Homemade {Easy} Tapioca Pudding

You know what’s bad about feeding my family beans? (Well, besides that.)  It’s that I almost always forget to soak the beans ahead of time. This does not work, even a little bit, unfortunately. Crunchy beans do not make good chili.

As you can imagine, then, when it comes to making Tapioca Pudding, I am never prepared. Every recipe I’ve found calls for soaking the tapioca pearls overnight or longer. Then, most of them tell me to cook the tapioca pudding for a bazillion minutes in a double boiler.

tapioca pearls

See, I’m just not into recipes that require all kinds of thought and effort. Plus, I don’t even own a double boiler. My rebellious “yeah, I don’t want to go to the trouble to do it that way” recipe reading self sometimes gets into trouble. Usually though, I find that I can take short-cuts and still turn out a good product.

Real food recipes become easy, time consuming tasks become effortless, and recipes with twenty-seven steps become no-brainers. This is how this Tapioca Pudding recipe came to be. I suddenly got hungry for the comfort food Tapioca Pudding…and I wanted some right now. “Soak the tapioca pearls in milk then cook it in a double-boiler until Christmas morning 2019″ just wasn’t going to cut it. What if? I thought. What if I just pour the tapioca into the milk along with my other delicious ingredients, and start cooking it in a plain ol’ saucepan?

But then the Follow All Instructions Exactly Police showed up at my door, so I’m actually writing this post from prison.

At least we can now all benefit from knowing this is super easy and delicious way to make Tapioca Pudding. Here’s how I did it:

Homemade {Easy} Tapioca PuddingYum

Homemade {Easy} Tapioca Pudding
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup tapioca pearls (unsoaked, booyah!)
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites for something else)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup (more if you like)
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Measure tapioca pearls, milk, egg yolks, sea salt, and maple syrup into a medium sauce pan.
  2. Use a whisk to cook and stir constantly over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes or until tapioca pearls have "popped" and pudding is thick.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. Serve right away, or refrigerate.
  5. This tastes great hot or cold.

Homemade Tapioca Pudding - Easy!

I have yet to convince my boys that Tapioca Pudding is the bomb-diggity of comfort foods. You’d think me calling cooked tapioca pearls “eye-balls” would have at least intrigued them a little bit, but nope. They think those tapioca things are weird. My youngest actually suggested that perhaps Tapioca Pudding might taste good “without those tapioca things.”  Oh well, more for me.

Do take heed of the “stir constantly” instructions in this recipe. While I’m obviously always eager to break rules and go about cooking my own way without following recipes word-for-word, walking away from your cooking tapioca pudding would be a very, very bad idea. Scorched milk, crunchy uncooked tapioca pearls, and black floaties in your pudding really will cause the I Told You So Police to show up at your door. Ask me how I know.

Are you a fan of tapioca pudding, or would you rather it didn’t have those tapioca things in there?

Comments

  1. Melanie says

    Might have to make some pudding today. I use the crock pot. It takes about 3 hours on high but I’m using a whole gallon of milk. Also needs very little stirring.

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  2. Lana says

    I was raised on fish eye pudding. I am sure Mom’s recipe was not too difficult or she would not have had time to make it so often. I was never fond enough of it to even ask how she made it.

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  3. Tiffany says

    We LOVE tapioca. And I love that you used “booyah” in a blog post. My mom said she made tapioca a couple days ago and subbed coconut milk for the milk … whaaaaaat? I’m going to be trying that soon. Happy New Year!

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  4. Anne says

    We prefer the granulated tapioca and it’s not called minute tapioca for nothing! I make it in the microwave.

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    Mrs L Reply:

    Yes, I use minute tapioca too, but sometimes I get hungry for those larger “fish eyes “.

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  5. Shannon says

    Love tapioca, unfortunately my family feels like your boys do about it. Mom always made it for me when I was sick.

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  6. Mary says

    I will definitely try this version. Never have used a double boiler… just cook slowly and stir alot. But will tell you… doing it the old fashioned way (with slow cooking and beating the egg white and folding in) has a lot to say for the pudding as well. The effort makes the result so much sweeter–you’ve earned it. Put in the frig and let it set up. Thanks, Laura… sounds like a mission for new year’s day.

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  7. Susan says

    Never did understand my dad’s, and now my husband’s and kids’, taste for tapioca pudding =). And bubble tea? Gross.

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  8. Mrs L says

    Guess what?! I have tapioca soaking as I read your blog. I think I’ll go ahead and cook it up your way! ! ! Thanks for saving time for me!

