Savoriesnsweets’ Blog

Kitchen Experiment: Puerto Rican Arroz con Dulce

Posted on: December 30, 2009

This time of year, it’s very traditional for many Puerto Ricans to make a rich dessert called arroz con dulce. Basically, this is a kind of rice pudding, only with a lot more flavor.  Literally translated, arroz con dulce means rice with sweetness, but that’s only one factor in the layers of flavor involved in this dessert.  I remember my mom and my grandmother making this every year over Christmas eve and New Year’s eve.  For many years, this dessert has always had a place in the family festivities.  I hope to continue the tradition of making it and I tried to make it myself last night!  I encountered a few problems, however.  I forgot to soak the rice.  I didn’t know you had to cook the rice separately.  I also didn’t keep stirring, so the rice ended up all brown and crusted on the bottom of the pot.  This was very disappointing so my mom decided to make it so that I can know for sure how to get it right.  Here’s my family’s basic recipe for arroz con dulce.

Kitchen Experiment: Puerto Rican Arroz con Dulce

Yield:  12-16 6 ounce ramekins, or 1 large pan.  (This is usually served very informally!)


  • 1 cup short grain rice (we use arroz sello rojo which is a very short grain, almost pearl grain rice)
  • 1 (13. 5 ounce)can coconut milk
  • 1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
  • 1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark raisins, soaked in dark rum for at least 1 hour
  • ground cinnamon, for sprinkling on top
  1. In a medium sized bowl, add rice and enough water to soak.  Leave soaking at least 1 hour.  In a large pot, add short grain rice and enough water to cover.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, cooking until tender and most water has evaporated.
  2. Stir in coconut milk, condensed milk and evaporated milk.
  3. Add cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, cloves, salt and sugar.
  4. Continue stirring until mixture has become rich and thick.
  5. Stir in raisins and any leftover rum.
  6. Continue stirring until completely thickened.
  7. Ladle into ramekins or pour into a large pan to cool.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.  Store in the refrigerator.

Note: Should this get very thick, beat 1 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks and fold into arroz con dulce to make a softer, richer mixture.

For me, nothing says holidays more than this dessert since it reminds me of days spent with my mom, grandma and family during Noche Buena and New year’s eve.  And of course, since there’s so much we’re still enjoying some of this dessert for Dia de los Reyes/Three Kings Day!

Arroz con Dulce


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