If you’re a fan of sweet treats, then you’ve probably heard of Cubano arroz con leche, a creamy and delicious rice pudding that’s popular in many Latin American countries. Have you tried the Cubano version of this classic dessert? With its unique blend of spices and a secret ingredient that adds a delightful twist, Cubano arroz con leche is a must-try for anyone with a sweet tooth. Rice … yes, please! But, I snuck a secret ingredient that makes this recipe even extra special irresistible.
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- 1 Why I Love This Cubano Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
- 2 Kitchen Equipment Needed
- 3 Valentine's Heart-Shaped Butter Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
- 4 Drumroll Please … The Secret Ingredient That Makes It Irresistible
- 5 Variation
- 6 Serving and Garnishing Suggestions
- 7 FAQs
- 8 Photos
- 9 Cubano Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
- 10 The Final: Cubano Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Why I Love This Cubano Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Arroz con leche, which translates to “rice with milk,” is a dessert that has been enjoyed in Latin America for centuries. The basic ingredients of arroz con leche include rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon.
However, the Cubano version of this dessert includes a few additional spices and, of course, the secret ingredient that makes it so irresistible. But what is this secret ingredient that makes it so irresistible? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out. 🙂
You’ll use your slow cooker (and a rice cooker) for this recipe.
Kitchen Equipment Needed
- Rice cooker
- Slow cooker
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Spoon or spatula
- Colander or fine mesh strainer
For the Dough
- 2 and 1/3 cups flour
- 7/8 cup (or 14 tablespoons) butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- lemon zest
- a pinch of salt
For the Chocolate Glaze
- 3 and 1/2 ounces chocolate
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- On a clean countertop, pour out the flour and mix in a pinch of salt.
- Add in the butter, sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt. Knead everything together until the dough forms. Shape it into a ball, wrap it in foil, and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour.
- When the dough's chill time is nearly up, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (that's about 180 degrees Celsius).
- Roll out the dough and cut it into your favorite shapes. Place these shapes on a baking sheet and bake them for 20 minutes, or until they're just golden and crisp.
- While the cookies bake, melt the chocolate and stir in the vegetable oil to create your glaze.
- Once the cookies are done and cooled a bit, brush them with the chocolate glaze.
Keep an eye on the cookies while they bake to ensure they don't over-brown. The chocolate glaze adds a delightful twist, but feel free to experiment with other toppings like sprinkles or nuts for extra fun.
Nutrition InformationYield 24 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 44Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 7mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 0gSugar 5gProtein 1g
Nutrition automatically generated.
Drumroll Please … The Secret Ingredient That Makes It Irresistible
So, what is the secret ingredient that makes Cubano arroz con leche so irresistible? The answer is… coconut milk! Yes, that’s right. The addition of coconut milk gives this dessert a unique and delicious flavor that sets it apart from other versions of arroz con leche.
Coconut milk is a common ingredient in many Latin American desserts, especially those from the Caribbean. It adds a creamy texture and a slightly sweet, nutty flavor that complements the other spices in the dish. The coconut milk also helps to balance out the sweetness of the condensed milk and sugar, creating a more complex and satisfying dessert.
The use of coconut milk in Cubano arroz con leche is not only delicious but also a nod to the cultural diversity of Cuba. The island nation has a long history of blending different cultures and cuisines, and the use of coconut milk in this dessert is just one example of how they have incorporated different flavors and ingredients into their cuisine.
While the traditional version of Cubano arroz con leche is already delicious on its own, there are many variations that you can try to mix things up. Here are a few ideas:
Chocolate: Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to the recipe for a chocolatey twist.
Fruit: Add chopped fruit, such as bananas or strawberries, to the dish before serving.
Almonds: Top the dish with sliced almonds for some added crunch.
Rum: Add a splash of rum to the recipe for a boozy twist.
Walnuts: Chop some of these babies and sprinkle generously.