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  9. Melissa says

    I used to LOVE tapioca pudding, but when I was in high school a co-worker called it “fish eyes” and it has grossed me out since. Guess I should put on my big girl panties and get over it now that I’m turning 40 in a few months! lol

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  10. Crystal says

    I just made a big pot of tapioca pudding the other day! I used the quick tapioca, (which I just realized had soy lecithin in it, yuck!) whole grass fed milk, a farm egg, organic sugar and grass fed butter! Ate almost all of it by myself, hot out of the pan! I’m 13 weeks pregnant and as my sister would say it makes you feel like you have a warm blanket in your tummy! I think this is my new craving because all I want to do is make myself another pot!

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  11. lyss says

    I must confess that I don’t think I have ever eaten tapioca pudding! Or tapioca anything, for that matter. The only tapioca I’ve seen is in premade pudding cups. Can you buy the pearls in grocery stores? And do they soften a lot, or are they chewy in the pudding?

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    Laura Reply:

    I’m sure big grocery stores carry it, but I’ve never seen it in the grocery stores in my small town. I order the pearls online or from my health food coop. They soften (like rice) and are a tiny bit chewy. :)

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    Laura Reply:

    I haven’t found tapioca pearls in our grocery stores, but I live in a small town. I’m sure you can find them in bigger stores. I order them through my food coop or online. They turn out soft (like rice) and just a little bit chewy.

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  12. Janine says

    We love tapioca pudding! We whip our egg whites and fold them in. After it is totally cooled, whip some cream and fold it in. Makes it rich and creamy. Yum!

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  13. Kris says

    My mom used to forget to soak dry beans, too. Then somewhere she came across the “quick” dry bean method and never ever soaked another bean overnight.
    Mom’s method:
    Sort and wash beans.
    Put beans and 3 times the amount of water ( 1 cup beans and 3 cups water, 2 cups beans and 6 cups water) in a covered kettle.
    Bring to a rolling boil and cook for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Let set on the stove for one hour. After that hour, cook as usual. (Or drain and add fresh water to help with the “usual bean problem.”)

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  14. Lorinda says

    My Dad used to make it for us. He used to grate a small amount of chocolate on the top. He would always put the pudding into Mom’s tea cups. We enjoyed either warm or cold. The only Tapioca I knew about was the Minute version by Kraft. We just followed the directions on the package: Fluffy Tapioca Pudding…whipping the egg white and folding it in, or the regular Tapioca Pudding..using the whole egg. Yum! Ditto to Crystal and the warm blanket feeling!

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  15. Anna Rose says

    This is definitely a comfort food. My Grandma would always make it and we’d eat it with Vanilla Wafers and raspberries. I’ve done the crockpot method for company (makes a huge amount) and also the minute tapioca method which is what my Grandma did. It’s probably the most used recipe from her recipe book! I may have to try this with nut or coconut milk( as my son has allergies) and my daughter has been asking for this, except it usually comes out as, “Tap-i-OC-ia.” =) I do have a bag of small pearl tapioca that needs used! Thanks for the recipe!

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  16. Karen Sexton says

    I thought this recipe was sent from heaven, well, kind of was… Everything was here, I had the tapioca pearls, way too many, Amazon mistake, they didn’t want it back. I had 4 egg yolks needing to be used and I was craving it. I did have the large kind of tapioca pearls, it took double, maybe triple the time sitting on my stool stiring. Good news, I had my hubby to talk too. Mine was thick, but maybe a tad more chewy than a little chewy. Thank you for the recipe.

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  17. Mrs L(Australia) says

    My dad always referred to tapioca as frog spawn lol! Incidentally, I have a favorite lemon tapioca pudding variant. Can’t remember the recipe from mum’s but I think you sub milk with water and vanilla with lemon juice to taste. All other ingredients are the same, though you could sub brown sugar for maple syrup, or dark muscovado perhaps. Lemon frog spawn is delicious!!

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  18. Mrs L says

    Love tapioca pudding and when I’m not in the want – it – right – now mood, then I pop all the ingredients in my crock pot and let it do its thing for a few hours.

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  19. Tracy says

    How about crockpot tapioca? Is that a thing?

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    Laura Reply:

    I have heard of people making Tapioca Pudding in a crock pot, but I haven’t tried it. :)

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    Jeff Reply:

    I make mine with half and half, small pearl tapioca, 2 WHOLE eggs, sugar, vanilla – cook it in the crock pot for about 3 hours – 1/2 hour on high, 2 1/2 on low. Oh wow! There’s usually none left to refrigerate!

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  20. Tracy says

    Also, my recipe does a quick soak because I always use tapioca from the Asian market, and it never softens in 15 minutes. I heat milk and sugar and tapioca to boiling, cover the pan and turn it off, and walk away for an hour.

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