large pearl tapioca pudding

“If you are a tapioca fan, try the large pearls!  I first tasted creamy large pearl tapioca pudding in Lancaster, Pennsylvania at several famous restaurants there when I was about 13 years old.  I love tapioca pudding, and these large pearls make it even better for me!  

They have not been easy to find, but now I can order them easily online.  

I have tried several recipes and Alton Brown has the best one as far as I’m concerned!  It is made in a SLOW COOKER; SO EASY!  The only thing different I do is substitute vanilla extract for his lemon zest.  But his brilliant technique is what is so great with this!  The end results are perfect every time!  Thanks, Chef Alton Brown!          Enjoy!”

Servings: 4


1/2 cup (3.5 ounces) large pearl tapioca
2 cups cold water
2-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract, or brown 


1. Place tapioca in a medium bowl along with the water. Cover, and let it stand overnight.
2. Drain the water from the tapioca. Place the tapioca into a slow cooker along with the milk, heavy cream, and salt.
3. Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
4. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolk and the sugar.
5. Temper small amounts of the tapioca into the egg mixture until you have added at least 1 cup.
6. Then add this back into the remaining tapioca in the slow cooker. Add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
7. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring at least once.
8. Transfer the pudding into a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap or any cover.
9. Allow it to cool at room temperature for 1 hour then cover and place it in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled.

Nutritional Information

Large Pearl Tapioca Pudding

Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving: 1 cup
Calories: 338
Calories from Fat: 154

* % Daily Value *
* Total Fat 18g 28%
* Saturated Fat 10g 48%
* Cholesterol 114mg 38%
* Sodium 164mg 7%
* Total Carbohydrates 41g 14%
* Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
* Protein 6g 10%
* Sugars 22g
* Vitamin A 13%
* Vitamin C 3%
* Calcium 19%
* Iron 1%

* * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


  1. Rachel Sauder January 11, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Can this be doubled?

    1. Angie January 11, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I have never doubled it so I don’t know. I have an average size slow cooker, about 12 inches in diameter. I wouldn’t double it in that size. I guess if your slow cooker was a little larger it would work.

  2. Anonymous August 3, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Has anyone tried this in an instant pot?

    1. Angie August 3, 2018 at 9:34 pm

      I haven’t heard anything about this recipe on an instapot vs a slow cooker. I am not sure of the answer to this. I don’t have an Instapot to try it out. This is Alton Brown’s recipe and I know he used a slow cooker and I have made it many times in a slow cooker. I love this recipe of his! He has the right techinique to make this work perfectly every time for me!

      1. Anonymous January 19, 2019 at 1:25 pm

        I just made it in my Instapot, on the slowcooker setting. It came out great.There is enough room to double the recipe in the 6 quart Instapot.

        1. Angie January 21, 2019 at 10:00 pm

          Great information! Thank you for sharing that! Glad you liked it!

  3. Mary April 10, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    It was a fail for me. It was a gelatinous mess. The pearls weren’t even distinguishable. Won’t be making this again. It’s back to the stovetop double boiler for me.

  4. Bobbi Jo Wells December 11, 2017 at 3:35 pm

    I bought some pearl tapioca and can’t wait to try this especially after reading the posts! I used to buy walmarts tapioca in the deli but they no longer have anxious to try this!

    1. Angie December 11, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      Great! It is a favorite of mine and many others. Glad you found the large pearl tapioca! Locally where I am they sell the small pearls, not the large pearls. They are hard to find so I order them online.

  5. Maria July 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    This pudding was a little time consuming but so worth it its delicious and worth the time I have a non stick slow cooker and it w worked great define “do again”

  6. viflyguy November 26, 2015 at 11:10 am

    I made your tapioca recipe Angie and it’s the best recipe ever. A keeper!!! Thank you.

    1. ang1m November 26, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Awesome!! And tip your hat to the fabulous Alton Brown for his ingenious technique with the large pearl tapioca that I am finding out are more popular than I thought! Hundreds have saved it on Pintrest. I dug long and deep to find the best recipe …hit the gold with this one! Thanks for writing back!

  7. ang1m November 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm

    Your welcome Lily! Glad you also are a fan of the pearls! 🙂

  8. Lily November 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I love tapioca pearls, the texture is so much fin to eat, thanks for sharing your recipe:)


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