Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

We’ve been graced with a mild fall this year; most days are sunny and balmy, the brilliance of the orange trees enhanced by the watercolour blue skies.

The warm weather has  been a bit of a mixed blessing, making it all too easy to ignore the approaching winter. So last week when the first frost struck, it left us quaking in our boots, literally.

A bowl of comfort food was in order and rice pudding was the obvious choice.

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding on www.simplebites.net #snack #dessert

I haven’t stopped thinking about rice pudding since I bought a copy of Faith Durand’s cookbook Bakeless Sweets. There is a whole section just on rice, tapioca and whole-grain puddings which has been so inspired. Salted Caramel Risotto anyone?

I was looking for something simple, and not too rich. Ideally an afternoon snack that would nourish as well as comfort. I took the basis of Faith’s splendid Gingered Brown Rice Pudding and added my own spices: cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric. I always prefer fresh ground spices over the often-stale pre-ground options, and they really shine in this recipe.

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding on www.simplebites.net #snack #dessert

Turmeric is a root that I’ve been trying to incorporate more often into my foods – both savoury and sweet – as it has so many health benefits. Once you start using it, you’ll find it is quite versatile, too, so keep it around for more than just curries. Try grating it into root vegetables soup or simmer it into a spiced chai for starters.

The turmeric gives this spiced brown rice pudding a gentle golden colour, perfectly suitable for fall – but without the pumpkin that we see so prevalent this time of the year. You can add a spoon or two of pumpkin purée if you choose, but the rice pudding is delicately flavoured and lovely on its own.

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding on www.simplebites.net #snack #dessert

An egg yolk is added during the last five minutes of cooking time, which helps give the rice pudding a rich, creamy texture. It’s honey-sweetened, gently spiced, and the ideal comfort food for a damp, grey fall day.

My boys scooped up a bowlful each after school – and I let them sprinkle little cinnamon sugar on top. It would be delicious with a dash of homemade pumpkin pie spice also.

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding on www.simplebites.net #snack #dessert

I prefer brown rice for my pudding, it’s much more substantial and lends a great nuttiness to the snack. Use short grain when you can, although this version is made with what I had on hand – long-grain – and turned out just fine.

Spiced Brown Rice Pudding

This dessert also falls in the Snack category as it is made with wholesome brown rice and very little sweetener. Fall comfort food at its finest. Adapted from Faith Durand's cookbook Bakeless Sweets.
4.67 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts, Snacks
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 185kcal
Author: Aimee


  • 3 cups partially-skimmed milk
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • 3 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla


  • In a medium pot, combine 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup water, brown rice, salt and cinnamon stick. Bring to a rapid boil, then cover, and reduce heat to low.
  • Cook rice for about 40 minutes or until it is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Meanwhile, crush the cardamom and cloves in a mortar and pestle.
  • Stir in the remaining 2 1/2 cups milk, the crushed spices, turmeric and honey. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook, stirring often, for twenty minutes or until the pudding is thick and soupy.
  • Whisk egg yolk and vanilla together in a small bowl and add a little of the cooking liquid from the pudding to temper the mixture. Add about a cup of rice pudding to the egg, stir well, then transfer the mixture back to the pot.
  • Cook the rice pudding for another five minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and taste for seasoning. Add more sweetener or a pinch of salt if desired.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and serve warm.


I made do with long-grain brown rice for this recipe, but short-grain would make it a little stickier. Pre-ground cardamom and cloves (1/2 teaspoon of each) may be used instead of the whole spices.


Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 265mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 1mg


Does rice pudding fall into your comfort food category?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Aimee — we have an egg and dairy allergy at our house. Do you think we could improvise with coconut milk or rice milk, and use cornstarch or another thickener at the end?

    I can’t wait to try it!

  2. All the spices in this are fabulous! Awesome idea!

  3. Love, warm, spiced foods! This sounds absolutely delicious and comforting, Aimee!

  4. I’m a baked rice pudding gal myself. But I am definitely intrigued by the addition of turmeric. This spice splend since it sounds so warm and comforting!

  5. The weather is supposed to dip low this week here as well and this looks like a great antidote for the cold.
    Love that you used brown rice in the pudding. Also, where do you get your whole spices from? I’ve gotten some from an Asian store back in Alberta but I don’t even know where to start looking for them here.

  6. Thanks for the link love, Aimee 🙂

    I love the use of turmeric in this recipe — spiced perfectly for autumn!

  7. Love the spices and a good warm pudding anytime.

  8. I find rice pudding to be so soothing to make it has become my go-to comfort cooking over the last few years. There’s just something very relaxing about standing over the stove stirring it for 20 minutes or so. I love the combination of spices you used-I can’t wait to try this!

  9. I have never made rice pudding, but I think I would LOVE it! This look so creamy and cozy. Plus, I love the fall spices!

  10. I’m not a huge fan of rice pudding ever since my Danish sister-in-law introduced me to the evil Christmas rice pudding game (hiding a whole almond amongst haphazardly chopped almonds in a monstrously giant vat of rice pudding, which everyone has to eat down until the whole nut is located and the winner declared).
    However, if I were only give a simple bowl of this, not a vat, I’d love it as it looks wonderful. Thanks!

  11. This fall has been so long and mild – love it. I’ve never had brown rice pudding and certainly never added turmeric. Will definitely be making this for my family as it sounds so satisfying and rich but wholesome.

  12. Rice pudding is my all time favorite dessert. Funny that I’ve never tried it with brown rice . . . going to remedy that today. Looks perfect!

  13. 5 stars
    In a word: Delicious!! I actually had left over brown rice that I made in a rice maker to go with curry. I skipped the first couple steps and just put the cooked rice with the spices and liquid. I used skim milk with a little bit of Pumpkin Spice Creamer. I didn’t have to use any other sweetener, and it was so creamy! It took longer than 20 minutes, but that’s fine by me. Definitely a keeper!

  14. This looks delightful, thanks for the recipe 🙂 I’ll be using it soon!

  15. Not normally a fan of the store-bought rice/tapioca puddings, so I’m going to give this one a try. Maybe my boyfriend would relax his aversion to the texture of rice pudding and give me an insight to what he truly does and doesn’t like, as well.

  16. Jacquie Lester says

    Rice pudding is definitely our comfort dessert, all my boys have asked for it at birthday meals or now that they have left home have asked for my recipe.. I love the sound of this recipe with the added spices – will definitely try. Thanks for posting

  17. 4 stars
    I had a few thoughts after making this. As a person who likes Indian rice pudding, the flavor works for me…. but… I didn’t like the egg yolk…. I could taste it….. the rest of my family, 2 two teens and my wife, were not so fond… okay, they didn’t like it. Here’s what I’m happy about. I’ll use this without the spices, and substitute apply pie spices to make a more agreeable taste for the rest of my family. The texture using short grain brown rice is great and the timing works out…. It’s a saver for me. I did add raisins when I put the milk in after the first 40 minutes of cooking and they were great

  18. 5 stars
    This is amazing rice pudding! My husband was skeptical while I was making it because it looked too complex and healthy, but one bite and he was a convert! Thanks so much for this lovely, imaginative recipe!

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