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How to make classic rice pudding

Rice pudding is a quintessential British dessert. Follow our easy step-by-step instructions below and you'll be enjoying this thick and creamy classic in no time. Don't forget to screenshot the ingredients list at the bottom for when you go shopping.

  1. Deseed the vanilla pod

    Preheat the oven to gas 3, 170°C, fan 150°C. Grease a 2.5-3ltr ovenproof dish with a little butter. Use a small, sharp knife to halve the vanilla pod lengthways, then scrape out the seeds. 

    Scraping the seeds from the pod means that they can disperse into the pudding, giving maximum flavour. For a taste twist, try a cinnamon stick, or pared orange or lemon zest.

    Deseed the vanilla pod
  2. Scald the milk

    Put the seeds and halved pod (or paste or extract) in a large saucepan with the milk and sugar. Warm over a medium heat for 4-5 mins to scald the milk – it should be steaming, and just bubbling around the edge. Add the rice, reduce the heat to low and stir for 1 min.

    Scalding the milk before baking cuts down the overall cooking time and allows the flavour to infuse quickly. Use semi-skimmed milk for a lighter, less creamy version – or for a vegan pudding, use milk and butter alternatives.

    Scald the milk
  3. Mix it up

    Pour the rice mixture into the baking dish. Dot with the butter, if using, then top with half the nutmeg. 

    We’ve kept our rice pudding classic, but you can add a flavour if you like. For a chocolatey twist, whisk 25g sugar and 30g cocoa into the milk before scalding, then bake.

    Mix it up
  4. Give it a stir

    Bake for 30 mins, then remove from the oven and stir well, adding the remaining nutmeg. Stirring the pudding halfway through distributes the flavours and helps the rice grains to cook evenly. But don’t stir more than once if you want a good skin to form on top.

    Bake for a further 30 mins, then increase the heat to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and bake for a final 20 mins to brown the top.

    Give it a stir
  5. Leave to thicken

    Remove from the oven; leave to stand for 20 mins. Leaving the pudding to stand after baking allows it to cool a little and thicken, resulting in a rich and creamy texture.

    Discard the vanilla pod, then serve with a generous spoonful of jam, if you like.

    Leave to thicken
  6. Ingredients

    Here's all you need to make this delicious rice pudding. Be sure to note down the ingredients or take a screenshot before heading to the shops.

    butter, for greasing, plus 30g extra (optional)
    1 vanilla pod (or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 2-3 tsp vanilla extract)
    1.25ltrs whole milk
    75g caster sugar
    150g pudding rice
    ½ tsp grated nutmeg strawberry or raspberry jam, to serve (optional)

    Serves 8


    Each serving contains

    • Energy

    • Fat

      8g 11%
    • Saturates

      5g 25%
    • Sugars

      17g 19%
    • Salt

      0.2g 3%

    of the reference intake
    Carbohydrate 33.4g Protein 6.3g Fibre 0.2g