Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds


Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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.

Candied Pumpkin Seed ClustersPumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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.

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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.

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin SeedsPumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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.

Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds

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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Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding with Candied Pumpkin Seeds
Yields: 6-8 servings
Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
  • 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)
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ¼ tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Whipped Coconut Cream
  • 1 can coconut cream*
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
Pumpkin Tapioca Pudding
  1. Combine ¾ cup of the milk with the tapioca pearls in a large heavy bottomed pot and let it soak for 30-60 minutes.
  2. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of milk, egg yolks, sugar, vanilla bean seeds and pod, pumpkin purée, and spices.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
Candied Pumpkin Seeds
  1. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until lightly golden and beginning to pop, 3-5 minutes.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat.
  3. 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.
  4. Spread the pumpkin seeds out on the prepared baking sheet and let cool for 20 minutes.
Whipped Coconut Cream
  1. 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).
  2. 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.
*If you can't find coconut cream (I use either Thai Kitchen Coconut Cream or the kind from Trader Joes), you can use the thick cream off the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk. If you don't have time to chill the coconut cream, you can also substitute ¾ cup heavy whipping cream.


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  1. Aimee says:

    These look so yummy x

  2. Ruby says:

    So while I looove bubble tea, I have never actually had tapioca pudding! However, your pumpkin version makes me want to go out and make some immediately. This pumpkin party is giving me an inspiration overload already!! xx

  3. Did I see that all these bowls were broken? Or that was a nightmare??? Because I want them all. And with all the delicious tapioca pudding inside of them. :)
    Seriously, when I saw that photo of all those gorgeous bowls broken into pieces, my heart stopped for a minute. I hope no one was hurt.
    I have never made tapioca pudding, but this one looks like a great recipe to start. Candied pumpkin seeds sounds like MAGIC. <3

  4. I have to make this! I have never made tapioca, at school it was always really unappealing, but this looks really delicious. I’m sorry about the cold, I’ve just got over one that the boyfriend and I passed back and forth to each other.

    Also the crockery – so sad! I am so clumsy I break so many glasses etc, so I feel your pain.

  5. I hated tapioca pudding as a kid. Hated. As an adult I’ve come to love boba, but I haven’t tried tapioca since I was about 5. You’ve just given me the boost I needed to give tapioca pudding a fair test. Thank you!

  6. Christine says:

    Sarah! I’m so sorry to hear that you are sick and that all your beautiful dishes fell and broke. So. Awful. I hope you get some comfort out of this pudding and that you’re on the mend soon. I actually loved tapioca pudding as a kid (hahah a lifelong obsession with creamy desserts) but have never made it at home. Between yours and Alanna’s, I am going to be one happy pudding-eating lady this week! Feel better! xo

    • Thank you! We’re all better now in this household! Zoella came out of the cold ready to take on the world with a new tooth and CRAWLING. I hope you have such a great pudding fest! :*

  7. My heart sank when I saw all the broken pottery, Sarah… add that to the already challenging week of little Zoe and how your feeling.. sometimes when I have weeks like that I wanna cry like a baby!! What a fabulous pudding with all the goodies.. creamy, crunch, texture… sublime! I hope this week improves, and the pottery fairy will appear with something fabulous! Gorgeous work my dear!

    • Sigh – I can’t even tell you how sad I was. So in shock over the pottery that I barely said a word! I’ve already replaced some of it though, so things are looking up!! And thank you so much!! <3 <3

  8. Dream breakfast right here!

    I also used to hate tapioca pudding. But mostly because I only encountered it in this dessert called ‘sagu’ which was basically tapioca balls in a weird artificial red wine syrup. But then I had tapioca pudding in coconut milk and my life was changed :)

  9. amanda paa says:

    so sorry about the sickness and the broken pottery, at the same time. ugh, and i wish i could be there to take a load so you could rest for a day. give you credit, momma.

    now that you’ve taught me to soak my tapioca pearls and cook it low and slow, i’m ready to make this beauty! i swoon over the coziness and the whipped coconut cream on top. xo

  10. Oh no! Not the ceramics! But hopefully this pudding will help make you feel a bit better! Is it weird that I’ve never had tapioca pudding before? But also I cannot believe I’ve never candied pumpkin seeds before! Unreal! Can’t wait to try. Happy #virtualpumpkinparty

  11. No not the ceramics!!!! I’m so sorry Sarah! I broke my favorite creamer (whatever you call it. the thing that you pour cream from for coffee) that I used for all my pour shots. It was my great aunt pauline’s and I’m still sad about it every time I have to use something else to pour. WAH!

