Cheesecake Rice Pudding

I used to be a rice pudding hater. Until this recipe came into my life (be prepared, it’s one of the oldest on my site and the pictures are, well, unique). I thought it was the only rice pudding I would ever need. Until my friend Ashli (hey, Ashli!) brought over this cheesecake and chocolate version before we moved from Wisconsin and I nearly died a rice pudding loving death.

Cheesecake rice pudding is the Wait! I take that back! Unless you want chocolate rice pudding. And then I change my stance and chocolate is the Seriously, these two versions are the tastiest rice puddings I’ve ever devoured. Inspired by a restaurant called Pudding on the Rice, Ashli tailored these recipes to her way of liking (cheesecake and chocolate, baby!) and they are fantastic and so delicious and unique, I think everyone needs a little rice pudding in their lives. (And who would have thought there could be a restaurant dedicated just to rice pudding – pretty darn brilliant!).

If you are like me, the ultimate rice pudding nirvana is cheesecake rice pudding scooped into a bowl and dolloped with a spoonful of the decadent chocolate rice pudding. I’m so in love with this stuff. Thanks, Ashli, you’ve changed my life forever!

Cheesecake Rice Pudding

One Year Ago: Walnut Chocolate Chip Blondies {Applebee’s Knock-off Recipe}
Two Years Ago: Roasted Garlic and Cauliflower Pasta
Three Years Ago: Kalua Pork

Cheesecake Rice Pudding {Plus a Chocolate Version!}

Yield: Serves 4-6

Cheesecake Rice Pudding {Plus a Chocolate Version!}

Note: The recipe is written to make either a full batch of cheesecake or a full batch of chocolate rice pudding. Alternately, you can make the full batch of pudding, split the hot, cooked pudding in half and add halved amounts of the cheesecake and chocolate variations to each half to make some of both without doubling the entire pudding recipe. Medium grain rice is important for this recipe. It can be found by the other varieties of rice. I haven't tried this recipe with long grain, brown rice, short grain or arborio so I can't weigh in on how those would fare as a substitution.


  • 4 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups cooked medium grain rice
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten and brought to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Cream Cheese Variation:
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes and softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablesoons powdered sugar
  • Chocolate Variation:
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder (regular or Dutch-process)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Pour 3 1/2 cups of the half-and-half, cooked rice, sugar, and salt into a large 3 to 4 quart pot. Stir constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon or flat silicone spatula until the mixture thickens, 25-35 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  2. Place the beaten egg in a medium bowl. Slowly add a spoonful of the hot pudding to the egg, whisking vigorously and constantly. Continue to temper the egg with 3-4 more spoonfuls of the hot pudding, whisking constantly. Add the tempered pudding and egg mixture into the pot of hot rice pudding, stirring quickly to incorporate. Return the pot to medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture boils.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the last 1/2 cup of half-and-half and the vanilla extract.


For the cheesecake version, stir the softened cubes of cream cheese into the hot pudding. Add the powdered sugar and stir well until the cream cheese is fully melted and incorporated. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming and refrigerate until ready to serve. The pudding can be served warm, room temperature or cold and will keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

For the chocolate version, add the cocoa, powdered sugar and 1/3 to 1/2 of the chocolate chips to the hot pudding. Stir until melted and smooth. Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Once chilled, stir in the remaining chocolate chips. Serve warm, room temperature or chilled. It will keep well covered in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Recipe Source: adapted and tested by my friend Ashli M, inspired by Pudding on the Rice

58 Responses to Cheesecake Rice Pudding {Plus a Chocolate Version!}

  1. Rebecca says:

    Has anyone ever tried making both ways in one, chocolate cream cheese rice pudding?? That sounds good to me!

  2. sabina says:

    Amazing !!!!!

  3. Marie says:

    Made this yesterday and it was all kinds of spectacular! We loved bites of it warm and loved it again cold. It is insanely rich and I only put in half of the cream cheese called for. We could only eat a few bites at a time because of the richness, but the flavor is outstanding. I think I’ll leave out the cream cheese next time I make it and see how we like that.

