What is it about tapioca that gives such comforting, at-home-with-grandma vibes? There’s definitely something about its creamy, bubbly texture that appeals to our inner child. This dairy-free and vegan tapioca pudding recipe is the perfect plant-based version of the class favorite and will have you feeling cozy in no time.
Savoring spoonfuls of sweet pudding sounds like the perfect way to spend a self-care day. Grab your best bowl, find your favorite book (or movie), and give your belly the best dessert its had in months! Add a few pieces of fresh fruit on top and you may find that most of your cares just melt away.
For those of you who have never heard of (or tried) this interesting ingredient in all of your life, let me give you the 411 on tapioca:
Tapioca comes in several forms, including:
If you’re a tapioca fan, you’ll be pleased to hear that it is 100% vegan. Derived from the starch of the cassava root and processed without the use of any animal products makes this ingredient completely vegan! It can thicken and have similar consistency to gelatin, but does not contain any gelatin, dairy, or eggs!
Keep in mind that tapioca itself is vegan, but it may be added to non-vegan foods such as pudding made with egg and dairy products or bubble tea made with milk. Check the ingredient label to be sure, or make your own vegan tapioca pudding (recipe below) and boba tea to play it safe!
Tapioca pudding has such a simple, neutral flavor that it’s easy to add all sorts of toppings and it will taste terrific. Be bold, be brave, and be daring in how you partake your pudding!
Bring on the Berries – Berries are the perfect tangy topping for your tapioca. Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or even cherries are a good choice. You might consider our Strawberry Rhubarb Compote, too.
Sprinkle With Some Cinnamon – Cinnamon sugar is a sensible option that adds extra sweetness and little bit of spice. Just mix ¼ cup of granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (Vietnamese is lovely!) and you’ll have the most delightful dusting for your dessert.
Coconut Cream Is Always a Dream – You may have noticed that I add coconut whipped cream to almost every dessert. The simple reason is that I love it and I think its creamy, thick texture is just the thing to make any sweet course complete.
Tango With Mango – Mango makes a wonderful match with this particular pudding! After the tapioca has cooled a little, feel free to include any amount of chopped fresh (or defrosted frozen) mango. If you’re eating the pudding warm, I would add warm mango and cool mango for a cold pudding. For extra zest, squeeze a tiny bit of lime juice on top.
Always Choose Chocolate – If you’re a chocolate lover, you’re in luck! There’s no simpler way to make this pudding more pleasant than by adding dairy-free chocolate chips or chunks. For this recipe, stir in one cup of chips or chunks just before the pudding is done cooking. Make sure that you mix well.
This recipe calls for small pearl tapioca (like this), which are small, perfectly round hard balls made of uncooked tapioca. When you cook these, they absorb liquid and flavor and turn into chewy gelatinous balls that make up a delicious pudding.
Note that the size of the tapioca pearls will determine the cooking time. If you use a size other than small pearl tapioca you may need to adjust the cooking time (follow the package instructions).
We add a cup and a half of plant-based milk to this recipe. Any dairy free milk will work! Almond milk, soy milk, cashew milk, flaxseed milk, and beyond. It can be sweetened or unsweetened, vanilla or plain. Those slight differences in flavor won’t significantly impact the pudding in the end, since we are also adding sugar and vanilla extract.
The coconut milk is key in this recipe, and it’s important to get the full-fat kind! Avoid the low-fat labels. This creamy milk will create the thick creamy pudding when combined with the other ingredients. The tapioca pudding will have a slight coconut flavor, which we love!
If stored in a covered container in the fridge, this vegan tapioca pudding recipe should stay fresh for a couple of days. If you’d like the pudding to last a little longer, I would suggest spooning out several portions into separate containers (like ramekins) instead of keeping the pudding in a single serving. Make sure to cover with a small plate, plastic wrap, or cloth.
Tapioca is also one of the few puddings that you can freeze. The freezing process won’t affect the texture or flavor very much at all. Place in a covered freezer safe dish, silicone bag, or freezer bag. Seal tightly. It will last up to three months if stored correctly. Thaw in the refrigerator.
