Golden Syrup Rice Pudding

Rice Pudding

Rice pudding is something of a British institution, served up in insipid and stodgy piles in school canteens up and down the land. Yet the inhabitants of these great isles by and large look upon the non-descript white mass that inhabited the pudding bowls of their formative years through some kind of ironic rose-tinted haze, as though nostalgia alone were enough to carry short grain rice into the upper echelons of the pudding hierarchy. Happily, this isn’t always the case and an increasing number of recipes are proving that rice pudding can be incredible – with this rendition I’d happily claim the proof is in the pudding!

One of the problems with an average rice pudding is that it is usually a little watery and flavourless. Semi-skimmed milk is not an option here – if you’re going to make rice pudding you need to go all out. Using a very rich milk will yield an extremely delicious and creamy pudding – it’s a worthy sacrifice. Golden syrup has a similar effect, helping to thicken the sauce and improve the flavour on a fundamental level with a slightly burnished sweetness, in some way making up for the lack of skin – more on that below!

Rice Pudding

There are two popular ways of preparing rice pudding; you can either boil it or bake it. Boiling your pudding rice will yield a sort of smooth rice porridge which will go down without any trouble whatsoever. The baked version requires a little more thought as it’ll be a bit thicker and have a delicious, brown skin that children have been fighting over for centuries (probably because for most of that time it’s been the only tasty part of a rice pudding). Baked rice pudding also takes a great deal of time (2 hours) – the recipe below is certainly suited to those of you in a hurry. How do you eat yours?

Golden Syrup Rice Pudding

Serves 2-4


• 70g pudding rice

• 568ml (1 pint) full cream milk

• 40g butter

• 2 tbsp golden syrup

• Whole nutmeg, grated


1. Place you rice, milk, butter and syrup in a saucepan, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve once thick, creamy and soft through with a little freshly grated nutmeg.

Rice Pudding

Cost: This entire dessert which would easily provide a reasonable portion for four should set you back a mere £1 – good ol’ frugal British traditions!


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78 comments on “Golden Syrup Rice Pudding

  1. Rebecca Rockefeller, Rock Farmer
    May 15, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Oh, this looks lovely – Thank you! I love real, home-cooked rice pudding and I love golden syrup, but I’ve never put the two together before.

  2. Patch
    May 15, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Rice pudding is a favourite here and, having an aga, it’s always baked. Never tried it with syrup though so I shall give this a go. Mum used to make it with a tin of watered down evaporated milk… gave it a rich caramelly taste…. Used to love that when I was a kid.

  3. La Deetda Reads
    May 15, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    I just made rice pudding today, on the stove top so boiling I would guess. Milk mixed with half n half, rice and a pinch of salt cooked for about an hour on low after the boil. Then stir in three eggs beaten with 1/2 c sugar, cook another 5 min. then stir in raisins and vanilla. cool and eat for breakfast lunch and dessert. Yum!

    • Fionabee
      May 16, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Oh no not raisins, sacrilege!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      Sounds so delicious. I shall be using some of these ideas in my baked recipe.

  4. Kumquat
    May 15, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    and gluten free! but may I ask what is golden syrup?

  5. cathyn61
    May 15, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Oh yum! Rice pudding is a big favourite in this household. And adding golden syrup is a tasty addition given that family members have grown up with golden syrup dumplings (another favourite).

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      Ooooh – I can feel a dumpling recipe coming on…

  6. Laurie
    May 15, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Golden syrup isn’t something I’ve come across before. I had to look up what it is. It sounds like it is related to molasses, but darker. If that is correct, I imagine that it is quite good in rice pudding.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      I think it’s lighter, a little like a dark corn syrup (but nicer)

  7. ladyredspecs
    May 15, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    My Mum always baked a rice pudding on the bottom shelf of the oven under the roast dinner. I loved at as a kid and still do. I use the recipe from a 1907 edition of Mrs Beetons Housekeeping, full cream milk, butter, rice, sugar, nutmeg.

  8. mittsandmeasures
    May 16, 2013 at 12:01 am

    I’ve never had this but would like to give it a try. The recipe calls for pudding rice. I’ve also never seen this. Is that what it’s called or is there an equivalent?

  9. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    May 16, 2013 at 12:43 am

    Looks great and we can finally buy golden syrup here rather easily.