  4. susan says:

    this probably will come as no surprise to you but this recipe is awesome if you sub the half and half with coconut milk. I have made it with or without the cream cheese depending if it needs to be dairy free and then top it with some toasted coconut and mango slices and it’s heavenly

  5. Avery says:

    Hi Mel,

    Always love your recipes. Just had a question. My twins are allergic to egg. Would you know if I can substitute the egg with something else.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Avery – in this recipe, I’m not sure, to be honest. You might just try a bit more cream cheese to compensate for the richness the egg will leave out.

  6. Sm says:

    I’ve made this rice pudding at least 5 times and it is amazing EVERY time. The best. Every time I make it I’m like, “why don’t I make this more often?!”

    Just FYI for anyone who may be wondering, I was buying ingredients for this at target and their selection was obviously pretty small, so they didn’t have anything labeled “medium grain” like they typically do at the grocery store. But the internets said arborio rice IS an example of medium grain rice! And it did look like the medium grain rice I’d bought for this recipe before, so I bought it. It worked perfectly, and tasted the same and looked the same as it always has! So if anyone is wondering, arborio is medium grain rice and works perfectly in this recipe! (When I looked again some sites said arbori is medium grain, and some said short grain. But I’m going with medium!)

  7. Erin Masi says:

    Question about this recipe: are the measurements for the cheesecake and chocolate varieties for the whole batch, or are they if you spilt the batch into two? So if I make the full batch of rice and want to make both, do I need to half the amounts in each recipe? If that makes sense….

    • Mel says:

      Erin Masi – The measurements in the recipe are for either a full batch of cheesecake or a full batch of chocolate. Alternately, you can make the full batch of pudding, split the hot, cooked pudding in half and add halved amounts of the cheesecake and chocolate variations to each half to make some of both without doubling the entire pudding recipe.

  8. Mim says:

    OMG This looks solo delicious. I’ve recently found your blog and it is amazing. Thank you for sharing these great recipes. Can you please advise if there is a substitute that I can use for half-and-half? Thank you

  9. AJ says:

    I made this with long grain rice ( because that is what I had and didn’t want to wait!) and it turned out great. I haven’t tried it again with medium grain to compare what the difference would be, but I and a bunch of family LOVED it.

  10. Dee says:

    I was obsessed with the cheesecake rice pudding at Pudding on the Rice here in Portland, but sadly they’ve gone out of business! My craving will finally be filled with this recipe! I’m going to try sticking it in the crockpot rather than having to stir it on the stove! Fingers crossed!

  11. MW says:

    Hi Mel, When I clicked the Pudding on the Rice link, it brought up an inappropriate website. I don’t know if it does that for others, but thought you might want to know!

    • Mel says:

      MW – thank you so much for letting me know that! Looks like the link expired for the restaurant since I posted this a few years ago. I removed the link. Thanks, again!

  12. Hina says:

    Hi Mel

    Im from uk and would love to try this reciepe. Do I still carry out all ingredient half n half, egg sugar and rice etc…then add the variation topped with the remainder half n half? My bf likes chocolate and I like cheesecake soo this would be perfect.


    • Mel says:

      Hina – The recipe is written to make either a full batch of cheesecake or a full batch of chocolate rice pudding. Since you are just making this for two you can split the hot, cooked pudding in half, and add halved amounts of the cheesecake and chocolate variations to each half to make some of both without doubling the entire pudding recipe. Essentially, you will use the full amount of ingredients in the “pudding” section of the recipe and then the ingredients in the cheesecake and chocolate variations underneath will be halved. Enjoy!

  13. sharon says:

    Great site, I will b back 4 more recipes β˜…β˜…

  14. Heidi says:

    I had to comment again to say I made this with brown rice and it was great! I still prefer it with regular rice, but my guests that I served it to LOVED it and they aren’t even brown rice-lovers!

