Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe - My Mother-in-Law's Family Recipe

Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe

A creamy Spanish rice pudding recipe from my mother-in-law Antonia. Her arroz con leche recipe is the perfect blend of cinnamon, sugar, and silky Spanish rice. You’ll try it once and be a fan for life!

Spanish rice pudding in a clay bowl.. Spanish arroz con leche recipe.
Delicious and creamy Spanish rice pudding.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’m a lucky girl. My in-laws are fantastic. Don’t get me wrong– we don’t always see eye to eye on everything, but they are the most caring and loving people I’ve ever met.

My mother-in-law, Antonia, also happens to be a wonderful Spanish cook and has taught me the majority of what I know about Spanish home cooking.

Her salmorejo recipe is one of my all-time favorites and every time we’re together we try to cook something new.

The only downside to her cooking abilities has been the few times I’ve dared to “diet” in her presence.

It wasn’t even really a diet, just eating fewer carbs before my wedding! Every now and then I like to cut most carbs and sugar out of my diet (the month of December is not one of those times) as a way to cleanse my body.

Anyway, I’ve learned not to tell her this. At the mere mention of this locura she seems to make every possible thing I “can’t” eat and then shake her head when I say “no, gracias.

The last time I was eating healthy she bought me two enormous bars of chocolate and made her famous arroz con leche.

Two servings of arroz con leche in clay bowls.
How could I resist?

I nearly got angry with her because it feels like she’s not respecting or supporting my preferences… but then I realize that feeding people is just how she shows her love.

And I do love her rice pudding…

The Secrets to Antonia’s Arroz con Leche

After watching her make this many times, I think there are a few key things to keep in mind:

  • Always use whole milk
  • Use a cinnamon stick (not cinnamon powder) — except for a dash on the top when finished
  • Don’t skip the pinch of salt (sea salt is best)
  • Add the sugar slowly and taste — if it’s too sweet you can’t go back!
  • Make it slowly – don’t be in a rush. Add the milk little by little and stir, stir, stir! This will make it super creamy.

Watch how to make Spanish arroz con leche (1 minute video!)

Traditional Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe

Spanish rice pudding in a clay bowl.. Spanish arroz con leche recipe.

Spanish Arroz con Leche Recipe

Lauren Aloise
This creamy Spanish arroz con leche recipe is my mother-in-law's favorite. It's Spanish rice pudding done right!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Spanish
Servings 4 servings
Calories 329.48 kcal


  • 1 cup of short grain rice Arroz Bomba is what I use in Spain
  • 1-2 wide slices of lemon rind
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 4 ¼ cups of whole milk you can substitute non-dairy milks if desired
  • Sugar to taste


  • Rinse the rice under cold water and then put it in a saucepan over a medium heat, just barely covered with water (you could also cover it with milk for even creamier arroz con leche).
  • Add the cinnamon stick and lemon rind. Stir continually until all of the water is absorbed.
  • Add milk about ½ cup at a time, stirring each time until all is absorbed. Continue adding up to the whole liter of milk, stirring continuously.
  • When is seems creamy enough, taste to make sure the texture of the rice is correct. Some prefer it al dente and others like it very cooked (almost mushy).
  • When it is to your liking, turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and dash of cinnamon. Then, add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until it is sweet enough for you. Enjoy warm or let cool.
  • Sprinkle a bit more cinnamon on top to decorate!


Calories: 329.48kcalCarbohydrates: 51.38gProtein: 11.25gFat: 8.45gSaturated Fat: 4.75gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 119.74mgPotassium: 383.19mgFiber: 1.49gSugar: 13.82gVitamin A: 405IUVitamin C: 1.94mgCalcium: 309.23mgIron: 0.52mg
Keyword Arroz con Leche, rice pudding recipe, spanish rice pudding
Did You Make This Recipe?Tag @spanishsabores on Instagram and share your results!

Voila! Spanish arroz con leche a la Antonia! I promise that if you prepare this you will taste the love. Try it– and tell me how it turns out!

Look here for more tempting Spanish dessert recipes!

Pin me!

There's a lot to love about Spanish food, but Spain's traditional desserts—like this easy, one pot arroz con leche recipe— take the cake (pun intended?). That's right—Spanish rice recipes aren't just limited to paella! This rice pudding is delicious, authentic, and the perfect way to end a tapas dinner. #Spain #desserts

Photo Credit: katiebordner


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