Rice Pudding for Two

I used to think that rice pudding was…weird. And honestly, if you think about it too much, it kinda is. But past me was wrong because it’s absolutely delicious! I finally changed my mind during Fourth of July weekend a couple of years ago. I went to the beach with my friend and her family and her grandma made rice pudding one afternoon. She insisted I try some and thank goodness I was unable to refuse. Creamy, tasty, and with a hint of cinnamon, my absolute favorite spice!

While I didn’t get her recipe, I think this one is absolutely delicious. It’s a small batch, perfect for two, or one! There’s no judgement here if you want it all for yourself, live your best life, friend. It’s so simple to make, even if it does take a bit of time. Just a few simple ingredients and some stirring and you’ll have the tastiest dessert! Here are some tips for ultimate success:

  • the rice – you can use any short grained, white rice for this recipe! the type you use will make a difference in the cook time though. I used Arborio rice and I love how small it and the texture it brings to the pudding, but use whatever you’ve got on hand. Just avoid brown rice – it absorbs too much liquid and the flavor is just a bit too odd here if you use it.
  • the milk – you can use whatever you’ve got! however, whatever type of milk you use will have an impact on the final texture. The higher the fat content in the milk will make the end result thicker and creamier. I’ve heard that non-dairy milks will work but I haven’t personally tested that out. I imagine a coconut milk would work better than an almond milk due to the fat content, but I imagine either would work.
  • the sugar – traditionally, granulated sugar is used but I used brown sugar instead. I personally love the flavor it brings to the party, but it does make the final pudding slightly more brown than the typical cream colored pudding you’re probably picturing. use whichever you prefer!
  • the vanilla – if you’ve got a real vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste this is the place to use it. because it’s so simple, all the flavors really come through and a good vanilla makes a huge difference
  • the butter – optional but highly encouraged. it makes the pudding creamier and so lovely
  • the technique – if you’ve made risotto then you’re already ahead of the game. the exact amount of milk you need will depend on the type of rice you used, so start out with ________ and stir very frequently while it all simmers together. if you’re almost to the final texture you want but the rice is still a bit hard and undercooked, add more milk so that there’s more liquid for the rice to absorb and finish cooking. this step might take a bit of time, but grab your drink of choice, put on some good music or a show, and get ready for dessert

That’s it! It’s a bit of a time investment but so, so worth it. If you don’t eat it immediately, it keeps beautifully in the fridge. Just reheat it in a pan or in the microwave and add a bit more milk until it reaches the consistency you want. The final sprinkle of cinnamon is optional but my favorite part!

Rice Pudding for Two
serves 1-2


  • 1/4 cup (50g) short grained rice – I used arborio
  • 3 Tbsp (40g) brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups (454-681g) milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp (4g) butter
  • cinnamon, for serving

How to do it

  1. in a small pot, combine the rice, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups (454 g) of the milk. bring to a simmer over medium high heat, then decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring constantly, until the rice is fully cooked, 20-40 minutes depending on the type of rice you used
  2. if the consistency of the simmering pudding is almost to what you want the final product to be but the rice is still undercooked and hard, add additional milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until it’s fully cooked and is a nice, thick texture
  3. remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter. transfer to serving dishes, sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon, and enjoy!

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