Traditional Icelandic Rice Pudding

Hands down, there is nothing that puts warmth in my body as fast as rice pudding. I absolutely adore it and could eat it every day during the winter. When I was younger I used to keep horses in a stable near to my parents' house. Each night me, my younger brother and my best friend (now husband) used to walk through the snow from the stables back to our homes. Often there was a blizzard but sometimes the sky was clear which means that it was absolutely freezing cold. So cold that when you inhaled, your nostrils would momentarily stick together. That's when we used to lay down, in the snow and gaze up, looking at the magical Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). For those of you who haven't seen them in action, they are absolutely pure magic. They are unpredictable and can change from pink to red, to green, to yellow, to aqua in just a matter of seconds. It is like a symphony of colours and movement, it's almost like they are dancing in the black sky. Anyway...when you have a display like this you tend to forget the time....and then your buttocks and hands and feet start to become numb and then you know it's time to go home. After a long, cold day at the stables, riding your horses in the snow in minus 10 degrees Celsius (add to that the wind chill) you are so tired and so cold you just want to lay down and sleep forever. It used to take me such a long time to defrost (I am always cold) and whenever there was rice pudding for dinner I was so happy because it meant that I would get warm pretty fast. I would pour in some extra milk and heat it up to boiling point. My husband prefers cold milk on top and raisins but for me that's blasphemy so I usually prepare rice pudding in two separate saucepans!!

The one meal that warms my body to the core

This recipe is:

  • Egg free
  • Gluten free
  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

Traditional Icelandic Rice Pudding

Serves 2


  • 200 grams (7 oz) long grain brown rice
  • 250 millilitres (8¾ fluid oz) water
  • ½ teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)
  • 750 millilitres (25¾ fluid oz) milk (any you prefer although full fat is used tradionally. I use soy milk)
  • 250 millilitres (8¾ fluid oz) milk (any you prefer)
  • 2 handful raisins (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon rapadura sugar (or other raw cane sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Wash the 200 grams rice and place in a large saucepan along with the 250 millilitres water and ½ teaspoon salt.
  2. Turn the heat up and allow the rice to simmer for 20 minutes. Keep the lid on.
  3. Pour the 750 millilitres milk into the saucepan. Allow to simmer for 40 minutes with the lid on at the lowest setting.
  4. Add 2 handful raisins if you prefer and cook for a couple of minutes.
  5. Some, like me like more hot milk as opposed to serving the pudding very thick with cold milk. Add 250 millilitres milk if you like warm milk and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Mix together 1 teaspoon rapadura sugar and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Serve in a separate bowl.


  • You can make excellent rice patties out of this pudding.
  • You can prepare this a day ahead, just keep it chilled in the fridge and make sure you serve it piping hot.
  • You can use long, white rice if you prefer or pearl barley.
  • You can use any milk you prefer although full fat milk is normally used. I use soy milk.