This Tapioca Pudding recipe is simple, quick, and oh so delicious. It will bring back sweet childhood memories with every spoonful!
Does anyone besides me remember Tapioca Pudding? That creamy, soothing, nursery-sweet childhood pudding that is still so delicious?
Honestly, I had almost forgotten about it myself until recently. I got it on my mind one day and couldn’t stop thinking about it until I made some.
It seems that I’ve been cooking lots of recipes from the past lately but I just can’t help it! Those old recipes are so delicious.
And some of them are precious reminders of the people and places we still hold in our hearts. For me, cooking from the past is a tribute to all those generations of cooks who came before and, I hope, a legacy I can leave to the cooks who come after me. They connect me to my roots and I love that!
So, about this Tapioca Pudding. Well, first I had to find some tapioca. You know how in the grocery stores they put the “hot” items right at eye level? The ones that are the best sellers with the highest profits? Yeah, well, you’re going to have to get on a stepladder or down on your knees to find the tapioca. But it’s there. I promise.
And making it is as easy as pie. You basically dump everything into a pan, heat it up and you’re done. Really.
🥘 Ingredient Notes
- Minute Tapioca – For convenience, I always use “minute” tapioca. It doesn’t require any overnight soaking or other lengthy preparation like pearl tapioca. The brand I always purchase is Kraft Minute Tapioca in the familiar red box.
- Milk – I recommend whole milk. It’s dessert. You deserve a splurge.
- Vanilla – Use a quality brand of vanilla extract since it’s the predominant flavor in the pudding. You can’t go wrong with McCormick vanilla.
- Sugar – You’ll use plain old granulated sugar.
- Egg – One large egg.
That’s it! Just five ingredients is all you’ll need.
🥄 How to Make Tapioca Pudding
- Start by putting the sugar, tapioca, milk, and egg in a saucepan. Let it stand for five minutes before you do anything else.
- After five minutes, cook the mixture over medium heat until it comes to a full boil. That’s a boil that you can’t stir down.
- Remove it from the heat and add the vanilla.
- Now cover the pudding with plastic wrap touching the surface so it won’t form a skin and let it cool for about 20 minutes.
- You can serve it either warm or cold. Dish it up in serving bowls and, if you like, top it with a little toasted coconut.
🍚 Storage Information
For short-term storage, allow the pudding to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Tapioca may also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
❗ Tips and Variations
- Make a variation by mixing in dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, or diced dried apricots.
- For a chocolate version, add chocolate chips or chocolate syrup to the pudding while it’s still warm.
- Garnish as I did with toasted coconut or with a dash or nutmeg or cinnamon.
- Substitute full-fat coconut milk for the whole milk if you need to avoid dairy products.
❓ Questions About Tapioca
Tapioca is simply starch. Specifically, it’s starch from the root of the cassava plant native to Brazil.
The most likely reason your tapioca came out runny is that you used low-fat milk. This pudding needs the fat content from whole milk to create that lovely silky, semi-firm texture.
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- ⅓ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons minute tapioca
- 2 ¾ cups milk
- 1 egg well beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Toasted coconut (optional garnish)
- Mix the sugar, tapioca, milk and egg in a medium saucepan; let stand 5 minutes.
- Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full boil (a boil that can’t be stirred down).
- Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
- Cover surface of pudding with plastic wrap and let cool for 20 minutes; stir.
- Spoon individual servings into dishes. Sprinkle the top with toasted coconut (optional)
- May be served warm or chilled.
- For short-term storage, allow the pudding to cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Tapioca may also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
— This post was originally published on August 14, 2011. It has been updated with additional information.