Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (2022)

This banana pudding features layers of sliced banana, homemade pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, and whipped cream. Perfect for potlucks and family gatherings!

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (1)

Did you ever eat banana pudding with a pudding mix as a kid? This homemade banana pudding recipe is not that. Instead of using pudding from a box, the vanilla pudding is made completely from scratch.

Then, it’s layered with sliced ripe bananas and vanilla wafer cookies. I topped everything off with my favorite homemade whipped cream and more cookies for garnish.The cookies were the one shortcut I took with this recipe because Nilla wafers are just hard to resist!

If you’ve never made banana pudding from scratch before, don’t be intimidated. It’s so much easier to make than you’d think, and it’s a comforting dessert everyone loves!

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (2)

Recipe Ingredients

Homemade banana pudding has four components: sliced bananas, Nilla Wafers (or a similar cookie), vanilla pudding, and a whipped cream topping. Let’s go over the ingredients list so you feel confident making this recipe:

  • Granulated sugar:I used just 3/4 cup sugar to make an 8-inch square baking dish worth of pudding. The vanilla pudding is sweet, but not too sweet. Remember: the vanilla wafers and the banana slices are also sweet!
  • Cornstarch:Makes for an ultra creamy, thick vanilla pudding. I don’t recommend substituting the cornstarch with another ingredient as the results won’t be the same.
  • Milk:You’ll need to use whole milk for this recipe. The fat in the whole milk helps thicken the pudding and makes it creamy.
  • Heavy whipping cream:Is used in both the pudding itself and is also the base of the homemade whipped cream. Look for a heavy whipping cream that’s at least 36% fat.
  • Egg yolks:Give the pudding a slight yellow color and make it even creamier. Save the egg whites for breakfast the next day!
  • Butter:I used unsalted butter, but salted butter would be fine too.
  • Vanilla extract:Pure vanilla extract will deliver the strongest vanilla flavor.
  • Vanilla wafers:I used Nilla Wafers, but a similar cookie (like the one in the video below) would be fine.
  • Bananas:Make sure to use bananas that are just ripe. Overripe bananas will not hold up very well in this recipe.
  • Powdered sugar:Is beaten with the whipping cream to make a light, fluffy, slightly sweetened whipped cream.
Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (3)
Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (4)

How to Make Banana Pudding From Scratch

This recipe requires some advance preparation because the vanilla pudding needs time to set in the fridge before the banana pudding can be assembled.

To make the vanilla pudding, combine the cornstarch and sugar in a large saucepan.To the saucepan, add the milk, heavy whipping cream, and egg yolks. Stir everything together until combined, then place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Once boiling, cook the pudding for about one minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, then add the vanilla extract.

Before the pudding can be placed into the fridge to chill, it needs to be strained through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl. Don’t skip this step, otherwise you might wind up with a lumpy pudding!

Once strained, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding to prevent a film from forming. Pop it into the fridge to chill for one hour.

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (5)

(Video) Banana Pudding

After the vanilla pudding has had time to cool down, remove it from the fridge, give it a good stir, and set aside.

At this point, you’re ready to assemble the Nilla Wafer banana pudding. First, slice the bananas. You want to slice themabout 1/4-inch thick so that they’re thick enough to hold up to the vanilla wafers and pudding.

Cover the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking dish with Nilla Wafers. Then, cover the cookies with banana slices. Spread about half of the vanilla pudding over the banana slices.

Repeat this process once more with the remaining ingredients. The banana pudding then needs to go back into the fridge for three to four hours to set.

Once that’s done, all that’s left is to make the homemade whipped cream, spread it over the banana pudding, and dig in!

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (6)

Can I Prepare This Recipe in Advance?

Yes, although it’s best to serve banana pudding with whipped cream within 24 hours of making it. However, you can cover it tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Can You Freeze Banana Pudding?

No, I do not recommend freezing this dessert. The layers would likely change texture once frozen.

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (7)

Baking Tips

  • Use bananas that are ripe, but not overly ripe. If the bananas are too ripe, they won’t hold up well against the thick pudding and crunchy cookies.
  • Don’t skip the various chill times called for in the recipe! The vanilla pudding needs time to set up before it’s layered with the bananas and Nilla Wafers. And once the banana pudding is fully assembled, you need to give the cookies time to soften and to soak up all that delicious banana flavor.
  • An 8×8-inch dish of banana pudding comfortably feeds 10 to 12 people (it’s a very rich dessert!). However, you can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients and assembling it in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

More Banana Desserts to Try!

