Tapioca Pudding

A Mystery Ingredient Spells Comfort

A Rich Pudding Of Tropical Wonder

I enjoyed tapioca pudding so much as a child, yet never wondering what this exotic root was doing as a dessert.

Now I grow “cassava” in my garden. It’s a beauty to look at, too. Tapioca is a thickening agent in a flour form. As a pudding you want to buy the pearls, the smallest pearls are best. I tweaked a box recipe many times to get this balance of texture, creaminess, and just a slight sweetness.

Tapioca pudding mates well with many toppings- use your imagination! I love to dab on a spoon of jam or marmalade and sprinkle on nuts.

I’m a lover of cardamom and it beautifully spices this dessert. Consider any of the other “cookie” spices: allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, or a blend. Coconut milk offers an additional thick and creamy texture when serving tapioca pudding cold.

Note: use tiny pearls for pudding

INGREDIENTS: If using plant based milk, make it rich and creamy 

  • coconut milk- 2 cups, [one can], or milk or plant milk
  • half ’n’ half- 1 cup, [or 3 cups total of a full fat beverage]
  • salt- 1/4 tsp
  • tapioca pearls- 2/3 cup, small granules [not powder]
  • sugar- 2 TBS, or to taste
  • raisins- 1/4 cup, [opt.]
  • cardamom- 1/2 tsp ground (opt.)
  • vanilla- 1 tsp, after cooking is complete


  1. Combine liquids, tapioca, and salt in a 1-1/2 qt. pot. Let stand for 30 minutes, then bring to a simmer and cook for 13-15 minutes stirring occasionally, until tapioca is fully translucent.
  2. Off heat stir in the sugar, vanilla, and cardamom. Thoroughly stir or use whisk to break up any lumps of tapioca.
  3. Cool and then refrigerate. Whisk before serving.


  • Marmalade, jam, lemon curd
  • chopped nuts
  • fresh or dried fruit
  • candied ginger, minced
  • Fresh mint
Orange marmalade and mint

The cover photo includes star fruit with chopped walnuts

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