Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

A few weeks ago, Anna commented on my recipe for Horchata and asked where the recipe for my Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) that I promised to post was. (Anna, I hope you’re following so you see this, and sorry for the delay!) Horchata, if you’re not familiar, is a Mexican Aguas Fresca, a cool, creamy, cinnamony rice-based beverage. It’s so much better than it sounds; it’s absolutely delish, refreshing but with a little substance.

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Cream of Rice)

When Horchata is made, rice is soaked with water and cinnamon and then blended (although some recipes use almond, mine doesn’t), and when it is strained, you’re left with the “dregs” of the rice. Since this is a frugal site and I’m frugal, it stands to reason I’m not down with the waste, even if it is just 1 1/3 cups of broken down, wet rice. Besides, that soaked rice makes some of the best, richest most decadent rice pudding you’ll ever taste!

About Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding):

When I was a child in school, there were two things to look forward to, recess and lunch. While the white-capped ladies behind the lunch counter did a fantastic job, there was one thing that without fail struck icy cold dread straight into my heart. Rice pudding. Always, I was suspicious of the bland, gelatinous, quivering mound that just held the shape of the scoop that was used to serve it with. A dusting of cinnamon did nothing to improve it. This is NOT that rice pudding.

Instead, wrap your mind around an utterly dreamy creamy, custardy, cinnamony pot of deliciousness! Heck, it doesn’t even taste like rice. Not in any obvious way. There’s just a bit of texture from any bits of rice that haven’t broken completely down, but otherwise, it’s smooth and rich and thick. I like to serve my Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) warm, with a sprinkle of my Homemade Cinnamon Sugar, but it’s just about as good chilled. Add raisins if you want – sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.

Come along with me on this journey that’s going to span continents and cultures and I promise you, this rich and creamy Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding), will be the Rice Pudding you are going to dream about. It will be the rice pudding you look forward to with the fierce anticipation of a child!

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Making Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding):

I’ve culled from more than one culture in the making of Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding). The condensed milk and cinnamon are pulled from a traditional Arroz con Leche, the eggs and milk from a standard American or English Rice pudding. And the technique? A combination of both.

There’s really two recipes here, one is a more basic pudding that is often made by Mexican and Latin American cooks. I think of it as kind of a Cream of Rice because it reminds me of the Cream of Wheat my Mom used to serve for breakfast. I’ve included that recipe, below, too and in the photographs, it’s the one with the raisins. You can see the texture is a bit different than the richer dessert pudding, the Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding).

The second recipe is the Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) and it starts in much the same way as the Cream of Rice version, by cooking those dregs of rice in water to soften and cook through. Then all the good stuff is added that takes that Cream of Rice pudding type substance to a whole different direction – to the Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding).

This rice pudding is sweetened with condensed milk. I’m not a huge fan of a lot of sweetness, and I like about a quarter of a can; you can choose your level. Add the quarter of can and taste and add more if you want. I never worry about a little leftover condensed milk in my fridge because I love making these easy Pumpkin Spice Lattes and make them fall and winter and in the summer I make Frozen Coffee Frappes. You’ll need to freeze some coffee for those, so plan ahead.

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Cream of Rice)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Cream of Rice)

The Texture of Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding):

As long as you take care not to scorch the rice, this recipe is pretty straightforward. You’re going to want to use some good judgment towards the end, though, in deciding how thick you’d like your rice pudding. Some like it on the thinner side; me? I like it thick and substantial.

The starchiness of the rice will always be a variable, depending on how long it’s soaked and how finely it gets broken down, so take that into consideration, and take into consideration that this pudding thickens as it cools. And it does thicken quite a bit. (If it is too thick at any point, gently heat with a little milk and as it softens, whisk in more milk.)

The thicker and denser the pudding is, the less the volume there will be. The number of servings can remain pretty much the same, but if the pudding is thick and dense, the actual serving size will be smaller. The richness balances out the size, and a good thick pudding is best in smaller amounts, anyway.

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)


Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) is made from the rice leftover from making Horchata. These little puds are unbelievably creamy & rich!

  • Author: mollie
  • Total Time: 20 minutes plus chill if desired
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Desert
  • Cuisine: Mexican or Southwestern


  • strained leftover rice (see note) from Horchata
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (may need more)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 to1 can of condensed milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, to taste
  • 1/2 cup raisins, optional
  • cinnamon sugar, for topping

Note on the rice:

  • This method and suggested amounts of ingredients is based on Horchata made with 1 1/3 cup of raw rice. Incidentally, and after soaking, blending and straining, the amount was still very close to 1 1/3 cups but the initial weight of the rice, about 9 ounces had increased due to absorption of liquid to about 15 ounces
  • The rice left from Horchata made with another recipe or method could vary a little (the initial amount of rice may be different, how much moisture it has taken in, how broken down the rice is). Since this method allows for adjusting to personal taste, my suggestion is to use about 1 1/3 cups of the soaked, broken down rice from any Horchata recipe you have and be prepared to adjust the amount of liquid ingredients.
  • There is more information on the notes at the bottom of the recipe.


Add rice and water to a large, heavy saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and gently simmer, stirring now and then at first, and almost continuously toward the end. Cook until most of the liquid is absorbed and mixture resembles cream of wheat.

Mix milk, eggs, condensed milk, and salt in a bowl, whisking well. Gradually add to the rice mixture, slowly at first, whisking well to avoid lumps. Make sure to get into the corners of the pan. Bring to a boil and turn down to a good simmer, stirring often. Cook for several minutes, until the back of a spoon leaves a distinct line when a finger is drawn across it and any pieces of rice are soft. Be prepared to add more liquid, milk or water if the pudding has thickened but the rice is not yet soft.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Add raisins, if desired, when pudding is finished.

