Rich, decadent, and easy to make, tapioca pudding is something everyone is familiar with – but that doesn’t mean that everyone loves it! It’s one of those divisive foods- mainly because of the texture, but if you like it the only thing you really need is a great base recipe! There are so many choices available for toppings.
Fast and Easy Tapioca Pudding
While Brits might call it “frog spawn” due to its… less than appetizing appearance, Tapioca is really delicious if you make it right – and both my sister and I are lifelong fans of this dessert, so we take our recipe seriously! This recipe uses INSTANT tapioca, not the pearls. I will definitely do another recipe up using tapioca pearls, but this is the recipe that I use constantly because it actually is easy. The real tapioca pearls take some more time and technique.
Made from cassava plants, tapioca is both unique in its texture and incredibly tasty when made into a pudding. Packed with eggs, sugar, and a few flavoring ingredients, this becomes a simple, filling dessert to serve for any occasion. It is also incredibly changeable, allowing you to change the entire flavor and even the texture and consistency depending on how you want it.
Ingredients for Tapioca Pudding
- Whole milk
- Quick cooking tapioca
- White sugar
- Vanilla extract
How to Make Tapioca Pudding
- Stir together your milk, tapioca, sugar, and salt in a saucepan, bringing to a gentle boil over low heat, then cook for 5 more minutes
- Whisk 1 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten eggs slowly, 2 tablespoons at a time. Add it back into the saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 2 minutes until it is thick.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, divide into servings then add toppings.
Choose Your Own Creaminess
The great thing about making a tapioca pudding is that you can make it whatever way you like. This recipe will make a decently thick tapioca, but if you want a creamier version that feels more like rice pudding, then remove 1 or 2 tablespoons of the tapioca granules from the ½ a cup, and add another egg yolk to thicken.
While most recipes for Tapioca pudding will call for milk, you don’t absolutely have to use dairy. If you are vegan or even just lactose intolerant, you can easily use some common replacements instead.
Oat or rice milk would work equally as well, as long as you keep in mind that they will probably be a lot sweeter than regular milk. Plus, unless they are enriched with some kind of plant-based fat, your vegan tapioca pudding might feel a bit lacking.
To replace the egg, you could either add a small amount of coconut oil or just some vegetable oil as well. That little bit of fat really helps thicken it and give it the necessary mouth feel.
Remember, though, that without the egg to properly thicken it, a vegan Tapioca pudding will always be a lot runnier than one made with eggs.
For best results, replace the whole milk with an equal amount of coconut milk. If you can only find coconut cream, use a 2:1 ratio of coconut cream and water instead.
This will result in a rich, decadent tapioca pudding that tastes strongly of coconut. You can even reinforce that flavor with some toasted coconut crumbled on top. It’ll not only look and taste great but will also provide a really satisfying textural contrast with the pudding.
How to Temper the Eggs
By far, the most common mistake when making this kind of pudding is accidentally scrambling your eggs. The eggs in tapioca pudding not only thicken the whole thing, but they also help round out the flavor and give it a really velvety mouth feel.
Adding eggs directly into boiling tapioca mixture is a great way to end up with gritty and sweet scrambled eggs, though!
- To avoid making an accidental breakfast, add your hot milk very slowly to your beaten eggs while stirring it constantly using a whisk. This is called ‘tempering’ and lets the eggs gradually get used to the hot temperature of the milk mixture, evenly cooking it and preventing the formation of any scrambled egg curds.
- Once the eggs have been completely incorporated with 1 cup of the mixture, you can safely add it to the saucepan without any risk of scrambled eggs.
Enjoy! I always have a box of minute tapioca in my pantry, did you know it was my Grandma’s trick to making the BEST Saskatoon pie? It works as a thickener and tastes much better than flour does.
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Easy Tapioca Pudding Recipe
- Prep Time
- 5 minutes
- Cook Time
- 20 minutes
- Karlynn Johnston
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of nutmeg
- Stir together the milk, instant tapioca, white sugar, and salt in a medium sized saucepan.
- Bring the milk mixture to a rolling boil over medium heat, making sure to stir constant to ensure that the milk doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan. stirring constantly.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, and continue to cook, stirring, for another 4-5 minute.
- Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs, 2 tablespoons at a time until incorporated. Stir the egg mixture back into the tapioca until well mixed.
- Remove one cup of the hot milk mixture (ladling into a measuring glass works well and is safer than pouring from a pot. Slowly whisk the hot milk into the beaten eggs, continuously whisking and stirring to ensure that the eggs don't cook.
- Once the milk has been completely mixed in, whisk the egg mixture back into the pot on the stove.
- Heat again until the pudding is simmering, then keep stirring and cooking until the pudding thickens up.
- Remove the pudding and stir in the vanilla. Divide between your dessert bowls and sprinkle a little nutmeg on top, and add your toppings.
All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.