  15. Heidi says:

    This has got to be my favorite recipe on your blog and I’ve made a lot of them! Interestingly, I do not love the chocolate version like I love, love, love the cheesecake version. ( which is completely the opposite of what U would have guessed.). I cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup. This is so delicious I dream about it and almost always double the recipe when I make it. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tracey says:

    Just an FYI…I just made the cheesecake rice pudding with medium grain BROWN rice. I actually halved the recipe as well, but still used the full egg. It has great flavor, but the brown rice definitely doesn’t soften as much as the white rice does. It has a much chewier texture. Still good, but I prefer the white rice version. πŸ™‚

  17. Dara says:

    OMG!!! I have to thank you sooooo much for changing my life! I’ve made this 3 times already and it taste exactly like my favorite cheesecake rice pudding from NYC called Rice to Riches. It would have cost me almost $100 to order and ship, but your recipe has saved my life! Amazing!!!

  18. Mary Jane says:

    Do you add the cream cheese and powdered sugar after completely making the pudding with the egg or do you put the cream cheese in place of the egg?

    • Mel says:

      Mary Jane – for the cream cheese version, add the cream cheese and powdered sugar to the hot, cooked pudding (after the egg has already been added to the pudding).

  19. Jaylee says:

    Silly question but is it 2 cups of cooked rice, or is it 2 cups of uncooked rice that needs to be cooked?

    • Mel says:

      Jaylee – the 2 cups of rice called for in this recipe is already cooked so measure 2 cups cooked rice and you should be good.

  20. Jen M says:

    One of our traditions growing up was rice pudding on Christmas eve. We abandoned it because no one liked rice pudding though. This year I made this recipe for our rice pudding and it was delicious! I don’t know if I’ve just outgrown my dislike for rice pudding or if this is just a super fabulous recipe, but either way thanks for resurrecting a fun Christmas tradition for me!

  21. Jackie says:

    Yummy! We made this tonight for our “Grinch” feast. I told my kiddos it was Who Pudding and they loved it.

  22. Jen T says:

    We love rice pudding at our house, and we have been making the ‘original’ pudding on the rice recipe for years. It is so good! I have not seen this variety, and this is way easier than the original. We have the original every Christmas Eve. I will have to send you the original recipe–to.die.for. Making this tonight! Yum! Thanks!

  23. Rachel R. says:

    I made this last night, and both me and my husband were oooing and ahhing over it. I made the mistake of letting my son try it this morning and he was begging for more! Thank Mel!

  24. Jennifer says:

    We have rice pudding every year for Christmas. I am excited to have another recipe to try out. Sounds amazing.

  25. grace says:

    i was and still am a rice pudding hater. however, i recently had some chocolate grits that i thought would be terrible but ended up being one of the most delicious things ever, so i won’t rule this out automatically. πŸ™‚

  26. Janessa says:

    Hi Melanie,

    I love your blog and make many of your recipes. I was checking out your latest post and had to think that it was probably more then just a coincidence that my cousin’s name is Ashli, she lives in Wisconson, and loved going to Pudding on the Rice when she lived in Utah. Does your friend Ashli also have twin boys? Are you friends with my cousin? I also saw that you just moved to MN. We just moved from Plymouth but loved it while we were there. Anyways, I thought it was too funny not to say something. Thanks for all the yumminess you bring to life!

  27. teresa says:

    my husband just might marry me all over again if i made this for him!

  28. carrian says:

    My hubby loves rice pudding, but I’ve always been sooooo hesitant to make it. However, anything you make I am always willing to try. Seriously.

  29. Apparently I’m going to have to stop by the store and pick up a lot more half-and-half in order to make this rice pudding tomorrow. It looks and sounds absolutely phenomenal. I’m a huge fan of rice pudding. Thanks for the recipes. Now my biggest problem is deciding which version to make first. πŸ™‚

  30. Lindsey says:

    Just wanted to say that I love your website. After baby number three I have had an extremely hard time getting back into cooking. The postpartum blues hit me and the last thing I cared about every day is what we eat for dinner.
    I’ve been using multiple recipes off of your site and they have all been delicious. The best chocolate chip recipe is baking in my oven right now. Our favorite dinner recipe has been the broccoli cheese soup with homemade bread bowls. Yum!
    Keep it up, I appreciate the recipes!

