Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch

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How to make old-fashioned banana pudding from scratch with homemade vanilla pudding, fresh sliced bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream.

When I first decided to make this banana pudding recipe from scratch, I really wanted my grandmother's recipe. I searched all thru her recipe box, even though I knew I hadn't seen it, and I asked family if anyone had it.

Even though I couldn't find Grandma's homemade banana pudding, I came up with a pudding that's really pretty similar. And I came up with a hit; my boys were amazed that we could make delicious pudding without a mix.

serving spoon in round casserole dish full of old-fashioned banana pudding topped with whipped cream

Unlike my mom's banana pudding with cream cheese, this is a cooked pudding. It's also a no bake pudding; everything is done right on the stove. Even though I don't prefer a lot of stove time with my recipes, this is one exception I'll make because it really is that good.

Most of the ingredients you likely already have in your pantry or fridge; you may need to grab some bananas and vanilla wafers, though.

And while you can make this a banana pudding with meringue, I chose to use whipped cream. Mostly because I'm still working to perfect my meringue, but also because whipped cream is so easy, and easy is good when it comes to desserts.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my pudding making tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the old-fashioned banana pudding recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

LET'S TALK INGREDIENTS…

Milk: While I use whole milk, you can use 2% milk to make pudding. And while I haven't tried it, almond milk can be subbed for whole milk. I've read that rice milk makes a delicious pudding, but again, I haven't tried it. If you're trying to make this dairy-free, it may just take a bit of trial and error.

Egg Yolks: Be sure to separate your eggs, and only use the egg yolks to make the pudding. If you want to make a meringue, save your egg whites for that.

Vanilla Wafers: I would normally prefer to use gluten-free vanilla wafers, but you can use any type or brand you wish. If you don't have vanilla wafers, graham crackers make a great substitute.

Bananas: While you want ripe bananas, you don't want them to be overripe, like you do for banana bread. You want to use them while they're bright yellow without a lot of speckles or brown on them.

Remember, all of the ingredients and ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

spoonful of homemade banana pudding over casserole dish

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

2-qt. baking dish or Trifle Dish or Individual Trifle Dishes – I used my 2-quart clear casserole bowl (that happens to have a lid too).

Large Saucepan

Whisk and Heat-Resistant Spatula

HOW TO MAKE OLD-FASHIONED BANANA PUDDING FROM SCRATCH

Be sure to gather all of your ingredients before you start the process of cooking your pudding, because once you start cooking, you'll need to stay with it and keep stirring so it doesn't scorch.

HOW TO COOK HOMEMADE BANANA PUDDING

  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt.
  2. Over medium heat, whisk the milk in, stirring constantly 'til the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  3. Once your mixture has thickened, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 minutes longer, constantly stirring to avoid scorching.
  4. Next pour a small amount of the hot milk mixture over the beaten egg yolks, beating together well.
  5. Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture; over medium heat, cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove your thickened pudding from the heat, and add vanilla extract to the mixture, stirring 'til the vanilla is mixed into the pudding.
steps for how to make banana pudding recipe from scratch, including whisking together dry ingredients, adding milk, cooking 'til thickened, adding in egg yolks, and stirring in vanilla extract

HOW TO LAYER VANILLA WAFER BANANA PUDDING

Now you're ready to layer everything together.

  1. Begin by layering a small amount of the pudding on the bottom of your baking dish.
  2. Add half the vanilla wafers, creating an entire layer of vanilla cookies on the bottom and just up the side.
  3. Layer half the sliced bananas on top of the wafers.
  4. Add half the remaining pudding as another layer.
  5. And then you'll start all over again… Form a new layer with the rest of the vanilla wafers.
  6. Add the rest of the sliced bananas.
  7. Finally, spread the rest of the pudding on top of the bananas.
  8. Add a top and final layer of whipped cream on top, and serve while still warm; or you can chill it and serve it cold.
steps for how to layer banana pudding, including adding small amount of pudding, then vanilla wafers, then sliced bananas, then more pudding, vanilla wafers, bananas, more pudding, and whipped cream on top

FAQ:

Why is my banana pudding runny?

There may be a few reasons. Pudding can be a finicky thing; even stirring your pudding too vigorously can make your pudding runny. More likely, though, if your pudding isn't brought to a full boil, it won't set correctly and may be runny. If you did bring it to a boil and it's still runny, then it just needs to cook more. if it's still runny after cooking the allotted time, you may have added too much liquid.

How can I keep sliced bananas from turning brown?

Bananas should not be too ripe when sliced. Dipping or sprinkling the bananas with a lemon juice and water mixture will help a bit. Sealing your pudding with meringue or whipped cream can also help keep air from getting to the bananas and turning them brown.

How should I store banana pudding?

Store banana pudding in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

How long will homemade banana pudding keep?

Banana pudding will keep in the refrigerator 1 to 3 days.

HOW TO SERVE BANANA PUDDING

I like to use fancy dessert dishes and top them each individual pudding with crushed vanilla wafers and/or a little dollop of whipped cream.

MORE BANANA DESSERT RECIPES:

serving of vanilla wafer banana pudding on white plate with whipped cream on top

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

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Yield: 10

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch

How to make old-fashioned banana pudding from scratch with homemade vanilla pudding, fresh sliced bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt.
  2. Over medium heat, whisk the milk in, stirring constantly 'til the mixture comes to a boil and thickens.
  3. Once your mixture has thickened, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 minutes longer, constantly stirring to avoid scorching.
  4. Next pour a small amount of the hot milk mixture over the beaten egg yolks, beating together well.
  5. Return the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the milk mixture; over medium heat, cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  6. Remove your thickened pudding from the heat, and add vanilla extract to the mixture, stirring 'til the vanilla is mixed into the pudding.
  7. Now you're ready to layer everything together. Begin by layering a small amount of the pudding on the bottom of your baking dish.
  8. Add half the vanilla wafers, creating an entire layer of vanilla cookies on the bottom and just up the side.
  9. Layer half the sliced bananas on top of the wafers.
  10. Add half the remaining pudding as another layer.
  11. And then you'll start all over again… Form a new layer with the rest of the vanilla wafers.
  12. Add the rest of the sliced bananas.
  13. Finally, spread the rest of the pudding on top of the bananas.
  14. Add a top and final layer of whipped cream on top, and serve while still warm; or you can chill it and serve it cold.

Notes

Why is my banana pudding runny?

There may be a few reasons. Pudding can be a finicky thing; even stirring your pudding too vigorously can make your pudding runny. More likely, though, if your pudding isn't brought to a full boil, it won't set correctly and may be runny. If you did bring it to a boil and it's still runny, then it just needs to cook more. if it's still runny after cooking the allotted time, you may have added too much liquid.

How can I keep sliced bananas from turning brown?

Bananas should not be too ripe when sliced. Dipping or sprinkling the bananas with a lemon juice and water mixture will help a bit. Sealing your pudding with meringue or whipped cream can also help keep air from getting to the bananas and turning them brown.

How should I store banana pudding?

Store banana pudding in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

How long will homemade banana pudding keep?

Banana pudding will keep in the refrigerator 1 to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 57gFiber: 2gSugar: 42gProtein: 6g

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