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How to Make Arroz con Leche and Polvorones

Updated on August 16, 2016
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Cynthia is a writer, artist, and teacher. She loves studying language, arts and culture and sharing that knowledge.

Arroz con leche (rice pudding).
Arroz con leche (rice pudding). | Source

Have You Tried Arroz con leche?

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Arroz Con Leche (Mexican Rice Pudding)

I first learned about arroz con leche when I was studying Spanish in college. I subscribed to People magazine in Spanish just to get a little more practice and learn about Latin pop culture.

I happened upon this recipe among its shiny pages with actors from various telenovelas, musical concerts and the secret lives of Latin celebrities.

My mom made a type of vanilla pudding with rice when I was growing up. Since my mom is very secretive about her recipes - she always has been - I had to figure out how to make arroz con leche with a flavor that you can only get from a home-cooked meal that only moms can make.

Over the years, I've made this recipe countless times, sharing with friends and family alike. I make it any time I have a sweets craving. Those cravings can happen any time of year, so even when it's hot out, you can refrigerate this rice recipe and serve it cold.

4.5 stars from 4 ratings of Arroz con leche and Polvorones

Cook Time

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 25 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: About 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white rice, I used long grain Jasmine rice in my recipe but medium and short grain rice is great, too
  • 1 stick cinnamon, cut into pieces (this is optional)
  • 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 1 can (14 oz.) condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins, (optional if you don't like raisins)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, I used sea salt in this recipe
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder, enough to sprinkle on pudding before serving
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ingredients for arroz con leche or Mexican rice pudding.Add water and rice to a large saucepan to make arroz con leche.Add cut-up pieces of cinnamon stick to the rice.  Heat the rice to boiling before simmering for about 15 minutes.Scoop out the pieces of cinnamon stick after the rice has absorbed all the water.Add the can of condensed milk.Then add the evaporated milk.Add the raisins.Then add the vanilla. (Be sure NOT to add the egg, yet.)Mix together and heat to boiling.  When the mixture boils, scoop out about a cup of the rice mixture.Add it to the beaten eggs. Mix well.While the rice mixture is still on medium-low heat, SLOWLY add the egg mixture and stir constantly.  This will help ensure that the egg mixture doesn't clot.Mix together and heat through, stirring constantly - about 2-3 minutes.
Ingredients for arroz con leche or Mexican rice pudding.
Ingredients for arroz con leche or Mexican rice pudding. | Source
Add water and rice to a large saucepan to make arroz con leche.
Add water and rice to a large saucepan to make arroz con leche. | Source
Add cut-up pieces of cinnamon stick to the rice.  Heat the rice to boiling before simmering for about 15 minutes.
Add cut-up pieces of cinnamon stick to the rice. Heat the rice to boiling before simmering for about 15 minutes. | Source
Scoop out the pieces of cinnamon stick after the rice has absorbed all the water.
Scoop out the pieces of cinnamon stick after the rice has absorbed all the water. | Source
Add the can of condensed milk.
Add the can of condensed milk. | Source
Then add the evaporated milk.
Then add the evaporated milk. | Source
Add the raisins.
Add the raisins. | Source
Then add the vanilla. (Be sure NOT to add the egg, yet.)
Then add the vanilla. (Be sure NOT to add the egg, yet.) | Source
Mix together and heat to boiling.
Mix together and heat to boiling. | Source
When the mixture boils, scoop out about a cup of the rice mixture.
When the mixture boils, scoop out about a cup of the rice mixture. | Source
Add it to the beaten eggs.
Add it to the beaten eggs. | Source
Mix well.
Mix well. | Source
While the rice mixture is still on medium-low heat, SLOWLY add the egg mixture and stir constantly.  This will help ensure that the egg mixture doesn't clot.
While the rice mixture is still on medium-low heat, SLOWLY add the egg mixture and stir constantly. This will help ensure that the egg mixture doesn't clot. | Source
Mix together and heat through, stirring constantly - about 2-3 minutes.
Mix together and heat through, stirring constantly - about 2-3 minutes. | Source

Arroz Con Leche Isn't Just a Snack

  • I love this recipe as the "grain" in my breakfast dishes. Serve with a side of eggs and sausage.
  • If you serve as a snack, this rice pudding recipe is especially good with vanilla wafers or other type of cookie.
  • If you have anyone in your family with a sweet tooth, you can be the aroma will beckon anyone and everyone to your kitchen. The milky sweetness seems to draw everyone within smelling distance to my house.

