Rice is a cooking staple, adding a delicious and filling element to almost any meal. While rice is typically considered a savory accompaniment, there are plenty of exciting things to do with this versatile ingredient in your dessert dishes, as well. There are always the sweet and creamy rice classics, such as rice pudding (see recipe below), but some of us are looking for a little more after-dinner adventure.
Read on to learn six rice-based recipes that will expand your dessert repertoire in new and exciting ways.
1. Creamy Rice Pudding:
Rice pudding is a timeless classic, setting a rich and creamy standard for all sweet rice fare. Try sprinkling it with cinnamon or nutmeg to bring out the subtleties of the creamy flavors. This dish from All Recipes yields 4 servings and takes 45 minutes to complete.
- 2 cups milk, divided
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- ⅔ cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions: Bring 1½ cups water to a boil in a saucepan; stir rice into boiling water. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
In a clean saucepan, combine 1½ cups cooked rice, 1½ cups milk, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in remaining ½ cup milk, beaten egg, and raisins; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.
2. Wild Rice and Dried Cranberry Cookies
Adding rice to a delicious cookie recipe will give your treats a texture like no other you’ve ever tried. This recipe from Vegetarian Times is an adaptation of the classic oatmeal-raisin cookie formula. The recipe takes about 45 minutes to complete and yields 24 cookies.
- 1½ cups cooked wild rice
- 1¼ cups brown rice flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour mix
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 stick margarine or butter
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and coat two baking sheets with cooking spray.
Process wild rice in food processor 1 minute, or until coarsely chopped. Set aside. Whisk together brown rice, flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and nutmeg in large bowl. Set aside.
Cream margarine, brown sugar, and sugar in bowl with electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in wild rice, dried cranberries, and walnuts.
Scoop 2-tablespoon dollops of batter 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until cookies are browned and dry on top. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets, then transfer to rack with spatula, and cool completely.
3. Steamed Sticky Rice Cakes with Banana
This recipe from Cooking Channel is inspired by a popular dish sold by street vendors in Laos. The dish consists of sweet, sticky rice and banana wrapped inside a banana leaf parcel. The recipe yields 4 servings and the dish takes approximately 1 hour to prepare after rice has stewed for approximately 12 hours.
- 1 pound, 2 ounces glutinous rice, soaked in water overnight
- 14 ounces coconut milk
- 7 ounces caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 large banana leaves, cut into 8-by-12-inch rectangles
- 4 ripe bananas, peeled and halved lengthwise, then crosswise
Directions: Drain the rice and place it in a hot wok or saucepan. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until the coconut milk has been absorbed and the rice is thick and sticky, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the oil, then transfer the mixture to a baking sheet and cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Soften the banana leaves by holding them over a gas fire, heating them in a hot frying pan, or by steaming or microwaving them for a few minutes. Lay down 1 banana leaf. Place one heaped tablespoon of the cooled rice in the center. Add a single piece of banana, followed by another tablespoon of rice (the banana should be sandwiched). Now fold the sides of the leaves over, as you would a parcel. Repeat with the remaining rice, banana, and banana leaves. If you have softened the leaves properly, you won’t need to use anything extra to secure the parcels.
Fill a large steamer, wok, or saucepan halfway with water and bring to a rapid boil over high heat. Place the parcels in a steamer basket seam-side down and set it over the pan of water. Steam for 30 minutes. Enjoy the sticky rice cakes hot.
4. Baked Vanilla Rice Peaches
Gourmandistan adapted this recipe for a sweet, sticky summertime treat from Donna Hay’s Off the Shelf: Cooking from the Pantry cookbook. Fresh, ripe peaches will make this an unforgettable addition to your cooking arsenal this summer. This recipe yields 2 to 4 servings and takes about an hour to complete.
- ⅓ cup cooked rice
- ⅙ cup crème fraîche or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ tablespoon white sugar
- 2 peaches
- Brown sugar
Directions: Combine rice, cream, vanilla, and white sugar in a bowl.
Lightly butter the bottom of a small baking dish. Halve the peaches and remove the stones. If the halves don’t sit straight, slice off a bit from the bottoms. Place in baking dish. Put a tiny bit of butter in the cavities. Sprinkle peaches lightly with demerara sugar. Mound the rice mixture over the peach halves. Sprinkle more demerara sugar on top.
Tent aluminum foil over. Bake in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes or so. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes more. Then turn on broiler and cook until sugar on top is browned.
5. Coconut Rice Pudding Parfaits with Mango and Pineapple
Spice up your standard rice pudding recipe with this fruity, tropical twist! The baked crumble combined with tangy fruits and creamy pudding will deliver a complex and irresistible combination of textures. This recipe from Bon Appétit takes about an hour to complete, in addition to 4 hours chilled in the refrigerator; it yields 6 servings.
Coconut rice pudding
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
- ⅔ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 4½ tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, diced
- 2 cups chopped peeled fresh pineapple
- 1 cup chopped peeled pitted fresh mango
Directions: For pice pudding, bring 3 cups water to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Add rice; reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered until very tender, about 18 minutes. Drain if necessary. Whisk ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, eggs, egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla in large bowl to combine. Bring whole milk, coconut milk, remaining ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, and salt to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Pour over sugar-egg mixture, whisking constantly. Strain mixture back into saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Whisk gently until slightly thickened. Remove from heat. Fold in cooked rice and coconut. Pour into bowl, pressing plastic wrap onto surface, and refrigerate until cold, about 4 hours.
For macaroon crumble, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss coconut, flour, both sugars, and salt in large bowl to combine. Using fingertips, rub butter into mixture until clumps form. Spread mixture onto baking sheet, patting down slightly. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool. Break crumble into bite-size pieces.
Toss pineapple and mango in bowl to combine. Spoon ¼ cup rice pudding into each of 6 wineglasses. Top each with ¼ cup fruit mixture. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons macaroon crumble. Repeat with remaining pudding and fruit mixture (reserve remaining pudding for another use). Sprinkle each parfait with 2 tablespoons macaroon crumble and serve.
6. Persian Rice Cookies (Naan Berenji)
Naan Berenji is a classic Persian dessert using rice flour, a form of flour produced using finely milled grains of rice. This recipe from Food is a deliciously distinct sweet dish featuring a dash of rose water and aromatic cardamom. The recipe yields 20 cookies and takes about an hour to complete.
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons Iranian rose water
- 2¼ cups rice flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Ground roasted pistachio nuts or poppy seed for garnish
Directions: Mix together the canola oil and white sugar. Beat eggs and add along with the rose water to the sugar mixture.
Add the white rice flour, baking powder, and cardamom and blend into a thick dough. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with baking paper or oil lightly. Take a spoonful of dough the size of a walnut, roll into a ball between your palms, flatten slightly, and place on the cookie sheet. Repeat, leaving about an inch between cookies.
Sprinkle the ground pistachios on top, or poppy seeds if using. Place cookie sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 to 22 minutes, or until firm and cracked on top.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before removing from the paper. Use caution, as these cookies will crumble easily. Store in an airtight container until serving.