  • Banana Bread
  • Banana Cream Pie
  • Banana Cake
  • Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread
  • Banana Crumb Cake

Video Tutorial

Homemade Banana Pudding (From Scratch!) - Live Well Bake Often (8)

(Video) Homemade Banana Pudding Cake

Banana Pudding

5 from 5 ratings

Prep Time: 45 mins

Chilling Time: 4 hrs

Total Time: 4 hrs 45 mins

This banana pudding features layers of sliced banana, homemade pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, and whipped cream. Perfect for potlucks and family gatherings!

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Servings: 12 servings

  • ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (32 grams) cornstarch
  • 2 ½ cups (600 ml) whole milk
  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams, or ¼ stick) unsalted butter (sliced into two pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 50 vanilla wafers
  • 4 medium ripe bananas (sliced into ¼-inch thick slices)

For the whipped cream topping:

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
(Video) NEXT LEVEL Banana Pudding💥💯..Why haven't We been making it like this??

To make the pudding:

  • In a large saucepan, whisk the sugar and cornstarch together until well combined. Set aside.

  • In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy whipping cream, and egg yolks until fully combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch mixture and whisk until fully combined.

  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring/whisking continuously (I recommend using a rubber spatula to scrape around the bottom and sides of the pan a few times). Allow to boil for one minute; the mixture should be pretty thick at this point. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, one tablespoon at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract.

  • Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a heat-proof bowl.

  • Cover with plastic wrap, placing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, and refrigerate for one hour.

To assemble the banana pudding:

To make the whipped cream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Start mixing on low speed. Once the mixture starts to increase in volume, increase the speed to medium-high until stiff peaks form.

  • Spread a layer of the whipped cream in an even layer on top of the banana pudding. Top with additional banana slices and crushed vanilla wafers before serving, if desired.

Storage Instructions:Banana pudding is best served within 24 hours, but can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Bananas:Make sure to use bananas that are just ripe, overripe bananas don't work very well in this recipe.

Vanilla Wafers:I like to use Nilla wafers for this recipe, but something similar should work just fine. If using another kind of cookie, you may need more or less depending on the size of them.

Cuisine: American

Course: Dessert

Author: Danielle

Mention @livewellbakeoften on Instagram or tag #livewellbakeoften.

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How do you keep bananas from turning brown when making banana pudding? ›

* Treat the bananas with citrus juice: Lemon, orange or pineapple juice will prevent browning.

Do you put eggs in banana pudding? ›

Combine sugar, flour, and salt together in a medium saucepan. Add eggs and stir well. Stir in milk, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, remove from heat and continue to stir, cooling slightly.

How long does homemade banana pudding last? ›

Pudding will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The banana slices don't turn brown, although the wafers do continue soften as time passes.

How long does it take banana pudding to thicken? ›

Make the Pudding Mixture

Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours up to overnight to set and become very thick. In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until no streaks of pudding remain.

Why do they pick bananas at night? ›

By picking bananas at night, it limits their time in well-lit conditions and stops the ripening process. This ensures that the fruit is at the optimum stage for packing and sending to market. If picked during daylight hours, the bananas may be overripe by the time as they are sold.

Does putting tin foil on bananas work? ›

Bananas, like many fruits, release ethylene gas naturally, which controls enzymatic browning and ripening of not just itself, but other fruits nearby. Much of that offgassing takes place at the stem—or the crown—of the banana. By wrapping the crown of a bunch, you slow down the ripening process a bit.

How do you thicken banana pudding? ›

The addition of cornstarch and a few minutes on the stovetop are all it takes on how to make banana pudding thicker. There is no need to use a double boiler for cooking the pudding's foundation of milk, cream, and sugar because the cornstarch thickens it considerably.

Why is my banana pudding runny? ›

If you mix it too vigorously, it can become too watery. If you mix it too little, the ingredients won't combine the way they should. What is this? It can take some effort to try and figure out just how much mixing you should do to get the pudding to your desired thickness.

