Vegan Tapioca Pudding

the finished product

Vegan Tapioca Pudding

I consider myself a Tapioca pudding novice. I’ve been in love with the finished (home-made only) version since I was a kid. My mom used to frequently make this snack for us…and I loved it. So much so, that I always struggled while waiting for the cooling period (after the cook, before the eat). I took this pudding recipe with me to my “married with kids” life, and my family loves it too. Perhaps it’s genetic? Who knows, maybe it just boils down to good taste. Either way, since going vegan almost a year ago, I lost my life-long enthusiasm for my favorite pudding. That is, until I gave it a vegan go.

The result is pleasing and still delicious. Vegan tapioca pudding still packs the flavorful punch, but I will say…I miss the whipped egg-whites that I would add into the pudding during the cook. It was sort of the ‘cherry on top’ in my original family version and it just made the pudding thick, creamy and unbelievably delicious. But, there are sacrifices being vegan, and this is one of them.

Tapioca for those who don’t know, is a starch that comes from the South American cassava root. A strange looking root that resembles dirty fingers, it is said to have originated with the arrival of the new world. The Portuguese and Spaniards brought this root along with them all the way from Europe. What we use it for in this dessert, I’m sure they never did. But, as American’s, we found our use and love for this root and there’s no turning back.

Oddly for me, while currently living in Europe, I cannot find tapioca in pearl form to save my life. Yet it’s available in abundance in flour form for baking or cooking. I’d say the use is similar to corn starch here, more as a thickener. I say too bad for them, but it’s really too bad for me. If I want the tapioca pearls, I have my mom ship them to me.

pearls in raw form

Getting back to my post here, the vegan tapioca pudding is delicious. It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s filling and it’s not a calorie bomb. Topped with fresh fruit, it makes for the perfect occasional snack for your family and kids. Now a vegan, I look for other ways to dress up the flavor a bit, and I’ve found adding cinnamon to the cooking pot is a delicious choice. It alters the color a bit, but it delivers a nice harmony to the finished product.

I want to conclude my post by adding, that when I was looking on line to get some new ideas for my vegan tapioca, every recipe I encountered was complicated and suggested soaking the tapioca pearls from 2 hours to overnight before you cook it. I can’t understand why recipe authors are complicating the hell out of this simple pleasent dish…but you don’t need to soak the pearls, you don’t need to cook for any longer than 10 minutes total, and for god sakes man…keep it simple. Take it from the tapioca pudding profi here, just keep it simple and enjoy this south-american, yet American dessert.

Final 5min boiling

Vegan Tapioca Pudding

I love this dessert. I've been making it for over 30 years, and I hope for another 70 years to be pleasing my family with this 10 minute dessert. This is no "hospital" version of tapioca. I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Dessert, Fruits, Homemade, vegan
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes


  • 1/2 cup tapioca pearls
  • 3 cups oat milk or your favorite vegan milk of choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS cinnamon optional
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 TBS cornstarch optional, mixed with a bit of oat milk


  • so, this is an easy recipe that is broken into 2 steps. First, combine your tapioca, milk, & salt in the cooking pot. Bring to a boil and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Optional: This is only needed if your tapioca mix is not thickening. Then mix your cornstarch with a bit of oatmilk just to get it liquid. Add mixture to the pot
  • add the sugar and optional cinnamon along with the cornstarch(only if needed). Return to the boil, and then reduce heat and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • When pudding is ready, it's nice and thick. Let it cool down for 5min, then serve it warm or store in fridge for 1 hour to serve cold.
    Optional: Top with fresh fruit if in season.

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