Homemade Tapioca Pudding Recipe

The Ultimate Homemade Tapioca Pudding Recipe

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Tapioca pudding is a timeless classic, known for its creamy texture and delicate tapioca pearls. Made with simple ingredients and bursting with flavor, this homemade version of tapioca pudding is sure to become a favorite dessert for any occasion. Whether you’re reminiscing about childhood memories or looking to indulge in a comforting treat, this recipe will satisfy your cravings. Join me as we explore how to make this delectable tapioca pudding from scratch, along with some tips, variations, and keto-friendly alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is tapioca?
A: Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava root, native to South America. It is commonly used in puddings, desserts, and as a thickening agent in various recipes.

Q: Can I use quick-cooking tapioca instead of small pearl tapioca?
A: Quick-cooking tapioca can be used as a substitute, but the texture may differ slightly. Small pearl tapioca provides a more classic texture with distinct pearls suspended in the pudding.

Q: Is tapioca pudding gluten-free?
A: Yes, tapioca pudding is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for individuals with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

Q: Can I use alternative sweeteners to replace granulated sugar?
A: Yes, you can substitute granulated sugar with honey, maple syrup, or your preferred sweetener. Adjust the quantity according to taste.

Q: How long does tapioca pudding last in the refrigerator?
A: Homemade tapioca pudding can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Be sure to consume it within this timeframe for the best quality.

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  • 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish (optional)


  1. Soak Tapioca: In a medium bowl, combine the small pearl tapioca and enough water to cover. Let it soak for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Cook Tapioca: In a saucepan, combine the soaked tapioca, whole milk, and salt. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the tapioca from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add Sugar: Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and stir in the granulated sugar until dissolved. Continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Temper Eggs: In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Slowly pour a small amount of the hot tapioca mixture into the beaten eggs while whisking continuously. This process, known as tempering, prevents the eggs from curdling when added to the hot liquid.
  5. Combine Mixtures: Gradually pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining tapioca mixture, stirring constantly. Cook over low heat for another 2-3 minutes until the pudding thickens.
  6. Add Vanilla: Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the pure vanilla extract. Allow the pudding to cool slightly before serving.
  7. Serve: Transfer the tapioca pudding to individual serving dishes or a large serving bowl. Sprinkle ground cinnamon or nutmeg on top for added flavor and visual appeal, if desired.
  8. Chill: Cover the pudding with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours, or until chilled and set.
  9. Enjoy: Serve the homemade tapioca pudding cold as a delightful dessert or sweet snack. Savor each spoonful of creamy goodness with the tantalizing texture of tapioca pearls.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Coconut Tapioca Pudding: Substitute coconut milk for whole milk to create a rich and creamy coconut-flavored tapioca pudding.
  • Fruit Infusion: Add diced fruits such as mangoes, strawberries, or bananas to the pudding for a refreshing twist.
  • Chocolate Tapioca Pudding: Stir in cocoa powder or chocolate chips during the cooking process for a decadent chocolatey treat.

Keto and Low-Carb Version:

  • Low-Carb Sweeteners: Replace granulated sugar with erythritol, stevia, or monk fruit sweetener to keep the pudding low in carbs and keto-friendly.
  • Almond Milk: Use unsweetened almond milk instead of whole milk to reduce the carb content while maintaining a creamy texture.
  • Coconut Cream: Substitute heavy cream with coconut cream for a dairy-free and low-carb alternative.

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Homemade tapioca pudding is a delightful dessert that combines creamy goodness with the delightful texture of tapioca pearls.

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