Homemade Tapioca Pudding

The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Are you craving a nostalgic dessert that’s both comforting and satisfying? Look no further than Homemade Tapioca Pudding! This timeless treat features creamy pudding infused with chewy tapioca pearls, creating a delightful texture and flavor that’s sure to evoke memories of childhood. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll show you how to make this classic dessert from scratch, along with tips, variations, and even keto and low-carb options. Get ready to indulge in a bowl of velvety goodness with our Homemade Tapioca Pudding recipe!


  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 4 cups milk, whole or 2%
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup white sugar, additional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Soak the Tapioca: In a medium bowl, combine the small pearl tapioca and enough water to cover it. Let it soak for at least 30 minutes or until the tapioca pearls have softened.
  2. Prepare the Pudding Base: In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it reaches a gentle simmer. Stir in the soaked tapioca along with any remaining soaking water. Add 3/4 cup of white sugar and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the tapioca pearls are translucent and the mixture has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Temper the Eggs: In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and the additional 3/4 cup of white sugar until smooth. Gradually pour a small amount of the hot tapioca mixture into the egg mixture while whisking constantly. This process, known as tempering, prevents the eggs from curdling when added to the hot liquid.
  4. Combine and Cook: Once tempered, pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining tapioca mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the pudding thickens further and coats the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to let the mixture boil.
  5. Add Vanilla: Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, ensuring it’s evenly distributed throughout the pudding.
  6. Chill and Serve: Transfer the tapioca pudding to a serving dish or individual serving cups. Cover with plastic wrap, ensuring the wrap touches the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until chilled and set.
  7. Garnish and Enjoy: Before serving, garnish the tapioca pudding with a sprinkle of cinnamon, a dollop of whipped cream, or a handful of fresh berries for added flavor and visual appeal.

Cook Notes and Variations

  • Creamier Texture: For an even creamier tapioca pudding, you can use a combination of milk and heavy cream or coconut milk.
  • Flavor Infusion: Experiment with different flavorings such as almond extract, coconut extract, or a splash of rum for a unique twist on traditional tapioca pudding.
  • Texture Adjustment: If you prefer a smoother texture, you can blend the soaked tapioca pearls in a food processor or blender before adding them to the milk mixture.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use instant tapioca for this recipe?

A: Instant tapioca can be used as a substitute for small pearl tapioca, but the texture may be slightly different. Instant tapioca typically requires less soaking time and thickens more quickly than pearl tapioca.

Q: Is tapioca pudding gluten-free?

A: Yes, tapioca pudding is naturally gluten-free since tapioca pearls are derived from the cassava root. However, it’s essential to check the labels of all ingredients to ensure they are gluten-free and processed in a gluten-free facility.

Q: Can I make tapioca pudding ahead of time?

A: Yes, tapioca pudding can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just be sure to cover it tightly to prevent it from absorbing any odors or flavors from other foods in the fridge.

Q: Can I freeze tapioca pudding?

A: Tapioca pudding does not freeze well, as the texture may become grainy and unpleasant upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for short-term storage.

Keto Version and Low Carb Version

Keto Version:

  • Low-Carb Sweetener: Replace the white sugar with a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit sweetener to reduce the carb content of the pudding.
  • Heavy Cream: Use heavy cream instead of milk for a higher fat content and lower carb count. This will result in a richer and creamier keto tapioca pudding.

Low Carb Version:

  • Coconut Milk: Substitute coconut milk for the dairy milk to create a dairy-free and low-carb tapioca pudding option. Be sure to use unsweetened coconut milk to keep the carb count low.
  • Almond Flour Thickener: Use almond flour or coconut flour as a thickening agent instead of traditional flour to maintain a low-carb profile while still achieving a creamy texture.

In conclusion, Homemade Tapioca Pudding is a timeless dessert that’s both comforting and indulgent. With its creamy texture and chewy tapioca pearls, it’s sure to become a favorite in your dessert repertoire. Whether you’re serving it as a sweet treat after dinner or enjoying it as a midday snack, this homemade version is bound to impress. So gather your ingredients, follow our simple recipe, and treat yourself to a bowl of homemade goodness that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth!

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