Rice pudding is one of the first desserts I have ever made, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

My grandmother made it for me when I was young; it has been a love affair ever since.

rice pudding with dates

She made it simple with milk, sugar, and rice. While growing up in Paris, my dad made it, too, and from that point forward, I have played with the flavors to make it mine.

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Comfort food. You will understand why when you taste a spoonful of this delicious dessert from the pan. It goes down so quickly.

However, you can also serve it chilled, and it is a fun pick-me-up snack between school, activities, and homework.

Rice pudding is a versatile dish that you can serve hot or at room temperature and often can be enjoyed with nuts and dried fruits.

In this Article

The Best Rice for Rice Pudding

This recipe calls for short-grain white rice, Arborio. Shorter grains are higher in starch content, and the starch helps thicken the pudding and makes it creamier.

If no arborio on hand, you may be able to substitute with:

  • Short-grain white rice
  • Sticky rice
  • Sushi rice

Ingredients needed to make this recipe for rice pudding

Whole milk – A Must!! Do not replace it, as the richness of the milk creates the sickness of your rice pudding.

Heavy cream – This fantastic, rich, creamy sauce is created with the milk.

Arborio Rice – short-grain and higher in starch and is perfect as the starch will act as the thickening agent.

Vanilla bean – Add that extra layer of flavor, and when cooked with the milk, the milk takes in that wonderful aroma that we all love.

Eggs – bring them to room temperature. Amazing and

Corn starch – binding agent. It is flavorless and perfect when making desserts or when you need to solidify a sauce.

Salt – just a touch to balance the milk.

Granulated sugar – you need some sweetness

Dates – pitted and chopped add sweetness to your pudding

Equipment Needed

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3 quarts saucepan

Wooden spoon for stirring the rice

Small mixing bowl

Small ladle

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Le Creuset Tri-Ply Stainless Steel 3 Quart Saucepan , Medium
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04/04/2024 10:39 pm GMT
rice pudding with dates on a serving glass dish

How to make rice pudding from scratch

As with all my recipes, please gather all the ingredients before starting your recipe. And when you are cooking with milk, which love to sneak up on you and boil over, I am even more cautious. I am not fond of the sticky mess.

Ensure that the saucepan is large, thus suggesting a 3-quart, as the milk will expand the rice and it needs room.

  • Add the milk, heavy cream, and vanilla pod with all the internal grains in a heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Gently bring it to a slight, gentle boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • Once you are closer to the end of cooking, the rice is soft and tender, remove the vanilla pod and scrape the pod to remove the last bits of vanilla black grains. Place those grains back into the milk rice.
  • Whisk the eggs, cornstarch, salt, and sugar in a small bowl until smooth.
  • Slowly add a small 1/4 cup of the milk with the rice into the egg mixture. Gently mix until it is all well homogenous.
  • Incorporate the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rice and milk, and continuously stir or whisk to properly integrate the egg mixture into the rice.
  • Continue simmering and stirring until your pudding is slightly thickened.
  • Add half of a cup of chopped dates to the mixture.
  • Let the mixture cool off slightly before serving it into small individual bowls.
  • Add chopped dates over and serve.

Storing and reheating

If you are fortunate enough to have some leftover, you can store it in an airtight glass container for a couple of days.

This rice pudding recipe is fantastic; you can enjoy it warm or chilled.

rice pudding in a pink glass container

Rice Pudding With Dates

5 from 1 vote
rice pudding with dates
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Comfort food. You will understand why when you taste a spoonful of this delicious dessert from the pan. 


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • cup arborio rice
  • ½ vanilla bean, split and grains removed
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup dates, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dates, chopped for topping


  • In a large 3-quart saucepan, heat the milk and heavy whipping cream, vanilla bean pod and all the internal grain, over medium heat and bring to a small boil. Stir in the rice, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. 
  • Stir occasionally and leave uncovered. Pick up the bean pod, scrape it over the milk with the back of a knife to remove the last vanilla grains and natural oils from the bean. Discard after all the natural juices are added to the milk.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, cornstarch, salt, and sugar until smooth. Add a ¼ cup of the hot rice milk to the egg mixture bowl slowly stirring. Whisk the rice mixture while you slowly pour in the tempered egg mixture, and then simmer, stirring constantly, until the pudding is slightly thickened. Add ½ cup chopped dates.
  • Serve the pudding warm in small individual bowls topped the chopped dates or serve chilled. To chill it, place waxed paper or plastic wrap directly against the surface of the warm pudding to prevent the formation of the top skin. 


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 158mg | Potassium: 267mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 1110IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 155mg | Iron: 0.8mg

Giangi’s Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.

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