Serve warm or chilled.


  • You may need to add more milk to reach your desired thickness; the mixture thickens as it sits and as it cools.
  • The rice in this recipe is leftover from a Horchata recipe and has been presoaked for about 12 hours. This affects the moisture content of the rice.
  • I’ve only made this recipe using the leftover rice, but a weighing before and after cooking indicated the initial 1 1/3 cups of rice (about 9 ounces) had absorbed about 6 ounces of water in its overnight soaking. The measurement was still about 1 1/3 cups but the weight had increased to about 15 ounces.

Cream of Rice:

If you don’t wish to cook the full pudding, but wish, instead, to make a simple pudding for breakfast or dessert, start off with the rice and instead of using water, use milk. You’ll likely need about 3 cups of milk for this amount of rice. Simply cook until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly toward the end of the cooking process. Taste the mixture, and if the rice is not yet cooked through, add a bit more milk and cook for a little longer. Add sugar or condensed milk as desired. Serve warm or cold.

Keywords: condensed milk, Desserts, Horchata, Mexican or Southwestern, Pudding, Rice

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I’ll be sharing this marvelous rice pudding at Fiesta Friday #270,  cohosted this week by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Angie @ Fiesta Friday.

Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding) is made from the rice leftover from making Horchata. These little puds are unbelievably creamy & rich! #RicePudding #HorchataRicePudding #LeftoverHorchataRice

22 thoughts on “Horchata Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

  1. May Her

    So delicious and just the right amount of sweetness. Since I blender the rice for the horchata, I added two cups of leftover jasmine rice for more grittiness. Thank you for this recipe.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi May… I like the idea of adding a little extra rice. I think that would be the best of both worlds that super creamy rice that has been blended Along with the whole pieces that have been cooked down!
      Thanks for stopping by to comment and I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe.


  2. Allegra Autumn Rainbow

    Hi, thank you for the recipe. As with most recipes I have to modify as I usually don’t have much or any dairy at my house. I used the coconut cream from a can of coconut milk. I also used coconut sugar to sweeten it and a nut milk as the milk. It turned out great. Might not be as creamy but it’s creamy in a different way. This was from my first time make horchata which I also made with nut milk and I like you do not like to waste perfectly good ingredients. Thank you, thank you!!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Allegra, thanks for stopping by to comment. I love knowing how you made it work for you! Nut milk is such a great choice and I’m sure coconut milk is marvelous!


  3. Laura Carias

    Hello! I was searching the internet to figure out what to do with the leftover horchata pulp from a different recipe. You don’t specify the amount of strained rice we should use. Could you give me a ballpark measurement? Thanks!

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi Laura, that’s because I used the leftover rice from that specific recipe that’s linked; it was about 1 1/3 cup. I mentioned it in the post but will add that to the recipe! Thanks so much for pointing it out! This is fabulous, btw!!


        • FrugalHausfrau

          Yes, I don’t see any problem, and it might even be better flavored! It depends though on if you find little pieces of almond in the pudding enjoyable or a distraction as you eat. 🙂 Some people have that “texture” thing when they eat. I judge whether I want to embark on a recipe on the price of ingredients and the cost in terms of time and effort.

          The ingredients you need to add aren’t precious or pricey and this takes little effort to make. If you think you’d like it, I’d say go for it. 🙂 And if you do make it, stop back & let me know…If my fridge weren’t stuffed to the brim right now, I’d mix up a batch with almonds just to try to make the pudding with them and see how I like it and how it turns out. I’m trying very hard to minimize my exposure and there literally is not a spare inch…I just opened the door and my spinach fell out, haha!

          Now the almonds won’t add to the creaminess of the pudding like the rice does, but since you can easily adjust the amount of liquid as you make this that shouldn’t affect the final outcome. Hope that helps!!

  4. Ron

    Wow Mollie, we must have gone to the same school as recess and lunch were the best parts for me too. Growing up we had Horchata at my granny’s house often, but I ran from her rice pudding. Your Horchata Arroz con Leche on the other hand I’d run to. Now you got me wondering what my granny did with the dregs. Perhaps to the chickens.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Thanks, Ron! I never had horchata until a few years ago and I am absolutely obsessed with it!

      Chickens, btw, are becoming very trendy here. My little local community education classes are even offering classes on chicken raising! Of course, you know, if your Granny had them, it was a part of so many rural households (I grew up in Iowa) and was just part of the way of life and making ends meet.

      So many people are trying to get back to that now, and isn’t as glamorous as the kids today think!

  5. I am not a huge fan of cinnamon, but I love rice pudding so there’s no doubt that I would love this. Now, can I take my share? 😀 Thanks a lot for sharing at Fiesta Friday, Mollie. I hope you are having a fab time.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Lol, Jhuls!! I would share – but ate it all up! We’re doing spring clean up and chores and having beautiful weather – although they said we’re supposed to get 16 to 24 inches of snow on thursday! Unbelievable!! So we are scurryiing!

  6. It seems my reader is giving me problems lately, as I haven’t seen this post. I’ve never cooked Horchata before, but make rice pudding often, though without the eggs. I’ll keep this recipe in mind for next time! 🙂

  7. Jan

    Molly, I totally love your steak mushrooms recipe! And actually I love all your recipes! Keep up the great work friend. Talk to you soon. Good bye

  8. For a minute I thought you were posting about the DRINK horchata … rice pudding is good too. 🙂

    I still remember cafeteria rice pudding from my high school days fondly.

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