Italian Cake's Italian Dessert

How to Make an Amazing Rice Pudding with Lemon Custard

lemon custard rice pudding

Here’s how to make an amazing Rice Pudding with Lemon Custard. A delicate custard, lightly flavored with the freshness of lemon swaddled in soft, cooked rice.



  • 1 ½ – 3 cups long grain white rice cooked – see note in the recipe method
  • 1 full tbsp. lemon zest – freshly grated
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 ½ – 2 tsps. vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 eggs – extra-large at room temp
  • pinch of nutmeg – to taste
  • pinch of cinnamon – to taste, optional


  1. Heat oven to 325ºF. Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Prepare another baking dish large enough that is ready to hold the 13 x 9-inch dish. Have a hot, boiling water to use in the hot water bath.
  2. Butter the baking dish well and spread the rice and raisins along the bottom.
  3. Heat the milk in a saucepan, then add the vanilla and cook until the milk is scalded until you see tiny bubbles around the edges.
  4. Beat the eggs with the sugar in a large bowl until foamy. Very carefully, add a little of the scalded milk into the eggs, mixing as you do to temper the eggs.
  5. While continuing to stir, slowly add the remainder of the hot milk. Add the lemon zest and a pinch of salt and continue stirring until all well combined.
  6. Place the baking dish with the rice inside the larger baking pan. Carefully pour half of the custard mixture over the rice and raisins, then stir to distribute everything evenly. Let the pan settle for a minute and then carefully transfer it to the middle rack in the oven.
  7. Pour the remaining custard mixture into the baking dish. Carefully pour enough of the boiling water into the larger baking pan until it comes halfway up the sides of the custard filled baking dish.
  8. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until you can see that the custard is almost set, and the edges are now golden.
  9. Carefully remove both pans from the oven. Allow the rice pudding to cool while in the water bath.
  10. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.
  11. You can cut the pudding into squares then serve on plates or spoon it into small bowls.
  12. Serve your Rice Pudding with Lemon Custard.


Using 1 ½ cups of cooked rice will give you more of a custard like pudding.  If 3 cups of cooked rice is used, it will result in a much stiffer, more solid pudding. So, your preference dictates the amount of rice. A more solid rice makes a great breakfast treat topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Buon Mangiata!


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