Learn all the tips and tricks on How to Make Cream of Wheat that I learned through the years of making Puerto Rican Farina and perfecting it.
In Puerto Rico, we love hot cereals for breakfast, and early on I learned how to make cream of wheat or farina. They are the same thing, essentially 2 different brands of ground wheat.
In Puerto Rico we call it farina no matter the brand. It is part of our culture and is even served in schools with a piece of cheese, saltine crackers, and my favorite sausages.
Puerto Rican Farina is very smooth, creamy, and delicious. Traditionally made with milk, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and cinnamon.
You will see different brands of Farina in the supermarkets, they’re all the same, and not much of a difference in flavor.
- Sugar- I used ½ cup of white sugar. This may seem like a lot but this is a recipe meant to be sweet. If you are trying to use less just add half of what the recipe suggests and taste the milk. This is the best way to know if is the right amount of sweetness.
- Farina- I used ½ cup of regular farina.
- Salt- I used ½ teaspoon of salt to enhance all the flavors. I feel like salt is a must to balance out the sugar.
- Milk- I used 2 ½ cups of whole milk. The milk makes a very creamy farina. I don’t recommend using water because it won’t be as creamy and it doesn’t add any flavor to the recipe.
- Vanilla extract- I used 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and have also used the same amount of almond extract.
Substitutions and Variations
- Spices- Some people like to add spices like whole cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves, or star anise like the tea base made for a coquito.
- Milk- You can substitute the same amount of milk for evaporated milk, coconut milk, almond milk, or oat milk. Substitute for the same amount of regular milk. These substitutions are great because you can make different flavor variations.
- Sweetener- You can substitute the white granulated sugar for brown sugar or honey. Maple syrup is very good too.
- Flavoring- My favorites are vanilla and almond extract. I have experimented by adding coconut, butter, and even coffee. I suggest you add only 1 teaspoon at a time and taste the milk to see if you like the flavor.
How to make it
- Step 1: In a medium size pan add all the dry ingredients and mix them. This is the trick I use to avoid lumps in my mix.
- Step 2: Slowly add your milk while mixing. I like to add the milk to the dry ingredients because if you add the ingredients to the milk, they tend to form big lumps.
📓 Note: While this recipe is made on the stovetop, farina can be made in the microwave by mixing everything and cooking on high for 1 minute at a time and then mixing. Repeat this for 3 minutes or until desired consistency.
- Step 3: Set the heat to high and slowly stir while the cream of wheat cooks. We do this to avoid lumps and to prevent anything from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Step 4: Cook for 7 minutes. You will notice that the mix is creamy and runny, that is the consistency you should be looking for.
📓 Note: The cooking time is based on how much milk is used. The less milk or liquid it has the faster it cooks but the thicker it will be.
- If you’re looking for a thicker consistency add ¼ cup more of cream of wheat. This will make it thicker and it will have a mashed potato consistency.
- Keep in mind that farina thickens as it cools. So don’t overcook it.
There are many toppings you can add to a farina. Not traditional in Puerto Rican Farina but still delicious.
- Fruits like berries, apples, or orange slices.
- Nuts like almonds or walnuts.
- Cocoa powder or chocolate chunks.
- A teaspoon of guava sauce, maple syrup, honey, or agave.
Can I reheat Farina?
I don’t suggest making Farina ahead of time and then reheating it because is best served hot. But if you have some leftovers and want to reheat add 2 tablespoons of milk, stir and reheat in the microwave 15 seconds at a time and stirring each time.
Frequently asked questions
You can always use less sugar, the quantity is more of a preference. Just make sure to taste the milk mixture to know if is sweet enough for you.
The two are not the same. Cream of wheat is made from ground wheat while grits is made from dried grind corn.
Yes, you can! All you have to do is use dairy-free milk to make it. You can also use a vegan-friendly sweetener.
More sweet breakfast ideas
💬 Did you learn anything about how to make cream of wheat? Please leave a star rating, comment, or question below. I read all the comments and appreciate all the feedback. Thank You!
Cream of Wheat (Farina)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup cream of wheat (farina)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon optional
- In a big pan add the sugar, farina, and salt and mix. Slowly pour in the milk while mixing. Add the vanilla and keep stirring.
- Set the temperature to high and cook for 7 minutes while stirring to avoid any sticking at the bottom of the pan. Serve and sprinkle with cinnamon, enjoy!