This simple 3-ingredient Vegan Tapioca Pudding is a lovely and light dessert perfect with fresh fruits or fruit puree. It is naturally gluten-free, not to mention paleo-friendly.
I love easy and simple desserts. Don’t you? Apart from this tapioca pudding, I also enjoy making this Sweet Millet Balls or this Quick Apple Donuts recipe with our daughter. She is not big on patience, so I need simple and quick. I usually make these as she likes to help make the balls or dip apple slices in pancake batter. If you need something extra-quick choose this no-bake, make-ahead Overnight Chia Pudding recipe.
Ingredients of a Basic Tapioca Pudding recipe
The old fashioned tapioca pudding is made with lightly beaten egg yolks, which we skip obviously in this vegan version. Actually, it is a 3-ingredient basic recipe, which you can tailor to your taste:
- small pearl tapioca
- milk of your choice
- sweetener of your choice
Well, you might say: “Ha-ha are you kidding? It is rather vague.” All right. We like to use the following ingredients:
For substitutions, scroll down a bit and you can read all about the different versions.
How to make Tapioca Pudding
Soaking tapioca pearls – step 1
First, you need to soak the tapioca pearls in water. You can use a saucepan or a separate bowl. Leave the pearls soaking on room temperature for 15 minutes. The pearls will absorb part of the water and begin to soften a bit.
Cooking tapioca pearls – step 2
After 15 minutes, take a saucepan and add the soaked pearls with the water and the milk, and bring to boil (photos #1). Then, reduce the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally. When the pudding begins to thicken and the pearls become translucent, get in there and stir more frequently to avoid burning (photo #2). You need 15 minutes and your tapioca pudding is ready. Take off the heat and add the cane sugar and vanilla extract (photo #3). Stir well. Serve! Good appetite! (photo #4)
Top tips for making perfect Vegan Tapioca Pudding
- In a perfect tapioca pudding, all the pearls are translucent. If not all pearls are like that, you need to cook a bit longer on low heat. But don’t stress on this, the pudding will still taste delicious even if some pearls remain white.
- To avoid burning, use a non-stick saucepan like this one.
- If you soak the tapioca pearls overnight, they may lose their shape.
- Stirring is important, but you don’t have to stand next to it the whole time. Make sure you pay attention while you bring it to boil and towards the end when the pudding thickens.
Toppings for tapioca pudding
Our favorite topping for tapioca is fresh fruits and/or fruit puree. We love them with
- strawberry puree (our recipe for homemade strawberry puree)
- mixed berries sauce (our recipe for homemade berries sauce)
- spicy melon puree (our recipe for homemade melon puree)
- caramel sauce (our recipe for vegan caramel)
- chocolate sauce
- a mix of fresh fruits, nuts, and granola
What is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
How to serve tapioca pudding as panna cotta?
Well, you need a silicone muffin mold like this one. Pour the pudding while hot into the mold and chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. The measurements of this recipe will give you perfect panna cotta-shaped tapioca pudding, like the one on the below picture.
FAQs and Substitutions
Can I use coconut milk?
Yes, you can. If you use full-fat canned coconut milk, the tapioca pudding will be creamier but heavier as well due to the high fat-content.
Can I use different sweetener to make it low-carb?
Sure you can, although I only tested this recipe with cane sugar and coconut sugar (the same amount is needed). Therefore, I am not familiar with the measurements for other sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. If you do, please let us know in the comments.
Can I use large pearl tapioca?
We haven’t tested this recipe with large pearls. For sure, you will need a longer soaking and cooking time. If you do, please let us know in the comments.
How long tapioca pudding lasts?
Keep in the fridge and eat within 3 -4 days.
Is tapioca good for health?
I wouldn’t call it a healthy dessert. Tapioca pearls are almost entirely starch, nothing else really. You can read more about it over at Healthline.
This Tapioca Pudding recipe is vegan, so dairy-free and egg-free. It is also suitable for WFPB, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free diets.
More dessert recipes
You can browse through our Vegan and Gluten-free Dessert Recipes or check out
- Vegan Snickers Cake
- Chocolate Peach Galette
- Vegan Chocolate Pudding
- Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies
- Simple Plum Crumble with Crunchy Walnut Oat Topping
What more you need to try it? If you’re ready, watch this short video:
Vegan Tapioca Pudding
Soaking tapioca pearls
- Add tapioca pearls and water to a bowl and let them sit on room temperature for 15 minutes. The pearls will absorb the water so if you leave it for too long, the pearls may disappear.
Cooking tapioca pearls
- Add the soaked tapioca pearls with the soaking water and the milk to a saucepan and bring to boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until you reach a pudding-like consistency. It takes usually 15-20 minutes. Pay attention to stir more frequently towards the end when the tapioca begins to thicken and the pearls turn translucent to avoid burning.
- When ready, take it off the heat stir in the sweetener and the vanilla extract. You can devour it while it is sill warm. If you prefer it to be cold, just chill it in the fridge for an hour.
Topping and serving
- Serve it with fresh fruit, fruit puree, chopped nuts, whipped cream etc.
- This recipe will give you a tapioca pudding that is closer to panna cotta consistency. This means you can pour the pudding (while hot) into a silicone mold to create a similar serving as you see on the picture.