Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (2024)

By Nicole Harris 22 Comments





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This Tapioca Pudding Recipe is a traditional comfort food. This creamy homemade dessert is quick and easy to make. Grandma would be so proud!

I have been chosen for an amazing opportunity to partner with Rodelle as a brand ambassador. Not only will I be highlighting their high quality vanilla in my recipes, but I will also be sharing some of the other Rodelle products. They have some awesome spice blends, extracts and cocoa.

The most important thing that I have learned about cooking over the years is that quality does matter. You can really tell the difference when using high quality ingredients, especially vanilla. Never, ever, ever, skimp on the vanilla!

A while back I was asked by Rodelle what my favorite dessert was. Without hesitation I answered Tapioca Pudding. It was a childhood favorite and apparently I still considered it to be at the top of the list. My answer was strange considering I had never made tapioca pudding from scratch and rarely ate it. I guess I figured something so delicious would be difficult to prepare. I was wrong.

I became obsessed with homemade tapioca pudding! Making it several times a week until I perfected it with this Classic Tapioca Pudding Recipe.

Just a simple super creamy tapioca pudding with amazing vanilla flavor, thanks to Rodelle Vanilla Paste. Vanilla Paste is my #1 Baking Essential. It is the difference between a good dessert and a Mind-Blowing-Life-Altering dessert! Yes, it is that good.

Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (2)

The most difficult thing about making tapioca pudding is finding the darn tapioca pearls. I stumbled upon them at Big Lots of all places. Weird.

If you have never tried homemade tapioca pudding, well you are in for a treat. The store bought variety just doesn’t even come close.

This Classic Tapioca Pudding Recipe is creamy, dreamy and oh so vanilla-y. Pure comfort Food.

I don’t care that my favorite dessert is a Grandma-Food. I guess I’m an 80 year old woman trapped in the body of a 35 year old.

Eat this tapioca pudding as is. Or top with this unbelievably flavorful Homemade Cherry Syrup. It is a perfect combo in my humble opinion.

Grab a spoon and dig in!

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Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (8)

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Yield: 5


  • 1/2 Cup Small Pearl Tapioca
  • 1 Cup Filtered Water
  • 2 Cups Whole Milk - divided
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Rodelle Vanilla Paste


  1. Soak tapioca pearls in water for 15 minutes. (Water should be mostly absorbed after 15 min)
  2. Add 1 cup whole milk and soak for 15 more minutes.
  3. Vigorously whisk remaining milk, egg yolks, sugar and salt until yolks are completely incorporated. Transfer to a 3 quart pot over medium/low heat.
  4. Add tapioca mixture. (liquid and pearls)
  5. Heat and stir frequently for 15 minutes. Do not walk away from pot and stir almost constantly the last 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla paste.
  7. Transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate 4+ hours. Tapioca will thicken more as it cools.
  8. Serve with preferred topping.


Recipe yields approximately 3½ cups.






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Reader Interactions


  1. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (11)Beverley Press says

    this recipe brings back so many happy memories of when I was a little girl and my mother would make this for me after I got home from school. I love the added bonus of your homemade Cherry Syrup xoxox mmmm mmmm good


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (12)Nicole Harris says

      Isn’t tapioca just the best? It reminds me of childhood too.


  2. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (13)Philip says

    When do I add the vanilla that your advocating ?


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (14)Philip says

      My error, found it.
      Thanks for the nice recipe. Reminds me of my mother’s puddings.


      • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (15)Nicole Harris says

        I hope you enjoy 🙂


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (17)Nicole Harris says

      Awesome! Tapioca pudding is the best!


  3. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (18)Amy says

    Thank you for not just taking the Bob’s Red Mill directions word for word and posting them as your own recipe.


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (19)Nicole Harris says

      I typically use the package instructions as a guideline for the method then do my own thing. That’s the fun part 😀


  4. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (20)Jacki L Hardy says

    Thank You so much for the pudding recipes. I too am old fashioned-I am a bit older than you are- My mom used to use tapioca in her fruit pies-especially gooseberry- Wouldn’t have a recipe or two?


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (21)Nicole Harris says

      I love making the classics from scratch. It is a bit of a dying art. Apologies though, I do not have any gooseberry pie recipes :/


  5. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (22)Linda Owens says

    Where can you buy the Tapioca Pearls and the Vanilla Paste


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (23)Nicole Harris says

      I find the tapioca pearls anywhere that they have a decent Bob’s Red Mill section (my local grocery is Raley’s). Vanilla paste can be a little trickier to find, stores with specialty gourmet sections or sometimes TJ Maxx carries it. Both can be ordered on amazon 🙂


  6. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (24)SavvyCat says

    Refrigerate??? For me, yummy WARM tapioca is the best. I grew up on minute tapioca and didn’t know much about tapioca pearls. When I was in the hospital, they brought me some sugar-free Kozyshack tapioca, which is made with pearl tapioca. It was yummy and chewy, and I never had that before. But I want to make this and eat it warm with a teeny bit of cinnamon and nutmeg.


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (25)Nicole Harris says

      Agree! I love warm tapioca pudding too 🙂


  7. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (26)Kim says

    I just made this recipe with 2 8 oz choc milk from bottles bought for a Sunday School class. 4 cups fluid doubled this recipe with the following tweeks. 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup baking chocolate. 1/4 tsp instant coffee. My tapioca was medium pearl. Instead of soaking in water, I just put choc milk into the cold pan and soaked 30 mins stirring whenever I went through the kitchen. Added rest of listed ingredients. Brought to boil, stirring constantly, turned timer on for 15 mins and turned burner down as well, slow boil, stirring until about 12mins done. Added 1/2 stick butter, and kept stirring until the timer went off. Added TBsp vanilla. Not a drop left.


