Fine Desserts

Creamy Banana Pudding

4.74 from 141 votes
A dessert with layers upon layers of delicious flavors & textures, my Creamy Banana Pudding recipe has it all: bananas, pudding, and crunchy vanilla wafers.
All the layers of my Homemade Banana Pudding recipe.

Hi Bold Bakers!

There’s nothing quite like a good banana pudding recipe. It has everything you could want: creamy vanilla pudding, sweet sliced bananas, and the crunch of vanilla wafers for a surprisingly complex variation of textures for such a simple dessert.

Plus, it looks very pretty when all put together — with as many layers as you’re able to fit!

I’ve had the famous banana pudding from the Magnolia Bakery here in the States, and I know some of you have too. It’s really, really good — but so is mine. After you try my recipe, let me know just how well I did.

What Is Banana Pudding?

Is it pudding that tastes like bananas, has bananas in it, or pudding made from bananas? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Banana Pudding is actually a layered vanilla pudding that has both bananas and lovely Vanilla Wafers for an added texture. There are bakeries here in the U.S. that are positively famous for their banana pudding recipe — like Magnolia’s Banana Pudding. Is mine better? That’s for you to decide!

Also, you might be thinking that it’s a kind of trifle. It isn’t. The ratios are different!

What You Need To Make Banana Pudding

Three servings of my Banana Pudding recipe — in glasses instead of traditional serving dishes.

How to Make Banana Pudding

Once you make the pudding, it’s really just assembly! Here are the basic steps (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, on the page down below):

Making the Vanilla Pudding:

  • Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir and slowly bring to a simmer.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until blended well.
  • Ladle a cup of the hot milk mixture over the eggs and whisk immediately. While continuing to whisk pour in the rest of the hot milk into the eggs. This method is called tempering, which prevents you from scrambling your eggs.
  • Return the custard mixture back into your original saucepan and place over medium/low heat.
  • Whisk the custard constantly for roughly 6-8 minutes or until it has thickened.
    • TIP: Do not let this mixture boil or it can curdle.
  • Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, vanilla paste, and salt. The last step is to pass the custard through a sieve to yield you a silky smooth pudding and remove any lumps (please don’t skip this step).
  • Set aside the pudding to cool completely and thicken before using it. It can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.

Putting the Banana Pudding Together:

  • Choose your dish or dishes!
  • Cover the bottom of a dish with pudding followed by a later of crushed vanilla wafers. Cover with another layer of the whipped cream. Top with a layer of banana slices. Continue those layers as high as you’d like — or your dish will allow!
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. I assemble mine on the day of serving.

The side-view of my perfect creamy banana pudding recipe, showing all of the decadent layers.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips for Making Banana Pudding

  • Nilla Wafers: These cookies are the quintessential flavor of banana pudding. If you can’t buy them you can easily make your own with my Vanilla Wafers recipe.
  • Make the pudding in advance, up to 2 days.
  • Passing your pudding through a sieve will remove any lumps.
  • At no point should you let your mixture boil during the process!

Make More Pudding!

A close up of my Homemade Banana Pudding, showing the layers and the texture.

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Creamy Banana Pudding Recipe

4.74 from 141 votes
A dessert with layers upon layers of delicious flavors & textures, my Creamy Banana Pudding recipe has it all: bananas, pudding, and crunchy vanilla wafers.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 people
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
A dessert with layers upon layers of delicious flavors & textures, my Creamy Banana Pudding recipe has it all: bananas, pudding, and crunchy vanilla wafers.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

Vanilla Pudding

  • 2 1/2 cups (20floz/565ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (4floz/115ml) cream (any kind)
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks at room temperature
  • ¾ cup (6oz/170g) sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons (2oz/57g) butter cubed
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • ½ teaspoons salt

Everything else you'll need for assembly:

  • 2 cups (16floz/454ml) heavy whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks
  • 4 medium bananas, sliced
  • 1 pack (or 1 recipe) Nilla Wafers*, crushed

Instructions

Making the Vanilla Pudding:

  • Combine milk and cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir and slowly bring to a simmer.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and cornstarch until blended well.
  • Ladle a cup of the hot milk mixture over the eggs and whisk immediately. While continuing to whisk pour in the rest of the hot milk into the eggs. This method is called tempering and it prevents you from scrambling your eggs.
  • Return the custard mixture back into your original saucepan and place over medium/low heat.
  • Whisk the custard constantly for roughly 6-8 minutes or until it has thickened. Do not let this mixture boil or it can curdle.
  • Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, vanilla extract, vanilla paste, and salt. The last step is to pass the custard through a sieve to yield you a silky smooth pudding and remove any lumps (please don't skip this step).
  • Set aside the pudding to cool completely and thicken before using it. It can be made up to 2 days in advance and kept in the fridge.

