Risengrød – Danish rice pudding

rice pudding final

I have been meaning to make rice pudding forever. It was always one of my favourite desserts as a kid, and the Danish variation of sprinkling it with cinnamon sugar and topping it with butter was intriguing to me. I did add a vanilla bean and a bit more sugar, because one of my kids doesn’t like cinnamon and I thought his bowl might be a bit bland otherwise.

It is common in Nordic countries to call it porridge, but I have gone with pudding, because the sweet version is more commonly known as pudding in the English speaking world, and I didn’t want to confuse it with savoury rice porridge, otherwise known as congee. If you’re interested, Wikipedia has an interesting page on the history and variations of rice pudding around the world.

Sweet, creamy rice pudding is perfect as it is, but can be tarted up in so many ways – fruit compotes, lemon zest, spices, dried fruits and nuts, served inside baked apples or with poached pears or other fruit…

This recipe was adapted from the deliciously healthy, vegetarian and beautiful the smoothie lover.

Serves 4
Preparation time: about 1 hour


300ml (1 1/4 cups) water
180g (1 scant cup) short grain pudding rice
1 litre (4 cups) milk
1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
pinch salt

2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
4 knobs butter


In a large saucepan, bring water to the boil.

Add the rice, cover and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes.

Add the milk, vanilla bean, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt, and slowly bring it to the boil. Simmer uncovered for 30 – 40 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently to avoid having it boil over, until the rice is very soft and the mixture is thick. The cooking time will depend on the variety of rice and how high you have the heat.

In a small bowl, mix together the other 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon.

Remove the vanilla bean, divide the pudding into 4 bowls, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and top with a knob of butter.

Serve immediately.

This entry was posted in breakfast, dessert, rice, sweet. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Risengrød – Danish rice pudding

  1. I love rice pudding but the addition of cinnamon and sugar is new to me.I’ll give it a try soon ☺

  2. Amanda E says:

    Wow this recipe looks incredible! Also I was lucky enough to have your blog this week and made your creamy roasted garlic sauce – delicious!!!!

  3. Stephanie says:

    I’ve never had hot rice pudding before. I only ever make the cold indian style rice pudding with lots of cinnamon and cardamon. This sounds wonderful as well. Just stopping in from group C to say great job

  4. bcmom says:

    Oh, this looks so good. That cinnamon and butter on top really puts it over the top. Yum!

  5. Trisha says:

    I haven’t had rice pudding in ages. This looks fantastic. You’ve picked an absolute winner 🙂

  6. Risengrød was always served on Christmas Eve in our house. With a knob of butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top. Mom would hide an almond in it and whoever got the almond, got a prize, a marzipan pig or other goodie. Great choice for SRC. I think I need to make some soon.

  7. Rosie says:

    It sounds absolutely delicious, and takes me back to the rice puddings of childhood! 🙂 but why not run it by Karina (she’s Danish, you know!) and she might have some interesting variations?

  8. I’m craving this dish right now, and with the knobs of butter melting on top….gold!

  9. katiezeller says:

    Rice pudding was my favorite dessert as a child (other than chocolate) and I have never made it…. I will now. Great recipe!

  10. foodandcrafts says:

    Rice Pudding is one of my all time favorite treats – I would love to try this version out next time.

  11. Camilla says:

    I am Danish and absolutely love rice pudding! Actually the original version (the one you made minus the vanilla and sugar in the porridge) is often eaten in december/the cold wintertime as a main evening meal or as an appetizer 😉
    Then on christmas eve we make a portion the day before and mix the cold leftovers with whipped cream, vanilla (if we dont cook the porridge with vanilla for this purpose), chopped almonds and a little bit of sugar. Then we put in one almond which will be a coveted item as the one who gets it get a gift. The pudding served with warm or cold (there a great discussions about the temperature 😉 ) cherry sauce. It is delicious and most households only makes this for Christmas so everybody looks forward to it 🙂 In our house it is always a competition about getting up first the next morning to eat leftovers for breakfast. (I know it sounds disgusting but it started as a “battle” between my dad and my grandma, and is now a tradition more than anything else)
    The pudding is called Ris A’la Mande, and is a danish pudding in spite of the French sounding name!
    Merry Christmas everyone

    • pizzarossa says:

      Camilla, thank you so much for taking the time to share all that! I love hearing about traditions, especially ones involving food because they bring us together around the table 🙂
      Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and I hope you get the almond!

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