This Homemade Banana Pudding features layers of pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, sliced banana, and freshly whipped cream. A sweet, creamy, and delicious dessert!
This Homemade Banana Pudding is giving me life. Mostly because I can justify nibbling on it all throughout the day. I mean, if I don’t, the bananas will turn brown. Soooo, I basically have to eat it. Lunch anyone?
If you’ve never had Banana Pudding you are in for a treat! And if you’ve only had versions made with “shortcut” ingredients you’ll be shocked at how much more delicious this homemade version is.
What is Banana Pudding?
Banana Pudding is a dessert that is made by layering pudding, whipped cream, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafer cookies. The dessert is assembled in a casserole dish and it sits in the refrigerator for several hours so that the cookies can soften and all the flavors can meld.
This a sweet, creamy, and delicious dessert with the flavors of fresh banana and vanilla.
How To Make It:
Many Banana Pudding recipes are made with packaged components: boxed pudding, cool whip, even fake banana flavoring. With a few simple swaps I was able to come up with a delicious homemade version of Banana Pudding. Here’s what makes up this recipe:
Vanilla Pudding: I used my Homemade Vanilla Pudding recipe with a few small tweaks. This easy pudding comes together on the stovetop in minutes.
Whipped Cream: Freshly Whipped Cream is the top layer of this dessert. A mixture of heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a splash of vanilla extract create a sweet and fluffy whipped cream that is unbeatable!
Vanilla Wafer Cookies: Use your favorite brand of vanilla wafer cookies. The cookies will create some stability, making this dessert easy to scoop and serve. Note: they will soften up after being layered with the pudding, bananas, and whipped cream.
Bananas: Here’s where the banana flavor comes from! Fresh sliced bananas are placed all throughout the pudding and on top.
- Allow the pudding to cool slightly before layering.
- Chill your bowl and beaters before making the whipped cream, this produces the best result.
- Your bananas should be ripe but still slightly firm. This is not the recipe to use super soft overripe bananas.
- The longer the pudding sits the softer the cookies will get. If you want some texture from the cookies, I recommend chilling for about 3 hours, if you want the cookies completely soft, it can sit in the fridge for closer to 8 hours.
- Swap the vanilla wafers for graham crackers, shortbread, or biscoff cookies for a different flavor variation.
- Wait to garnish until you are ready to serve. Since bananas will turn brown once exposed to air, it is best to wait until just before serving to add the sliced bananas on top. The bananas that are layered inside should not turn brown since they are covered.
- This dessert is best served the day it is made, or at least within 24 hours.
Homemade Banana Pudding
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2-2/3 cups whole or 2% milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large ripe-firm bananas, divided
- approx 50 vanilla wafer cookies, one 12-14 oz box or bag will be plenty
- In a medium saucepan whisk together sugar, cornstarch, salt, milk, and egg yolks. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally (every minute or two), until the mixture is bubbling all throughout (this took 7-8 minutes for mine). Once bubbling, continue cooking for one to two additional minutes, whisking once or twice, but not too vigorously (this can break down the binding properties). At this point the pudding should be thickened but still pourable, it will thicken more as it cools.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla extract. OPTIONAL, to remove lumps: Place a fine mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl. Pour the mixture through the strainer and into the bowl. Skip this step if you don't notice any lumps in your pudding.
- Transfer the pudding to a large bowl and allow it to cool down (mine took about 30 minutes). Whisk it periodically to keep a skin from forming on the top.
- Prepare whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat heavy cream with powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Place in the refrigerator briefly while you proceed.
- Slice three bananas. Set aside the fourth banana (that will be the garnish after the pudding chills in the fridge).
- Place a layer of wafer cookies in the bottom of an 8x8 square baking dish (I used about 24 cookies). Place half of the banana slices on top. Pour over half of the pudding and spread it into an even layer. Repeat the layering one more time: cookies, remaining sliced banana, remaining pudding. Top with all of the whipped cream.
- Cover and refrigerate for 2-12 hours. The longer it sits the softer the cookies will become.
- To serve: Slice the remaining banana and place the slices on top of the whipped cream. You can also garnish with crushed wafer cookies. Serve immediately.