Tapioca Pudding Recipe

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


When I was a little girl, I hated milk.  H.A.T.E.D. it!  As milk is a pretty big staple in a young child’s everyday diet, this was a problem.  Back then, there weren’t many options for kids like me.  My mother couldn’t run out to the store to pick up soy, rice or almond milk as a substitute, though I probably wouldn’t have liked those any better.  Apparently, my pediatrician told her to just feed me lots of pudding and ice cream to get calcium in me.  Can you imagine prescribing high fat, sugar-laden desserts to boost calcium intake?  I was one lucky kid!  But, I’m reasonably sure that today’s modern baby docs would not approve.


One of the things that my mom used to make for me a lot was tapioca pudding.  I L.O.V.E.D. tapioca pudding!  I used to call it “bubble pudding”, because the tapioca pearls reminded me of tiny bubbles.   Perhaps, this is where the seed for my obsessive adoration for creamy foods was planted.  Mom would serve it in little cups lined with vanilla wafers.  The pudding would soak into the wafers and make them all soft and mushy.  Good stuff! 


Tapioca is basically a root starch derived from the cassava plant.  It’s commonly used as a thickening agent in both sweet and savory foods.  I’ve used it in place of flour or cornstarch to thicken up fruit pies.  Tapioca comes in a few different forms, such as powders, flakes and large or small pearls.  It doesn’t have any flavor of its own to speak of, so it takes on the personality of whatever you add it to.   And, you might have noticed that I also happen to think that tapioca pearls are very photogenic.

I like to enjoy my tapioca pudding with fresh whipped cream swirled in.  Here, I’ve paired it with some of the Slow Roasted Strawberries I made last week.  You can add whatever you like to it.  Sometimes, I stir chocolate chips or raisins into the pudding while still warm.  I’ll bet a drizzle of dulce de leche would be wonderful too!

Fortunately, I eventually overcame my aversion to milk, and actually enjoy a cold glass under the right circumstances.  But, it sure ain’t the same as a bowl of rich and creamy tapioca pudding!




14 responses to Tapioca Pudding Recipe

  1. On February 08, 2011 at 2:52pm, Larie said...

    I love tapioca pudding – thanks for the recipe! Where do you buy your pearls? I don’t think I’ve seen them at the grocery store. :/ And those slow-roasted strawberries look divine!

    • On February 08, 2011 at 2:58pm, Susan said...

      Thanks, Larie! I actually found the pearls at my local Publix.

  2. On February 08, 2011 at 3:42pm, Rosa said...

    A heavenly dessert! I have always loved tapioca. It is so versatile and delicious.



  3. On February 08, 2011 at 4:07pm, Heather I. said...

    Yeah I would’ve totally taken advantage of that kind of doctorly advice! I’ve never noticed tapioca pearls before, but yours look quite gorgeous. I need to search them out at the market and give this a try :)

  4. On February 08, 2011 at 8:04pm, Farmer Jen said...

    Yum! Homemade tapioca pudding. I will definitely make this for my family.

  5. On February 09, 2011 at 4:34am, Coleen said...

    My kids grew up on tapioca (although it was the quick cook kind). We like it done in layers with a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar inbetween each layer. Great recipe, it’s a classic.

    • On February 11, 2011 at 8:24am, Susan said...

      I like that idea!

  6. On February 10, 2011 at 4:08pm, dena said...

    I do so LOVE the photos of the tapioca pearls … the long shadows on something so tiny are very cool!

    • On February 11, 2011 at 8:26am, Susan said...

      Thanks, Dena! I just loved the way the light hit them through the window. I wasn’t even planning to photograph the pearls, but when I saw them I had to grab my camera. :)

  7. On February 10, 2011 at 10:52pm, Chelly said...

    Love your blog! Tapioca Pudding is one of the things that reminds me of my grandmother….she made the best I have ever tasted! I will try this really soon and I am sure that Nana would approve!

  8. On February 11, 2011 at 3:35pm, Jenn @LeftoverQueen said...

    I love tapioca pudding – a staple of my childhood as well! I never liked milk either, until I was an adult and discovered full fat, raw milk – now I can’t get enough of it! Plus it is extremely good and nutritious!

  9. On February 12, 2011 at 9:30pm, Beverly said...

    I’m sorry to say that I’m really disappointed in this recipe. The consistency was really gummy (any thoughts as to why this may have happened?) and I thought it could have been sweeter. Other than that it was really easy to make.

  10. On February 13, 2011 at 10:41pm, Bren said...

    i hate to admit that i used to devour tapioca but from the packaged stuff at the store!! ha!

  11. On November 17, 2011 at 5:07am, Tapioca Pearls said...

    Wow, How cool..I’ve never heard of this. I love tapioca, but this is really unusual- I will look forward t making it thank you for sharing the recipe.

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Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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