Rosa’s Arroz con Leche—Mexican Rice Pudding

arroz con leche Rosa

This Mexican recipe for arroz con leche or rice pudding is a favorite dessert at the home of Rosa Camarena. Yes, the very same Doña Rosita who owns La Esperanza, a much-loved Mexican restaurant in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood—and the People’s Choice winner for best mole at Pilsen’s 2021 Mole de Mayo festival.

This is a family recipe she makes regularly for her daughter, who loves it with lots of cinnamon and duraznos or peaches on top. Rosita says you can alternatively use raisins, but she opts for peaches because “my daughter has never liked raisins.”

Rosita says she learned to cook back in Mexico, in her mother’s kitchen. “My mother is my cooking inspiration. She taught me to cook, and my older sister.” Offering good food to those in her community is a blessing and privilege, she says. “I’ve had this restaurant for 4 years …. God put this in my hands, this opportunity to have a restaurant and work hard to feed others.

We are honored to share this receta for arroz con leche, a traditional dessert served regularly on both Mexican and Latino tables. It takes us right back to childhood and to memories of dipping a spoon into a bowl of creamy, cinnamon-y rice pudding. Each bite was crunchy-soft, sweet, and just a bit savory. Arroz con leche is love in a bowl. 🍚 ❤️

Thank you for sharing this special family receta, Doña Rosita!

Ready to Make Rosa’s Arroz con Leche Rice Pudding?

Rosa’s Arroz con Leche—Mexican Rice Pudding

Recipe by Rosita Camarena Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 1 cup 1 rice

  • 3 cups 3 water

  • 2 to 3 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks, or to taste

  • 1 pinch 1 salt

  • 1 1 orange peel strip

  • 3 cups 3 regular milk

  • 1 can 1 evaporated milk

  • 1 can 1 condensed milk

  • 1 can 1 peach slices in their syrup

  • 1 tsp 1 vanilla extract, or to taste


  • Wash the rice with lukewarm water to rinse away the starch.
  • Pour the three milks (regular, evaporated and condensed) into a pan on low heat. Stir and let them slowly start to warm.
  • In a second pan, place the 3 cups of water, cinnamon sticks, orange peel and salt. Turn the burner to medium.
  • When the water boils, cover with the pan with its lid, so that the cinnamon releases its flavor for a 2 to 3 minutes.
  • With the water still boiling, add the rice, lower the heat and let the rice simmer until the water is almost all absorbed.
  • Add the 3 milks and the vanilla to the rice. Raise the heat to medium and let the rice mixture simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until it is fully cooked, yet still creamy. Stir the rice with a wooden spoon every so often to help make sure it doesn’t stick.
  • Add the peach pieces and the syrup they came or raisins, whichever you prefer—and serve.


  • If you like your rice pudding extra creamy, you can use 2 cans of evaporated milk instead of 1. Again, it’s all to taste—however your family likes arroz con leche best!
Rosita Camarena at her restaurant, La Esperanza, in Chicago’s Pilsen restaurant.

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Suggestions and questions from our readers

  1. You’ll be blown away by the rich flavors of this authentic Mexican rice pudding. It’s so yummy and easy to make and looks beautiful when dressed up with fruit or cinnamon sticks!