Olive Magazine
A small iron dish filled with rice pudding with a golden, brittle top, with a silver spoon inside

Spanish rice pudding

Published: July 26, 2022 at 12:30 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • + chilling
  • Easy
  • Serves 6 - 8

A cross between crema catalana and a rice pudding, this comforting Spanish dessert has a satisfyingly crunchy caramelised topping. It would go down a storm at a dinner party or family meal

  • Gluten free
Nutrition: Per serving

Try this caramelised Spanish rice pudding from Andalusian chef Dani Garcia. Dani says, "Rice pudding is one of the most famous desserts in Andalusia and Spain in general. I like to use vanilla pods as a flavouring, classically cinnamon and lemon zest are used. It is slow-cooked to a creamy texture."

This is a recipe that Dani shared as part of his guide to Andalusian cuisine. Check it out to learn about gazpacho, fried aubergine with sugarcane syrup and caramelised torrija.

Andalusian-born chef Dani García’s nurtured his passion for food at the Málaga school of hospitality, La Consula, before he started his career with Martín Berasategui in 1996. He received his first Michelin star for Tragabuches in Málaga at just 25 years old, followed by two Michelin stars for Calima in Marbella. In 2013, he opened BiBo Andalusian Brasserie & Tapas in Marbella, and since then has opened restaurants in Doha, Ibiza and, in August 2021, at the Mondrian Shoreditch. Dani wanted to create a casual tapas and brasserie concept to democratise fine dining.

Dani's recipe tip: "This is one of my favourite Spanish desserts, made with milk, cream, vanilla and rice. It looks easy to cook but it has some hidden techniques."

Learn about Spanish coffee culture with our expert barista Celeste Wong's guide, including traditional rituals, how to order it and the perfect recipe for at-home brewing.

Spanish rice pudding recipe


  • 1 litre whole milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped
  • 250g pudding rice
  • 130g caster sugar, plus extra to top
  • 450g unsalted butter, cold, cubed


  • STEP 1

    Pour the milk, cream and vanilla seeds (keep the pods for another recipe) into a pan and put over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly.

  • STEP 2

    Put the rice in a separate pan and pour over a third of the milk mixture. Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until completely absorbed. Repeat the process two more times until the rice is cooked and is a little creamy – pudding rice takes a long time to cook, so this will take over an hour.

  • STEP 3

    Add the sugar and butter, and cook for another 5-10 mins.

  • STEP 4

    Divide between large sharing ramekins, or individual-sized ones, and chill until completely cold.

  • STEP 5

    Cover each of the surfaces with a thin layer of extra sugar and use a blowtorch or grill to caramelise the tops.

Discover more of our best Spanish dessert recipes

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