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How to Thicken Rice Pudding

Updated February 21, 2019

Rice pudding is a classic dessert made of milk, rice, vanilla, brown sugar and spices that is served in homes, diners and restaurants all over the United States and world. Though different regions often used different recipes and slightly different ingredients, consistency is often similar -- thick, but not gelatinous or custard-like. While its fairly easy to thicken rice pudding to your desired texture, make sure you don't over-thicken the pudding, as it can be hard to thin the mixture and have all the flavours blend properly with the addition of new ingredients.

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  1. Put the rice pudding in a saucepan large enough to hold the entire portion plus at least 2 cups of liquid.

  2. Break two eggs per cup of rice pudding into a small mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs gently for one minute.

  3. Heat the rice pudding over low heat until it begins to simmer gently, about 15 minutes.

  4. Add the eggs to the rice pudding and whisk for two to three minutes.

  5. Allow the rice pudding to continue cooking over low heat for five to 10 minutes, whisking constantly.

  6. Transfer the rice pudding to individual serving bowls or a large bowl and serve.

  7. Combine 1/8 cup cornstarch with 1/8 cup water per cup of rice pudding in a measuring cup and whisk or stir with a tablespoon. The mixture should be thick and the cornstarch should be fully dissolved.

  8. Put the rice pudding in a saucepan large enough to hold the entire quantity over low heat on the stove for 15 minutes or until simmering.

  9. Add 1 tbsp of the cornstarch mixture to the rice pudding and whisk for approximately two minutes.

  10. Continue working in the cornstarch in 1-tbsp increments until the rice pudding has reached your desired thickness.

  11. Remove the rice pudding from heat and serve.

  12. Tip

    Using a saucepan larger than necessary is essential to thickening rice pudding. This will ensure that you have enough room to vigorously whisk the eggs into the rice pudding mixture while preventing spills. Add additional sugar or other spices to your rice pudding along with your chosen thickener. If you use cornstarch, add the spices with the initial tablespoon of the thickening mixture.


    Don't add all of the cornstarch mixture at one time. If you do, you may end with rice pudding that is far too thick. Work 1 tbsp at a time to make sure you reach the desired consistency without making rice pudding with a heavy, custard-like consistency.

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Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan with lid
  • Eggs
  • Whisk
  • Cornstarch
  • Measuring cup
  • Tablespoon (optional)

About the Author

Christopher Godwin

Christopher Godwin is a freelance writer from Los Angeles. He spent his formative years as a chef and bartender crafting signature dishes and cocktails as the head of an upscale catering firm. He has since ventured into sharing original creations and expertise with the public. Godwin has published poetry, fiction and nonfiction in publications like "Spork Magazine," "Cold Mountain Review" and "From Abalone To Zest."

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