Portuguese Rice Pudding | Arroz Doce #SundaySupper

Arroz Doce Portuguese Rice PuddingI love to entertain and enjoy the company of family and friends.  But I have to admit, many times budget is one of the things that can hold me back from entertaining a large crowd.  Sometimes it’s really nice to have  a budget friendly recipe that goes a long way but also looks  and tastes delicious.  I love Portuguese Recipes for that reason, most are very easy on the budget.

My mom always made Arroz Doce, Portuguese Rice Pudding, when we had any reason to gather family and friends around the family table.  If Vo-Vo was entertaining, you knew there was going to be a big bowl or tray of Arroz Doce, Portuguese Rice Pudding at the end of the meal.

Every time I make this dessert, I am asked the million dollar question –  how do you decorate those pretty circles?  Most people think it’s some fancy schmancy device or a stencil… right?  Well, believe it or not, all it requires is a plastic top to any bottle you have in your pantry.  You dip the top lightly in water, dip it into a plate of cinnamon and then place it on top of the Portuguese Rice Pudding.  Repeat the process to create the design of your choice. This is so fun to do with the kids!

Arroz Doce Portuguese Rice Pudding

When Lane from Supper for a Steal and Pam from Blueberries and Blessings suggested this week’s #SundaySupper theme, I was thrilled and couldn’t wait to share this special recipe with all of you.

Portuguese Rice Pudding | Arroz Doce
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 lemon peel strips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups long grain white rice
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 1¼ cups sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • Cinnamon to decorate the top of the rice pudding
  1. In a large saucepan, bring water, lemon peel, butter and salt to a boil.
  2. Add the rice and reduce heat to a simmer.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes or until almost all the water has been absorbed.
  4. Add the hot milk.
  5. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and stir until absorbed.
  7. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks and add a few tablespoons of the rice mixture to temper the eggs.
  8. Add the egg mixture quickly into the saucepan.
  9. Let the rice continue to simmer for about 10 minutes until thick.
  10. Remove lemon peel and transfer to one large serving dish or small bowls
  11. Decorate with cinnamon.

Kid Ratings: It’s a Perfect 10 Across the board… we can’t imagine a get together without it. 

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Coming to Orlando July 19-21, the first annual Food and Wine Conference sponsored by #SundaySupper. Visit the website to learn more and join in on the fun.


  1. says

    Okay now, that is just the coolest way to decorate pudding. Thank you so much for sharing that tip and for the wonderful recipe. It’s been years since I had rice pudding (my dad loved it) and it brought back some great memories.

  2. says

    Okay…no lie…whenever my husband can’t find anything to eat, he makes rice pudding (Mexican version, but still)! This sounds so good, and yes, those pretty cinnamon circles are so beautiful. I’m going to have to surprise the hubs with your Portuguese version as it is making my tummy rumble! And I’m SO making those designs every time I serve arroz con leche up to others now 😉

  3. says

    I learned to love rice pudding from my Hispanic inlaws…my MIL adds raisins to hers, but this is really similar to what she makes. It’s so comforting…I prefer it warm, but they eat what’s left cold from the fridge.

  4. says

    How did you know that this is my question? Yes, how do you put those pretty circles on the rice pudding :) Thank you so much for sharing the secret.

    I love this recipe and think it is easily adaptable for our dietary needs. It soon will make an appearance on our table in Portland :)

    Thank you so much, Isabel!

  5. says

    I love the decorative circles, Isabel, and never would have guessed they were just cinnamon! I didn’t grow up with rice pudding but it’s a common dessert in Brazil and Asia so my girls do enjoy it. I need to make yours for them the next time we are together! Lovely!

  6. Diana @GourmetDrizzles says

    I LOVE this recipe… and wow did it bring back memories. My Grandmother made rice pudding at almost every special occasion in our home too (a Swedish version 😉 But, yours looks and sounds so beautiful… the lemon peel, and the cinnamon on top- wow. Thanks for sharing your family memories with us! Can’t wait to try this 😉

  7. says

    Rice pudding – a comfort food in America and Portugal! So grateful to learn the fun food facts about other countries and cultures.

    Appreciate, too, the tip about creating cinnamon circles…I’m tempted to try it on cake as well as your lovely rice pudding.

    Last and not least, thank you Isabel for the rice pudding recipe and #SundaySupper!

  8. says

    Missed the Sunday Supper crew this week! Everything looks amazing! Rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts/breakfasts. :) I like to eat it warm drizzled with honey or maple syrup (I’m kinda weird like that).

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