This Vegan Tapioca Pudding recipe was developed by Michelle Cehn. Vegan food photography by J.J Steele, and the article was written by Gina House and edited by Amanda Meth. Content copyright World of Vegan, all rights reserved. This recipe includes affiliate links when available and shopping through these links supports World of Vegan.
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How do you keep so much of the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan? I tried several different ones… scraped out from the original pan and transferred to a second while stirring like crazy
Hi McKenna, try turning the heat down to the lowest setting as soon as you see it start to bubble instead of a full-on boil. It may also help to use a nonstick pan. Hope this helps! Let us know how it turns out for you!
I have a lot of food allergies and digestive issues and this recipe is great! Delicious and helps my gut. Thank you!
Hi, I’m making it now… In the ingredient list. I see salt but I don’t see that in the instructions. When are we supposed to add the salt?
Hi Diane! I think that the salt was accidentally left out of the first step. You can add it in with all of the other ingredients before cooking. Hope that helps!
Oh I love this recipe so much! I keep coming back to it, because it is truly the best!
This is like the best “bubble tea” dessert! So delish and tasty
[…] inspired by https://www.worldofvegan.com/vegan-tapioca-pudding/ […]
I love tapioca pudding! Thank you for this incredible recipe!
Delicious dessert. I know similar recipe using rice, but tapioca is definitely interesting discovery. Addition of mango is yummy ☺️
i LOVE tapiocas and this recipe is perfect as a mid afternoon snack
I love simple and easy recipes and this one is exactly that. It tastes amazing!!
I served this as a dessert after a vegan dinner party. It was an absolute hit! Everyone loved it.
I love how easy this vegan tapioca pudding is to make! I had no idea tapioca was gluten free either so that’s a plus. Now I know my son can enjoy it too. Thanks for the recipe!
Yum! I love tapioca pudding. This recipe is simple and delicious and so easy to customize with whatever fruit I have on hand!
I made this pudding for my afternoon snack. Loved every bite
I love tapioca and this dessert is so good. This vegan tapioca pudding is perfect to enjoy at home
Loved this vegan tapioca pudding! It was so delicious and the perfect treat!
My husband loves tapioca pudding! But this is the first time I ever tried making it for him. Thank you for the delicious and easy recipe. Definitely a winner!
Very excited to try this recipe! I have never have never used Tapioca before and Tapioca Pudding seems like the perfect recipe to start with!! Thanks for sharing with us!
Looks yummy but can I use cashew milk instead of coconut milk?
You sure can, Bev! If you look under the Plant-Based Milk heading of the article, you’ll see that we give the go ahead for any type of dairy-free milk. Yay!
Can we use something other then coconut milk? Trying to not have a lot of sat fat…
Does this recipe use the instant tapioca or tapioca pearls that need soaking.
Hi Fay! The recipe uses small pearl tapioca without soaking 🙂 Hope you enjoy!
Delicious! I love that your recipe does not include corn starch, which has steered me away from other recipes. Thank you. ♥
Hope you love it!!
This is one of my new favorite desserts!
Looks good! Can’t wait to try .
I have loved tapioca pudding since I was a child. Then I used to drizzle a little chocolate syrup over it!! Now I have given up chocolate and use salted caramel sauce over it!! DELICIOUS!! I would also like to try a ttapioca brulee with some berries on top!! How awesome would that be!!!
Yessss – this is the perfect dessert. It looks so delicious!!!
I used to be a big pudding person but I haven’t been in a while, I need to try one of these recipes out soon to see if I still like them 🙂
I totally turned into a tapioca fan after trying this recipe. I love how creamy it is and the texture is so much fun. Adding mango is brilliant. This sweet fruit not only adds lots of bright color to the pudding, but the combination of flavors is fantastic. My new favorite spring time dessert!
How gorgeous is this Tapioca Pudding? Mango is the perfect topping! Yum!
I love making this!! I was blown away by how simple it was.
Yum! I love tapioca pudding so much and love the idea of adding mango to it!