  31. I have never been a big rice pudding fan. Maybe I have just had the wrong versions (read: bad versions) all my life! A chocolate and cheesecake version is probably the flavor combination that could change my anti rice pudding ways!

  32. cakewhiz says:

    i have had many types of rice puddings but your version has me speechless! and i like how you shared 2 versions… i want to try both of them πŸ˜€

  33. Mel says:

    Andrea – I haven’t tried it with Arborio so I can’t give you a for sure on how it would work out. Sorry!

  34. Mel says:

    Thanks, Heather – I fixed the link!

  35. I have never had rice pudding! Sad, right? I’ll have to change that soon πŸ™‚

  36. Andrea says:

    Okay, I am going to have to try this one. My husband loves rice pudding, and he also loves cheesecake, so this will be a fun surprise. Thanks!

  37. Andrea says:

    Every single night my dear husband says, “What’s for puddin’?” Soon I will surprise him with this one! I have one question to clarify the rice variety: would Arborio rice be a good variety to use for this? Can you give me a suggestion for proportions of rice to water since I usually use Arborio for paella or risotto. Thanks! Can’t wait…. yum…. πŸ™‚

  38. Alicia says:

    My brother worked at that Pudding On The Rice store in Provo… I never tried it, though. Like some of the other posters here, I’ve never had the nerve to try rice pudding. It’s a texture thing. But if I ever get the nerve to try it, this will be the recipe I try. Chocolate all the way. Cheesecake is the only thing I can eat that is cheesecake flavored. Weird, huh?

  39. Rachel Moody says:

    OH MY!!! Seriously!!! You never cease to amaze me!! I am going to try this. I was NEVER a fan of rice pudding…just…yuck! But, then there was a place in Provo called “Pudding on the Rice” and my sister forced me to go once and I fell in LOVE! I would go down to Provo just for it, but then they shut down πŸ™ broke my heart. I’ve never been able to eat any other rice pudding, just not the same. But, this one sounds like Pudding on the Rice Pudding!! I’m SO excited!! If it works well I may try toffee and amaretto and some of their other flavors I loved in this recipe(s). YIPPEE!!!!

  40. Jeff says:

    The recipe does sound great, but how does one get the pot stirred constantly for that length of time? Is there and “electric stirrer?”

  41. LOVE THIS. I love rice pudding. I love cheesecake. This seems like the perfect recipe πŸ˜€

  42. Heather says:

    I might have to try this, but I haven’t been a huge fan of rice pudding in the past.
    (Your original hyperlink is formatted incorrectly giving a 404 error πŸ™ )

  43. Katrina says:

    Oh man. This sounds do good! Must try it! We love rice pudding here, but often eat it mellowed out as breakfast with raisins added.
    This one looks lots better! I’m really bad about getting bits of egg in my pudding. I need to practice my tempering skills!

  44. Joelle says:

    I love that rice pudding shop! I have to avoid it otherwise I would need to shop for larger jeans…
    Thank you for posting these – I’ll probably try them with short grain brown rice. BTW, Pudding on the Rice has a chocolate peanut butter variety…hint, hint :+)

  45. StephenC says:

    I have myself convinced that I can adapt this to the tapioca I bought last week. Stop me before I’m caught pudding in my two cents again.

  46. Teresa says:

    I love rice pudding, and this is the recipe I’ve been using for over 12 years. When my husband and I first gor married, he worked as a waiter at an amazing local Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh. This was the recipe they used, and we’ve been using it ever since. It is the best recipe I’ve ever tried…hands down!

  47. Teresa R. says:

    I love rice pudding. I’ve never deviated from plain old rice pudding, so I’m excited to try this version. Thanks again!!!

  48. I love rice pudding, and these will be amazing, I’m sure.

  49. You’ve done it again! I don’t normally like rice pudding, so I’ve been avoiding it. But, I know if I make your version, I will love it! Bookmarking this for sure!

  50. Kim in MD says:

    I have a secret to confess…I have never had rice pudding! I don’t know why, but it’s just something I have never had nerve to try. This recipe looks delicious, and if I ever feel brave enough to make rice pudding, this will be the recipe I try! πŸ™‚

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