This homemade creamy Tapioca Pudding recipe is made with just 5 simple ingredients.  This is an easy gluten free recipe that has been a loved dessert for many years.

Tapioca pudding served in a glass cup with berries and whipped cream.


Tapioca Pudding

Homemade pudding is one of those classic desserts that is one of my favorites. It’s sooo SOOOO much better made from scratch. Take this homemade vanilla pudding, for example.

It’s delicious, especially served with layers of fresh berries. I love a good homemade chocolate pudding also (I especially love to add chopped Oreos to chocolate pudding! YUM!). My mom often made this Baked Custard Style Rice Pudding recipe when I was little and it’s amazing.

What is tapioca?

When most of us hear the term tapioca, we likely think of the small round and chewy pearls that are found in the popular pudding or bubble tea.  But what exactly is tapioca?  Tapioca is a starchy substance that has been extracted from a cassava root.  Cassava is a root vegetable that is often used to make a gluten-free flour or made into small pearls that we call tapioca.


How to make homemade tapioca pudding:

Of all the pudding flavors in all the world though, tapioca pudding is my FAVORITE. I like to use instant/minute tapioca pearls for my tapioca pudding because I’m usually too impatient to use large dry tapioca pearls.

the ingredients for making tapioca pudding including milk, sugar, egg and tapioca.

When using large, dry tapioca pearls,  make sure you soak them for awhile before you make the pudding. With the instant pearls, it’s ready in just 5 minutes.

To make homemade tapioca pudding, add milk, egg, tapioca, and sugar to a saucepan.  After letting it rest for a few minutes, bring the mixture to a full boil.  Remove it from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Serve it warm or cold, and I love it topped with fresh berries and a small dollop of whipped cream.

Why are there lumps in tapioca pudding?

The small balls or pearls found in tapioca pudding are called tapioca.  Tapioca makes the consistency of the pudding somewhat lumpy with small chewy balls mixed throughout.

A close up photo of a cup with homemade tapioca, a spoon inside and berries and whipped cream on top.




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Tapioca pudding served in a glass cup with berries and whipped cream.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 5 mins
Resting time 20 mins
Total 10 mins
Add to Meal Plan


  • 2 3/4 cups 2% milk (or whole milk)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons minute/instant tapioca
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Add the milk and egg to a medium saucepan and whisk well to combine. 
  • Stir in sugar and tapioca and let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium and bring mixture to a bubbling, full boil (stirring constantly, being careful not to let it burn!). 
  • Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla.
  • Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and cool for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm or cold.


Recipe from Kraft


Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 122mgPotassium: 323mgSugar: 33gVitamin A: 300IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 268mgIron: 0.3mg

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*I originally shared this recipe on September 2016. Updated October 2018.

Easy, smooth and creamy homemade tapioca pudding. | Tastes Better From Scratch

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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  1. I am trying to re-create “instant vanilla pudding” without the cornstarch so that it is kosher for Passover. My question is this – could I do it with tapioca starch instead? And is there a suitable substitute for the milk to make it dairy free? Thanks in advance!

  2. 5 stars
    I have made Tapioca pudding many times this way. Tapioca is also my favorite pudding. However, Kraft has discontinued the production of Minute Tapioca. I just purchased 2 cases of it online, but everyone is jacking up the prices. Single boxes are going for over $10 a box, Walmart and Amazon have just raised the price of a case by over $20 a case. I have no clue why they have discontinued Minute Tapioca.

  3. The last two times I have made this recipe with these ingredients, in this order, my tapioca pudding is really tapioca soup. I am using instant tapioca, the newest bag that I just bought yeseterday. What am I doing wrong???

    1. Try soaking the tapioca pearls for a longer period of time. I use regular tapioca and soak them in the liquid for a minimum of 20 minutes before cooking. Even when using Minute Tapioca, I would soak them for 20 minutes to get thick results.

      1. Thank you so much for that tip! I tried soaking for 15 minutes instead of 5, and it came out *so* much better than my previous two attempts done according to Kraft’s 5-minute soak direction.

    2. 5 stars
      I ended up with tapioca soup myself yesterday. Then I double checked the recipe and I had only used 3 teaspoons of tapioca instead of 3 tablespoons. So I scraped the servings of soup back in to the pot, added the missing tapioca, brought it to a boil again and voila! It set up great and was delicious. 🙂

    3. You are not boiling it long enough. Need to bring to rolling boil, stirring constantly for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from burner and cool, placing a sheet of wax paper over pan. Chill in refrigerator or on top of counter.

  4. 5 stars
    I have been completely frustrated with all the other recipes that have you add the eggs to HOT tapioca! They cook immediately and you have scrambled eggs in tapioca. This recipe came out perfect with quick tapioca. Going to try small pearl using same cooking technique but soaking the pearls overnight in the milk and not rinsing. I should have known that Kraft would have the best version! I do add a pinch of salt though….

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