German rice pudding - Milchreis brings back a lot of childhood memories. Oma's creamy classic is delicious comfort food at its best. This recipe features an all-time favorite German dish called “Milchreis” which is a creamy delicious rice pudding.
This simple rice pudding may not seem like much, but after you try it, you'll understand why Germans are so addicted to this dish that can be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, or even as dessert.
It can be served warm or chilled straight from the fridge, making it simple to prepare the day before.
If you like sweet things, you should check out my list of the best German desserts.
Milchreis, also called "dicker Reis", has a story that dates back to the grand Schloss Meran. The legend goes that the palace's pantry was running low on supplies and all that was left was milk and rice.
But out of this humble combination, something magical was born. It is said that Franz Ferdinand von und zu Trauttmanndorff, a Count and Prince, and his wife, Princess Marie Caroline von Colloredo, were the ones who first combined the two ingredients to create the beloved dish we know today as rice pudding.
The couple, known for their culinary creativity, transformed simple ingredients into a comforting and satisfying meal that has stood the test of time. And so, the story of Milchreis began in the beautiful Schloss Meran, where a simple pantry mishap led to the creation of a sweet, comforting, and delicious dish that is still enjoyed to this day.
Rice pudding is called "Milchreis" in German. “Milch” is the German word for “Milk” and “Reis” means “rice” in English.
Listen to this audio file to hear how to say "Milchreis".
The ingredients for this simple recipe are basic.
- vanilla paste / extract or vanilla sugar
- cinnamon powder
See recipe card for quantities.
Round-grain rice varieties are ideal for making rice pudding. The grain should be large and round in order to absorb as much milk as possible. You should not wash the rice pudding before cooking because of the starch content, which causes the rice grains to stick together.
Arborio rice is one of the most well-known rice types of rice pudding. Its grain is the largest and most round, making it ideal for classic rice pudding. It absorbs milk without becoming mushy, does not clump, and retains a good bite due to its size. It can also be used for risotto dishes due to its high quality.
Check out my simple step-by-step instructions to learn how to make German rice pudding.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.
Add the rice into the pot. And cook for a few minutes over medium-low heat in the melted butter.
Pour in the milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pot with a lid.
Stir occasionally until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. This should take about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the cinnamon and sugar and prepare the brown butter.
Serve warm with brown butter and a cinnamon-sugar mixture, or cold with fresh berries, compote, or apple sauce.
- Coconut Milk - Instead of using cow's milk, make rice pudding with coconut milk! This adds creaminess to the rice pudding and a delicious coconut flavor.
In general, there are no rules when it comes to rice pudding. Simply combine the dessert in the manner that you prefer.
- Cinnamon-Sugar & Brown Butter - Oma's traditional rice pudding topping of cinnamon-sugar and brown butter is the most popular choice in Germany during the winter.
- Apples or Pears - Caramelized apples or pears complement this basic recipe beautifully.
- Berries - Berries and other types of fruit make an excellent addition to this simple pudding. Fresh or frozen berries are both delicious.
- Canned Fruit - Canned fruit or fruit compote is a wonderful addition to this dessert.
- Tropical - If you want something a little more exotic, try it with mango, pineapple, or bananas.
- Apple Sauce - One of my favorite rice pudding toppings is apple sauce. It's simply the best flavor combination.
- Rote Grütze - The simple Milchreis is elevated to a whole new level by the North German fruit compote specialty known as Rote Grütze.
This dish requires few dishes and ingredients, and it can even be prepared over a campfire.
- large pot
- cooking spoon
Milchreis is not only delicious warm, but also cold. You can keep it in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to a week. It is also an excellent choice for meal prep.
Even though rice pudding is a traditional winter comfort food, it is also delicious in the summer. It makes a great refreshing snack or dessert when served chilled straight from the fridge.
German Rice Pudding - Milchreis
- 4 cups milk
- 1 ¼ cups Arborio rice
- 4 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla paste or 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar / extract
For the topping
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. brown butter
- To a large pot add butter and melt on medium heat.
- Add the rice and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the milk, sugar and vanilla extract to the pot.
- Bring the mixture to a boil while stirring.
- Cover pot with a lid and reduce the heat to very low.
- Stir occasionally until almost all the liquid is gone. This will take about 20-30 min.
- In the meantime, mix cinnamon and sugar and prepare the brown butter.
- Serve hot with brown butter and cinnamon/sugar mixture, or enjoy cold with fresh berries, compote or apple sauce.