Baked Tapioca Pudding

So it was Friday, August 19th… day of my last summer final and official start to a worry free summer break. Decided to kick it off with some Chinese tapioca pudding. Not sure why… just had a craving for it, but after the first bite, wasn’t feeling it anymore and wish I had made a cold dessert.

Have you ever tried baked tapioca pudding? It’s this tapioca custard based pudding that is baked with a crust on top, and usually has some sort of filling inside the tapioca… served in most Chinese restaurants as dessert/ dim sum I think.

I found this recipe a while back and according to my family, it tastes very similar to the ones they usually serve. I don’t know… personally on the fence with this dessert… if I’m craving it, all I want is a little bite… don’t really love it… lol

I followed the original recipe almost exactly. The only modification I made was the use of black sesame as the filling, instead of lotus seed paste. Here’s the black sesame that I used… pretty sure this is a dessert on its own, but my grandma said it was okay to use.

Baked Tapioca Pudding


  • 1/4 cup small pearl tapioca
  • 1 3/4 cups boiling water (for soaking tapioca)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp custard powder, or vanilla pudding powder
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar


  • ¼ cup margarine at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp custard powder, or vanilla pudding powder
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • small pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp whole milk


  •   1/2 cup black sesame seed paste

To make the pudding:

1 )  Place the tapioca pearls in a mixing bowl, and pour the hot water over top. Give the tapioca a stir, then allow it to soak for about 20 minutes, until softened. After 30 minutes, drain the tapioca in a fine-mesh sieve. Stir the tapioca to break up any clumps, and rinse it over cool, running water.

2)  Add the drained tapioca, milk, salt, custard powder, and butter to the pot. On medium heat, cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is steaming.

3)  Stir together the eggs and sugar. Temper the egg mixture with the steaming milk by ladling a couple of tablespoons of milk into the bowl at a time, and stirring til combined. When egg mixture is warmed, pour everything back into the pot and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (custard will be rather runny, because it will continue to thicken in the oven when it bakes.) Set aside.

For the topping:

1)  Combine all ingredients, except milk, together in a bowl. Gently knead the dough until it just comes together in your hands. Divide the dough into equal pieces, and roll each piece into a ball. With the palm of your hand, gently flatten the ball until it reaches approximately ½ inch thickness. Repeat with the remaining balls of dough, and score the tops decoratively if you wish. (I found the dough was still too sticky to handle, so I added a bit more flour till it wasn’t sticking)

To assemble:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

1)  Layer each ramekin with tapioca filling, then sesame paste, and top with more filling.

2)  Gently place a round of dough on each of the puddings. Brush the tops of the dough with milk.

3)  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until the topping becomes lightly golden. Allow the puddings to cool for about 10 minutes before enjoying warm. (I recommend poking a hold in the top of the crust, or else you might end up with leakage like back-left over there)

Oh and if you have extra crust, make some crust cookies.

And lastly, our Friday food adventure! Salmon 2 ways: soy glazed salmon vs. sweet chili salmon. Both were really good according to Jer (he demolished both… and wanted more)

PS – Greetings from Hawaii! (Aloha, I guess) C and I are currently in Hawaii (just got here yesterday). Will most likely do a post on all the amazing food at the end of our trip!

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