Join Culinate

With a free Culinate membership, you can:

  • Create your own recipe collections
  • Queue recipes for later use
  • Blog your culinary endeavors
  • Be part of our online community of cooks
  • And much more…
Join Now

Tapioca Pudding

By , from the Culinate Kitchen collection
Serves 4
Total Time 30 minutes


A children’s classic, this soft dessert can be flavored in a variety of different ways. You can use any kind of milk, but whole milk tastes best.


½ cup small-pearl tapioca (not instant)
1 cup hot water
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
⅓ to ½ cup sugar
~ Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract or ½ vanilla bean, split, scraped, and sliced into 1-inch chunks


  1. Put the tapioca pearls into a saucepan and pour the hot water over them. Swirl to distribute the water evenly. (If using the vanilla bean, stir in all the seeds as well as the chunks of pod.) Let soak for 10 to 20 minutes, depending on pearl size, until the pearls have visibly swelled and softened. (The longer you can let the pearls soak — up to an hour or so — the softer and more delicate they’ll be in the finished pudding.)
  2. Stir in the milk, egg, sugar, and salt. Stirring frequently, cook the pudding over medium-low heat until the pearls have become mostly translucent and the mixture has thickened considerably. Remove from heat. If using vanilla extract, stir in the extract.
  3. Scrape the pudding into a single large dish or individual serving bowls. Serve warm or chilled.


If you like, serve the pudding topped with fresh soft fruit, such as berries, bananas, or peaches. A bit of freshly grated nutmeg and/or chopped nuts is also nice.

For adults, try stirring in a slug of brandy at the end before pouring the pudding into bowls.

For an Indian-flavored dessert, replace the vanilla bean with 8 green cardamom pods. Serve with freshly chopped pistachio nuts on top.

For a tropical treat, use 1 cup milk and 1 cup coconut milk. Add shredded coconut and mango chunks if desired.

You can use instant tapioca instead of regular tapioca; just omit the water-soaking stage.

For fluffier pudding, separate the egg. Cook the yolk along with the rest of the pudding. While the pudding cools slightly, whip the egg white (add a pinch of salt to help it firm up) until soft peaks form. Fold the cooked pudding into the whipped egg white.

This content is from the Culinate Kitchen collection.

There are no comments on this item
Add a comment

Think before you type

Culinate welcomes comments that are on-topic, clean, and courteous. For the benefit of the community we reserve the right to delete comments that contain advertising, personal attacks, profanity, or which are thinly disguised attempts to promote another website.

Please enter your comment

Format: Bare URLs are automatically linked; use this style: [ "place text to be linked here"] for prettier links. You may specify *bold* or _italic_ text. No HTML please.

Please identify yourself

Not a member? Sign up!

Please prove that you’re not a computer

Culinate Member:

Caroline Cummins


Culinate 8

Kale in the raw

Eight versions of kale salad

Eight ways to spin everyone’s favorite salad.

Graze: Bites from the Site
First Person

The secret sharer

A father’s legacy

The Culinate Interview

Mollie Katzen

The vegetarian-cooking pioneer


Down South

Barbecue, tamales, cocktails, and more

Local Flavors

A winter romesco sauce

Good on everything

Most Popular Articles

Editor’s Choice