Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Crockpot Tapioca Pudding

Pudding is a pretty simple but satisfying treat.  We never had homemade pudding growing up and those premade cups were a few and far between occurrence.  We did the cook and serve and/or instant box stuff.  Probably because making pudding does take a little bit of time, and standing over the stove was not on the top of the list.  I do remember that tapioca was an especial treat because it was the most rarely seen in our house.  (And I think I had to wrestle my dad for it.)  So I was very happy to find a version that required little supervision and could be accomplished while I got things done around the house.  Like that pile of laundry that's been sitting by the kitchen table for two days now.  This makes a lovely rich, thick and filling pudding.  I must admit, I do love my tapioca warm and it is just as fabulous and thick before chilling.
Update: for those wanting to use honey as a healthier option instead of sugar, be aware that honey is sweeter than sugar and so you only need 75% as much.  That's a nice bonus!  The amount of honey for equivalent sweetness is ½ cup plus 1 tbsp.  Enjoy!

Crockpot Tapioca Pudding
makes 8 ½-cup servings

1 Qt whole milk
¾ cup sugar (you can scant this when measuring if desired)
 ½ cup small pearl tapioca (not the quick cooking stuff)

2 eggs (farm pastured for great nutrition)
½ tsp vanilla
pinch sea salt

Stir together the milk, sugar and tapioca in a crock pot.  Cover and cook on high for about 1½-2 hours.  Stir occasionally as you walk through the kitchen.  Do watch to make sure it doesn't get to boiling though or you may have a mess to clean up.  It will depend on the cooker in use.  (Fortunately caught mine right before it boiled over the sides.)  The tapioca will get soft and start to thicken. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and salt.  Temper the eggs by slowly whisking in ½ cup of the tapioca mixture.  Do that twice more with two more half cupfuls.  Then whisk the egg mixture into the tapioca until well combined.  Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes longer until the pudding is nice and thick.  (It may not take that long, mine was practically ready as soon as I whisked in the eggs because my tapioca had boiled, but in that case you have to be careful not to scramble the eggs!)  Portion into single serving containers and chill in the fridge.  Cover with a piece of plastic wrap to avoid a skin.

Enjoy cold or warm, plain or with whipped cream!

Adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking


  1. Your photo alone would convince me to try your pudding. That's pretty amazing because I'm not a lover of tapioca pudding. I really like the recipe you've used and the use of the crock-pot makes it even more appealing. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. I've never even tasted Tapioca pudding before and suddenly I'm determined to try making some. Great photo.

  3. @ The Mary's - Thank you both! ☺ I am loving my new light box as a solution to the very dark house in which I live. No more waiting until the one hour of the day when I can shoot in natural light.

    @ Barefeet Mary - you can always try a half batch if you are unsure how you would like it. Tapioca gets very thick when chilled. I love it warm, but hubby loves it cold. Just watch it carefully as it will heat and finish faster. ;)

  4. I haven't had tapioca pudding in years, it looks like the perfect comfort food for this weather.

  5. I just made this, and I can't wait to try it! It's SO easy =)

    Thanks for the recipe!


  6. @Anna - Awesome, I'm glad you tried it out and I hope you love it! I like to fold in just a little whipped cream while it's still warm. Makes it creamy, light and frothy. ;)

  7. Do you need to soak the tapioca pearls overnight most of the other recipes I looked up said to soak them over night but none of them were slow cooker recipes

  8. @ Anon - For the small pearl tapioca, no pre-soak in necessary. I think if you were to try it with large pearl, then they would need to be soaked first. I have only used small pearl in this recipe.

  9. Made this recipe, but it turned out really runny. Cooked it 5 hours, and still runny. Help!

  10. @Anon, did you make the recipe as printed? There are a few things I can think of that happened. One, if your crockpot runs cool, and you might need to turn it up for 20 minutes to get to custard temperature, which is between around 158-175º. Two, if your crockpot runs very hot, it could have gotten too high and a custard might break even with the starch from the tapioca, above 175º. Three, it does need to be stirred occasionally to release the starch molecules in the tapioca. Four, you may just need to chill it. Hot tapioca is still slightly runny, but sets up quite thick when chilled. And lastly, if you did not use whole milk, or small pearl tapioca, that will also change the recipe so that it may not turn out. I have heard that you can reheat a runny tapioca a boil for a few minutes, to rescue it. This relies solely on the pearls ability to absorb moisture and thicken but might give the custard a more scrambled texture. One tip I have learned in tempering the eggs, if the tapioca mixture was at a boil, give it a few minutes to cool down before trying to temper the eggs, then there is less risk of them breaking into scrambled eggs. Good luck!


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.