Arroz con Leche

We weren’t a family that had dessert very often but this was one of our favorites.  Especially when it started getting cold outside.  In southern California that meant the low 50s!  It is a very simple dessert: milk, rice, sugar, raisins and cinnamon.  Sweet and creamy.

While reading one of my new cookbooks, Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero, I came across this recipe.  I liked the flavors it added while still keeping it simple.  I followed her recipe, but I used fewer cloves and added more of the orange zest.  As a native Californian, I love oranges!

Arroz con Leche

4 whole cloves

4 strips of orange zest (about one inch each)

1 1/2 cups almond milk, plus another 1 2/3 cups almond milk reserved

2/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice

2/3 cup sugar

1 stick of cinnamon (3-inch)

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 cup raisins (I used golden raisins)

1 tablespoon dark rum

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

Stick the cloves into the orange zest strips.


In a large sauce pan, add the almond milk, rice, sugar, cinnamon stick, allspice, and the orange zest with the cloves.  Over medium heat, bring it to a boil and stirring a few times as it heats up.  Once it begins to foam, lower the heat, cover and let it cook for 15 minutes or until the rice is soft.

Add the additional 1 2/3 cups of almond milk along with the raisins, rum, vanilla and salt.  Stir and bring it to a boil.  Once it begins to boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally or until it has thickened.  Remove it from the heat and let it cool for 10 minutes.  Remove the orange zest, cloves and the cinnamon stick.  If you like your arroz con leche to have a thinner consistency, you can add more almond milk and stir it in well.


You can serve it in small individual bowls or in one large bowl.

3 replies »

  1. The flavors are great. A delicious Latino version of rice pudding! But what I love the most about this recipe is that it has so many variations around the world. I’ve had a delicious Scandinavian version at Christmas for many years. I’ll have to ask for the recipe!

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