Serving and Garnishing Suggestions
Cubano arroz con leche is typically served cold and garnished with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon. You can also top it with whipped cream or fresh fruit for some added texture and flavor.
If you want to get really fancy, you can serve your Cubano arroz con leche in a glass jar or a mason jar for a rustic, homemade look. You can also add a cinnamon stick or a sprig of mint to the jar for a pop of color and a touch of elegance.
- What is Cubano Arroz con Leche? Cubano Arroz con Leche, or Cuban Rice Pudding, is a creamy dessert made by cooking rice with milk, sweetened condensed milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. It’s a comforting, traditional Cuban dish enjoyed as a sweet treat.
- How do I store leftovers? Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Ensure it’s cooled to room temperature before storing to maintain the best texture and flavor.
- Can I freeze Arroz con Leche? Yes, you can freeze Arroz con Leche for up to 3 months. Place it in a freezer-safe container. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating gently, adding a little milk to adjust consistency if necessary.
- What are some pairing suggestions? Arroz con Leche pairs beautifully with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a dollop of whipped cream on top. For a refreshing contrast, serve it with fresh berries or a citrusy dessert like lemon bars.
- Are there any substitutions for a dairy-free diet? For a dairy-free version, substitute the milk and sweetened condensed milk with coconut milk and dairy-free condensed milk. These substitutions will add a delicious, tropical twist to the pudding.
- How can I make this gluten-free? Arroz con Leche is naturally gluten-free, making it a perfect dessert option for those with gluten sensitivities. Ensure all ingredients are certified gluten-free if cross-contamination is a concern.
- What if I don’t have a slow cooker? If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook Arroz con Leche on the stovetop. Combine the ingredients in a pot and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently until the rice is tender and the mixture has thickened.
- Can I use a different type of rice? While short-grain rice is traditional for its creamy texture, you can use long-grain rice in a pinch. The texture may be slightly different but still delicious.
- How can I adjust the sweetness? Adjust the sweetness by reducing or increasing the amount of sweetened condensed milk. Start with less, taste, and add more as needed to suit your preference.
- What are some common variations of this recipe? Common variations include adding lemon or orange zest for a citrusy flavor, mixing in raisins or nuts for added texture, or even incorporating coconut milk for a tropical twist.
- Can I make Arroz con Leche in advance? Yes, Arroz con Leche can be made in advance. It will thicken as it cools, so you might need to add a little milk when reheating to achieve the desired consistency.
- Is there a vegan option for Arroz con Leche? For a vegan version, use plant-based milk and sweetened condensed milk alternatives. Agave syrup or maple syrup can be used to sweeten the pudding if you can’t find vegan condensed milk.
- The first step in making Cubano arroz con leche is to rinse the rice thoroughly. Honestly, Korean mothers rinse rice way too much, to the point that I think they are wasting water. I totally realize that this is a Cuban recipe. But ... rice is rice. I rinse my rice to the point that it doesn't have floaty things in it.
Tbh, just make sure nothing yucky is in the rice. That's the purpose for rinsing it out. Unless you're going to use it as rice toner.
- Cook until tender. I usually put it in a rice cooker. I'm a big fan of these Aroma rice cookers.
- Transfer the rice into a slow cooker and turn it up to high. Add milk, sweetened condensed milk, some cinnamon (I like about a teaspoon), and vanilla. Cook on high for about an hour.
- Once it is done, remove from the slow cooker and let it cool a bit before serving ... that is, if it lasts that long.
- Rinsing the rice thoroughly is important to ensure a clean and smooth texture for the pudding.
- Using a rice cooker can simplify the process, but stovetop cooking works just as well.
- Adjust the amount of cinnamon according to your preference for a personalized touch of warmth and flavor.
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 147Total Fat 3gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 13mgSodium 80mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 0gSugar 8gProtein 6g
Nutritional values automatically generated.
The Final: Cubano Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
Just look at that creamy delicious goodness. Simple, cheap, and satisfying.