This rich and creamy baked Southern rice pudding recipe is a classic dessert in the South. Each bite includes tender raisins with pops of cinnamon and sweet vanilla.
This rich and comforting dessert and I can assure you that anyone who likes rice pudding will love this old-fashioned recipe too.
What is rice pudding?
Rice pudding is a dessert or dinner that includes rice cooked in sweetened milk. As the rice bakes and mingles with the other ingredients, the starch in it creates a rich and creamy dish with a custard-like texture. Those other ingredients, I hear you ask? Well, this particular Southern rice pudding recipe is made with cooked white rice, eggs, milk, sugar, salt, raisins, ground cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
It takes about five minutes to prep, as all you have to do is mix those ingredients together. Then we pour this into the prepared, set it on a pan of water, and let it bake for 90 minutes. Yes, it’s a long time, but all you have to do is give it a couple of stirs and you can go about your business while it cooks. Hands-off baking? Sign me up!
Why bake rice pudding?
Baking this dish only requires stirring once or twice (depending on if you are using cooked or uncooked rice), versus frequent stirring if made on the stovetop. But what I love most of all about baked rice pudding is that it develops a wonderful custard and transforms into a rich and comforting dessert. This pudding would be served at dinner for dessert and any leftovers could be re-served for breakfast. True comfort food. I’m sure Mama Reed would be proud to know we’re still loving it today.
- White rice
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- Vanilla extract
Helpful Kitchen Tools
How to Make Southern Baked Rice Pudding
First off… cook up your rice. It will be added later in the recipe.
Then crack eggs into a large bowl and beat well with a whisk.
Stir in sugar.
Add milk to the eggs and sugar.
Add vanilla and ground cinnamon to the mixing bowl next.
Add raisins, then stir in the rice.
Stir it up until it looks like this.
Pour the mixture for the southern baked rice pudding into a casserole dish or 9×13 baking pan, which has been lightly sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
Place the dish into a rimmed baking sheet or baking pan and pour an inch or so of water into the pan.
This is our water bath!
Bake at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.
After the first 30 minutes of baking, insert a spoon at the edge of the pudding and stir from the bottom to distribute rice and raisins.
Scoop and serve in fancy schmancy crystal glass wear or even better…regular cups or bowls will do!
- Store leftover rice pudding in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. You can enjoy it cold or reheat it either in the oven or the microwave. You might want to mix in a touch more milk to make it more pliable and prevent it from drying out too.
- Now, you can freeze the rice pudding in a freezer-safe container for up to three months. However, please note that once thawed, the pudding won’t have the same consistency or texture. If you do freeze it, you can reheat it as mentioned above.
Southern Rice Pudding Recipe Variations
Here are some easy changes you can make to this baked rice pudding recipe:
- Use a combination of milk and half and half, cream, or evaporated milk for an even creamier dish.
- For a lighter dish, use a combination of milk and boiling water instead.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and/or ground cardamom for extra flavor.
- Add 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest.
- Feel free to omit the raisins or swap them for other dried fruit, like cranberries, craisins, chopped dates, blueberries, chopped apricots, cherries, or golden raisins.
- Another option is swapping them for chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds.
- For vegan rice pudding, use your preferred plant-based milk alternative, like coconut milk or almond milk.
- For chocolate rice pudding, add 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.
What is a traditional rice pudding made of?
A traditional rice pudding’s two main ingredients are rice and milk. The creamy dish can be served sweet or savory. In this instance, my dessert rice pudding is sweetened with sugar and vanilla with raisins and cinnamon adding extra flavor.
What type of rice is best for rice pudding?
Rice pudding is typically made with long-grain white rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, or arborio rice.
Do I have to cook the rice for pudding?
No, you don’t have to cook the rice for the southern baked rice pudding. I do so the dish doesn’t take as long to bake. You can add in uncooked rice but it will just take longer to make; potentially another 30 minutes to an hour or so. Make sure you stir more often too.
Is rice pudding served hot or cold?
You can actually serve rice pudding hot or cold.
How to make Paula Deen’s rice pudding?
Paula Deen’s rice pudding is a very similar recipe. However, she uses a combination of milk and half and half, and she adds a pinch of ground nutmeg.
What to serve with rice pudding?
Baked rice pudding can be served for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. It’s a perfect main dish as is. But if you like, you can enjoy it with a little something extra. This might be a drizzle of honey or maple syrup, a dollop of whipped cream, or a side of your favorite fresh berries.
How long does homemade rice pudding last?
Homemade rice pudding will last in the fridge for up to four days.
Can you reheat a rice pudding?
Yes, you can reheat rice pudding, either in the microwave or oven.
You might also enjoy these recipes:
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Cook up your rice.2 cups cooked rice
- Beat eggs in a large bowl with a whisk before stirring in the sugar.4 eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar
- Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.3 cups whole milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 cup raisins
- Spray an ovenproof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour the rice mixture into the prepared dish.
- Set the dish in a water bath: a baking pan or baking sheet filled with hot water. Then bake it at 300 degrees for 90 minutes.
- After 30 minutes of cooking time, insert a spoon at the edge of the pudding and stir from the bottom to distribute the rice and raisins.