Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding Recipe

You're in for a treat with the most amazing tapioca pudding. It is rich, creamy and absolutely delicious.

This homemade tapioca pudding is a timeless dessert with it's simple vanilla flavor and large pearl tapioca giving that bubbly texture.

Update 9/12/23:This post was originally published on 12/6/2011. Pictures have been updated, the recipe remains the same.


I have fond memories of eating tapioca pudding at grandma's house. It's one of my favorite desserts and is the ultimate comfort food.
tapioca pudding with text overlay

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Notes: I really love the unique texture of the pudding when I use large pearls. However, you can use small tapioca pearls if needed.

I have used two brands of tapioca and have had good results with both:  Do not use instant tapioca or minute tapioca for this recipe.

old fashioned tapioca pudding


This tapioca recipe is really a simple dessert. However it does take some planning ahead.
Begin by placing 1/2 cup of tapioca in 2 cups of water. Let it sit for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

I've made this twice recently and the first time the pearls soaked for 5 hours. The second time I soaked them for 2. There was a little bit of a difference.

The 2 hour tapioca was a little more chewy. You could describe it kind of like al dente pasta. It had a little more bite to it. I preferred the chewier texture, but my husband preferred the softer tapioca that resulted from the 5 hour soak.

Place the tapioca in the fridge while it is soaking.

large pearl tapioca

Beat together 2 eggs in a small bowl. Set aside.

beaten eggs

Combine tapioca, milk and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium high heat. Stir until boiling. Gradually add sugar and simmer 5 minutes.

Keep focused on the tapioca. It needs to be stirred constantly to prevent burning. 

Pro tip: If you feel a film begin to form on the bottom of the pot, continue stirring, but DON'T scrape the bottom too harshly or that film, which is likely burned, will disperse throughout your pudding. 
Now it's time to temper the eggs. Gradually add about 2 cups of the cooked tapioca into the beaten eggs while briskly whisking.  This process helps prevent the eggs from cooking instantly and making your pudding stringy. 

For best results do not skip tempering the eggs! 
adding cooked tapioca to beaten eggs

Now gradually pour the egg mixture back into the pot while whisking.     
pouring egg mixture back into pudding

Lastly bring it back to a boil and simmer until thick.

Cool 15 minutes then add vanilla.  

Enjoy your homemade pudding warm... or chilled. 

I cannot tell you how good this is. If you like tapioca pudding you HAVE to try it.  You won't be sorry.


Store leftover tapioca in the fridge. Be sure to cover it with a piece of plastic wrap to avoid a pudding skin from forming on the top of the pudding.

traditional tapioca pudding


(coming soon!) Tapioca Pudding Instant Pot Recipe Chocolate Tapioca Pudding Fluffy Tapioca Pudding Tapioca Pudding with Sweetened Condensed Milk

Don't forget to pin it! 
homemade tapioca pudding

old fashioned tapioca pudding with text overlay


  1. I'm a total tapioca fan. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

  2. I love tapioca...thanks for the great recipe. Actually I have never made homemade...and I like the Jello kind....I can hardly wait. I'm a new follower too. Please stop by and enter my Christmas giveaway. Warm wishes, Lori

  3. I love Tapioca, and will give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Oh, wow... Yummmmm.... Tapioca pudding is just about my favorite thing ever. I can't have it now as I am nursing my son who has a dairy allergy, but as soon as he's weaned I WANT THIS. (Who am I kidding, I want it now... but I have to wait. Sigh.) I hope Eli outgrows his allergy so he can enjoy some with me :-)

  5. I make tapioca for my hubby and we both love it. Lol the hardest part is the right consistency.:)
    Great recipe.

  6. Thanks...I'm saving this one for my man. He loves tapioca.

  7. I love tapioca, and have always wanted to try making it.

  8. this looks so yummy! definitely something i'd try! thanks for linking up to tip-toe thru tuesday! hope to see you again this week! also, i'm a new follower!

  9. Mmm, that looks good! I do like tapioca. Can you just make it for me? :) I'm so glad you shared at Shine On Fridays!!