First it was zesty revani. This time, it’s a much-loved Turkish version of a classic Rice Pudding. Here’s our Sütlaç recipe!
What’s this? Haven’t we spent years (double figures, at that!) mentioning to you in countless articles on this blog that neither of us has a particularly sweet tooth?
And now, here we are with our second Turkish dessert recipe in a row.
As a kid, one of the desserts I always really liked was rice pudding.
And so, with sütlaç, there’s that feeling of comfort. And of familiarity.
A sweet flavour and a creamy, milky texture that links British childhood with Turkish life today.
Skin On Top
And then there’s the oh-so-important skin on top.
If there was a family gathering at her house for Sunday lunch, my great auntie would always have a huge dish of homemade rice pudding in the oven.
Over which a layer of dark skin would form.
We would all hanker for a share of that skin in our bowls.
This Turkish sütlaç recipe doesn’t disappoint in that department!
We’re going to be making our sütlaç in a pan on the hob. And, once it’s ready, you can eat it as it is, if you like.
For us, however, for sütlaç to look the part and taste the part, we need that darker layer of skin over the top.
Yes, including some burnt bits, too!
Because when have you ever been into a lokanta Turkish restaurant or a patisserie in Turkey and peered into the fridge and not seen some of those tasty burnt bits on top of the sütlaç?
Sütlaç Recipe – Rice Pudding, Turkish Style
The great thing about this sütlaç recipe is that it’s just so easy!
The most taxing thing you’re going to have to do is stir the ingredients in the pan so that your sütlaç doesn’t stick to the bottom.
We’re going to be using a short grain version. As with our recipe for Turkish rice, you can use baldo pirinç.
We use an even shorter grain; osmancık.
Don’t worry if you can’t get Turkish brands. Starchy arborio is also good for sütlaç.
And no need to worry about rinsing that starch away, either. We need that to help thicken our pudding.
Once our rice is cooked, it’s simply a case of mixing it with the rest of our ingredients: milk, cream, sugar and vanilla.
And, of course, the ingredient that thickens our sütlaç: cornstarch.
Depending on the size of your oven proof serving bowls, this sütlaç recipe will serve four people.
If you want the darker skin on top – we do – place the bowls under a hot grill until the sütlaç bubbles and colours.
Either serve your sütlaç hot or enjoy it as it’s eaten in Turkey: served straight from the fridge. Refrigerate for two to three hours before eating.
And when it’s time to eat? Well how satisfying to break through that pudding skin and release the creamy white sütlaç beneath? Pure sweet comfort in a bowl…
Turkish Rice Pudding Recipe – FAQs
Sütlaç is one of the most famous rice pudding recipes and is a hugely popular, traditional dessert in Turkish cuisine.
Known as fırın sütlaç (Turkish baked rice pudding) if it is cooked in the oven, these creamy desserts can also be cooked on the hob in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
This will still give you a perfect rice pudding and is the method our recipe uses.
Sütlaç uses simple ingredients and is very easy to make. You can even make this comforting dessert from your unseasoned cooked rice leftovers.
As long as you are constantly stirring your rice and milk mixture with a wooden spoon, you will soon have authentic Turkish rice pudding.
If you’re in Turkey, vanilla extract or vanilla pods can be difficult to find. We use a sachet of vanilla sugar instead.
Starchy, short grain rice is best for making your pudding. There are different types of rice that are suitable.
If you’re in Turkey or you have a nearby Turkish or Middle Eastern grocery store or supermarket, look for osmancık or baldo pirinç.
Alternatively, risotto rice such as arborio will be suitable. The starch of the rice will help to create the thick, creamy texture.
When you are happy with the consistency of your sütlaç, divide the hot mixture between oven-proof ramekins.
If you want a set of traditional Turkish rice puddings, use small clay pots that can be used as individual serving bowls. Some people also use aluminium foil trays. These are also recyclable.
If you want, you can take your sütlaç to a whole new level by placing the bowls on an oven tray and putting them under a hot grill until you get a golden brown layer of skin.
For best results and most enjoyment, leave them to cool to room temperature and refrigerate before serving.
A light sprinkling of ground cinnamon over the top adds a bit of extra flavour.
If you keep your rice pudding covered, it will last for up to 5 days in the fridge.
We have never frozen our sütlaç as various sources suggest this will change the consistency of the rice pudding.
Sütlaç is a creamy milk-based dessert and whilst it’s not something that ought to be part of your daily diet, it does contain calcium.
If you want to make a light dessert, you can use fewer rice grains and substitute the cream for fresh milk. Use whole milk rather than skimmed for a creamy flavour.
Ingredients & Method
Let’s make sütlaç – sweet comfort in a bowl…
Sütlaç Recipe – Rice Pudding, Turkish-Style
For The Rice
- 50 grams short grain rice
- 110 millilitres water just enough to cover
For The Pudding
- 80 grams sugar
- 450 millilitres fresh whole milk
- 100 millilitres double cream
- 1 dessert spoonful cornstarch
- 1 dessert spoonful vanilla extract or 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to garnish
- Add your water and rice to a medium-sized saucepan.
- Bring the water to the boil and then simmer until the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked.
- Now add the milk, leaving a splash (around 30 mls) behind.
- Pour in the sugar and the double cream and stir together.
- Bring the mixture to the boil.
- Meanwhile, add the remainder of your milk to your cornstarch and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.
- Turn the heat down to medium and gradually pour in your cornstarch and milk mixture, stirring constantly.
- Continue to stir your sütlaç gently for around 15 minutes until the pudding is thick and creamy.
- Share your sütlaç between 4 small, individual oven-proof bowls, dust the tops with a little cinnamon (if using) and allow to cool a little so that it sets on top.
- Preheat your grill and place your bowls of sütlaç under the heat until the top bubbles and darkens.
- Allow to cool and then place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- Eat your sütlaç directly from the dish.
- Use the measurements in this sütlaç recipe as a guide. You can decide over time how starchy you like your sütlaç or how much rice to milk ratio you prefer.
- In Turkey, sütlaç is served in individual oven-proof terracotta sütlaç bowls. If you don’t have small oven proof bowls, you can use foil cases.
- You can eat your sütlaç hot but it is traditionally eaten cold, straight from the fridge.
Friday 7th of October 2022
A great recipe for a great dessert. Have spent many happy hours in Turkey after a main meal looking and arguing where the best sutlac is served.
I reduced the sugar to 50g to better suit the English sweet tooth.
What a great site you have
Turkey's For Life
Saturday 8th of October 2022
Hi Ian, thanks a lot for your comment and really pleased you like the site - and the sütlaç recipe. We completely understand re the sugar. we do that, often, too. :)
Monday 26th of September 2022
Great and easy to follow recipe for this "love alll things Turkish....ga1!!!
Turkey's For Life
Tuesday 4th of October 2022
Thanks for your comment and star rating. Much appreciated. Glad the sütlaç recipe worked well for you. :)
Sunday 14th of February 2021
I absolutely love sutlaç and make sure I eat loads when in Istanbul!! Do they use buffalo milk?
Turkey's For Life
Monday 1st of March 2021
Hi Anne-Marie, sütlaç is so comforting isn't it. not sure about the buffalo milk. We dare say some specialist places will use it - kaymak is traditionally made from buffalo milk so don't see why not.