This easy recipe for creamy banana pudding is sure to make you swoon. It is perfect for summer gatherings and is sure to become of your favorite desserts.
This classic dessert has layers of creamy vanilla pudding, fresh bananas, and vanilla wafers. The creamy pudding mixture has condensed milk stirred in, so you know it is rich and delicious.
Adding homemade whipped cream keeps it fluffy and luscious. It all comes together to make the perfect classic southern dessert.
There is just something about the combination of flavors and textures that make it the perfect comfort food. Make it for a BBQ, potluck or family gatherings and watch everyone go crazy for it.
There are so many great ways to make it, but the recipe in the recipe card is our favorite way. It is quick easy and oh so good.
Using condensed milk and instant pudding gives you that homemade custard taste without the effort. Before we came upon this recipe, I used to make my banana pudding with a rich vanilla egg custard.
Using the egg yolks in the custard meant I would have extra egg whites. So I would make a crisp meringue for the top, kind of like making the base for a pavlova.
Both ways are super delicious, for sure. But as life gets busier I tend to stick to the quicker instant pudding method now.
However, if you are looking for the classic recipe with homemade custard, here it is:
How to Make Old Fashioned Banana Pudding with Homemade Custard and Meringue Topping
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks (you can use the whites for the meringue)
- 3 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 box vanilla wafers
- 5 large sliced bananas
- 4 egg whites, at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- If you are making the meringue, you will want to do it the night ahead. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a sheet of parchment on a baking sheet.
- Stir together the corn starch and sugar and set aside.
- Mix the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt until they are foamy. Turn the mixer to high and begin to whip. Slowly add in the sugar/corn starch mixture until completely incorporated.
- Once you have stiff peaks and the vanilla and mix until just incorporated.
- Spread the fluffy meringue about an inch thick on the parchment paper.
- Place in the oven and immediately drop the temperature to 250°F. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes. Then turn off the oven, but do not open it. Leave to cool completely in the oven. Then remove from the parchment paper and wrap tightly until ready to use.
- To make the pudding, combine flour, sugar and salt in a large saucepan.
- Beat together egg yolks and cold milk. Add a couple of tablespoons to the flour mixture and whisk. Add a few more and whisk. This will help prevent clumps. Slowly add remaining milk mixture, whisking as you do until combined.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it is thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- Place a layer of 1/3 of the vanilla wafers on the bottom of your serving dish. Cover with a layer of half of the slices of bananas. Add half of the pudding mixture. Repeat with a layer of vanilla wafers, bananas, remaining pudding and ending with vanilla wafers. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
- Place broken pieces of meringue on top when ready to serve, or top with whipped cream.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you store banana pudding?
Banana pudding is best about 2-12 hours after it is made. While it still tastes good later, the banana slices will start to oxidize and turn brown over time. To prevent that for as long as possible, place plastic wrap on the surface of the leftover banana pudding and store it in the refrigerator. You can also brush you banana slices with citrus juice before using them to inhibit the browning. Lemon juice is the most popular option, but pineapple or orange juice will work as well.
Can you freeze banana pudding?
Banana pudding doesn’t freeze well. The bananas will get mushy and the pudding will get watery as it defrosts. It is best to eat your banana pudding fresh.
More Great Banana Dessert Recipes
If you like banana pudding, you will love no-bake banana cream pie as well. It has a lot in common with the recipe but has a graham cracker crust rather than Nilla wafers.
If your bananas got a little overripe, try making banana bread or a tasty banana cake instead. If you are feeling fancy you can even make a southern style layered banana cake with fluffy white frosting.
Or turn your ripe bananas into banana rice pudding. It is another comfort food and is delicious warm or cold.
Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
- 2 (3.4 oz.) boxes vanilla instant pudding mix
- 2 1/2 cups cold milk
- 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- 11 oz. package vanilla wafers
- 6 bananas
- In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and sweetened condensed milk until they are combined. Add the pudding mixes and stir until incorporated. Place in the refrigerator.
- In a cold mixing bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Be careful to not overwhip the cream.
- Fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until combined.
- Slice ripe bananas about 1/4" thick.
- Now grab a large glass bowl, trifle bowl, or 9x13-inch baking dish. Arrange a layer of vanilla wafers on the bottom of the dish. Top with a layer of bananas and then some of the pudding mixture. Keep alternating layers until all of the ingredients are used. Be sure to seal all of the bananas under a layer of pudding, don't put any on top.
- Refrigerate for at least 2 hours but up to 8 hours. Longer storage may result in oxidized bananas. See the notes below for more tips.
- If desired top with additional whipped cream or fresh banana slices before serving.
For the best results, use bananas that are just ripe, not overipe.
Bananas oxidize and turn brown and slimy after a while. To prolong storage, you can brush the banana slices with lemon juice before using them.
Make sure all of the bananas are sealed under a layer of pudding to keep the air from getting to them.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 58mgSodium: 157mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 6g
All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.