Tapioca Pudding is a rich and creamy pudding made with pantry ingredients. This classic recipe includes small pearl tapiocas for its signature texture.

Tapioca Pudding in a white bowl.
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Homemade Tapioca Pudding is so much better than anything store bought. The flavor is so delicious and just like mom used to make. Homemade is definitely the way to go.

It is such an easy pudding recipe and a traditional pudding dessert to try. I love to make homemade pudding and the kids also like Cheesecake Pudding or Peanut Butter Pudding.

What is Tapioca Pudding?

Tapioca is a starch from the cassava root. Tapioca pearls are formed by extracting the starch and then forming into little balls. It is the pearls that give the pudding the texture it’s known for.

Ingredients

Ingredients for tapioca pudding - milk, vanilla, sugar, eggs, tapioca pearls.
  • Small Tapioca Pearls (not instant tapioca) 
  • Whole Milk 
  • Half and Half 
  • Large Eggs (beaten) 
  • Granulated Sugar 
  • Vanilla Extract 

You can find the complete ingredient list at the bottom in the recipe card.

Variations

  • Dairy-free. For a dairy free option, substitute coconut cream, coconut milk or almond milk for the milk.
  • Chocolate. If you want to try a chocolate version, add cocoa powder to the hot pudding mixture.
  • Dried Fruit. Mix in raisins, cranberries or any type of dried fruit you love.
  • Toppings. Feel free to garnish each serving with cinnamon, coconut or fruit.

How to make Tapioca Pudding Recipe:

Saucepan with tapioca pearls in water.
  • Step 1. Start by soaking the tapioca pearls in a saucepan.  Cover them with the water and allow to sit for 20-45 minutes. The tapioca should have soaked up most of the water and become plump.  
Saucepan with milk and half and half added to the pearls.

Step 2. Next, drain any water that is remaining. Add the milk, half and half and salt. Combine and bring to a low boil.

Saucepan with sugar added to the mixture in a low boil.

Step 3. Stir in the granulated sugar and continue to cook on a low simmer for 5-7 minutes. The pearls will continue to get plump and the mixture will start to thicken some.

Beaten eggs in a separate bowl.

Step 4. Remove the pan from the heat. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.

Pudding mixture with eggs slowly added.

Step 5. Slowly add a little bit of the egg mixture a little at a time into the pudding mixture. You do not want to scramble the eggs so do this slowly.

Vanilla added to mixture and wooden spoon in saucepan.

Step 6. Increase the temperature on the pan to medium heat but do not let it boil. Stir the mixture as it continues to thicken. Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 15 minutes and then add the vanilla extract.

Tapioca Pudding in a white bowl.

Tips for Success

  • Continue stirring the pudding. Continue to stir the pudding while it cools to prevent a skin from forming.
  • Temper the eggs. Slowly add the eggs to the hot mixture so you don’t cook the eggs.
  • Whole milk is best. This will help the pudding from getting runny.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you serve the pudding warm or cold?

This pudding can easily be served cold or warm.  Both are delicious! 

How to store?

Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container up to 5 days.  

More Easy Pudding Recipes:

Once you try this easy recipe, please leave a comment and star recipe rating.

Tapioca Pudding

4.50 from 4 votes
Tapioca Pudding is a rich and creamy pudding made with pantry ingredients. This classic recipe includes small pearl tapiocas for its signature texture.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Cuisine American
Course Dessert
Calories 208

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Small Tapioca Pearls not instant
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Half and Half
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Large Eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
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Instructions

  • Place the tapioca pearls in a saucepan.  Cover them with the water.  Let them sit for 20-45 minutes until the tapioca pearls have soaked up most of the water and become plump.
  • Drain any excess water from the pan.
  • Stir in the whole milk, half and half and salt.  Bring the mixture to a very low boil.  Watch it closely so it does not over boil.  Stir constantly.
  • Then stir in the granulated sugar.  Cook on a low simmer for 5-7 minutes until the pearls continue to get plump and the mixture thickens slightly.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Place the beaten eggs in a separate bowl.  Stir in a few tablespoons of the tapioca mixture into the eggs.  Do this 2-3 more times.  This is an important step to bring the eggs to a warm temperature without scrambling them.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the remaining tapioca mixture.  Increase the temperature on the pan to medium heat.  Stir and heat (but do not boil) until the mixture has thickened and can coat the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the pan from the heat.  Let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes.  Then stir in the vanilla extract.
  • Continue to stir the pudding while it cools so that a skim does not form on the top of the pudding mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

This pudding can easily be served cold or warm.  Both are delicious! 
Refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Facts

Calories 208kcal, Carbohydrates 33g, Protein 5g, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0.01g, Cholesterol 71mg, Sodium 163mg, Potassium 172mg, Fiber 0.1g, Sugar 22g, Vitamin A 282IU, Vitamin C 0.2mg, Calcium 134mg, Iron 0.5mg

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Hi, I’m Carrie. Welcome to Desserts on a Dime!

I’m on a mission to help you create delicious desserts on a budget and do not require a ton of time. Together, we are going to make something sweet that the entire family will love!

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