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Banana pudding is a Southern staple. Cool pudding and ripe bananas get a little texture from vanilla wafter cookies and wow, is it good. This version of banana pudding can be served warm or cold and is the sweetest way to end a dinner. But it’s so good you’ll want to eat it for breakfast too. Comfort food at its best.

Spooning banana pudding out of a dish.

This homemade southern banana pudding recipe calls for medium ripe bananas. Just at the point when you walk by them on your counter and think – “Yikes, if I don’t use these bananas today or tomorrow, they are probably going to go bad.” That’s when I would typically whip up my banana bread – I even have a gluten free banana bread recipe for those of you who avoid gluten – or maybe my banana muffins.

But I like to have options, and sometimes have a hankering for something sweeter than a dessert bread. So I’m excited to add banana pudding to the list of things to do with ripe bananas.

Lots of recipes call for store-bought jello pudding mix in this pudding. And yes, it might save time to make a box of instant French vanilla pudding, but come on. You know how we do things around here. From scratch. And I hope you trust me enough to know that when I say from scratch, it doesn’t take that much longer and the results are so worth it.

That’s the case here. You’ll make a batch of pudding on your stovetop, add in some sliced fresh bananas and vanilla wafers, and top with a delicious meringue. Voila! Dessert is done.

I’ve seen this recipe made with whipped cream instead of meringue for the topping, and while it’s also delicious, there is something about the lightly toasted sweet meringue that gives this pudding just the perfect finish. I love it, and I hope you will too!


Recipe Snapshot

Taste – Like bananas and vanilla.
Texture – Creamy pudding, with texture from sliced bananas and vanilla wafers.
Ease – This has a few steps, but each one is simple. A beginner baker can handle this recipe.
Time – Just under 45 minutes.

What You’ll Need


It always surprises me when relatively simple ingredients can come together to make something so delicious. This recipe is a great example of that. You might have all these things in your house right this minute already!? A banana pudding just waiting for you to make it.

  • Sugar – I use white granulated sugar in this recipe for sweetness in the pudding and the meringue.
  • All-purpose flour – This helps to thicken the pudding.
  • Salt – I know salt in desserts seems counterintuitive but it balances out the sweetness.
  • Eggs – You will need egg yolks for the pudding. Save the whites for the meringue.
  • Whole milk – Whole milk really helps to thicken the pudding and makes it so creamy.
  • Heavy cream – This is a pudding after all, I never said it was good for dieters.
  • Vanilla extract – For a hint of vanilla flavor.
  • Vanilla wafers – I use Nilla wafers – note these are NOT the kind of wafer cookies that have layers of cream in them.
  • Bananas – Medium ripe, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices.
Overhead of banana pudding with spoon.

How to Make Banana Pudding

This pudding is essentially a combination of two recipes – banana pudding and meringue. You’ll make each separately and bring them together for the grand finale.

Make the pudding

  1. Mix ingredients. In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, flour, and salt together. Add the egg yolks and egg and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the milk and the heavy cream.
  2. Cook over medium heat. Whisk often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla.
  1. Assemble pudding. Spread a thin layer of the pudding in an 8-inch square baking pan. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread half of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas, and pudding.

Make the meringue

  1. Prepare oven. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Beat the egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until they become foamy.
  3. Add the sugar. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the meringue won’t slide out of the bowl when tilted.
  4. Add to the pudding. Spread the meringue over the pudding with a spatula using a decorative swirling motion.
  5. Bake. Bake until lightly browned – watch carefully as this will only take 3-5 minutes.
Overhead of banana pudding in a glass dish.

Recipe FAQs

What keeps bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

Bananas turn brown when they are exposed to air. The layers of pudding help keep oxygen from getting to the bananas, which keeps them from turning brown immediately. They will get mushy and brown after a few days, so don’t plan on keeping this in the fridge for too long.

Should homemade banana pudding be refrigerated?

Yes. This should be served warm or kept in the fridge, covered tightly, for no more than 3 days.



Storage & Freezing

This should be served immediately or wrapped tightly and kept in the refrigerator for no more than 3 days.

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Spooning banana pudding out of a dish.

Banana Pudding

Yield: 9 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This homemade southern banana pudding can be served hot or cold. It contains layers of vanilla pudding, vanilla wafers, sweet ripe bananas, and a meringue topping.

Ingredients

For the pudding

  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks, save the whites for the meringue
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 ½ cups (360 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 40 vanilla wafers
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced into ¼-inch thick slices

For the Meringue

  • 3 large egg whites, leftover from the pudding
  • ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar

Instructions

Make the pudding

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, flour, and salt together.
  2. Add the egg yolks and egg and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the milk and the heavy cream.
  3. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until the mixture thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  5. Spread a thin layer of the pudding in an 8-inch square pan. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on top of the pudding. Arrange a layer of banana slices over the wafers. Spread half of the remaining pudding over the bananas and continue layering wafers, bananas, and pudding.

Make the meringue

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites at medium-high speed until they become foamy.
  2. Gradually beat in the remaining ¼ cup sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the meringue won't slide out of the bowl when tilted.
  3. Spread the meringue over the pudding with a spatula using a decorative swirling motion.
  4. Bake until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Serve warm or cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 9 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 218Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 274mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 7g

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients you used in the recipe.

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