Creamy Maple Rice Pudding made with Arborio Rice

Two glass jars of rice pudding topped with orange and nuts

Thank you Safest Choice Eggs for sponsoring this post.

For me, a good, creamy maple rice pudding is love in a bowl. It’s comfort writ large, perhaps because it was among a small rotation of puddings that my mom made for dessert when we were kids. Warm bowls of tapioca, bread pudding, and vanilla custard were regulars at our table. Rice was always my favorite.

Strangely, it was never a part of the repertoire in my own home, comforting and wholesome as it is.

A Creamy, Maple-Sweetened Dessert or Snack

That is until now. This Creamy Maple number has me hooked. It’s appealing as a dessert, of course, but also terrific for a snack. That’s because it has the nourishment and heft to sustain kids (and grown ups) from the afternoon until suppertime

Two glass jars of rice pudding topped with orange and nuts

Arborio Rice Makes the Best Rice Pudding

You can pretty much make pudding using every variety of rice under the sun. I imagine my mom used standard short grain rice. And I make a very satisfying breakfast rice pudding using brown basmati (that recipe is in my book Rise & Shine). That said, I’ve had the best results for a truly creamy pudding using arborio rice. It’s the starchy variety used for Italian risotto, a dish that at its best is luscious and creamy, too.

A Wholesome Treat

Sure it’s a treat, thanks to the maple syrup, but not an empty one. A generous amount of milk lends a meaningful dose of calcium and protein. You can cut back the amount of maple syrup if you prefer it a little less sweet. And each serving comes in at about 200 calories.

The Option to Add Eggs to Rice Pudding

The recipe includes instructions in the head note if you want to add an egg or two. Since the pudding doesn’t go back on the stove once the eggs are added, I recommend pasteurized eggs, such as Safest Choice.

Either warm from the pot or cooled in the fridge, served straight up, or topped with fruit, Creamy Maple Rice Pudding is just the sort of sweet to share as you sit around the table after school and catch up on the day. Or pack it into to-go containers and eat en route to whatever activity the afternoon brings.

But before you do any of that, when the pudding is just cooked and still warm on the stove, go ahead and spoon it straight from pot to mouth when nobody’s looking.

I’m sure my mother would approve.

Two glass jars of rice pudding topped with orange and nuts

If you like Creamy Maple Rice Pudding, check out:

Creamy Cashew Chocolate Pudding

Salted Butterscotch Mousse Cups

Lighter Chocolate Pot de Creme

Light Lemon Mousse

This recipe for Warm Coconut Rice Pudding  on Cooking Light. 

Creamy Maple Rice Pudding

Enjoy this pudding either warm or cold. Pack it up in sealed to-go containers for after school snacks or in a lunch box. For a more filling and protein-rich pudding, whisk about 1/3 cup of the cooked pudding into one to two beaten pasteurized eggs, such as Safest Choice. Add another 1/3 cup of the pudding into the rice. Then, pour the egg/rice mixture back into the pot with the remaining pudding. Stir well.

Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Worldwide
Keyword easy rice pudding, healthy rice pudding, maple rice pudding
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 197 kcal
Author Katie Morford


  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cups low-fat milk (or oat milk if using plant milk)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Chopped pistachios (or other favorite nuts) and fresh fruit, such as orange, berries, or banana


  1. Put the rice in a fine-mesh colander and rinse under cold water for 10 seconds. Drain.

  2. Transfer the rice to a medium saucepan and add the milk, water, maple syrup, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well. Set the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, drop the heat until the it simmers. Cover with a lid and simmer until the rice is very tender and the consistency is just a touch thinner than a typical pudding (it will thicken as it cools), about 50 minutes. Remove the lid and stir in the lemon zest. Let it cool for a few minutes before serving.

  3. Serve warm or chilled and top with chopped pistachios and favorite fruits. If the pudding thickens beyond your liking, simply stir in a little more milk.


09.15.2014 at8:11 AM #

Julie @ Florence & Isabelle

Yum!! What a great idea!!

09.15.2014 at8:11 AM #

Katie Morford

Thanks Julie. Loved your honey post, by the way!

09.16.2014 at9:15 AM #

erin {yummy supper}

Katie, I love rice pudding, but I never make it for my kids either. I think this needs to change!
You’re so right… it would be amazing as a late afternoon pick-me-up. Just what I need this time of year with school back in action. I’m one hungry tired mama with hungry tired kiddos around 4pm.

09.16.2014 at9:15 AM #

Katie Morford

Ditto on the tired front. I want to try your black rice pudding, too!

09.25.2014 at4:14 AM #

Kate @ ¡Hola! Jalapeño

My mom used to make us rice pudding for breakfast (she would call it rice cereal) it was my absolute favorite. I can see this lemon-maple variation working perfectly on the breakfast table.

09.25.2014 at4:14 AM #

Katie Morford

Rice pudding for breakfast sounds heavenly.

04.01.2024 at6:45 AM #

Amy Top

Hi! I’m curious about the note regarding adding egg to the pudding. Do you add it before or after you cook the pudding! I love that your recipe only uses maple as a sweetener 🙂

04.01.2024 at6:45 AM #

Katie Morford

You add it after it’s cooked. The heat of the pudding should effectively cook the egg, even though it’s off the heat. To be safe I recommend using pasteurized eggs, particularly for young children or anyone who is immune compromised. The egg enriches the pudding, but it is wonderful even without the egg.

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