudding

Is there anything sweeter than family? Well, maybe this family-style rice pudding from Cuba: The Cookbook. Enjoy with all your fam.

Family-style rice pudding (Arroz con leche familiar)

Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus 2 hours chilling time

Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes

Serves: 8

1 cup (230 g) short-grain white rice

1 cinnamon stick

Rind of 1 lime

1 can (14 oz/39g g) sweetened condensed milk

1 can (12 fl oz/354 ml) evaporated milk

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup (150 g) sugar

1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon


This is a very typical Cuban dessert, rooted in Spanish culinary traditions. The secret to this dessert is to cook the rice perfectly—until it is quite soft, but doesn’t lose its form—and then add the milk. Otherwise, the casein in the milk would prevent the rice from continuing to soften.

In a large pot, combine the rice, cinnamon stick, lime rind, and 5½ cups (44 fl oz/1.3 liters) water. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender and fluffy, about 45 minutes. Add

the sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, salt, and sugar and stir. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally so that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom, until the rice has absorbed the milk and sugar, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice pudding thickens, about 10 minutes, Pour it into a large serving dish while still hot, and sprinkle with cinnamon.

Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve cold on small dessert plates.

From Cuba: The Cookbook by Madelaine Vazquez Galvez and Imogene Tondre (Phaidon, £29.95).