  10. Chris Giulianotti
    May 16, 2013 at 3:17 am

    Always loved rice pudding. Try it with 1/2 coconut milk and 1/2 full milk and sprinkle some coconut on top. It’s great chilled too.

  11. libertyonless
    May 16, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Yummmm! Looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  12. fishingblues
    May 16, 2013 at 5:44 am

    This American isn’t sure what golden syrup is either, but this is very similar to how I make rice pudding. I’m a rice pudding fanatic! My mom always made baked pudding, but I make it boiled with butter, milk, cardamom, nutmeg, a little vanilla. For sweetener I use either brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. A splash of rum or bourbon is wonderful too! I have some friends that are lactose intolerant and I’ve cooked them rice pudding with soy milk that turned out great.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:59 pm

      I believe it’s like corn syrup, only much nicer! I’ll be doing a baked rendition very soon. Yours sounds lovely. Maple syrup and bourbon sounds amazing!

  13. mawarre
    May 16, 2013 at 7:52 am

    It’s my kid’s favourite dessert and a wonderful reminder of their grandmother who made a great rice pudding. Our family always made it with sugar, but drizzled a little golden syrup over the top when serving. I really like the idea of putting the syrup in the pudding – will be trying this soon, as winter is upon us her in Australia.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:51 pm

      Good to see a child enjoying it so much! Syrup works so well.

  14. cookinginsens
    May 16, 2013 at 8:53 am

    No rice pudding for me thanks but I love that blue bowl and where on earth did you find that flat spoon? Great!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:50 pm

      Oh, Rosemary – I KNOW you’d like this rendition. I nicked the flat spoon from a posh cafe :D. Couldn’t leave it behind!

  15. Stephanie @ Steph Loves Cake
    May 16, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Sounds lovely, the only bit that would disappoint my hubby is the lack of skin, which he feels is essential, me, not so much. I will try this out, your bolognese recipe has also been a huge hit in my home

    • frugalfeeding
      May 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      I’ll be doing abaked version soon so sit tight!

  16. Sophia
    May 16, 2013 at 9:20 am

    After a mini heatwave, Rome is currently drowning in rain with much colder temperatures – perfect weather for rice pudding! Intrigued by the butter, golden syrup and nutmeg – growing up we typically cooked the pudding rice in milk, added sugar to sweeten and then served it sprinkled with more sugar or some homemade fruit compote but I could definitely replace that with some golden syrup and butter! My grandma sometimes stirred in an egg yolk right at the end, makes this somewhat less decadent but deliciously creamy.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:49 pm

      Exactly! I think it can be done many ways – milk is a must, unless you want cream. Golden syrup is just such a delicious way to sweeten a dish. I’ll be adding egg yolk to my baked version.

  17. fionaward
    May 16, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Nutmeg and rice pudding = guaranteed happiness!

  18. Lazy Suzan
    May 16, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    My mom used to make rice pudding for us all the time! I don’t know of anyone else whose family made it here in the states. This sounds like a great way induce a little nostalgia, I’m going to have to make it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe and lovely photos.

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      I think it’s very much a British thing… Thanks!

  19. fibot
    May 16, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Oh yes a wonderful British tradition and also a family favourite in our (very Australian) household when I was a kid!!! xx

  20. ann @ acbcDesign
    May 16, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Sounds wonderful! My husband LOVES rice pudding and introduced me to it. I have never heard of golden syrup, but I think I’m going to track some down and try this recipe out.

  21. Iain
    May 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    I never liked rice pudding, too many school dinners stuck in my memory. That said your version looks very tasty, I like the addition of golden syrup and nutmeg. Might give this one a try 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      I’ve never liked it much, but this changed all that.

  22. Miss P
    May 16, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    This is something that sounds so warm and comforting right now….mmm

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      That’s exactly what it was – a hug in a bowl!

  23. The One-Handed Cook
    May 16, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    This looks completely yummy – perfect for a not-very-warm May evening. Lovely photos 🙂

  24. annesturetucker
    May 16, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    This looks like a real treat!

