Watch me make this easy banana pudding recipe from start to finish!


My sister was selling these cute lil banana pudding cups last month in her bakery and I ordered 4 of them. I told her it was for my family but really…they were all for me.  There, Shon, I confess!! I’m not proud of it, but I sure do LOVE a good banana pudding!!

Normally my go-to recipe is this one that my grandma Barb made often. Since I’m not of fan of Southern-baked banana pudding, her recipe is heaven on earth!

easy banana pudding

 It consists of vanilla pudding mix, cool whip, milk, sour cream, bananas, and vanilla wafers. This was probably the ONLY time I’ve seen my grandmother use packaged anything but the taste is unbelievable! And the dish gets scraped clean every. single. time.

Grandma Barb’s recipe is similar to Paula Deen’s popular banana pudding recipe (Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding), only it uses sour cream instead of sweetened condensed milk and vanilla wafers instead of chessman cookies. I prefer my grandma’s banana pudding hands down though! That sour cream is the ticket!!! 

Even though I was content with that banana pudding, I still wanted a from-scratch recipe in my stash that didn’t involve instant pudding mixes.  My issue is that I DESPISE homemade vanilla pudding made with eggs. I’m not quite sure why, but it just doesn’t work for me and my entire family is the same way. Weird I know.

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I tweaked this banana pudding recipe I’m about to share with you today and fell in love!!! It’s eggless and so sweet and creamy!

I loved it so much that I threw it right into the cookbook that very same day, per my husband’s and son’s requests!

If you haven’t purchased my cookbook memoir yet head on over and snag your limited copy! It’s chocked full of so many recipes and life stories.

A good banana pudding is a potluck dessert favorite and I’ve made this recipe so many times. It’s always so well-received and this is now my go-to for from-scratch banana pudding.  I’m so excited to share this with you guys!

What I love about this banana pudding recipe

  1. The simplicity. Check out that ingredients list! Ahhh just simple ingredients without the slight aftertaste of instant pudding mix!
  2. Creamy, SWEET, smooth pudding. The from-scratch vanilla pudding is so amazing and makes this banana pudding recipe shine! Since it has no eggs, there is no eggy taste that some homemade vanilla puddings can have. Paired with fresh bananas, Nilla wafers, and homemade whipped cream, it’s fantastic! (Feel free to cut back on the sugar if you don’t like sweet banana puddings)
  3. It doubles and triples like a dream! Make a small batch like the recipe, or make enough to feed a crowd with ease!
southern banana pudding

Banana Pudding Ingredients

  • granulated sugar: This is used to sweeten the pudding.
  • cornstarch: This is used to thicken the pudding.
  • Salt- Salt balances out the sweetness of the dish
  • whole milk, warm: The base for the homemade pudding.
  • unsalted butter: This makes the pudding silky smooth!
  • vanilla extract: Now is the time to break out your fancy-schmancy vanilla extract! This will ensure a pure and delicious vanilla flavor to this banana pudding recipe!
  • vanilla wafer cookies: You can certainly use your favorite banana pudding cookies, but I always prefer classic Nilla wafers!
  • bananas:  For banana pudding, I like to use bananas that are a bit firm and the peel still yellow with no brown spots. These make for perfect, firm banana slices.
  • heavy whipping cream: Be sure to get heavy whipping cream and not heavy cream. This will create a fluffy texture that tastes so much better than Cool Whip.
  • powdered sugar: To sweeten up the homemade whipped topping
easy banana pudding recipe

How to make the best Banana Pudding Recipe

  1. To make the pudding, in a pot whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Slowly pour in milk while stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth. Turn heat to medium and cook until steaming, stirring constantly. (Do not boil.) Once pudding has thickened into a pudding-like texture, remove it from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla extract. Allow pudding to cool completely, while stirring regularly. It will thicken up even more as it cools.
  2. In a glass loaf pan, layer 18 vanilla wafers and top with one sliced banana. Spread half of the cooled pudding onto the layer of banana slices. Top with another 18 vanilla wafers and the last sliced banana. Spread on the remaining pudding.
  3. To make the whipped topping, add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into a bowl. Mix until the mixture is fluffy and stiff peaks form. Spread whipped topping on top of the pudding mixture.
  4. Arrange the last vanilla wafers neatly on top. (I like to crush one and sprinkle the crumbs on top as well.) Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold.
easy banana pudding recipe

