Learn how to make golden boba within 30 minutes, the simple and foolproof method provided. Elaine made our homemade tapioca pearls around 2 years ago and we are having so much good feedback about this. In today’s recipe, I will show you how to make golden boba pearls which is another popular boba type in addition to our regular brown sugar boba pearls.

golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

What’s golden boba

It might be quite surprising to find that the dough of golden boba pearls shares lots of similarities with the traditional black boba pearls. It is made from brown sugar, tapioca starch, and water. However, the amount of brown sugar is greatly reduced so the finished pearls will have a lovely golden-like color. It is the top popular boba option in addition to traditional black boba pearls, crystal boba, and popping boba.

Golden boba pearls can be used to replace black boba pearls in almost all bubble teas. While my favorite is to use it in oolong milk tea and jasmine milk tea. The lighter color will make the bubble milk a different looking.


Only 3 or 4 ingredients will be needed for homemade golden boba-brown sguar, water, and tapioca starch. Since we reduce the amount of brown sugar, you can add some extra sweetener to increase the sweet taste, like sugar or honey. However, I don’t include any extra sweeteners in this recipe

golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

Brown sugar

Brown sugar has a unique distinctive brown color with a caramel flavor. It contains granulated sugar with molasses. The amount of molasses added to the sugar determines the darkness and flavor intensity of the brown sugar.

As a result, the golden boba might slightly differ in color based on the type of brown sugar used in the dough.

Tapioca starch

Tapioca starch is the key ingredient for all tapioca boba balls. It looks just like other types of starch, fine and white powder. It comes from the root of the cassava plant and is super strong so giving the boba pearls a super chewy texture. Tapioca starch is naturally gluten-free.

golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

Tips for successful golden boba pearls


Temperature is another key reason for the successful golden boba pearls at home. Make sure the liquid is boiling water before adding the first half of the starch to finish the gelatinization of the starch and avoid turning your dough into non-Newtonian fluid.

Be quick

You must stir very quickly after adding the first half starch and knead the dough when it is still warm. It will dry out a little bit and become hard to knead once cooled.

Cover the dough to avoid drying out

When shaping the balls, remember to cover the left dough to avoid them drying out. What to do if this happens? You can sprinkle some water on the surface, and re-knead to soften it back.

Find the detailed recipe and instructions in the recipe card below.

How to cook Golden Boba

The cooking time for store-bought quick golden boba may be different from homemade golden boba. Regular boba pearls, not softened in previously need around 20 to 30 minutes of boiling in a large amount of water. But quick boba only needs 5 minutes. Thus we recommend choosing quick Boba if you want to use a store-bought version.

For homemade boba pearls, I will recommend a half-and-half method, namely cook the boba pearls for 20 minutes and stand for another 20 minutes. But you need to cover the lid.

After cooking, rinsing the golden boba pears in running water to remove the extra starch attached. For an even chewier texture, you can add some ice cubes to the strainer when rinsing or soaking in iced water.

The last step is to mix it with syrup. For golden syrup, honey or simple syrup is better than the commonly used brown sugar syrup.

Most honey boba pearls are made with a similar process of golden boba, using brown sugar and honey as sweeteners.

golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

Now the golden boba is ready to use.

golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

How to Make Golden Boba at home

Homemade golden boba pearls
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Howto
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 1 day 40 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 393kcal


For boba pearls

  • 1 cup around 135g tapioca starch , + 2 tbsp. more for adjusting and coating
  • 6 tbsp. water 90ml
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. honey for coating


Make the dough

  • In a small pot, slightly heat the water and dissolve brown sugar over slowest fire (to avoid too much water lost). Make sure the sugar is dissolved. Heat the liquid to a boiling and then use slowest fire.
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
  • Now, add 1/2 of the tapioca starch in and mix quickly (Count 6 to 7seconds). Turn off the fire or remove from fire and add the remaining 1/2 of the tapioca starch. Mix until gathered. Quick during the process.
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
  • Place the remaining flour on an operation board. Transfer the smooth paste in and knead into a dough with the help of a scraper blade. At first, it might be slightly sticky. Continue kneading until smooth. Be quick during the process. The dough becomes hard to control when cool down completely.
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com

Shape the dough

  • Divide the dough into 4 portions. Remember to cover the other three with plastic bag. Then shape one portion into a long log (around 0.5cm in diameter).
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
  • Pinch a small portion from the log and shape into small round balls. (be patient and do not require prefect roundness).
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
  • In a large plate, spread some flour and coat each ball with enough flour to avoid sticking to each other. After finish all of the pearls, shift the extra flour off. You can now package in air-tight bags and freeze for later use.

How to cook the boba pearls

  • Bring a large pot of water (at least 6 times of the volume of the pearls) and cook the pears for 20 to 30 minutes. Then transfer the balls into a cold water (they shrink to original size immediately).
    golden boba |chinasichuanfood.com
  • Wash under running water. Drain and mix with 2 tablespoons of honey to avoid sticky together.
  • Now, make your creations and make lovely boba drinks!



Note: if your dough is quite dry, cover with a wet cloth to recovering it. 


Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 384mg | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 314mg | Iron: 0.6mg

How to golden boba

Golden boba has lots of interesting uses just like common black boba pearls. Following are some of the most popular inspirations.

  • Use it in a bubble or milk tea (check oolong milk tea )
  • Add it to smoothies to make boba smoothies
  • Decorate on tarts or cakes
  • Wrap in the mochi fillings to make boba mochi

What’s your favorite way? I would love to hear it.

How to make a lovely golden boba milk tea

You will need tea bags, oolong tea, black tea, or green tea, your choice. Then select your choice of milk, fresh whole milk, half and half, coconut milk, and almond milk all work. My choice for this time is an oolong tea with fresh milk. Please find the recipe in the recipe card.

Golden boba vs regular brown sugar boba pearls

We reduced the amount of golden boba and thus making it much lighter in color. But they use the same ingredients, only different amounts.

How to flavor golden boba pearls

After cooking, the golden boba pearls should be soaked in syrup to prevent them from sticking. I recommend honey or simple syrup instead of brown sugar syrup in order to keep the color. If you can’t find any syrup, add white sugar to coat.

Golden boba vs crystal boba

Golden boba belongs to tapioca boba pearls while crystal boba is made from agar agar. They have different tastes too. Golden boba is super chewy while crystal boba is a little bit crunchy.

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