Can banana pudding sit out overnight? ›

Can you leave banana pudding out overnight? Banana pudding should not be left out overnight. If you accidentally leave it out overnight, be safe and throw it out. Banana pudding contains dairy products, which should always be refrigerated.

Can you refrigerate banana pudding overnight? ›

Tips for the Best Banana Pudding

Don't slice the banana for garnish until just before serving time. Or, you can also just garnish it with whip cream and vanilla wafers. Cover and refrigerate any leftover banana pudding for up to 3 days. Beyond this, the bananas can start to get mushy.

How many days can banana pudding stay in the fridge? ›

You can refrigerate your banana pudding for 3-4 days or freeze for no more than two weeks. Avoid leaving your dessert at room temperature for more than two hours.

What can I use instead of vanilla wafers in banana pudding? ›

What can you substitute for vanilla wafers in banana pudding? Butter cookies, shortbread, and graham crackers are all excellent choices. Butter cookies were the best flavored. Something about that butter flavor really made a difference.

What can I add to pudding to make it thicker? ›

How to Thicken Pudding?
  1. 1 – Using Cornstarch. When making a thick pudding using cornstarch, the best way to do it is by dissolving corn starch into cold milk before adding any other ingredients. ...
  2. 2 – Thickening Pudding Without Cornflour. ...
  3. 3 – Using Arrowroot Powder. ...
  4. 4 – Using Gelatin.
3 Sept 2022

How do you thicken pudding that won't set? ›

Xanthan Gum is a very potent thickener but a bit tricky to use. It doesn't dissolve in water, only in oil products. Use only a small amount of xanthan gum – about one-fifth of a teaspoon per cup of liquid, and dissolve it into some oil. Add the oil into your mixture for the pudding.

When should you not eat bananas? ›

But it's best to avoid eating bananas for dinner, or after dinner. It may lead to mucus formation, and indigestion. Nutritionist Nishi Grover recommends that one should have bananas before workouts to get some energy, but never at night.

Are 2 bananas a day good for you? ›

One to two bananas per day is considered a moderate intake for most healthy people. Be sure to eat this fruit as part of a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs.

Is it OK to eat a banana before bed? ›

Eating bananas before bed may help you get a good night's sleep. Bananas are rich in magnesium, potassium, tryptophan, vitamin B6, carbs, and fiber, all of which may improve sleep quality via different mechanisms.

Can dogs eat bananas? ›

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.

Why do people hang bananas up? ›

Why hang your bananas? It prevents bruising and it also decreases the chance of exposing the banana flesh to oxygen, which will only makes it ripen that much faster.

Should bananas be refrigerated? ›

Keep them cool and protected from the light: Bananas should be stored at around 12°C, as they will ripen quicker if they are too warm. Pop them into the fridge: If you want to store your bananas correctly, you can certainly store them in the fridge.

Can you use evaporated milk instead of milk in pudding? ›

Use Evaporated Milk

Replace the regular milk for a can of evaporated milk to make a creamier, more decadent pudding. Not only does it yield a luxurious texture, it dramatically improves the flavor of a pudding mix. For a tropical twist, reach for some canned coconut milk.

How long does it take pudding to set? ›

Pour pudding into dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled.

Will homemade pudding thicken as it cools? ›

Remove from heat. The pudding will thicken more as it cools.

Why did my pudding turn green? ›

The pudding bacteria happened to produce an enzyme capable of taking electrons from a molecule called NADH and adding them to the double bonded nitrogen atoms in an azo dye, severing the bonds and breaking dye molecules apart into two colourless products. The loss of red colour caused the pudding to turn green.

How can I make pudding set faster? ›

If you've got visitors on their way and you're short on time, you may be wondering if freezing pudding will speed up the setting process? The answer is yes, you could use the freezer – but there is a better way. Half fill a large bowl with water, ice, and a sprinkle of salt.

Can you add cornstarch to pudding? ›

In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup milk. Add to the scalded milk and cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until thickened and smooth. Continue cooking for about 5 minutes to cook cornstarch thoroughly.

How do you make Elvis Presley's banana pudding? ›

How to Make Elvis' Banana Pudding - YouTube

How do you keep banana pudding fresh? ›

Banana Pudding Tips from Paula Deen - What's cooking ... - YouTube

Can you make Paula Deen's banana pudding ahead of time? ›

This dessert is perfect to make a day ahead, especially if you prefer softer cookies. It can be put together in less than 15 minutes and chilled and ready to serve after several hours in the fridge.