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (27)Kim says

      Only 1/2 cup sugar.. sorry for confusion, 1 cup Tapioca


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (28)Nicole Harris says

      Thanks for leaving your recipe changes for others to see. Glad everyone enjoyed 😀


  8. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (29)J.wolfenbarger says

    You can find pearl tappico at amish stores almost every time


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (30)Nicole Harris says

      Thanks for the tip!


  9. Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (31)Carrie says

    I too grew up with this yummy treat. My mom always made it like this as well, but would whip up the egg whites that would otherwise be discarded. Once they reach that lovely near stiff consistency she would fold them into the slightly cooled pudding. She would then serve to us….. OMG, it’s like licking heaven off a spoon!!!!


    • Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (32)Nicole Harris says

      Yes! So good 🙂


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Tapioca Pudding Recipe - WonkyWonderful (2024)


Why did my tapioca pudding curdle? ›

Curdling occurs when the eggs in a pudding are overcooked. For that reason, stove-top puddings are usually thickened with starch and then enriched with eggs. Since the starch thickens first, the pudding will already be fully cooked and thickened before the eggs would have gotten hot enough to curdle.

How to fix runny tapioca pudding? ›

Add instant tapioca: Another option is to mix a small amount of instant tapioca into the pudding and let it sit for a few minutes. The tapioca will absorb some of the liquid and help thicken the pudding [1].

What are the little balls in tapioca pudding made of? ›

Looking at a tapioca pearl, you may think, “What are these made out of?” These white little balls that give tapioca pudding its signature texture actually come from the starch of the cassava root, which is grown in the tropics. After this starch is extracted, it's formed into little pearls.

Why is my tapioca pudding too thick? ›

A little extra soaking time can help mitigate against ratio issues if the tapioca pearls are too large for the recipe, and even if you slightly over-shoot the desired size, adding a little extra milk or cream right before serving can help ease a pudding that's too stiff.

Why does my tapioca pudding not set? ›

Tapioca Troubleshooting Tips

To keep your tapioca pudding from getting runny, be sure to use whole milk. The fat from the milk is necessary for that creamy texture. For a thicker texture, cook the tapioca pearls a little longer than instructed on your package.

What happens if you don't soak tapioca? ›

Using the tapioca straight out of the bag resulted in a pudding seemed a little “too” stiff (too much starch!). On the plus side, I was surprised that without soaking the tapioca pearls were pretty evenly cooked. This told me that, at least when making tapioca under pressure, you don't have to pre-soak it.

How do you fix pudding that didn't set? ›

If you want to try to fix it, you can try dissolving a little bit of cornstarch in water and adding that in. Then try using a handheld or stand mixer to whip the pudding up until is starts to thicken. It will probably never set up completely, though, but it may help a little.

Why is my tapioca gooey? ›

In general, you'll use about 6–8 cups (1,400–1,900 mL) of water for 1 cup (150 grams) of dry tapioca pearls. Using enough water is important because the pearls will absorb tons of water while they cook; not using enough could cause them to turn gummy and stick together.

Why does tapioca pudding get watery? ›

If the pudding is already runny, the enjoyment will be reduced for sure! Pudding is usually runny because it has been stored in the refrigerator for too long or in an open space. Another cause could be due to improper cooking methods.

Is there a difference between tapioca and tapioca pudding? ›

Tapioca pudding is historically the most common tapioca dish in the U.S. It's made using tapioca pearls, which are small, white balls with no flavor that are used mostly in sweet recipes. They swim in a sweet, custardy pudding made with milk, eggs, and sugar. Bigger pearls are the star of boba tea, or bubble tea.

Do I have to soak tapioca overnight? ›

First, it is important to soak small pearl tapioca before attempting to make pudding with it, or the texture will be off. Some people soak overnight, but we found that 30 minutes or so worked with small tapioca, resulting in a lively textured tapioca with wonderful creamy, custard bridging the beads.

What is the difference between tapioca boba and tapioca pudding? ›

Tapioca pudding is typically made using the small white pearls while Boba tea or Bubble tea is made using large pearls. For Boba drinks the tapioca pearls are often black, but they can be white or multicolored as well.

How much tapioca does it take to thicken 1 cup liquid? ›

”To use in freezing, substitute 1 tablespoon tapioca flour for 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour for 1 cup liquid. In non-frozen sauces, substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons tapioca flour for 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour.

How do you fix tapioca? ›

How To Cook Tapioca Pearls
  1. Add them to boiling water. Working in a 5:1 ration of water to pearls, add the pearls to a pot of boiling water. ...
  2. Cover, and then turn the heat down to low. ...
  3. Simmer, stirring often. ...
  4. Strain and cool the pearls. ...
  5. Mix the pearls into warm sugar water. ...
  6. Serve immediately or within one day.
Mar 15, 2022

What happens if you overcook tapioca? ›

Tapioca pearls, or boba, are made from tapioca and are gummy like gummy bears. The starch was overcooked if they squelch under your chomps or are so soft that they blend together. Alternatively, if they crunch, the starch is undercooked.

Why is my tapioca clumping? ›

In general, you'll use about 6–8 cups (1,400–1,900 mL) of water for 1 cup (150 grams) of dry tapioca pearls. Using enough water is important because the pearls will absorb tons of water while they cook; not using enough could cause them to turn gummy and stick together.

What to do with curdled pudding? ›

To fix custard with lumps, use an immersion blender. A quick pulse with it will effectively break them down, restoring to a desired creamy texture, even when refrigerated.

Is curdled custard ok to eat? ›

The grainy texture is caused by the proteins in the egg yolk clumping together. The custard is still safe to eat, but the texture can be unpalatable. Sometimes it is possible to rescue a curdled custard enough so that it can be used as a base for ice cream, it depends how badly the custard has curdled.

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