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Rice Pudding Taste-Off: Kozy Shak, Canned or Made From Scratch?

Posted by Lisa | Wednesday June 13, 201231 comments


I am often overwhelmed by the amount of products available at the grocery store - especially all the convenience and instant versions of things. Is it really worth taking shortcuts? Or do things always taste better when you make them from scratch?

Rice pudding is available in all sorts of forms in the grocery store. It also happens to be one of my favourite desserts. I heard that it is super easy to make but I had been introduced to Kozy Shak rice pudding (available in the dairy section of most grocery stores) years ago and never bothered to learned how to make it. I figured whenever I felt like a treat it was just as easy to go to the store and buy some.

I decided it was time I learned how to make rice pudding from scratch so I set up a taste test between homemade rice pudding, Kozy Shak rice pudding and canned rice pudding.

The Contenders
1. Kozy Shak Rice Pudding
2. Canned Rice Pudding
3. Stovetop Rice Pudding
Since there is no work required for contenders 1 and 2, let’s get straight to #3:

Stovetop Rice Pudding


Recipe from: The Joy of Cooking

Combine in a large heavy saucepan:
¾ cup medium- or long-grain white rice
1 ½ cups water
Heaping ¼ tsp salt


Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the water has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in:
4 cups whole milk
½ cup sugar

Cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 30 minutes, stirring frequently, especially toward the end of cooking. The pudding is done when the rice and milk have made a thick porridge. Do not overcook.

Remove from the heat, and stir in:
½ tsp vanilla

Spoon into a serving bowl or six 5- to 6-ounce custard cups or ramekins. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold. If you wish, sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

The Results


Homemade rice pudding won hands down! The regular homemade rice pudding had the most flavour and you could really taste the flavour of the vanilla. The rice also had a good texture (it was soft but not mushy).

The Kozy Shak and canned rice puddings tasted bland, goopy and somewhat artificial in comparison. This was so upsetting for me to discover as I have always relied on Kozy Shak in the past as a quick and easy treat!


I even tried to make a ‘healthier version’ of rice pudding by reducing the sugar and using 1% milk instead of whole milk. Word of advice: Stick to the regular version when making rice pudding. The ‘healthier version’ ended up tasting bland compared to the original version.

Another great thing about rice pudding is that it is very versatile. A friend of mine made rice pudding using coconut milk. You can add other flavourings such as chocolate, coffee, caramel, or in the case of my friend, coconut and elderflower syrup. This was a good example of how you can experiment with a simple recipe and add different flavours to make your own variation.


After this taste test one thing is for certain: I won’t be buying canned or Kozy Shak rice pudding anytime soon. I'm going to start making my own rice pudding from now on.

Bon Appetit!

All Photos by: Jane Lee
By:  Lisa Koo
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23 Comments

on June 20, 2012  bdeyell86  2,033 said:


Love rice pudding!

on June 20, 2012  no1-mom  1,031 said:

Ew eww and double eewww.. Can't stand it! Tanks for trying to convert me it almost worked! Lol

on June 20, 2012  takanikki  2,265 said:

Bookmarking. I've never actually tried rice pudding. I'm going to try making this next time!

on June 19, 2012  roadee  2,181 said:

It's great to see all these comments and I'm glad to hear that some of you might try making it from scratch. I was totally content with Kozy Shak before I compared it with homemade. The difference in taste is amazing when you compare them side by side. Plus rice pudding is easy to make, so why not treat yourself right and eat the good stuff?

I haven't tried using honey instead of sugar when making rice pudding but I don't see why it wouldn't work. There might be a slight flavour from the honey but rice pudding is so versatile, it should work just fine. If you do try making it with honey, let me know how it goes!

on June 18, 2012  MizzRobin  13,788 said:


I absolutely detest rice pudding but I will pass this article along to friends who like it!

on June 17, 2012  shuey  2,784 said:

HA hA Lisa, we are making it now~ thanks

on June 14, 2012  mamaluv  STAFF said:

I tried Kozy Shack once and didn't care for it, but perhaps I got a bad batch. I always make my own and love to play with different variations. I don't usually make it fresh though. When I have leftover rice in the fridge (from a dinner earlier in the week), I heat it up on the stove with a dose of milk (quantity depends on how much rice I have!). I try to keep the temp just below boiling and let it sit until it really soaks it up. The final texture isn't quite as creamy as others' recipes, but I actually prefer it this way. Good way to use up leftovers!

on June 14, 2012  SeeWan  2,148 said:

I love homemade ice pudding too, but Kozy Shak comes in as a close 2nd.

on June 14, 2012  Tiffmorris  1,792 said:

The coconut milk is a great idea, I must try that next time I make some. I never used to eat rice pudding, until I came across a great baked rice pudding recipe.

on June 14, 2012  ellstar  4,814 said:

I still love Kozy Shack, but my boyfriend makes a mean rice pudding with raisins or currants. Yummm

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