Creamy Paleo Tapioca Starch Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

This traditional family favorite has been remade to exclude the dairy, refined sugar, and cornstarch, so everyone in the family can enjoy it.

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I spent a good portion of my weekend testing yeast breads. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be too complicated for me. However, add in the fact that now I’m trying this with gluten-free flours at 6,000ft above sea level, and the “not too complicated” part of it has changed.

I’ve been working with a variety of flours, all with varying results, and none are just quite right. All the bread has tasted great, they have that delicious yeasty sandwich-bread taste, but just aren’t light and springy enough. So what does that have to do with pudding? All those bread trials used only egg whites, which left me with a total of 16 (sixteen!) egg yolks.

What to do?

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

I debated between custard, ice cream, and pudding. I’ve made custard and crème brulée, as well as ice cream (but I will be working on a few more flavors), but pudding is something I’ve been wanting to try. So naturally, since I had 16 egg yolks, and the recipe required 4 egg yolks, I made 4 different flavors: Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter (not strict paleo), and Butterscotch.

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

Since cornstarch (along with egg yolks) is traditionally the base to pudding and is what gives the creamy, thick texture, it was easily replaced by using either arrowroot or tapioca starch instead. I have tested this recipe with both and it turned out the same each time.

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

I always loved anything butterscotch as a kid, so it was kind of odd that it was the last flavor I attempted, but I think I matched the flavor pretty accurately. The molasses are absolutely key to the flavor, so you can’t leave it out.

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

Of course, our kids really wanted some pudding in their lunch, and luckily, Tupperware to the rescue! Adorable little homemade Snack Packs. Does it get any better than that?

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

Oh, and of course, after I had all 4 flavors done, pictures taken, and this post written, I started thinking of even more pudding flavors. You wouldn’t hate me if I got a little pudding crazy and posted recipes for Banana, Eggnog, Lemon, Tropical, and Pumpkin flavors, would you?

Creamy Paleo Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

Creamy Pudding, 4 Flavors {dairy-free}

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

This traditional family favorite has been remade to exclude the dairy, refined sugar, and cornstarch, so everyone in the family can enjoy it.


Vanilla Pudding

  • 1/2 cup Honey
  • 1/4 cup + 1-1/2 Tbsp Arrowroot or Tapioca Starch, either works fine
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 1/2 cups Canned Coconut Milk
  • 4 Large Egg Yolks
  • 2 Tbsp Ghee
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, seeds scraped, or 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Chocolate Pudding

  • All ingredients listed in Vanilla Pudding
  • 1/3 cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, instead of vanilla bean

Butterscotch Pudding

  • All ingredients in Vanilla Pudding
  • 3 Tbsp Blackstrap Molasses
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, instead of vanilla bean

Peanut Butter Pudding* (not strict paleo)

  • All ingredients listed in Vanilla Pudding except Honey
  • 1/2 cup Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1/3 cup PB2 Powder
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract, instead of vanilla bean


  1. Place the vanilla and ghee in a 4-cup capacity bowl. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, not over heat, combine the dry ingredients and whisk until combined, breaking up and lumps as much as possible.
  3. Slowly whisk in the coconut milk to dissolve the starch, removing as many lumps as possible (it's very likely some will remain, don't worry about that right now, you can strain them out later).
  4. Once all the milk is mixed in, whisk in the egg yolks, honey, and molasses.
  5. Add the saucepan to the stove and turn it on to medium heat. Whisk constantly until large, slow bubbles form and splatter, about 5-10 minutes, depending on the efficiency of your stovetop.
  6. Reduce the heat to low and cook, still whisking, for 2 minutes. The pudding should be pretty thick and just slightly thinner than the desired consistency. When you lift the whisk out of the pudding, the pudding should plop back into the saucepan, and not be drippy or runny. If it is, continue simmering until it's thickened.
  7. Immediately pour the pudding through the strainer to remove any remaining lumps, pressing it through with the back of a spoon, if needed.
  8. Remove the strainer and whisk the pudding to evenly combine it with the ghee and vanilla. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (preferably overnight) to allow to cool completely and fully thicken. Although eating it warm is really great too, I wouldn't blame you at all for doing that.

Storage and Serving Suggestion

  1. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to serve, whisk before spooning pudding into individual cups.
  2. Works great in small reusable containers as a lunch snack for kids. After chilling with the plastic wrap on the surface, remove the plastic wrap and spoon into individual storage containers. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  3. Pour extra pudding in popsicle molds and freeze overnight. To unmold, run under hot water for about 30 seconds and they should slide right out.


  • I know, peanut butter is NOT paleo. We do not have allergies and do indulge in peanut butter on occasion. If this ingredient doesn't fit in with your diet, just ignore that variation. I have not tried replacing the powdered PB2 with another kind of nut butter, so I can't guarantee results.
  • Nutrition Facts are for the Vanilla option only.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424.5Total Fat: 32gSaturated Fat: 25gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 119mgCarbohydrates: 35.5gFiber: 2.5gSugar: 26.5gProtein: 4g

Nutrition is calculated by a third party and may not be 100% accurate

Paleo Pudding Pops {dairy-free} by Our Paleo Life

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  1. Perfect timing! My husband’s birthday is coming up and I was hoping to make some sort of trifle/parfait for him. Which could be a bit complicated since neither of us can eat gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, ect…
    I’m thinking of using gluten free ginger snaps and lemon pudding. (Converting the above vanilla recipe by substituting part of the coconut milk for lemon juice.) I just have two questions: Has anyone tried this with any other sweetener then honey? (We’re all out, and I was thinking of buying coconut sugar to use for other things.) And is there an easy substitute for ghee? (Though I know it can be virtually lactose free, it’s still not something I usually have on hand.)
    Thanks, and keep up the experimenting! I love butterscotch anything and have sorely missed having it, since changing our diet. I may just have to make a ‘trial’ batch of the butterscotch version. Just to ‘test’ the recipe, and make sure it will work for his birthday pudding of course. ;D

    1. I’ve only used honey or maple syrup as sweeteners. I’m not sure how well coconut sugar would work, I’ve never had much luck with it dissolving well. As for the ghee, you could try coconut oil.

      The recipe works well cut in half, so you could certainly do that to test out the butterscotch. Hope you (and your husband) enjoy it!

  2. This looks like the best nondairy pudding recipe I’ve found yet! Where can I find those cute jars you have the puddings pictured in?

    1. 1.5T coconut worked for me. The flavor made no difference that I could tell. Also, you can use refined, which has no flavor.

  3. @Rena, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but you could probably use coconut oil. It would have a different flavor, of course, but it should work.

  4. I noticed many had my same question about the ghee. If lactose is the problem then it’s a good option, but if the protein is the problem it still cannot be used.

    I substituted the key with one and a half tablespoons of coconut oil after talking to some friends about it. It worked great!
    Also, I substituted a the honey for maple syrup and that also worked very well.

    The only thing I want to do differently next time is to add more vanilla. I like looooots of vanilla! 🙂

    My question is whether or not we can use peanut butter in place of the peanut butter powder. Can we? What ratio/measurement should we use?

  5. Has anyone tried using Lakanto in place of the honey? I’ll be making this as described with honey for my family, but for myself, I don’t tolerate any sugars well (and I’ll be sad, as I do love pudding). Thanks!

  6. I made the chocolate and it was really tasty. My question though is why did mine turn out stretchy/elastic? Did I overcook it, too high of heat? I’ve had this happen using cornstarch as well and I don’t know why. It doesn’t happen every time.

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