  25. Linne
    May 17, 2013 at 6:33 am

    Another great recipe! My Mum used leftover rice to make rice pudding; she added raisins, eggs beaten with canned milk and brown sugar, then sprinkled cinnamon on top. We loved it and I still make it from time to time. ~ Linne

    • frugalfeeding
      May 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Thanks – sounds wonderfully rich. I’ve already got a baked version formulating in my head with a couple of egg yolks thrown in.

  26. Lisa the Gourmet Wog
    May 17, 2013 at 10:17 am

    This is exactly what I’m craving right now…

  27. sensitive flour
    May 17, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    You had me at ‘golden syrup’. 😀

  28. Villy
    May 17, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I adore rice pudding. It was a staple in our house, at least once a week my mother prepared it!

  29. spree
    May 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    My mum would love this Nick. (I think her daughter might too!) 🙂

  30. fortyjarsfull
    May 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    Not a huge fan but this sounds yummy , might have to try it …let you know what I think 🙂

  31. Lottie
    May 18, 2013 at 12:26 am

    I make mine in the slow cooker, with a little butter, syrup and nutmeg added into the packet recipe for good measure! I like to make the whole house smell like my pudding before I eat it…

  32. Shira
    May 18, 2013 at 2:06 am

    I love rice pudding Nick – this looks yummy indeed 🙂 I only make it with leftover waste!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Fantastic – thanks Shira! That’s a good, frugal idea!

  33. Stephanie
    May 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

    I love rice pudding! I’ve not heard of golden syrup before… I’m guessing it’s similar to vanilla extract with thickening properties?!?!

    • grumpytyke
      May 18, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Golden syrup, which used to be known to every child in Britain, is just liquid sugar. It’s great on rice pudding, pancakes, sponge pudding, etc. The usual (only?) maker available in the UK, Tate & Lyle, fairly recently introduced a chocolate flavoured version, good also on ice-cream; it’s pretty decadent!

      • frugalfeeding
        May 27, 2013 at 5:40 pm

        A few supermarkets do their own brand now, but it’s not quite as nice!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 27, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      Umm – not really. It’s thicker and tastes of browned sugar.

      • Stephanie
        May 27, 2013 at 5:47 pm

        It sounds wonderful! Especially the chocolate flavor! 😀

    • Chris Giulianotti
      February 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Nothing like Vanilla extract! It is a thick and liquid gold in colour (note British spelling as it is a British product) and is of exceptional sweetness. It is made by Abraham Lyle & Sons of Tate and Lyle fame – who have the esteemed credit of “Purveyor to the Queen of England”. It’s logo is a reclining (probably dead) lion with bees all around it with the slogan – “Out of the strong came forth sweetness”. This is part of a quote from the bible – Judges 14:14 “and he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat and nout of the strong came forth sweetness”
      The closest US product I can think of would be the light colored Karo syrup.

  34. grumpytyke
    May 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Full cream milk and butter. A man after my own heart! But I’d say bake it (stir in the brown top from time to time before serving with the final brown skin), and skimmed or semi-skimmed milk is NEVER an option, in anything. Golden syrup is good, but honey’s better (but maybe not so frugal) and I always add a few drops of vanilla essence. Rice pudding is gourmet food on a budget! Thanks for the ‘like’ on my mackerel – very frugal – and there are few other frugals in the past on my blog (like Oxo-flavoured suet pattie – my staple when a student long, long ago).

    • frugalfeeding
      May 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      I’ll be doing a baked version relatively soon – I wanted to cover both bases.

  35. musingmar
    May 19, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Ah, comfort food. My Flemish mother made her rice pudding with raisins. My kids turned their noses up it; no accounting for taste!

  36. Sophie33
    May 21, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    A simple yet very satisfying tasty rice pudding! It looks very appetizing too! 🙂

    • frugalfeeding
      May 27, 2013 at 5:24 pm

      Very simple indeed, but it was absolutely delicious.

  37. accordingtocarey
    June 5, 2013 at 12:33 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more about the skim milk, only whole milk will do! And if a little splash of cream should make it’s way in there, well…. 🙂

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    June 25, 2013 at 8:47 pm

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  39. Kirsten
    May 11, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    I am firmly in the ‘baked’ camp, and I have to say, the drier the better. I love it all stodgy and sticky!!

    • frugalfeeding
      May 18, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      I’ll definitely have to do a baked version too. I really fancy rice pudding now.

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