Some days call for a good dose of comfort; some weeks call for a lot of comfort days! On those days, I find that something sweet and creamy will soothe my belly and warm my soul. Vanilla rice pudding sounds just about perfect for this task. Made entirely on the stovetop, the texture is pleasing and creamy (without any added cream) and the vanilla flavor is familiar (though flavor add-ins are possible, too).

But there’s a catch. At the risk of sounding like a Goldilocks girl, I don’t want too much so that it will linger for days in the fridge tempting me, but I also don’t want too little, which would make the day even sadder. The just-right amount is one that offers up two lovely, soul-satisfying servings of happiness. Vanilla Rice Pudding for Two comes to the rescue. Who’s with me?

I like to serve the pudding warm (probably because I’m impatient to eat it!), but it can also be made ahead, stowed in the fridge and served cold. Before serving, give the chilled pudding a stir and add a splash or two of milk if you like the texture to be a bit creamier.    

As always, I’ve included a few flavor variations, stir-ins and topping ideas (below), but I encourage you to follow your cravings and switch-up the pudding anyway you desire.

If you’ve never made custard before, I encourage you to give rice pudding a try and be patient as the milk simmers. Finding the exact right consistency for your final pudding can be a bit tricky, but after you make the pudding once or twice, it will feel like second nature.

If you’re new to our Baking Together column, be sure to check out our other recipes:  Ultimate Flourless Chocolate Cake, One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Frosting; Pumpkin Cream Cheese Tart with Crushed Pretzel Crust, Butter Pecan Slice-and-Bake Cookies, Lemon Rosemary Parmesan Scones, Pie Plate Chocolate Chippers, Cream Cheese Pound Cake, Strawberry Shortcake, Lemony Blueberry Bars with Chunky Almond Crumble, Make-Ahead S’mores Squares and Streusel-Topped Ginger Pear Coffee Cake.

We look forward to hearing from you about your experiences with this and every recipe. How did you flavor the rice pudding? Tell us if you did anything differently. What are your favorite comfort foods? Give us the scoop in the comments section below the recipe and we will all learn from each other here on Cook the Vineyard.

Stir-Ins & Toppings

The following can be stirred into the cooled pudding as well as added to the top of the warm or chilled pudding.

  • Chopped nuts (preferably toasted)
  • Fresh berries (chopped if large) or citrus segments
  • Chopped chocolate (white, milk or bittersweet)
  • A dollop of fruit preserves or jams
  • Dried fruit (chopped if large)


Flavor Swaps


Coffee: Add 1 teaspoon of instant espresso or coffee granules along with the egg and sugar mixture.

Cocoa: Stir a tablespoon or more of your favorite hot chocolate mix into each warm or chilled serving. Trust me on this one – it’s been family tested and approved many times over.

Lemon or Orange: Stir a teaspoon or so of finely grated lemon or orange zest into the pudding at the end of cooking.

Peppermint Stick: If serving the pudding warm, plunk a peppermint stick or candy cane into each serving of warm pudding and give it a stir.