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An overhead shot of creamy rice pudding, decorated with cinnamon powder, ready for serving.
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Portuguese Rice Pudding (Arroz Doce)

A traditional Christmas dessert from Portugal that is good the whole year-round! Deliciously creamy in every spoonful, Arroz Doce (Portuguese Rice Pudding) can be served hot or cold, so give it a try now! (VIDEO ABOVE)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: portuguese
Servings: 8
Calories: 214kcal
Author: Neriz


  • 1 & 1/4 cups rice
  • 1/4 cup sugar, heaping
  • 3 & 1/2 cups milk, hot (plus 3 tbsp, cold or room temperature)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pc vanilla bean, sliced down the middle
  • lemon rind
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder


  • Using a medium to a large-sized saucepan, combine 3 1/2 cups of water with salt and mix.  
  • Add the rice and lemon rind, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  • Simmer until rice is cooked.  This generally takes 20 minutes.
  • Add the 3 & 1/2 cups of hot milk and the vanilla pod. 
  • Mix to combine, then cover and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced and the rice turns soft and creamy (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Stir regularly the entire time.
  • Add sugar and mix.  Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
  • Temper egg yolks with the remaining milk (not hot!) and beat with a fork.
  • Remove the sweet rice from the heat and take the rind and the vanilla bean out.
  • Add the tempered yolks slowly while stirring constantly.
  • Bring the saucepan back on the heat, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired.
  • Remove from the heat and transfer to serving bowls.
  • Decorate the top with cinnamon powder.
  • Serve.



  • Starchy rice like arborio and carnaroli are the best types to use for arroz doce.
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract can be substituted for a vanilla bean.
  • Make sure the milk is hot when you add it to the cooked rice.
  • If you want to add a cinnamon stick, you should add it together with the vanilla bean.
  • Do not forget to temper the yolks with cold (or room temperature) milk before adding to the sweet rice.It ensures that you will not cook the yolks when you add them to the simmering pudding.
  • Lattice top is the traditional design for the cinnamon powder on top, but feel free to decorate it in whatever design you prefer.


Calories: 214kcal