Instructions

  1. Add the water and rice to a large saucepan. Add the pieces of the cut-up cinnamon stick. Heat over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until rice has absorbed all the water.
  2. Scoop out cinnamon stick pieces. While the rice is still hot, add the condensed milk, the evaporated milk, the raisins, vanilla, and salt. Do NOT add the egg. Mix and heat over medium-high heat until it boils.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Scoop out about 1 cup of the mixture and slowly pour onto the lightly beaten eggs. Mix well.
  4. While the first rice mixture is over medium-low heat, SLOWLY pour in the egg mixture. Try to stir constantly as you do this so that the egg doesn't clot. Continue stirring constantly for two to three minutes to allow the egg mixture to heat through.
  5. You can serve immediately. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top. You can also refrigerate and serve cold.

Polvorones or Mexican Wedding Cakes

A friend of mine lives in Mexico part of the year. A few years ago she had a party at her house shortly after arriving back in the States. She had these yummy little cakes that she called Mexican wedding cakes.

I think I gobbled up about 20 of them.

They're that good. They have an almost crumbly texture and I had to get my hands on the recipe. Since then, I enjoy these little cakes with tea and sometimes a light cheese on the side. They are so much fun to eat with family and friends at gatherings.

Because they're not that common a dessert where I live, they're always a conversation starter. Even my mom, with six kids and Mexican cuisine as her specialty didn't make these when I was younger.

Now, though, I can share this recipe with my mom. I always get a laugh when I see her secretly stashing a cake or two in her purse. She worked at a cooking school for nearly 15 years, so when I get her approval on a dish, I'm especially proud.

Here's my recipe for polvorones or Mexican wedding cakes.

Mexican wedding cakes.
Mexican wedding cakes. | Source

Cook Time

Prep Time: About 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Ready In: 1.5 hours (because the dough has to sit for a time)

Yields: 18-24 cakes, depending on how big you make them

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (margarine will work, too)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided into 1/2 cup portions
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • A pinch of salt (about 1/8 tsp.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ingredients for polvorones or Mexican wedding cakes.Put butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla into a bowl.  Use a mixer on a low setting to cream and mix the ingredients together.Mix about 2 minutes or until completely smooth.Add the sea salt.Add the chopped pecans.Then slowly begin adding the flour, mixing with the blender on a low setting as you go.Continue mixing the flour in.I have about 1 cup of flour to mix in, still.This is what the mixture looks like once all the ingredients have been mixed in (except the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar).  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.When chilled, with your hands, roll the dough into little balls, about 1-2" round.  Bake in oven at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the cakes just start to brown.Place one cake at a time into a separate bowl of powdered sugar.  You can use a spatula to get them off the cookie sheet if they're too hot to handle.Take the hot cakes and smother in the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. Let cool and smother in the powdered sugar a second time.  Enjoy.
Ingredients for polvorones or Mexican wedding cakes.
Ingredients for polvorones or Mexican wedding cakes. | Source
Put butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla into a bowl.
Put butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and vanilla into a bowl. | Source
Use a mixer on a low setting to cream and mix the ingredients together.
Use a mixer on a low setting to cream and mix the ingredients together. | Source
Mix about 2 minutes or until completely smooth.
Mix about 2 minutes or until completely smooth. | Source
Add the sea salt.
Add the sea salt. | Source
Add the chopped pecans.
Add the chopped pecans. | Source
Then slowly begin adding the flour, mixing with the blender on a low setting as you go.
Then slowly begin adding the flour, mixing with the blender on a low setting as you go. | Source
Continue mixing the flour in.
Continue mixing the flour in. | Source
I have about 1 cup of flour to mix in, still.
I have about 1 cup of flour to mix in, still. | Source
This is what the mixture looks like once all the ingredients have been mixed in (except the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar).  Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
This is what the mixture looks like once all the ingredients have been mixed in (except the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar). Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. | Source
When chilled, with your hands, roll the dough into little balls, about 1-2" round.  Bake in oven at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the cakes just start to brown.
When chilled, with your hands, roll the dough into little balls, about 1-2" round. Bake in oven at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the cakes just start to brown. | Source
Place one cake at a time into a separate bowl of powdered sugar.  You can use a spatula to get them off the cookie sheet if they're too hot to handle.
Place one cake at a time into a separate bowl of powdered sugar. You can use a spatula to get them off the cookie sheet if they're too hot to handle. | Source
Take the hot cakes and smother in the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.
Take the hot cakes and smother in the last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar. | Source
Let cool and smother in the powdered sugar a second time.  Enjoy.
Let cool and smother in the powdered sugar a second time. Enjoy. | Source

Have You Ever Tried Mexican Wedding Cakes?

See results

Instructions

1. Combine the butter, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Use an electric blender at a low setting to cream the ingredients together.

2. When the mixture is free of any lumps (about 2 minutes), add the salt, followed by the pecans. SLOWLY add the flour, little by little, mixing with the electric mixer (still at a low setting) thoroughly as you go (about 2-4 minutes more).

3. When the dough is mixed through, chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. When the dough has been in the fridge for about 15 minutes, begin pre-heating the oven to 350.

