Apple Cider Rice Pudding


by Suellen Pineda, RDN, CDN

Take this classic dessert to the next level by adding the warmth and sweetness of apple cider. Perfect for your holiday feast!

Type: dessert

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8-10


For the rice
1 ½ cup medium grain rice
3 cups whole milk
2 large cinnamon sticks
1 tsp cloves
pinch of salt
3-4 cups Apple cider
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups water

For the topping
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup Apple cider
½ cup Walnuts, chopped
Cinnamon powder to taste


In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine water, rice, cinnamon sticks and cloves.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low-medium heat until rice has softened and absorbed most of the water. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon.

Add milk, apple cider and pinch of salt.

Keep stirring until mixture has thickened and becomes pudding-like consistency but still a little bit runny. Rice pudding will harden as it cools.

Remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and stir.

Prepared Topping

In a skillet over low heat, toast walnuts until fragrant. Add dried cranberries, apple cider and cinnamon. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly until liquid has evaporated.  Serve over rice pudding.

Enjoy warm or chilled.

Note: substitute whole milk with non-dairy if desire. Feel free to use other spices such as nutmeg or pumpkin spice.


Suellen is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in the Rochester, NY area. Connect with her at or follow her on Instagram at @Suellen_Pineda

Cinammon and Holiday feast photos by Ruby Sengar and Tim Douglas from Pexels

Classic Dessert image provided by Suellen Pineda

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