Assembling a Banana Pudding:

  • Choose your dish or dishes you will be serving your pudding in.
  • Cover the bottom of a dish with pudding followed by a later of crushed vanilla wafers. Cover with another layer of the whipped cream. Top with a layer of banana slices. Continue layering the pudding, wafer cookies, cream, and banana slices until you reach the top, ending with a final layer of banana pudding.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight. I assemble mine on the day of serving.

Recipe Notes

Nilla Wafers: These cookies are the quintessential flavor of a banana pudding. If you can't buy them you can easily make you own with my recipe: https://www.biggerbolderbaking.com/vanilla-wafers-nilla/

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Shubhangi
Shubhangi
3 months ago

Is the cream necessary to make the vanilla pudding

Tony Greene
3 months ago

Oh my goodness, can’t wait to try this… I think when I make mine I will add some walnuts, I love walnuts in desserts… I love the tips and suggestions you make… I, in all my 67 yrs, didn’t know you could freeze egg whites… All those precious egg whites I have thrown out… No more… Thanks you so much and keep up the great videos… 🙂 Debbie Greene

Sharon Ezzell
Sharon Ezzell
3 months ago

Sorry, Gemma. This is not banana pudding. There is no whipped cream in real banana pudding. Check the old recipe from the vanilla wafer box. Real banana pudding has the vanilla wafers, banana, and vanilla custard layers but it is topped with a beautiful meringue that is slightly browned in the oven. Love a lot of your recipes especially your Irish soda bread, but I won’t be trying this recipe. Try the original and you won’t be able to go back to anything else.

Aislinn
3 months ago

Just finished making my pudding and OMG is it good! Tomorrow I will finish up the assembly Can’t wait to share it with my husband! 😀
As for the lady who said this isn’t banana pudding…. she is incorrect. There are two versions, one with meringue and one with whipped cream. And no matter which one you pick, it is delicious!

Shubhangi
Shubhangi
3 months ago

Is it okay if i make the vanilla pudding without any cream, just using milk?

Tatyana Pashnyak
Tatyana Pashnyak
3 months ago

Your recipe is really good (I would say better than Magnolia Bakery, as I have tried their version twice) but still can’t beat this one: https://www.pauladeen.com/recipe/not-yo-mamas-banana-pudding/.

Deborah
Deborah
3 months ago

Hi Gemma, thank you so much for this recipe, It came out perfectly! I was in New York City last year but didn’t get a chance to go to magnolia bakery so I was very happy to recreate this safely at home. Just one query I have, my pudding on the stove thickened in under a minute! The heat was medium low and it didn’t boil. Not that I’m complaining, it saved me time, but do you have any idea why it was so quick? Just interested 🙂 Debbie

Anonymous
Anonymous
3 months ago

I tried this recipe using 1 1/2 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup 2% milk and didn’t use cream as I did not have any. Instead of 3/4 cup of sugar I used 1/2 cup sugar. Since I didn’t have any vanilla extract, I used lemon extract and it was sooooooo good. The hint of lemon in the pudding with the bananas and Nilla cookies were so good. Thank you for this recipe!!!!

Ays
Ays
3 days ago

The reason I tried this recipe is because I love banana cream pie. (I also tried your banana cream pie recipe which is as good as this one except for the same problem it is suffering.) I know that American recipes have way too much sugar so I reduced the sugar but still it turned out way too sweet to the point that I cannot taste anything but sugar. So, for those of you who will try it and who don’t enjoy a sugar crash, I recommend that they reduce the sugar by half.

Lol I'm a weeb
Lol I'm a weeb
5 days ago

I loved reading this! I can”t wait to try this out! However,this really isn’t helping me and my food obsession ( Hehehe )

Last edited 5 days ago by Lol I'm a weeb

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Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!

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