Tips

  • Stir pudding constantly to prevent the bottom from scorching and to keep lumps from forming.
  • Use a good brand of vanilla extract. This will be the sole flavoring in the pudding.
  • Toss banana slices for garnishing in a tiny bit of lemon juice to slow down the browning process. (Not too much or you’ll be able to taste the lemon)
  • Serve the same day for the freshest results and perfect texture. (You can however make the pudding the day before and arrange the banana pudding the day you want to serve it)
  • I always plate and serve with extra cookies (for crunchiness and fresh banana slices on top)
  • This banana pudding recipe should be served cold. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
banana pudding recipe

Faqs

Can I add meringue to this banana pudding recipe? Since this banana pudding does not need to be baked, the fresh whipped cream topping is best.

Is this a custard pudding? No, this pudding does not have egg whites or egg yolks. It’s similar to instant box pudding mix but with a natural vanilla flavor.

Can I use flour instead of cornstarch to thicken it? Cornstarch works best and doesn’t need to be cooked as flour does.

Will heavy cream work in this recipe? No, in order to create a fluffy Cool Whip-like texture you’ll need to use heavy whipping cream. 

Can I bake this banana pudding? This banana pudding should not be baked and is served cold.

Can I add cream cheese to this pudding? I’ve never added cream cheese to this pudding, but that is on the list to try! I love the tartness that the sour cream gives my grandmother’s pudding so I’ll definitely try it and report back.


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Get the Recipe: Banana Pudding (From-Scratch)

5 from 7 ratings
Homemade banana pudding loaded with fresh bananas, Nillas wafers, and topped with fluffy, from-scratch whipped topping!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Chill Time: 1 hr
Total Time: 1 hr 25 mins
Servings: 4 people (up to 6)

Ingredients
 

Vanilla Pudding

  • 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt, pinch
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, (may need more or less depending on brand)
  • 54 vanilla wafers, ( Can use more if desired)
  • 2 large bananas, (Can use more if desired)

Whipped Topping

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • To make the pudding, in a pot whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
  • Slowly pour in milk while stirring with a rubber spatula until smooth.
  • Turn heat to medium and cook until steaming, stirring constantly. (Do not boil/ Lower heat if needed.)
  • Once pudding has thickened into a pudding-like texture, remove it from heat.
  • Stir in butter and vanilla extract (see note). Allow pudding to cool completely, while stirring regularly. It will thicken up even more as it cools. Set aside.
  • In a glass loaf pan, layer 18 vanilla wafers and top with one sliced banana. (see note)
  • Spread on half of the cooled pudding. Top with another 18 vanilla wafers and the last sliced banana. Spread on the remaining pudding.
  • To make the whipped topping, add the heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar into a bowl.
  • Mix until mixture is fluffy with stiff peaks. Spread whipped topping on top of the pudding mixture
  • Arrange the last vanilla wafers neatly on top. (I like to crush one and sprinkle the crumbs on top as well.) Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve cold.

Video

Notes

  • The pudding needs to be stirred constantly to prevent scorching the milk solids.
  • Vanilla extract: Some vanilla extracts are VERY strong and you may not need to use 2 tablespoons. Add it in gradually to be on the safe side.
  • Cookies & Bananas: Feel free to add in as many cookies and bananas as you desire. I always serve the pudding with extra cookies (for the crunch) and fresh-cut banana slices.
  • This recipe is made for layering in a glass loaf pan. If you use a larger pan your layers will be very thin.
  • Don’t skip the whipped topping!! The coolness will tone down the sweetness of the pudding. Use Cool Whip if you don’t want to make the homemade whipped topping, although homemade is so much better!
Cuisine: American, southern
Course: Dessert
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