Nana’s Baked Rice Pudding Recipe

Some foods are so comforting, so nourishing of body and soul, that to eat them is to be home again after a long journey. To eat such a meal is to remember that, though the world is full of knives and storms, the body is built for kindness.

Eli Brown

Hey, Lovelies.

My Nana, Joyce Cody, was a very plain type of cook. Her food was simple and traditional, and she mostly used recipes that had been passed down to her by her own mum.

One of my favourite winter desserts she made us was Baked Rice Custard. It was a hearty moist concoction with fat juicy sultanas (golden raisins), and hints of orange and vanilla. It was delicious served warm or cold. So, in the spirit of my need to procrasti-bake, I made it last night for our supper.

This rice pudding can be served plain, or with a little ice-cream, cream or even yoghurt. When we were small children, and had sleepovers at our grandparents’ house, Nana would often make us boiled eggs with toast soldiers for dinner, followed by a bowl of rice pudding, because she said it settled us down and helped us sleep. And do you know what? It did!

I hope you enjoy it too.

Lots of love, Nicole xx


  • 2.5 cups of milk (625ml)
  • 300 ml cream (or you can substitute milk) plus 2 extra tablespoons
  • 1/2 cup calrose or arborio rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla essence or paste
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 2 egg yolks
  • grated (ground) nutmeg
  • a teaspoon of butter
  • pinch of salt


This pudding is versatile, and I have made it with other milks (such as soy, coconut or almond), I’ve substituted all kinds of sugar and sugar alternatives, left out the orange or used lemon instead, and left out the sultanas and used other dried fruit or tinned fruit, or poached fruit or fresh berries or banana. I’ve also left out the egg yolks for vegan friends.

If you are making this with dried fruit add that in with the milk step. If using canned, fresh or compote fruit, place these in the bottom of the greased dish and pour the rice mixture over the top then stir gently.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 Fahrenheit)
  2. Grease a 5 cup capacity ovenproof dish with the butter and set aside (you might fit it in a four cup {1 litre} dish but it will be FULL)
  3. Pour the milk, cream (except the extra 2 tablespoons), rice, sugar, salt, and sultanas into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the orange zest, cinnamon stick or ground cinnamon and vanilla and stir gently for five minutes until mixture is warm but not boiling. Remove from heat and cool for fifteen to twenty minutes
  4. Place the egg yolks and the additional two tablespoons of cream in a small bowl and stir gently to combine. When the mixture in the saucepan has cooled to just warm, add a little of the milk mixture into the bowl with the eggs and cream, and stir to loosen and warm the egg mixture. Remove the cinnamon stick if you are using one. Then pour the egg mixture slowly into the saucepan, stirring well to mix the eggs in. Note: if the mixture is too hot you will scramble the eggs and give everything a very eggy taste!
  5. Pour the rice mixture into the prepared bowl and place in the oven to cook for one hour.
  6. Open the oven and stir the pudding mixture gently after 15 minutes and again at 30 minutes, to help distribute the rice and sultanas evenly through the mix.
  7. After 45 minutes check the rice for done-ness. It needs to be completely soft. Sprinkle grated nutmeg on the top of the pudding and return to the oven to cook until the rice is done. You may need the full hour, or a little more, or a little less, depending on your oven. If you overcook the dish, the rice will absorb more liquid and be less creamy and more firm in texture (this is not a disaster!). The pudding will also firm up as it cools.

I got stuck on the phone while I was finishing my pudding last night and left it in the oven 15 minutes longer than planned. It was still creamy while hot, but now it is cool it is so firm I could cut it with a knife. Still, it’s delicious!!!

This is a hard pudding to stuff up.

Here are some step by step pics below, including a cute one of my Nana’s duck measuring cups, which are one of my most treasured possessions. The black speckles in the milk are from the vanilla paste I used.

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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2 thoughts on “Nana’s Baked Rice Pudding Recipe

  1. My Portuguese in-laws would make this just a slightly different version (on the stovetop, without raisins, sprinkled with cinnamon powder on top). So yummy and one of my favourite treats. Thank you for sharing your Nana’s recipe. I might have to try this now. Hugs

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