Food mashups can be a big swing. Sometimes they work and sometimes they should be left alone. This rice pudding cake though? Definitely a mashup worth trying.
Rice Pudding Cake
Rice pudding is one of those desserts you either love or hate. It has a distinct texture and is super creamy. I’m a fan, but it definitely falls into the dessert category of something that I have once a year, tops. However, this rice pudding cake from Claire Saffitz’s Dessert Person cookbook caught my eye for the unusual presentation and I knew I had to try it out. My mom is a big rice pudding fan so I made it for her birthday back in January. It clearly isn’t your typical birthday cake, but I’m happy to report back that it was a hit.
I’ve never made rice pudding, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure about the full process. Turns out, it’s pretty simple. To make the rice pudding mixture, you basically make rice with whole milk, a can of evaporated milk, and a bunch of spices. The mixture gets super creamy and very milky (sorry if dairy isn’t your thing, might I suggest these sprinkle sugar cookies instead?). Once that mixture is set, it gets hit with a few tablespoons of butter (really again, very dairy heavy) to thicken and cool. The mixture then gets mixed with a bunch of eggs to make it more into a custard and poured right into a springform pan to officially bake like a traditional cake in the oven.
Mango Caramel Sauce
This cake is a little weird, I am not going to lie. But my favorite part about the whole recipe was the mango caramel sauce. I had no idea you could flavor caramel with fruit. It’s definitely one of those things that you eat and you’re like why haven’t I done this before. The caramel gets made just like a traditional caramel sauce with sugar, heavy cream, and butter (again, we’re talking indulgent!). The mango then gets added into the caramel right when the sugar starts to turn, allowing it to release its natural juices and flavors. The mango essentially dissolves into the sugar mixture and gives the caramel such a natural and bright flavor. I could easily just eat this with a spoon and be very happy.
Flavors and Textures
This cake is all about the different textures and flavors. Claire’s recipe uses rum, cardamom, and vanilla beans to flavor the rice pudding. I am not the biggest cardamom fan and didn’t have the right rum on hand, so I opted to go with just a bunch of cinnamon to flavor the rice pudding. The rum would have been a nice complement to the mango caramel, but the cinnamon worked out great. This recipe is pretty adaptable if those flavors aren’t your thing. Pretty much whatever you put in the rice pudding mixture when it is cooking will be your main flavor profile. In the future, I could definitely see adding in some coffee, peanut butter, or brown sugar. They wouldn’t all go with the mango caramel, but you can adjust that one too. Just swap out whatever fruit is in season for the mango and follow the recipe the same.
So I know this is technically a cake, but the texture isn’t like your normal cake. It’s somehow spongy and piecey all at the same time. The custard and rice come together to basically make rice pudding in a sliceable form. It’s weird but in a good way.
If this has peaked your interested, check out the recipe below and let me know what you think!
Rice Pudding Cake with Mango CaramelCourse: DessertCuisine: dessertDifficulty: Medium
This cake takes what you love about rice pudding and puts it in a sliceable form. Top the cake with a mango caramel sauce for a fruit twist.
- Mango Caramel Sauce
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mango, roughly about 1 large mango
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Rice Pudding Cake
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
1 12oz can evaporated milk
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
2-4 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
1 large mango, sliced thin for serving
- Make the caramel sauce. In a small sauce pan, combine the sugar and 1/3 cup of water over medium heat. Lightly stir the mixture to dissolve the sugar, but stop stirring as soon as the mixture comes to a boil. Keep a spoon or pastry brush nearby to scrape down the sides and keep the sugar off the sides of the pan. Let the sugar cook for about 7-10 minutes, or until it turns into a deep amber color.
- As soon as the color turns, remove the sugar mixture from the heat and add in the mango. Let the mango sit and return the mixture to a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. The mango will start to get juicy and the liquid will spill out. Once the mango looks pretty cooked, slowly add in the heavy cream. Do this slowly so it won’t spill back on to you. Then stir in the butter one piece at a time to get a smooth mixture. Add in the salt and let the mixture continue cooking on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes to thicken up. Once thick, take off the heat and let cool. Once the mixture is cool, use a handheld blender or immersion blender to make the caramel smooth. Then set it aside while you make the rice pudding mixture.
- In a medium sauce pan, mix together the rice, whole milk, evaporated milk, sugar, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon (add as much cinnamon as you would like to flavor the pudding). Cook the mixture lower low-medium heat and let it come to a simmer. You’ll want to keep stirring the mixture so it doesn’t completely stick to the bottom. Let the rice mixture cook for about 25-30 minutes. You’ll know when it’s done and ready to go when the mixture looks a little translucent and the rice is floating to the top. It will be pretty thick too.
- When the mixture looks ready, remove it from the heat and add in the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, letting them completely melt. Continue to stir the mixture until it cools down, pretty much to room temperature.
- While the mixture is cooling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9-inch springform pan with parchment and grease. Set aside until needed.
- When the mixture is fully cool, add in the eggs. Make sure the mixture is cool, otherwise the eggs will just cook here and it will ruin the rice pudding. Stir in the eggs and egg yolks until fully combined. The mixture should be pretty thick at this point.
- Add the mixture to the prepared pan and bake for about 45-55 minutes. The cake will look slightly brown on top when ready. It will also spring back in the pan. Let the cake cool completely before serving.
- When ready to serve the cake, garnish with the sliced mango and add the caramel sauce on top. The cake will last for about 3 days, but keep it in the fridge. After 3 days, the cake will start to mold with all the dairy, so eat this one up fast!
Did you make this recipe?! Let me know and share it on Instagram. Tag @crispcrumble and use the hashtag #crispandcrumble.
This recipe is based on Clair Saffitz’s Rice Pudding Cake With Mango Caramel Sauce