A bowl of this spiced pumpkin tapioca pudding is curing all my ails right now. We just tossed our first family cold around – a right of passage I’ve been told. Zoella got sick early last week, capped off with a 103°F temperature. She wanted to do nothing but nurse in bed all day while shoving her snotty fingers in my mouth and valiantly fought it off in a day.
Naturally I caught it next and also wanted to do nothing but lay in bed, but by that time Zoella was on the mend and ready for entertainment. My mom comforted me with, “moms don’t get to be sick.” Noted. Sniffle. I’m on day 3 of “not” being sick.
To add insult to injury, every single ceramic bowl in this post leaped out of the cabinet to a shattering death this week and I’m having trouble letting go. The broken pieces are still sitting on my dining table like a pottery graveyard.
A moment of silence for the ceramic collection that once was.
What is it about head colds that gives you an overwhelming need to feel cozy? Like sitting next to a wood stove bundled in a blanket with a cup of hot apple cider and the scent of spiced pumpkin wafting through the air is the magic cure for the sniffles. I want all that right now.
With a third batch of this pumpkin tapioca pudding on the stove and the aroma of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg filling the house, I already feel a bit better. Maybe if I light the votive display in our fireplace, I’ll be that much closer to clear sinuses.
This pumpkin tapioca pudding is the stuff fall dreams are made of – pumpkin and spice and everything nice. It’s ultra creamy with little chewy bubbles that make each bite addicting in flavor and texture (this is in stark contrast to my kid self who hated tapioca pudding because seriously wtf are those little bubbles?). The pudding idea came courtesy of Carla during one of our weekly boba dates. Tapioca pudding is like tiny boba in dessert form and I’m obsessed with both.
A dollop of whipped coconut cream dances on top of the spiced pumpkin tapioca pudding with crunchy candied pumpkin seeds. It’s feeling mighty cozy around here.
If, like me, you can’t get enough pumpkin pudding, Alanna’s got you covered with her butterscotch pumpkin pudding. ALSO ALSO: IT’S A PUMPKIN PARTY!! Over a hundred pumpkin recipes are flooding the internet today to celebrate – head over to Cake Over Steak and Twigg Studios for the epic list!
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- 2¾ cups whole milk, divided
- ⅓ cup small pearl tapioca
- 2 large egg yolks, whisked together
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 1 cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (for color, optional)
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ tablespoon butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1 can coconut cream*
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Combine ¾ cup of the milk with the tapioca pearls in a large heavy bottomed pot and let it soak for 30-60 minutes.
- Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod, pumpkin purée, and spices.
- Turn the flame to low (as low as it goes) and heat the pudding slowly, stirring occasionally. It should begin to bubble a bit after about 15 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the pearls turn mostly translucent (it's okay if some of the pearls have little white specks in the center) and pudding begins to thicken enough to coat the back of your spoon, about 10-20 minutes. The pudding will thicken as it cools, so don't overcook or your pudding will be gummy.
- Remove from heat and transfer to 6-8 pudding cups, discarding the vanilla bean. To serve warm, let rest for 8-10 minutes to thicken and serve topped with whipped coconut cream and candied pepitas. To serve cold, cover and chill for an hour or up to 24 hours and serve with toppings.
- Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until lightly golden and beginning to pop, 3-5 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat.
- Melt the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar begins to turn amber colored, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Add pumpkin seeds and stir until evenly coated.
- Spread the pumpkin seeds out on the prepared baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes.
- Chill the can of coconut cream upright in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Without tilting, open the can and spoon off just the thick cream off the top into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or into a mixing bowl to whip with a hand mixer).
- Whip on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and continue whisking on high speed until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to use.