How to make Banana Pudding? – 5 Top Alternatives to Try Now

8 mins read
A woman in a blue dress preparing to show how to make banana pudding.
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on pexels

On birthday parties or dinner dates, desserts always make their way into most of our favourites list. Whether you prefer it at the end or enjoy it as a starter, it never fails to satisfy you even with its subtle smell.

If you’ve been serving yourself with cakes and cookies till now, it’d not do justice to the creamy delight loaded with perks of crunchies and fruits you’ve been missing.

That creamy delightful mix is not your regular custard or ice cream, but one of the classics of desserts namely pudding, to emphasize banana pudding.

You heard it right – banana pudding has got everything to make you fall in love with it and by tasting it the very first time, it’s going to form a lasting state within your all-time favourite desserts.

To know ‘how to make banana pudding’, you need some ripe bananas, a rich flavour of vanilla pudding with some crunchy cookies plus meringue or sliced bananas on top. And you’re all ready for a wholesome experience.

It won’t even get you bored either because of its all-around nature. Use it to suit your tastes and preferences. From homemade to instant, from creamy to calorie-free, it has multiple variants.

What makes banana pudding so popular and Southern fame?

Yes, it has a Southern origin but to know more about that you just have to tap into its fascinating history zone. Let me accompany you to it one step at a time. Post and Courier presents that –

  • Americans had already been introduced to bananas till the late 18th century.
  • It was due to British influence that puddings were a part of American culture.
  • Despite the South being the most popular place for banana pudding, bananas weren’t a part of Southern agriculture.
  • Whereas North America has its history of banana recipes even around the 1800s.
  • The availability of bananas increased with the arrival of steamships, which is largely responsible for the fame of banana pudding as the staple dessert of the South.
  • Even though there is so much demand at present, Southern fame pudding emerged in the late 20th century there.
  • Food writer Robert Moss listed its first appearance in the Good Housekeeping magazine in 1888.
  • Then experiments began for which ingredients should grace the pudding ranging from cookies to meringue.
  • Around the late 19th century Nabisco owned a biscuit recipe and renamed it the famous Vanilla Wafers known to be used in making banana pudding around the world.
  • At the start of the 20th century, Laura Kerley came up with the recipe (custard + wafers + bananas) in a newspaper Pantagraph, which later got owned by the player Nabisco for its raging demand around the 1940s.
  • Since then, Nilla wafers by Nabisco company sit within the ingredients of the banana pudding recipe and wafers got the essential tag in this recipe to be a hit.

Isn’t that story hit for the already hit banana pudding? Speaking of banana pudding, I know you’re waiting for the pudding recipe itself. Let’s get to our online kitchen right away!

Easy Banana Pudding Recipe

To make your start easy, this easy-peasy recipe would make you feel like a chef the very first time you try it because it’s put together effortlessly.

Fresh sliced bananas.
By Hucklebarry on Pixabay

What you need

  • 1 package of pudding mix or custard powder, vanilla or any other flavour as per your choice.
  • 2 ½ cups of full-fat milk
  • 3-4 ripe bananas
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 box of Nilla wafers which is a brand of vanilla wafers.
  • 2 cups of cool whip cream which is a brand of whipped cream.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • A bowl
  • An electric mixer
  • A casserole or trifle dish
  • Meringue or whipped cream for topping

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes

You can have it instantly or serve it chilled after refrigerating.

Serving: 8

Steps to achieve the easy banana pudding recipe

Step 1. In a large mixing bowl, add pudding mix (bought from the market) and prepare a blend by adding full-fat milk.

Step 2. Then gradually add condensed milk to the blend and later vanilla extract to whisk till it becomes a thick creamy mix.

Step 3. Add in cool whip cream and ready your mixture to its ultra-smooth level by whisking it continually.

Step 4. Crunch Nilla wafers into bite-sized pieces or leave them as they are to add to the pudding.

Step 5. Cut the bananas in a round shape.

Step 6. In a trifle dish, layer all the three (pudding, banana slices, and cookies) one by one. Do 1-2 rounds of layering as per your casserole’s size.

Step 7. For the best taste, put it in the refrigerator by covering it with plastic wrap for about an hour or two.

Step 8. Your no-bake banana pudding is all set after it gets the finishing touch of meringue, crushed cookies, or whipped cream to make people eye it to grab it quickly.

How to Make Banana Pudding the Best way (Magnolia Bakery’s recipe)

Large cookies distributed on the vanilla flavoured banana pudding.
By Hucklebarry on Pixabay

To make sure your banana pudding comes up as delicious as Magnolia Bakery’s pudding, all you need is:

  • 3-4 sliced fresh bananas,
  • 2 cups of heavy whipped cream
  • 1 package of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 package of vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 ½ cups of Ice cold water to blend in with milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk

This recipe is similar to the instant one. To start with, add milk and cold water together, whisk it continuously and add this mix to the powdered vanilla pudding mixture in another bowl. Stir it continuously to get a fine blend.

Set it aside in the refrigerator by transferring it to an airtight container.

Whisk your heavy cream by a stand mixer to make sure that stiff peaks form, then mix it with your chilled pudding to get a perfect paste. Then turn to layer them in a trifle dish.

Add Nilla wafers, sliced bananas and vanilla pudding mixture respectively or the way you want to fill the dish in and garnish it with the remaining frozen whipped topping or cookies.

With these simple steps, you have the famous Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding at your kitchen table.

