Kendra’s Arroz con Leche (Latin Rice Pudding)

Hey Foodies….i hope your feeling refreshed & ready to start your week off right on this lovely Monday! I’m here to make your week extra special with today’s sweet recipe! I am a home chef but if I was a celebrity chef I would say I channel a perfect blend of Emeril Lagasse’ boldness mixed with the sass & class of the ever so lovely Ayesha Curry. Her book the Seasoned Life was a perfect metaphor for the way I cook and live…i put my heart, soul and heritage into everything I cook! I am an artisan in the kitchen & love to put my own exotic spin on everything I serve because let’s face it….life is too darn short to live blandly! Spice up your life & get out of the mundane, dare to bring life to your palette and share your passion for creating memorable meals with everyone you have the pleasure to meet because the best of memories are created around the dinner table!

Today I am so happy to share with you my recipe for rice pudding! Not everyone has had the pleasure of knowing what good rice pudding is all about so your in for a special treat. I know your going to love it as much as my husband does, he proclaims it the best ever created! What makes this rice pudding special you ask? Well, let me tell ya! It’s creamy & decadent without being mushy, perfect in texture and consistency. It also has the essence of lime & coffee beans, yes….you heard correctly! You’ll just have to trust me folks, it is sooo good without being overpowering it just adds a nice depth of flavor and occasionally we will swap out coffee for Bourbon or Rum soaked raisins cause that’s how we do it in the Caribbean! Lastly it’s flavored with my amazing vanilla sugar blend, butter & sweetened condensed milk then a handful of spices and lemon extract. Are you drooling yet???


  • 1 cup of long grain rice, rinsed
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (about a cup) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 of a lime, lime zest or a splash of lime juice
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon extract (optional)
  • 1/4 cup hot coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional) (if desired soak your raisins in 3 tablespoons of Bourbon or Rum)
  • 1/4 cup homemade vanilla sugar (see recipe below or 1/4 cup white sugar & 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract

Vanilla Sugar-1/3 cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon softened butter + 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract. Mix well and use half of the mixture in this recipe then store the rest in a jar.


  • In a large saucepan add 3 cups of your whole milk, 1 cup of rinsed rice, 1/2 of a lime, 1/4 cup of fresh coffee if desired and 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. Stir to combine ingrediants then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium-low and allow to simmer covered for 25 minutes or until milk evaporates into rice. Stir rice periodically as it cooks and keep covered. After about 10 minutes, use a spoon to discard the hot lime if using.
  • Once rice has cooked, check the texture it should be creamy and soft but we we don’t mushy rice so don’t overcook it. Now add your last cup of whole milk, sweetened condensed milk, 3 tablespoons of butter and 1/4 cup of homemade vanilla sugar and mix very well to combine.
  • Place in another large saucepan over medium-high heat, stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce to medium-low and allow to simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes or until milk evaporates into rice and it is creamy and delicious. Stir rice periodically as it cooks and keep covered. If you like a traditional style delicious rice pudding than it is perfect and delicious eaten just like this!


  • Add your lemon extract, cinnamon, nutmeg or pie spice and plain or soaked raisins. Mix well.
  • Either version is absolutely delicious. Taste great hot, room temperature or chilled. Enjoy and eat within two days.

Cooks Notes:

  • As it cooks it may develop a layer of thin skin that needs to be skimmed off as it’s cooking.
  • The Spoon Test: To determine if your pudding has reached the right consistancy, take a spoon and scoop it through the pudding. If it is thin and soupy in texture it needs to simmer and reduce a little bit longer. If it is like a clump attached to the spoon it is too thick & needs to be thinned out with milk but if it coats the spoon and drizzles slowly off the spoon it is perfect! Remember as it sits it thickens slightly so add a splash of milk or cream and it will be just right & delicious. If you use my exact measurements & technique it will turn out perfect every single time!

*To see the complete video of me making this rice pudding. Click below and please forgive me….it is a bit lengthy and has a few bloopers but hey that just makes it cute I hope! Forgive me as I learn videography skills, it’s a work in progress…lol! Enjoy!

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