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Dessert – Dominican Style

dense arepa dominicana cake all sliced up

easy photo holder; clothes pin hot glued to wood kebab skewer & painted

another vesion with the skewer poking through an upside down tin can

Yesterday, Mr. D and his friend, Kirsten, spent most of the day cooking numerous batches of Arroz con leche (Dominican Republic Rice Pudding)  and baking enough Arepa Dominicana Dulce (Dominican Style Sweetened Cornmeal Cake) to serve sixty for a fundraiser today. Their former elementary school principal traveled to the Dominican Repulic in December to help build a school under the auspices of World Servants, Inc. Mr. D and Kirsten are in charge of the event tonight where their principal will  share her experiences and the guests will get a little “taste” of the Dominican Repulic.

The recipes were garnered from a couple of great Dominican  Republic cooking sites, dominicancooking.com and dominicanflavor.com. The kids made eight batches of the Arroz con leche (Dominican Republic Rice Pudding) and three batches of the Arepa Dominican Dulce (Dominican Style Sweetened Cornmeal Cake). The rice pudding was pretty straight forward. It has a pudding-y texture, light on the rice and nicely spiced. The cake is very interesting;  it is very, very dense, with the cream of coconut imparting a good coconut flavor to it and the anise adding a licorice component. FYI, in my local grocery store, the cream of coconut is found in the alcohol/ wine section with the mixers. When the cake was baked in the larger size pan, it took closer to one hour and a half to get done. We all liked it. Rita, Kirsten’s mom, commented, “I’d make this again”. That’s a pretty good compliment.

Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

adapted from domincancooking.com

Serving Size: 6-8 servings


  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 t. cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 3 cups (not cans) evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup or more raisins
  • 2 T. butter
  • ground nutmeg for sprinkling over the top

Cooking Directions:

  1. Cook the rice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, salt and water over medium heat until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid sticking.
  2. Add the milk and sugar and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the raisins and cook over a low heat until the pudding thickens.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Remove the cloves and cinnamon sticks and stir in the butter.
  6. Cool to room temperature.

Arepa Dominicana Dulce (Dominican Style Sweetened Cornmeal Cake)

adapted from dominicanflavor.com

Serving Size: about 24 good sized pieces or 12 extra large ones

Calories per serving: I do not even want to know


  • 4 cups cornmeal
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 5 cups milk
  • 2 cans (12 oz. each) evaporated milk
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) coconut cream (i.e. Coco Lopez or Goya brand)
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 T. anise
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • butter for greasing pan and dotting top of cake

Cooking Directions:

  1. In a separate bowl, mix together cornmeal and water with a fork so the cornmeal is very moist, but not swimming in water.
  2. In a large pot, thoroughtly mix together milk, evaporated milk, coconut cream, light brown sugar, raisins, anise, cinnnamon sticks, salt and vanilla. Bring to a light boil (it will take 10-15 minutes) while stirring frequently.
  3. Add the cornmeal mixture while stirring constantly and cook until it becomes quite thick....this does not take very long.
  4. Pour mixture into a buttered large baking dish (15x10x2) or a couple of (13x9) baking dishes.
  5. Dot the top with a couple of tablespoons of butter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for appoximately 1 hour to 1 hour, 15 minutes. You may need to put foil over it near the end if it is getting too brown. The arepa is done when a knife poked in the middle comes out clean.

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