The Pudding that Will Change Your Mind About Tapioca

If the grocery store isn't your favorite place, it should be. We're sleuthing for the best back-of-the-box recipes and each week we'll share our latest find. 

Today: Reinventing tapioca pudding (and adding some whipped cream for good measure).

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You finish dinner, and you're in the mood for dessert. You rummage around in the freezer: no ice cream. You ransack the cabinets frantically, but no cookies or forgotten cartons of graham crackers turn up. You're getting desperate. You're about to succumb to the age-old move of eating three handfuls of frozen chocolate chips.

But wait! There is hope, in the form of pudding: fluffy tapioca cream, to be exact. It requires only five ingredients, so you're in business even when your pantry is bare. 

I understand that tapioca pudding might not sound very sexy or newsworthy. Being firmly in the pro-mushy food camp (my dream meal is creamy corn grits, a fluffy bowl of hummus, and strawberry soft serve), it is no surprise that I loved, loved, this whipped tapioca cream recipe. But whatever your feelings on pudding, this one is worth trying.

It loosely resembles a basic tapioca pudding, but it's lightened up by a whipped egg white, which you fold into the hot tapioca. Airy and fluffy, it's a creative, sophisticated take on a classic. It's simple, quick, and satisfying. You don't have to top it with a dollop of whipped cream, but really, why wouldn't you?

Fluffy Tapioca Cream

Adapted from Kraft Foods' Minute Brand Tapioca

3 tablespoons instant tapioca
6 tablespoons sugar
1 egg, separated

2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)
Sliced strawberries, for serving (optional)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Do you have a favorite back of the box recipe, or have you heard about a great one? Leave any suggestions in the comments, and I'll try them out and share them here!

Photos by Posie Harwood 


Deedledum May 31, 2015
Mmmm, "fish eye pudding"-I just made a rhubarb/strawberry compote that'll fit in well here, especially with whipped cream.
arcane54 May 13, 2015
I grew up with Minute Tapioca and still love a comforting bowlful -- especially when it's warm. Now we call it Happyoca! My favorite brand is Bob's Red Mill.
Kenzi W. May 11, 2015
Pro-mushy food camp for life!
Fairmount_market May 11, 2015
Another gem of a tapioca recipe is "Tapioca Flamingo" from Amanda Hesser's tome of New York Times recipes (originally published in 1949).