Homemade Tapioca Pudding is a cinch to make and tastes so much better than store bought. This recipe always gets rave reviews from friends and family. With just eight ingredients and a little bit of time even the novice cook can master this recipe.
What is tapioca pudding?
It is a warm creamy pudding made from tapioca pearls, milk and or cream, and eggs. Tapioca pearls are starchy balls made from the root of the cassava plant. The pearls are also used to thicken pies.
How to make homemade tapioca pudding
Start by soaking the pearl tapioca in cool water until they plump up. It will take about 30 minutes. Then drain any unabsorbed water from the tapioca. Now add the milk, half and half, and salt. Bring it to a simmer over medium heat stirring almost constantly. Then reduce the heat to low and slowly add the sugar stirring constantly. Cook until the pearls are plumped and the pudding has slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
Then remove the tapioca from the heat. Using a large spoon add a little bit of the hot tapioca mixture to the beaten eggs and whisk to combine. Do this several times to ensure that the beaten eggs have warmed. Then return the pan to medium low heat and slowly add the egg mixture. Cook until thickened to pudding consistency stirring constantly. Then remove from the heat and wait 1-2 minutes to stir in the vanilla. Continue to stir frequently while it cools to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm or cover with plastic wrap to further prevent a skin from forming.
Recipe notes and helpful tips
- Small pearl tapioca can be a little hard to find. Bob’s Red Mill has a non GMO paleo friendly tapioca. Call around first or order off of Amazon.
- Make sure you temper the eggs so that you do not end up with curdled or scrambled eggs in your pudding.
- Do not add the vanilla until 1-2 minutes after you remove the pudding from the heat.
- After the pudding is cooked continue stirring every couple of minutes to prevent a skin from forming and place a piece of plastic wrap right on top of the pudding before chilling in the fridge.
- If the pudding becomes too thick to your liking add a couple of tablespoons of milk at a time until desired thickness.
- Enjoy warm, chilled, or at room temperature.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
How to temper eggs
Tempering eggs simply means that you slowly warm the temperature of the beaten eggs with the hot liquid that you are adding them to. This helps prevent lumpy pieces of scrambled eggs ending up in your smooth and creamy puddings and custards. Start by adding several tablespoons of the hot pudding or custard mixture to the eggs yolks. Whisk in quickly and thoroughly. Repeat this step at least two more times or until the eggs are thoroughly warmed. Then slowly whisk the egg mixture into the pudding or custard.
More desserts you will love!
- Cherry Cobbler
- Coconut Cream Pie
- Lemon Pound Cake
- Creamy Butterscotch Pie
- Watergate Salad
- Strawberry Cobbler
This creamy homemade tapioca pudding recipe is so quick and easy. It tastes so much better than store bought without any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes plus soaking time
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: dessert
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- ½ cup small pearl tapioca
- 1 cup cool water
- 2 cups 2% milk
- 1 cup half n half
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Soak the pearl tapioca in cool water for 30-40 minutes. Drain any unabsorbed water from the tapioca.
- Combine the tapioca, milk, half and half, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat stirring almost constantly. Reduce the heat to low and slowly add the sugar stirring constantly. Cook until the pearls are plumped and the pudding has slightly thickened, stirring constantly; approximately 5-7 minutes.
- Remove the tapioca from the heat. Using a large spoon add 2-3 tablespoons of the hot tapioca mixture to the beaten eggs and whisk vigorously to combine. Do this several times to ensure that the beaten eggs warm.
- Return the pan to medium low heat and slowly add the egg mixture. Cook (but do not boil) until thickened to pudding consistency stirring constantly; approximately 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat. Wait 1-2 minutes and stir in the vanilla. Continue to stir frequently while it cools to prevent a skin from forming. Serve warm or cover with plastic wrap to further prevent a skin from forming.
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