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Homemade tapioca pudding 6-min

Of all the types of pudding out there, tapioca might just be the most controversial. Some people love it and some people can’t even stand the sight of it. Maybe it’s because I grew up with the homemade version, but I absolutely fall into the “love it” category. It’s a classic dessert that’s creamy, sweet, and satisfying. The first bite never fails to bring back happy childhood memories.

While you don’t see folks making it as often these days, I strongly believe that homemade is the only way to go. The store bought pudding just doesn’t hold a candle to the creamy goodness of homemade. Luckily, it’s quite easy to make!

Homemade tapioca pudding 1-min
Homemade tapioca pudding 2-min

You’ll want to start out by rinsing the pearls and then soaking in water for 30-60 minutes. This will soften them and help them cook faster and more evenly. After soaking, you’ll heat the milk and sugar in a heavy saucepan or dutch oven until simmering. Next, add the pearls and cook until their opaque color becomes translucent.

For a true custard style pudding, the eggs will need to be tempered. You’ll do this by very slowly adding the warm mixture to the beaten eggs, stirring the whole time. This process will bring the eggs up to temp without scrambling them. The final results are definitely worth the effort!

Homemade tapioca pudding 3-min
Homemade tapioca pudding 4-min

As the pudding cools it will continue to thicken and then it’s ready to serve! We love to add strawberries or raspberries for garnish and a little tang, a beautiful combo with silky custard and pops of tapioca. No matter the occasion, you can’t go wrong with a classic treat like this one. Give homemade tapioca pudding a try and you won’t be disappointed!

Homemade tapioca pudding 5-min
Homemade tapioca pudding 7-min
Homemade tapioca pudding 8-min

Serves 6-8

30m prep time

1h inactive

Rated 4.7 out of 5
Rated by 128 reviewers
  • ½ cup small pearl tapioca
  • 4 cups milk, whole or 2%
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup white sugar, additional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Rinse tapioca pearls and then pour into a small bowl and cover with water. Let soak 45-60 minutes.
  2. Add milk and first ¾ cup of sugar to a large saucepan. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Once small bubbles form, add the tapioca pearls and reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Stir frequently and cook for 15-20 more minutes or until pearls become translucent.
  3. As pearls cook, beat together the eggs and remaining ¾ cup sugar in a medium size bowl.
  4. Slowly pour a stream of the hot mixture into the eggs about a ⅓ cup at a time, stirring constantly. Continue until half the hot mixture has been beaten into the eggs.
  5. Slowly pour the contents of the egg bowl back into the saucepan, continuously stirring.
  6. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until the pudding starts to thicken (it will continue to thicken as it cools as well).
  7. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Transfer to serving dishes and chill until serving.

Recipe adapted from

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