A modern, delicious, and vegan version of a classic dessert!
After one bite of this Coconut Milk Tapioca Pudding, your mouth will beg for more. The creamy, thick, vanilla, coconutty mouthfeel of this plant-based dessert harkens back to the good old days. Remember when Grandma made this on her stove-top? Adding sweet mango and tart raspberry modernizes our vegan tapioca pudding as a special treat worthy of special occasions. Not to toot our horn, but this dessert tastes amazingly fresh and comforting at the same time. Win-win!
Not too many sweets can claim both gluten- and dairy-free status, but this one can. Dairy and gluten rank the top two in a list of most common food intolerances. Thankfully, we can safely say that this delicious vegan tapioca pudding passes taste tests with all ages. Although this recipe makes a small batch, you might want to double up.
Vegan Dessert Made Simple
The best part of this vegan tapioca pudding is that the entire step of building a custard is gone. No tempering milk or separating egg yolks. Since there aren’t any eggs, there’s no fear of accidentally scrambling them! In fact, a lot of vegan desserts are easier than standard ones because of the missing eggs.
This coconut milk tapioca pudding recipe calls for six ingredients: almond milk, small tapioca pearls, canned lite coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and a touch of salt. The small dry tapioca pearls are easy to find in most supermarkets. For true celiacs, we recommend Bob’s Red Mill small pearl tapioca, which is processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
Stirring Is The Hardest Part
The first step in this recipe requires soaking the tapioca pearls in almond milk. We recommend at least an hour (or more) to fully soften the pearls. Some tapioca enthusiasts claim an overnight soak works best, but most can agree on an hour.
Next, add the soaked pearls with the almond milk to a heavy bottomed saucepan with a can of light coconut milk. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat before simmering for twenty minutes. That heavy-bottomed saucepan is a strict requirement to avoid burning the pearls.
For best textural results, we recommend against boxed coconut milk. Even the light canned milk contains thick coconut, while the boxed kind is too watery. Of course full-fat will be very flavorful, but light canned coconut milk has less fat and tastes just fine for this recipe.
Now, you’ll want to stir. To be honest, you can walk away, wash up, or empty the dishwasher during this time. Just be sure to stir every three to five minutes. After twenty minutes, the mixture will have that unbeatable thickness tapioca pudding is known for. At the last minute, add the maple syrup, vanilla, and salt, and stir until ingredients are properly mixed.
Plant-based Dessert Amazing Hot or Cold
Coconut milk tapioca pudding tastes amazing warm, but it’s traditionally served cold. In that case, it needs up to two hours to chill in the refrigerator. If you’re enjoying it warm, this plant-based dessert will be ready after ten minutes of resting at room temperature.
Serve this tasty dessert in a small ramekin. Then, top the pudding with a few pieces of chopped mango and raspberries and voila: you have a vegan tapioca that doubles as a restaurant-worthy dessert!
Coconut Milk Tapioca Pudding
- 1/3 cup small tapioca pearls
- 1 cup almond milk
- 13 ounces coconut milk lite, unsweetened canned
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 mango cut and cubed
- 1/2 cup raspberries rinsed and dried
- Soak tapioca pearls in almond milk for at least an hour. Do not drain.
- In a heavy bottomed saucepan add tapioca pearl-almond milk mixture and coconut milk. Bring to a rolling boil under medium heat and then immediately turn down to simmer, stirring constantly so the pearls don’t burn.
- For twenty minutes, leave the pot on simmer and continue to stir every few minutes. High heat will burn the pudding, so make sure that simmer is low and slow.
- At the last minute, add maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Remove from heat and stir for one or two minutes more.
- Tapioca pudding is traditionally served cold. Divide into small ramekins or dishes if you have them. 2 hours chill time is optimum. Wait at least ten minutes for pudding to cool off in a serving bowl before eating it warm.
- Scoop one quarter cup in small ramekins and top with three mango cubes and two to three raspberries.
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Looking for a high protein, non-dairy soup to go with that plant-based dessert? Try this lentil veggie stew or vegan jambalaya.
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Is the tapioca here, minute tapioca or small pearls? Here in Canada it is so hard to find larger sizes.
Leslie, you can use the smaller tapioca.