How to Make Banana Pudding – Homemade

What you need

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup cold heavy whip cream or your own homemade whipped cream
  • 4 ripen bananas
  • 1 box of vanilla wafer cookies

Serving: 8-9

Prep time: 3-4 hours

Steps to achieve the homemade banana pudding

An illustration of banana pudding in a bowl.
By candace_es_19 on Pixabay

Step 1. In a large pan, add sugar, salt, and flour and blend well by adding milk to it.

Step 2. Cook the above mixture on medium heat and stir it repeatedly to let the bubbles come. Once that happens, lower the flame but let it cook for some more minutes.

Step 3. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl and add in some of the above-cooked milk to get the fine mix by whisking constantly.

Step 4. Combine the egg+milk blend with the cooked pudding slurry. Cook it on medium to low heat till it thickens slightly.

Step 5. Remove from the heat once cooked and add vanilla essence and mix it well.

Step 6. Let it sit for a while then add the condensed milk to make it even creamier.

Step 7. Stir and wait till it comes down to normal temperature.

Step 8. Prepare whip cream by whisking and adding granulated sugar and essence to it till stiff peaks form.

Step 9. Gradually fold in ¾ of the whipped cream to the prepared pudding blend.

Step 10. In a trifle dish, lay the wafers, banana slices, and pudding mix one on top of the others. Make sure bananas get covered with the cream.

Step 11. Top it with whipped cream, crushed wafers, additional banana slices, or whatever you prefer. Keep it in the fridge and enjoy the chilled dessert.

Low-Fat Banana Pudding Recipe

To give your gut a sweet treat of creamy delight and not upset it at the same time, the healthy variant has come to your rescue.

The method to prepare this low-fat banana pudding is pretty much the same, only ingredients differ in what they should be considered as low-fat.

Either you can use low-fat sugar-free vanilla pudding mix which saves you from hassle if it costs you too much time, or use less fatty ingredients such as;

  • 1% or skimmed milk which has enough calories (not too much) to get your pudding ready.
  • Low-fat cool whip cream or sour cream
  • Sugar-free or Reduced-fat wafers

Then you can try it out with the instant method or make it from scratch the same way you prepare pudding.

How to Make Banana Pudding With 3 Ingredients

Banana smoothie in a carafe with a straw.
Photo by Charlotte May on Pexels

This super easy recipe with minimal cost doesn’t compromise on pudding’s irresistibility. Once tried, you’d want to have it every day. Plus, it favours your health as well.

Serving: 8

You just need 4 bananas, 1 cup of almond milk (which can be flavoured), and a handful of walnuts or chia seeds for topping. You can choose different toppings as to what tastes better for you.

In a blender, blend almond milk and bananas until it becomes a fine paste and you’re sorted with your banana pudding when you cover it with your favourite topping in no time. Put it in the fridge with a cover to let it chill before you serve it.

In case you use chia seeds, let them soak in the pudding before you plan to store it for chilling so that they could have time to swell.

Having it before bedtime means you’re heading towards a good night’s sleep because of almond milk.

Chia seeds, used in the topping are rich in fibre and protein to make this pudding even more luscious for you.

Suggested Reading: How to Make Perfect Almond Flour Pancakes

Tips to make you feel confident about trying banana pudding:

A person slicing a banana with cream by its side in a bowl.
Photo by Marcus Aurelius on Pexels

  • Don’t slice the bananas at the very beginning else they’d lose quality by turning brown. Cut them just before you’re about to set the layer into the dish.
  • Besides, you can use lemon juice or orange juice to quote bananas to keep them from changing color or cover them completely with the cream to not let them expose.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon powder on top of your pudding for a unique flavour.
  • Use 2% milk which is full-fat and it solves your thickening problem of pudding.
  • The wafers in the pudding layers get softened when kept under refrigeration. If you wish to get the crunchiness of wafers, sprinkle the remaining wafers over the final layer.


How to store banana pudding to be eaten afterwards?

The best way to enjoy the fresh creamy dessert is to finish it right after it gets served. Even if you want to store, do that by locking any possible air with plastic wrap in a fridge and only up to three days.

Does banana pudding involve any baking or cooking?

It depends on which variant you want to try. Some recipes don’t ask for additional work. You can get them ready in no time in case of a hurry. Other than those instant pudding recipes, there are some homemade ones with which you can add your creativity.

Is it compulsory to use Nilla wafers?

They do say that vanilla wafers, especially the ones offered by the big-name Nabisco enhance its taste to another level. However, it’s only a traditional southern dessert recipe for it, so you’re free to use your creativity. Use whatever cookies or flavour you fancy.

What can Banana Pudding offer you?

This pudding is made of real banana and milk, so undoubtedly a large bowl of banana pudding carries the goodness of these products.

Bananas being famed for having potassium would certainly help you with your bone and heart problems. It helps you curb your appetite as it’s rich in fibre with fewer calories to help you maintain your diet. Besides, it offers you sodium, calcium, vitamin C, and B6.

Whereas milk other than providing calcium and protein offers a good deal of potassium, vitamin A, D, and B12. Having milk can afford you bone health, better immunity, ageless beauty, never-ending energy and whatnot.

More Recipes including Banana

Two people holding a plate of banana breads.
By No Revisions on Unsplash

Wanna embrace bananas in your life? A handful of recipes to get moving –

Microwave banana bread, peanut butter banana ice cream, banana egg pancake, grilled Nutella banana sandwich, vegan coconut banana cheesecake, banana fritters and so much more than I can even imagine.

The kitchen is ready, eventually, you’ll have to start. So start with your favourite banana pudding variant.


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