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Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

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Dive into a creamy bowl of nostalgia with this Homemade Tapioca Pudding, featuring large tapioca pearls, rich whole milk, and a delightful hint of vanilla. An old-fashioned treat that’ll transport your taste buds back to vintage diners.

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

I often find myself reminiscing about Sunday afternoon visits to my grandmother’s. Her house, always filled with the inviting scent of something baking or simmering, was a sanctuary of taste adventures. One of the treats she seemed to have a masterful hand in was the old-fashioned tapioca pudding. Not just any tapioca pudding but the kind with large pearls, the ones that felt like a fun dance on your tongue. This recipe I share with you today is a tribute to those memories. While I might not be in her vintage kitchen anymore, every spoonful of this pudding brings a bit of her magic back.

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Why You’ll Love Homemade Tapioca Pudding:

Ever been to a diner that served the kind of tapioca pudding you just couldn’t find anywhere else? That’s exactly the experience this recipe offers. Unlike the quick and instant puddings of today, this Homemade Tapioca Pudding stands out because it uses large pearls, ensuring a delightful texture with each bite. It’s a slow and loving process, reminiscent of the way our grandparents used to cook. Pure, whole ingredients with no artificial stuff—just the way desserts are meant to be!

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Ingredients Notes For Homemade Tapioca Pudding:

When it comes to making a pudding as nostalgic as this, every ingredient plays a star role.

  • Tapioca pearls – Make sure you’re grabbing the large ones. They give the pudding its distinctive texture.
  • Whole milk – A richer choice for a creamier pudding, but if you’re watching calories, you can use 2%.
  • Sugar – Divided for a reason, folks! Half is for the pudding’s sweetness, and the other half is for tempering the eggs, ensuring no scrambled egg surprises.
  • Eggs – Freshness is key.
  • Vanilla – Quality vanilla extract will elevate the flavor; don’t skimp on it!
Homemade Tapioca Pudding

How To Make Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Begin your tapioca journey by placing those large pearls in a bowl. Give them a quick stir with water and drain. It’s like giving them a quick morning splash. Refill the bowl with water and let the pearls soak in the luxury for about 7 hours. Feel free to go longer up to overnight; they deserve it.

Now, drain these rejuvenated pearls and set aside. In your trusted saucepan, harmoniously mix the milk and 3/4 cup sugar. Over a medium flame, patiently wait for those tiny bubbles at the edges. That’s your cue!

Welcome the tapioca pearls to the pan, reduce the heat, and keep them company with frequent stirring until they’re mostly transparent.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix eggs with the remaining sugar.

Now here comes the tricky part – tempering. Add the hot milk-tapioca mixture to the eggs, a little at a time, until half is mixed in. This ensures our eggs don’t get too shocked and scramble.

Introduce this egg mixture back to the pan and stir for another 2 minutes until it’s thick and luscious. Finally, crown your pudding with vanilla, transfer to a bowl, and let it chill, wrapping it snugly with plastic wrap.

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Storage Options:

This pudding loves to chill. Once cooled, store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Although, let’s be real, it’s so delectable, I doubt it’ll last that long! Always ensure it’s covered to maintain its freshness and prevent it from absorbing other refrigerator odors. If you fancy, individual serving bowls covered with plastic wrap can make it feel like a personal treat each time!

Variations & Substitutions

Flavour is an adventurous journey, my friends!

Milk: Switch it up with almond or coconut milk for a twist.

Sugar: Reduce the amount if you prefer it less sweet or even try using maple syrup or honey.

Missing the large tapioca pearls? Small ones can step in, but reduce the soaking time.

Eggs: For a vegan alternative, use a cornstarch slurry. For an extra touch, add a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg.

And if you’re feeling particularly fancy, a dollop of whipped cream or fresh fruit on top never hurt anyone!

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Homemade Tapioca Pudding

Dive into a creamy bowl of nostalgia with this Homemade Tapioca Pudding, featuring large tapioca pearls, rich whole milk, and a delightful hint of vanilla. An old-fashioned treat that'll transport your taste buds back to vintage diners.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 7 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 8


  • 1/2 cup of large tapioca pearls
  • 4 cups of whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cup of granulated sugar divided into two equal parts
  • 3 eggs thoroughly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract


  • Begin by placing the tapioca pearls into a clean bowl. Submerge them in water, ensuring they are fully covered.
  • Agitate the water with a gentle stirring motion and then promptly drain the water.
  • Refill the bowl with fresh water, ensuring the pearls are submerged. Allow the pearls to soak for a minimum of seven hours, extending up to an overnight duration if so desired.
  • Once the soaking process is complete, proceed to drain the tapioca pearls thoroughly and set them aside.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk and 3/4 cup of granulated sugar. Stir until the sugar begins to dissolve.
  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the milk and sugar mixture to a simmer, being watchful for small bubbles forming around the perimeter of the pan.
  • Upon reaching the simmering point, add the pre-soaked and drained tapioca pearls to the saucepan. Reduce the heat to maintain a consistent simmer.
  • Continue simmering the mixture for approximately 25 minutes, or until the tapioca pearls become predominantly translucent. Regular stirring is required during this period.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the remaining 3/4 cup of granulated sugar.
  • Gradually introduce the hot milk and tapioca mixture into the egg and sugar combination, adding approximately 1/4 cup at a time. Continue this process until approximately half of the hot mixture has been integrated.
  • Transfer the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining hot milk and tapioca mixture. Stir the combination thoroughly.
  • Cook the entire mixture, stirring continuously, for an additional 2 minutes, or until a noticeable thickening is achieved.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat source and carefully incorporate the pure vanilla extract.
  • Transfer the completed pudding to a serving bowl and cover it with plastic wrap to prevent the formation of a skin. Place the covered pudding in a refrigerator to chill before serving.
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