Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

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Homemade Banana Pudding

Before banana pudding took on its current identity as a side dish, it had quite the leading role. Named banana cream pie in 1880s Boston, banana pudding was originally used to describe banana cream pie. It eventually became known simply by its more manageable name of banana pudding, while banana cream pie carried on as a separate entity.

Banana pudding has stayed banana cream pie’s less famous (but equally delicious) sibling. Of course banana pudding is so much more than banana slices and banana-flavored pudding. So what exactly is banana pudding? Good question! Banana pudding can be described as a no-cook dessert made with pudding mix, whole mix, fresh banana, and Nilla wafers.

Though banana pudding doesn’t have the same glamorous reputation as its more famous counterparts, it’s just as delicious! It’s definitely banana pudding time!

This Homemade Banana Pudding recipe is simple to prepare and easily feeds a crowd! Made-from-scratch vanilla pudding layered with bananas, vanilla wafers cookies and homemade whipped cream is the ultimate comfort food. 

Homemade Banana Pudding

The BEST Homemade Banana Pudding

Growing up and living in the South, I’ve eaten my fair share of banana pudding at potlucks and church socials. 9 times out of 10, it’s some version of our family-famous banana pudding made with pudding mix, sour cream, and Cool Whip. It was a childhood favorite of mine, and it still is!

This banana pudding recipe is made 100% from scratch, and I like to think of it as a more grown-up version of the banana pudding we served at the family get-togethers while I was growing up. 

ūüćĆ Be sure to try our Eagle Brand Banana Pudding! ūüćĆ

Homemade Banana Pudding

Homemade Whipped Cream

I’ll take any excuse to bust out my favorite homemade whipped cream recipe! You can easily whip up a big batch of this in just a few minutes. And I love that it’s a stabilized whipped cream (sort of like Cool Whip), which means it won’t deflate.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for the whipped cream:

  •  3 cups heavy whipping cream
  •  3/4 cup powdered sugar
  •  1 tbsp vanilla extract
  •  3 tbsp instant pudding mix, vanilla flavor (banana flavor might be fun for this recipe!)
Homemade Banana Pudding

How to Make Homemade Banana Pudding

‚ěä Homemade Vanilla Pudding. This is the foundation of the dessert. Making it from scratch is definitely more labor intensive than using a box mix, but I think the effort is well worth it. The homemade pudding is extra thick, creamy, and smooth. And it really gives this dessert a lot more substance than it’s instant-pudding counterpart.

And while it does take a little extra effort to make, no need to be afraid. It’s a simple process that you absolutely can do!

‚ěč Homemade Whipped Cream. I’ve already talked about this whipped cream recipe above, but here it is again in review:

  • so delicious
  • stabilized (won’t deflate)
  • really REALLY easy to make

‚ěĆ Bananas. In baking, it’s always important to use bananas that are a little overripe, slightly soft, and heavily freckled. That because when you’re talking about bananas in baking, the only thing that matters is sweetness. Things are a little different when selecting the bananas used for a banana pudding, because texture is also a major factor (in addition to sweetness and flavor). 

I’m extra-picky when it comes to selecting bananas for pudding. You want them to be perfectly and uniformly yellow, with very few-to-no freckles and no green. Once peeled, I always cut out and discard any soft spots, so that the slices that end up in the pudding are firm and not squishy.

‚ěć Nilla Wafers. The most important aspect of incorporating Nilla wafers is to simply make sure the pudding chills for several hours before serving so that the Nilla Wafers have time to soften completely. This one step is absolutely crucial to the overall texture of the banana pudding will make all the difference in the final product.

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Recipe Ingredients

Pick up these ingredients at the grocery store to make this homemade banana pudding recipe:

  • sugar
  • cornstarch
  • salt
  • whole milk
  • eggs
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • Nilla Wafers
  • bananas
  • heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar
  • instant pudding mix

How do You Serve Banana Pudding?

Here are some of my favorite serving dishes that would be great for banana pudding.

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Banana Pudding FAQ

How ripe should bananas be for banana pudding?

Banana pudding recipes often call for very ripe bananas to add a distinct banana flavor. In order to get the ripest banana flavors possible, wait until the banana’s peel is about 50% brown and spotty before slicing them open and eating them. If you’re in a hurry, you can speed up the ripening process by placing bananas in a covered container with apples or tomatoes. The extra banana sugars will help the banana slices become overripe much faster!

What kind of pan do I use for banana pudding?

You can use a variety of different pans for banana pudding! Since banana pudding is a no-bake dessert, you don’t need to worry about using a dish that can’t stand up to the heat of the oven. Instead, banana pudding is more concerned with depth and height.

Since banana pudding is typically made in pans or trays that are relatively shallow (especially when compared to banana cream pie), banana puddings usually come out looking fairly flat. However, banana pudding is just as scrumptious regardless of its height, which means banana puddings can be made in a variety of different pans!

What kind of bananas do I use for banana pudding?

Most banana puddings are made with fresh bananas. However, you can use banana aids or banana extracts if you want banana puddings without having to worry about your bananas ripening! If you want your banana pudding chunky, make sure to choose banana varieties that are easy to cut, like the Gros Michel banana variety.Bananas are usually sliced before the pudding is made, but you can mash them if you want.

How long can you keep banana pudding in fridge?

This banana pudding should be stored in the refrigerator for no more than five days. If this banana pudding has been stored longer than five days, you must discard it.

Homemade Banana Pudding

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Yield: 12-15
Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour

Homemade vanilla pudding layered with bananas, vanilla wafers cookies and homemade whipped cream is the ultimate comfort food. This Banana Pudding recipe is simple to prepare and easily feeds a crowd!

Ingredients

Vanilla Pudding

  • ‚Öď cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ‚Öõ teaspoon salt
  • 2-¬ľ cups whole milk
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1-¬Ĺ teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Whipped Cream

  • 3 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp instant pudding mix, vanilla flavor

Additional

  • 5-6 large bananas
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers

Instructions

  1. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks in a large saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble (this could take as long as 8-10 minutes).
  2. Once bubbling, continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently (but gently). The pudding should be thick but pourable.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. If needed, strain any lumps at this point (I didn't have any lumps, but the smoothness can vary depending on quality of ingredients, temperature of stove, and even the type of saucepan used).
  4. Transfer the pudding into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Whisk together all of the whipped cream ingredients on high speed with a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Cover and keep chilled until ready to assemble.


Assembly

  1. Slice the bananas into 1/2-inch pieces.
  2. Layer 1/3 of the Nilla Wafers on the bottom of a serving bowl or trifle dish.* Pour half of the pudding over the wafers. Layer half of the banana slices over the pudding. Spread half of the whipped cream on top of the banana slices.
  3. Repeat: layer 1/3 of the Nilla Wafers on top of the whipped cream. Pour the remaining half of the pudding over the wafers. Layer the rest of the banana slices over the pudding. Spread the rest of the whipped cream on top of the banana slices.
  4. Crumble the remaining Nilla Wafers and sprinkle them on top of the whipped cream.
  5. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 4 hours. Overnight would be best.

Notes

*You could also fill individual dessert bowls with smaller portions of the layers instead of one big dish.

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