    I’ll take 3 bowls of this pudding to cheer me up please. Let’s have it together!

  12. Veronica says:

    OH my goodness! This looks so yummy! Mija I am so sorry about your dishes, this is so sad! I remember those day’s when the babies would get sick! My Mommy lived 3 hours away and I spent a lot of time on the phone with her! She said the same thing moms don’t get sick and boy was she right! You can even breast feed when you are sick with a cold! No way really yes Really she said! It did help to have such a wonderful partner who would help with meals and cleaning! Hope your beautiful family is doing well!

  13. This pudding sounds amazing! I love your lovely garnishes and your photos are incredible.

  14. Gah, shattered bowls and a sick babe/mama? Sounds like you need more pudding! I’ve never actually had tapioca pudding (I know!), so this needs to happen in my house SOON. Hope you both get better ASAP! xo

  15. Amisha says:

    Sarah these are beautiful! The tapioca pudding looks sooo delicious! I gotta add this to my list of things to make. the pumpkin seeds look so beautiful!

    I hope your cutie pie is feeling ok and so are you!

    Man those bowls are beauties, and I hear you, I would be heart broken! Hope you are having a good week! :)

  16. All I want to do is curl up with this beautiful pudding! Candied pumpkin seeds? DEAD.

  17. I’m so sorry to hear about your ceramics :( :( But at least they made it through the photographs for this post, which are absolutely gorgeous! :) Hope you and the little one feel better soon! <3

  18. How have I never made tapioca pudding or candied pumpkin seeds before? I feel like we need to be neighbours so you can teach me ALL the cool new food things. Is it wrong that I want this for dinner?

  19. Marissa says:

    What a week! First you’re ‘not sick’ and then the ceramic explosion. ugh and ugh. Hope you’re feeling much better.

    This pudding looks so delicious. You really have a talent for coming up with the most creative dishes!

  20. Oh no!!!! Not the ceramics :( The bowls are so beautiful, too. I’m glad you captured their memory in this post with this beautiful recipe. I want all the candied pumpkin seeds. All of them.

  21. These photos are so gorgeous! I loved tapioca pudding as a kid but don’t think I’ve had it in at least 15 years. Can’t wait to make this dressed up version with those glam + glossy pepitas!

  22. naomi says:

    stunning photos! and that pudding is right up my alley.

  23. Alanna says:

    Pumpkin pudding forever and ever! Love this dessert so much. Glad all the Menanixes are on the mend – clearly, it’s the pudding that did it.

  24. Carla says:

    AMUSINGLY, I ALSO hated tapioca as a kid. Considering my boba consumption levels these days, I’m pretty sure it’s not holding a grudge. :) (ALSO. THIS PUDDING. NEED. I WAS WRONG NOT TO EAT IT ALL IMMEDIATELY.)

  25. So sorry to hear about your ceramics!!! (and other challenges) I hope you find plenty of comfort in bowl after bowl of this yummy pudding.

  26. Sonia says:

    This stopped me in my tracks! Pumpkin tapioca pudding sounds…well, sounds like something I need in my life asap!

  27. So lovely. It’s been so long since I’ve enjoyed a bowl of tapioca, and I like the thought of pumpkin flavored. At that coconut cream!!!!

  28. Oh wow this pudding looks heavenly, I want some of it now! Beautiful photos like always! And I am so sorry about the broken bowls but just remember those are only things that can be replaced… :-)

  29. Cindy says:

    What a great idea to combine tapioca and pumpkin! It might be my oversight but I am not seeing how much water to add to the sugar to make the candied pumpkin seeds. I look forward to trying this recipe!

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