Does banana pudding spoil? ›

There are many ways to determine the expiration date of banana pudding. One way is by checking for any funny smells, discoloration, or mold on the top surface of your dish.

Can you freeze homemade banana pudding? ›

Yes, you can freeze banana pudding. Banana pudding is a cold dessert made of vanilla custard, vanilla wafers, and slices of banana layered up and topped with either whipped cream or meringue. As the pudding sits, the wafers take on the flavors of the custard deliciously.

How long does homemade pudding last in the fridge? ›

Refrigerate for up to a week. How Long Does Pudding Last in the Fridge? If you store pudding in the fridge it is good for about 1 week. I would not recommend eating your pudding beyond ten days.

Is banana pudding a Southern thing? ›

Banana pudding has a strong, genuine Southern identity that stretches back more than half a century. Earlier versions of the dessert go back even further. The real question is not whether it's Southern, but when and how it got that way.

Can you put warm pudding in the fridge? ›

This is a myth left over from the days of iceboxes. Go to any official food safety resource online, like the USDA or FDA, and you will find that they are all in agreement: it's perfectly safe to put hot food in your refrigerator.

How long will lemon juice keep bananas from turning brown? ›

Try adding lemon juice or citric acid to the slices before storing them in a container or between wax paper, so they last even longer. With an added layer of lemon juice or citric acid, bananas can last 3 to 4 days stored this way.

How long can bananas last in the fridge? ›

If you're curious about how to keep bananas fresh for longer, you should know about how to store bananas in your refrigerator. If you place them in the refrigerator, fully ripe bananas will last 5 to 7 days.

How long can bananas be frozen? ›

Peel your bananas and pop onto a tray and into the freezer, and freeze until solid. Then transfer into a labelled resealable freezer bag, ensuring you remove any excess air before sealing. Frozen bananas are best used within six months.

What is a serving of banana pudding? ›

Nutritionix. cup (175g ) Amount Per Serving.

Are Nilla Wafers the same as Lady Fingers? ›

Ladyfinger has a delicate taste matched by a few cookies in the world. Nilla Wafers, on the other hand, are lighter and fluffier than Ladyfinger, whose texture is more like that of tortilla chips with shorter baking times.

What is the difference between French vanilla pudding and vanilla pudding? ›

Traditional vanilla flavor is derived from the seeds of a vanilla bean pod, or at least a synthetic chemical equivalent called vanillin. French vanilla is more of an egg custard before freezing, and contains egg yolks for a richer consistency.

Can I use graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers? ›

VANILLA WAFERS: Substitute with graham crackers, biscoff cookies, crisp ginger snap cookies, or crushed waffle cones. For those residing outside the USA, I've been told that digestive biscuits are a great substitute.

Can you freeze pudding? ›

The answer is yes. Like most desserts, pudding is completely safe to be kept in the freezer. Freezing can prolong the shelf life of this dessert for up to 90 days.

Does pudding set with almond milk? ›

Based on our culinary experts' test results, we recommend soy, almond and coconut milks as a milk replacement. Most other plant-based milks do not allow the pudding to set. Use 1-1/2 cups of either soy, almond or coconut in place of 2 cups of milk in instant pudding.

How do I thicken my dessert for milk? ›

You will want to use one tablespoon of cornstarch for every cup of milk you want to thicken. 3. Use other thickening agents. If you do not have cornstarch, you can use other thickening agents such as gelatin, potato starch, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice flour, xanthan gum, among others.

Can you put pudding between cake layers? ›

Placing pudding between the layers of a cake provides a change in taste from traditional frosting. You can use made-from-scratch pudding, an instant mix or even pudding cups. On busy days, use a frozen pound cake and pre-made pudding to create a quick treat for a family dinner.

Why is my pudding lumpy? ›

Answer: Weeping or curdling occurs when egg mixtures are cooked too fast or too long. The proteins over coagulate, then separate from each other leaving little Miss Muffet's curds and whey. To fix custard with lumps, use an immersion blender.

