Stovetop Tapioca Pudding With Brûlée Finish Recipe

Low-FODMAP Tapioca Brûlée Recipe
Patsy Catsos, MS, RDN, LD
Total Time: 43 min
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 13 min
Servings: 6 (2/3 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

220 calories
6g fat
36g carbs
6g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 (2/3 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 220
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 74mg 25%
Sodium 174mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 25g  
Includes 19g Added Sugars 38%
Protein 6g  
Vitamin D 16mcg 80%
Calcium 151mg 12%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 188mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Take your tapioca pudding from a humble family favorite to a delightful special occasion dessert with this recipe. Tapioca pudding lends itself easily to adaptation for an IBS-friendly diet. Lactose in regular milk is a FODMAP and is often poorly tolerated by those with IBS. Fortunately, lactose-free cow's milk behaves just like regular milk in recipes.

Unlike other milk alternatives, lactose-free milk has just as much protein and calcium, so you're not missing out on a thing in the nutrition department. Dairy milk consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, colorectal cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and osteoporosis. 

Bonus: You will learn a new cooking technique when you make this recipe: tempering eggs.


  • 3 cup lactose-free whole milk
  • 1/2 cup minute tapioca
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp sugar


  1. In a medium heavy saucepan, stir together the milk, tapioca, sugar cup of sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Bring the mixture to a full boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove the mixture from the heat.

  2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly. Add 2 tablespoons of the pudding mixture to the eggs while stirring them briskly. Repeat, adding 2 tablespoons of the pudding at a time until about 1/3 of the mixture has been added to the eggs. Then, stirring continuously, pour the now warm egg mixture into the saucepan of hot pudding.

  3. Return the pudding mixture to medium-low heat and stir until pudding comes to a gentle simmer. The pudding will have thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon and will continue to thicken after it is removed from the heat.

  4. Stir in the vanilla. Divide the pudding into the prepared ramekins. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.

  5. Move an oven rack to the top shelf and preheat the broiler.

  6. Place the ramekins of chilled pudding on an ungreased baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon with 1 tsp of sugar. Sprinkle each ramekin of pudding with half a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Broil with the oven door ajar until the sugar is bubbling and starting to darken for about 2 1/2 minutes. Supervise carefully to make sure the sugar does not burn.

  7. Cool the pudding for a few minutes before serving.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

This recipe works well with lower-fat or even fat-free milk, too, although the color and flavor won't be quite as rich.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • Why the extra fuss with adding the hot milk mixture little by little to the eggs instead of all at once? This process, called "tempering," warms the eggs up gradually so that the protein in the egg whites doesn't denature into scrambled egg-like pieces. It keeps your pudding smooth.
  • For additional insurance against lumps and scorching, stir your pudding with a flat-edged spatula instead of a spoon, and keep things moving across the bottom of the pan while the pudding is over the stovetop heat.
  • Freshly grated nutmeg has an unbeatable warm flavor and aroma. Buy whole dried nutmeg and grate only the amount you need. Whole nutmeg, even after part has been grated off, keeps indefinitely.

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Article Sources
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  1. Zhang X, Chen X, Xu Y, et al. Milk consumption and multiple health outcomes: umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in humans. Nutrition & Metabolism. 2021;18(1):7.