From Our Kitchen: Spanish Rice Pudding Recipe

At Costa del Sol we incorporate the old and the new, breathing life into a cuisine rich in unique Spanish heritage. We blend family recipes with new inspirations from seasonal ingredients. Rice pudding dates back centuries, spanning across cultures and cuisines. It’s a comforting food, reminiscent of home. Creamy, sweet, easy to make, and perfect in every way.

Our rice pudding is a customer favorite and a frequently-requested recipe; it is near and dear to me because it’s one of my mother’s signature dishes. Growing up in Spain, my mother’s rice pudding was made on holidays and special occasions. After we moved to America, she would make it more often – especially if family got together for a Sunday afternoon visit. You see, back home things were really hard – especially the years following the Spanish civil war, where sugar and certain other items were a luxury to have!

This dessert is based on an old Spanish recipe which has been passed down, usually by word of mouth, from mother to daughter. It’s infused with notes of cinnamon, citrus, and vanilla. We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Our rice pudding recipe is below followed by a fun infographic showing how to make it.


A generous 3/4 Cup of Short Grain Rice

1/2 Cup of Sugar

4 Cups of Milk

2 Cups of Heavy Cream

Cinnamon Stick

1/4 Orange Peel

1/4 Lemon Peel

Vanilla Bean

Makes 6 Servings | 1 Hour Cook Time

Step 1: Bring milk and heavy cream to a slow boil then add the cinnamon stick. Optional: If using a cheesecloth, place the cinnamon stick, orange peel, and lemon peel in the sack.

Step 2: Lower the heat, add rice, and bring it to a simmer, stir with wooden spoon for a minute to make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of pan. Continue to stir every few minutes. If using vanilla bean split open and scrape the beans out with knife and add to the pot along with the pod. If using vanilla extract, add it towards the end of the cooking process.

Step 3: After 30 minutes, add the lemon peel and orange peel (if you not using a cheesecloth sack). Remember to stir every few minutes.

Step 4: During the last 10 minutes of cooking, remove the peels, cinnamon stick, and bean pods. Stir in the sugar and cook for a couple more minutes until all the sugar dissolves.

Step 5: Remove from heat and let it cool for about 10 -15 minutes so that your pudding thickens.

Step 6: Equally portion out your rice pudding into your favorite serving dishes, bowls, or ramekins. Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve and then top with ground cinnamon, whipped cream, or your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Chef’s Notes:
Cut the top and bottom off and score the skin into quarters. Remove the skin and pith and cut the skin into strips about 1/4″ wide. Use only 1/4 of the lemon and orange peel. Use a potato peeler for the same result!

Dairy free alternative: You can substitute almond milk for the milk and canned coconut milk for the cream.