Can you make jello with milk instead of water? ›

Can you make Jello with milk instead of water? You can! Did you know that this was a thing? Some people use milk in their jello instead of water because it gives it a cloudy look and an even sweeter taste possibly as well.

What to put on bananas to keep from browning? ›

As with apple slices, adding lemon or lime juice to peeled bananas can help preserve their freshness. Basically, the citrus slows down the oxidation process. You can also use lime orange juice or pineapple juice. If you've already sliced the banana, toss it with a teaspoon or two of citrus juice.

How long will lemon juice keep bananas from turning brown? ›

Try adding lemon juice or citric acid to the slices before storing them in a container or between wax paper, so they last even longer. With an added layer of lemon juice or citric acid, bananas can last 3 to 4 days stored this way.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown so fast? ›

To keep bananas from ripening too fast, store them at room temperature on a counter or table that's away from windows or heat sources. When you bring them home, hang them on a banana hanger to protect them from bruising, and wrap the stem of the bunch in saran wrap to lower the amount of oxygen the bananas receive.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in Jello? ›

Usually, to stop bananas from going black and brown, you can cover them in lemon juice. But because it's an acid, the lemon will affect how the Jello sets. Luckily, the best method of ensuring that you get your banana slices throughout the Jello is to wait until it starts to thicken.

Can dogs eat bananas? ›

Yes, dogs can eat bananas. In moderation, bananas are a great low-calorie treat for dogs. They're high in potassium, vitamins, biotin, fiber, and copper. They are low in cholesterol and sodium, but because of their high sugar content, bananas should be given as a treat, not part of your dog's main diet.

Should bananas be refrigerated? ›

Keep them cool and protected from the light: Bananas should be stored at around 12°C, as they will ripen quicker if they are too warm. Pop them into the fridge: If you want to store your bananas correctly, you can certainly store them in the fridge.

Do bananas last longer in the fridge or on the counter? ›

The ideal place to store bananas is on the countertop, where they can ripen naturally. You can refrigerate bananas once they've achieved your ideal level of ripeness; however, refrigerating bananas too soon or for too long can have detrimental effects on your bunch.

How do supermarkets keep bananas fresh? ›

Supermarkets store most fruits in large refrigerated coolers in the back room. The fruit is pulled from the sales floor each night, and placed in the cooler to extend shelf life. Then it's restocked, & rotated the next morning. Some fruits & vegetables do not require refrigeration and are left on display overnight.

Why do sliced bananas taste better? ›

So, by slicing a banana you expose more of the inside to your taste buds. Sliced banana also goes through oxidation when exposed to air, which simply makes it taste far sweeter. Furthermore, the difference in texture of the inside of the banana is much more appealing inside your mouth.

Can you freeze cut bananas? ›

Peel bananas and cut into 1/2-inch thick rounds and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze until solid, or about 1 hour. Remove from baking sheet and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or freezer-safe airtight container. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Does hanging bananas keep them fresh longer? ›

Turns out there's a scientific reason you should be hanging your bananas from a hook. If you hang bananas from a hook, the ethylene gas works more slowly. Hanging bananas also prevents them from bruising on the counter, which they're more prone to do as they continue ripening.

Is it OK to eat a banana that is brown? ›

Ultimately, as long as your banana is not moldy, and is not slimy or overly soft and squishy when you remove the peel, it is safe to eat brown bananas. A banana with brown spots or freckles is fine. These spots are one indicator of ripeness (smell is another indicator—more on a banana's fragrance in a minute).

Does separating bananas slow ripening? ›

Ethylene gas is naturally released through the stems of the bananas. Separating, and especially covering the end of the stems, should contain the release of this gas, thereby slowing the rate of ripening.

What fruit can you not put in jelly? ›

If you like making gelatin for dessert, the box often recommends not adding certain kinds of fruit, including pineapple, kiwi, mango, ginger root, papaya, figs or guava. People have a hard time getting the gelatin to solidify when they add these fruits.

How long do you let Jello set before adding fruit? ›

Chill in refrigerator for about 1-2 hours, or until a thick jelly-like consistency. Add other fruit into Jello, spread evenly. Place back into refrigerator for about 2-3 more hours.

How long can a peeled banana sit out? ›

At room temperature, the peeled banana can last 1-2 days. If you want it to last any longer, stick to the refrigerator.


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