Brown Sugar and Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding

January 29, 2012


One of the foods we enjoyed most on our honeymoon was rice pudding. We ate buckets full in Istanbul. It’s one of those desserts that sort of gets forgotten about or skipped over on for more exotic temptations on the menu. Compared with some of the fancier desserts with fussy ingredients, rice pudding can seem a little plane. I assure you it is anything but.


Rice pudding is heart and soul in a bowl. It’s creamy, warm, and sweet. It’s something you’d feed your kids or your dinner guests because it’s unpretentious, yet unexpected. You could eat it out of a plastic bowl, lounging on the couch after a Tuesday night supper. Or you could serve it in crystal at a dinner party. The simplicity of rice pudding is always impressive and there’s no mystery, making it one of the most straight forward foods I’ve ever eaten.  And almost all the ingredients are sitting in your kitchen right now. How about that?

For me this recipe was a great start, but I may tweak it as I go along to get it just like I remember eating in Istanbul.

Ingredients: (makes 4 to 6 servings)

3/4 cup uncooked white rice

2 cups milk (divided)

1/3 cup brown sugar

pinch salt

1 egg (beaten)

1 Tablespoon butter

1 vanilla bean (split open the bean and scrape out the insides)

handful of raisins for garnish

Directions: First, boil the rice in 1 1/2 cups of water, until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.


Add 1 1/2 cups milk to the rice.


Add in the sugar and salt and cook over medium heat until thick and creamy (15 to 20 min).


Stir in remaining milk, egg, butter, and vanilla bean.


Garnish with a few raisins.


Fall in love with rice pudding.


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  2. Homemade Chocolate Pudding with Pistachios and Sour Cherries (and Real Whipped Cream)
  3. Sweet Rice
  4. World’s BEST Banana Pudding
  5. Christmas Sticky Toffee Pudding


monica November 12, 2012 at 10:00 am

I’ve been looking for a recipe that tastes exactly like the one our mom used to make when we were kids and this is it! So glad I found it. Mom’s been in hospice for a few weeks now and last time I saw her she was really wanting rice (she loves rice). She is going to be so happy when I show up with this today.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods November 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Oh, that’s wonderful! That really makes my day. I hope your mom likes it!

Lauren February 2, 2012 at 7:27 pm

I am definitely going to try this recipe; I am always craving desserts and rarely have anything on hand…. but these are such simple ingredients! I’ll let you know how mine turns out.

Beth Harling Rudy February 2, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Hi Jennifer, Just a note to say Hello and give my nephew a big hug. Hope all is going well with both of you. We enjoyed the wedding so much and praying for all good things to come your way. Geoff has really enjoyed your blog. He loves checking in on you and all the great foods you share. We has mastered the Tofu cooking style that I like. Crispy on the outside and soft in the center. We ate some tempe bacon. I didn’t like it. Too salty. Keep up the good work with the blog. As for the boys, Clarke is finishing up his Eagle project and applying for colleges and Ben got his driving permit last week. As for me I am a year older this week and loving life !! Take care , Love Beth

brandi January 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

this looks perfect! i love rice pudding – especially with a ton of vanilla.

dana @ my little celebration January 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Just found your blog. I think I’m I love. Wanna be food blogger minimalist besties?!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods January 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Dana, yeah! Sounds fun!

Lauren at Keep It Sweet January 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Rice pudding is actually the only form of rice that I like. I would love your version!

Emily (Edible Psychology) January 30, 2012 at 12:22 pm

What a great idea! I haven’t had rice pudding in years, but this looks outstanding! I know what I’m making for dessert very soon… :-)


Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf January 30, 2012 at 8:23 am

I completely agree with you: it is heart and soul in a bowl!! It’s so warm and creamy and it’s like ultimate comfort food. Or in the same class as it :) This sounds like a great, classic combination but a new twist with it being rice pudding. I’ve only ever made kheer (Indian rice pudding) but I might need to try this. REB is crazy about rice pudding!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods January 30, 2012 at 8:31 am

Oooh, I would love to try kheer. Can I find the recipe on your blog?

Aparna B. @ Not A Leaf January 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Yup! There’s a recipe on there :) Enjoy!

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