4. With your hands, make little balls, about 1-2" in diameter. Put on ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cakes just start to brown - not too much, though.

6. Take out the cakes. Put the other 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a bowl. While the cookies are hot, place them into the bowl and either roll them around or sprinkle the powdered sugar all over them with your hands. You can "pat" the sugar on to help it stick.

7. Place them back onto the cookie sheet to continue cooling. When they're cool, roll them in the powdered sugar again.

5. Serve immediately with tea or another refreshing drink.

© 2012 Cynthia Sageleaf

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am a fairly picky eater and I would sign up for both of these. Welcome back and great hub! Nice to see you filling my screen with your well-written hubs once again!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Bill! Hehe, I'm kind of picky, too. No mushrooms, fish, or red meat. But something sweet? Oh, you've got me down on my knees. Heheh. Thanks so much for the warm welcome. Hehe, I intend to fill your HubPages feed a lot - writing and fractalling every day. :D

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Arroz con leche or rice pudding is one of my favorite desserts. I've never heard of polvorones.

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      Yum! The wedding cakes look delicious, too!! So many great recipes on HubPages right now...I'm starving!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Yum! Looks good! I'm especially drawn to those little cakes. Think I could put chocolate chips in them? :-) Lovely recipes. Great photos. I did catch the little "sweets" link to my birthday alternatives. You rock, CC!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      lovedoctor926 - mmm. I'm so glad more people out there are rice pudding fans. :) Definitely one of my favorites, too. :) Try the Mexican wedding cakes. They are so good, you'll eat them like potato chips - that's what I end up doing, anyway. :)Thanks for stopping by.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      emilybee - you're right. There are a lot of great recipes on HP. Now...I'm going to have to dream up some recipes to combat this heat wave. ;) Thanks for coming by!

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Vicki - hehe, you gotta make the cakes. Your family will flip! Chocolate chips...well, I've never tried it, but I think that would be a great thing to try. Oh, yes, had to link back to ya. :D Take care and hubhugs. :)

    • Byron Wolf profile image

      Byron Wolf 5 years ago

      Have to try those cakes! The rice pudding looks good too and I LOVE Jasmine rice. But I've never had rice in a dessert. Is it sweet enough without sugar?

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      This is a terrific recipe hub Cindy! I've never heard of this before but I'm willing to try it. I love the step by step pictures and great photos you included here. Fantastic hub! Gave it 5 stars and shared! Take care, Kelley

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Byron - hmm, I would add the sugar, but you can halve the recommendation and see what happens. I haven't tried that, but I know the sugar helps in the "creaming" process and coating the cakes at the end. Try it, though. Let me know what you think. :) Cheers!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Kelley - hey there, friend! :) Try it, try it! Let me know what you think. :) Thank you for your kind words and fabulous feedback. I appreciate it! Thank you also for the votes and shares - you rock! Hubhugs!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      Wow, this sounds like a fabulous dessert. Arroz con leche is common here, but I never knew how to make it at home. And I've had Greek wedding cookies but not Mexican...I wonder if they're similar? At any rate, I'm thrilled to have the recipe. Voted up and shared!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      vespawoolf - this dessert is scrumptious! It's pretty easy to make at home, too. I haven't heard of Greek wedding cookies. I wonder if they're similar, too. :) I'm glad you're thrilled, thank you for the votes and shares. Hubhugs!

    • algarveview profile image

      Joana e Bruno 5 years ago from Algarve, Portugal

      Hi, Cclitgirl, I just loved your photos, really great job and it looks delicious... I've tried arroz con leche, since my mother did it many time as I was growing up, but here we call it "arroz doce" - sweet rice - but your recipe has some differences and it looks better, if you ask me, so I'll have to try it... the polvorones also look great, those I have never even heard about... Great recipes, great photos, voted up and interesting, a star (obviously) and sharing! Have a wonderful day!

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Both recipes look delicious! I love rice pudding, and I can just taste this one, lol..... Never made those wedding cakes though. Will be trying both. Voting up and delicious..... Well, awesome for now! :)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      The rice pudding I can have, as it is wheat free. Can I save that recipe in my computer?

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      I've never tried neither of these. Thanks so much for sharing. Bookmarked, rated up and will give these recipes a go soon!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      algarveview - hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Arroz doce sounds yummy, too. I'd like to try that. :) The polvorones are so yummy, I eat them like potato chips and it's all I can do to restrain myself, hehe. Thank you so much for your kind feedback and awesome comments. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      LaThing - great! Thanks for stopping by! Thank you for your feedback and votes - I appreciate it. :) These are definitely very yummy. Hubhugs!

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      aviannovice - sure you can! Just go to the page and bookmark it as you would any other page. If you want to download, I think there's a button to do that by the "print" button. Thanks you so much for coming by. I appreciate it. Hubhugs!

    • cclitgirl profile image
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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Om Paramapoonya - hi there! Thank you so much for stopping by. :) I really hope you do enjoy these. Let me know what you thought of them. Hubhugs!

    • mythicalstorm273 profile image

      mythicalstorm273 5 years ago

      Yum this sounds so good. I am so going to have to try this someday very soon. I am way picky about my food, but every ingredient is one I like so this sounds like something I would enjoy!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      mythicalstorm273 - That sounds great! Thanks for coming by and I really hope you enjoy these. Let me know if you do make them - I'd love to see if you did really like them. :) Cheers!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      This is a new one on me, which is a surprise because of the large Mexican community that surrounds me. But I love the contrast between the gooey arroz con leche and the crunchier polvoron. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      My only memory of rice pudding is my grandmother's home made one - a bit like loft insulation to be honest and so I've stayed away from the home made variety since then. However, this one looks quite creamy so I could be swayed. The little wedding cakes look yummy, would definitely give those a try!

      Voted up.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      alocsin - yum! The arroz con leche is such a treat and you're right - it contrasts nicely with the polvorones. Now, if we can get you to share some Filipino recipes, that would be *awesome* - there were so many things I tried over there, but I have no idea where to even start with those! Hehe. Thanks again for coming by. :) Cheers!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Julie - whoa. If I equated rice pudding with loft insulation, I'd go running for the hills. I'm such a picky eater. The one thing I'd do without sometimes in the arroz recipe is the raisins, but I like them anyway so I don't often leave them out. :D Do try the wedding cakes. Yum, yum! Thanks again for coming by. :) Hubhugs!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Loved rice pudding Mexican style when I was growing up. My mom served it as a treat on Sunday's before going to church. The wedding cakes looks so good. Thanks for the memory and posting.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Teaches - when I told my mom I had made the arroz con leche, she thought, "Wow, it's been years since I used to make that! I need to again!" Hehe. I need to send her some Mexican wedding cakes, too. Thank you so much for stopping by. You are a gem.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 4 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      These look yummy - I am always ready to try a new variety of rice pudding.

      I know very little about Mexican cooking, and am currently expanding the Mexican Food section of my Recipe Index for HubPages. This is going in!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      2patricias - they are so yummy! I eat them right up every time I make them. Uh-oh, I have another craving. hehe.

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

      As all of these comments suggest, this is a fantastic recipe and well written article. I am ready to go home and give it a shot! While I have heard of this dessert before, I have never tried it. I look forward to likely doing that soon! Thanks for the great hub and I will have to check out more of your work.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      Both of these look terrific and you have presented them so well with the photos. I just made some chocolate chip cookies so they will have to wait, but I will be trying these sometime. Voted up and across.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      I have never had either one of these yummy looking desserts, but know plan on trying both of them! I love trying foods from different places. I would really like to share this hub on my "Around the World with Recipes" blog, if that is ok with you! Voting up and awesome. :)

    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 4 years ago from Bangkok

      Voted up girl! I'm familiar with some arroz caldo recipes; but this one is really new to me. You made it so easy to do. Thanks for the photos. Those will guide us better when we try out this yummy dish. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Robert - Yum! Thank you for coming by and commenting. I hope you enjoy them when you try them. They're some of my favorite desserts to make.

      MT - good to see you! Chocolate chip cookies sound really yummy right now. Hehe.

      SGBrown - hi there - thank you so much. They are worth trying once, twice if you like them. Hehe. Thank you for sharing on your blog. If it's okay, please summarize in your own words; I don't want us to get penalized by Google for duplicate stuff. hehe Thank you again.

      Beingwell - Another sweets recipe. *sorry* Hehe. But I think you'll like these, too. :)

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Never heard about this dessert...thanks for enlightening me, cyndi

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 4 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      Looks like some great desserts and pretty easy to make. Thanks for the very detailed instructions for the cooking challenged.

    • adity5 profile image

      adity5 4 years ago

      luks yummy....will try it out soon :)

    • kabubi Herman profile image

      Slim Emcee (UG) the poet 4 years ago from Kampala, Uganda

      i like

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Ruchira - hehe, it's yummy stuff! Let me know what you think if you get a chance to make them. ;)

      Truthfornow - no worries! I had so much fun making these and I love to share. :D

      Adity5 - Thank you. Your avatar is so cute, too. :)

      Kabubi - thank you! Have a great day!

    • torrilynn profile image

      torrilynn 4 years ago

      real nice hub about mexican desserts and the different things you can make using corn and milk, thanks. voted up.

    • kabubi Herman profile image

      Slim Emcee (UG) the poet 4 years ago from Kampala, Uganda

      I wish I could have a taste of those Mexican wedding cakes

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Torrilynn - thank you. I love me some corn and milk. Hehe. I appreciate the votes!

      Kabubi - the Mexican wedding cakes are so yummy! They are worth the work to make them for sure!

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