How To Make Homemade Banana Pudding


I LOVE and adore banana pudding, real banana pudding. By real I mean the kind where you make the pudding from scratch and pour it warm over a bowl of yummy Nilla wafers and fresh cut bananas. That stuff with boxed pudding mix cannot even come close to how this tastes. If you think you’ve had banana pudding before and it involved a boxed pudding mix…THAT was not banana pudding! THIS is Banana Pudding!

The complete recipe is listed at the bottom of this page. I always insist on Nilla brand wafers. I am not a big brand person (alright, I do have a thing about White Lily flour), but if you’re going to make banana pudding, might as well do it right. For my Banana pudding, we won’t be doing a meringue. I like meringue but know far too many people who don’t. Plus that adds an extra step, which may be a wee bit complicated for someone who has never made it before. If you want to make a meringue and don’t know how, just visit my Lemon Meringue pie tutorial for complete instructions along with pictures!

I just want you to make the pudding, I don’t want you to feel you have to sit through an entire culinary class. That having been said, if you put Cool whip or any type of refrigerated dairy topping on this divine concoction after we are done making it, I will personally hunt you down and haunt you for the rest of your life. ~sweet smile~ We’re going to do this right


Put a layer of Nilla wafers in the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Slice a banana over the top. Repeat these layers until you’ve used up all your Nilla wafers and bananas. It really is important that you put Nilla wafers first, by the way. These are going to soak up all the yummy pudding that settles at the bottom of your bowl.

I use a mixing bowl because that is what my mother always used. She had this Corning green glass mixing bowl, it was enormous. She must have made at least two recipes of banana pudding each time she made it. Seeing that bowl on the counter was always a welcome sight!

Crack your three eggs and separate the whites from the yolks. Since we aren’t making a meringue, we won’t be using the whites. You can save them for another use or throw them away (which I did because….I just care about my banana pudding right now.)

Place 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar (or Splenda), and a dash of salt in a saucepan. You can use a double broiler for this and not have to fret over it so much, but I just like living on the edge. Muhahaha! My trick for substituting Splenda for sugar in this is to always use just a wee bit less than the recipe calls for. If it calls for a cup of sugar, I might do a cup minus two tablespoons of Splenda. To me, that keeps it from tasting artificial.

Add milk to saucepan.

Put this on the stovetop on medium low heat and stir it really well with a whisk. You can also just use a spoon for this.

When you are done stirring it up it will look something like this.

Now settle in and BE PATIENT. You need to stir the pot constantly, scraping the bottom so none of it gets a chance to stick and scorch. This will take about fifteen minutes so I usually get something to read while I stand there and stir because I don’t think I’ve ever “just” done one thing for fifteen minutes straight.

Today I read a few articles from the new issue of PopSci. I love that magazine. This one shows you how you can turn your iPod or even iPhone into a projector that will project movies onto your wall up to 5′ x 7’! All you need are a small cosmetic mirror, a cardboard box, some tape, and a lense from an old slide projector. I actually want to do this. Anyone have an old slide projector? ~grins~

Seriously, be patient, keep stirring, don’t turn the heat up past four. This is going to take a long time and do nothing, but then ALL OF A SUDDEN it will be thicker.

Yes, I need to clean my stove. I started to photoshop that out but then decided…..”eh”.

Now, your pudding isn’t going to get super thick, but after about fifteen minutes of stirring, it will suddenly get thicker. The consistency will be about what that boxed pudding is right after you mix it before it sets well. TAKE IT OFF THE EYE! Quick! we don’t want it to scorch or keep getting thicker. Now if you end up with scorched pudding or lumpy pudding, just use it anyway and pay attention to me when I tell you to slow down next time!

Add a teaspoon of vanilla and stir.

Immediately pour over your bananas and wafers.

Let this sit for about five minutes so the pudding has time to soak into the wafers. THIS IS SO GOOD! Eat it warm, then refrigerate leftovers. I prefer to eat the leftovers cold. YUMM!

Homemade Banana Pudding
  • ½ Cup Sugar (or splenda)
  • ⅓ Cup Flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 Cups milk
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers
  • 5 bananas
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • dash salt
  1. Place a layer of Nilla Wafers in the bottom of a medium sized mixing bowl. Slice a banana over the top. Repeat two more times with another layer of wafers and remaining bananas. In sauce pot (or double boiler) on medium low heat, add all ingredients except for vanilla. Stir well with wire whisk. Allow to cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thickened - about fifteen minutes. Add in vanilla and stir. Immediately pour over wafers and bananas. Let sit for about five minutes or so before serving, to allow wafers time to absorb pudding. Top with meringue, if desired.




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  1. barb ricketts says

    If you are a faithful follower of Christy you know how her recipes work….. if you want to do her recipes different then go to another site…I love her just the way she is…. Faithful and honest and dedicated….

  2. Joanne Saunders says

    I googled baked banana pudding recipes and this is the one I chose.
    It read as if you were standing in the kitchen giving”me” the instructions. It was fun and easy as well as entertaining. Needless to say the pudding was DIVINE! Thank you so much!

  3. Stacey says

    We have dairy issues so I used coconut milk…though my picky son doesn’t like coconut milk so I added a few drops of lemon juice to mask/balance the flavor of the coconut. All good flavors that didn’t compromise the results. Think 5 flavor pound cake…banana, vanilla, coconut, lemon…okay so thats 4, but it totally worked!!!
    Banana pudding has become a tradition dessert at Easter and 4th of July in my family. My kids LOVE IT! And we LOVE this recipe,
    THANKS :)

  4. Janet Hurley says

    Thank you for these great southern, old-fashioned recipes! My mother died when I was 21, before I was old enough to realize the value of made from scratch recipes. I don’t know what happened to her recipe box, so I’ve been building my own for the past 25 years. I was stuck on the coolwhip/sour cream banana pudding for years. Now we eat organic only, and this is perfect, as I can get organic wafers at WHole Foods.
    I double the recipe, and my family of 10 eats one warm, and refrigerates the other for the next night=) Dessert two nights in a row–they’re in heaven.

  5. Karla D McKnight says

    I just love your website and your daily postings!!

    I am looking for an old recipe for a yellow cake that has the texture almost like cornbread, have you ever heard of something like that?

    Any help would be appreciated!!

    Thanks so much!!

  6. heather says

    The one and only time I ever attempted banana pudding (hubby’s fave) I poured it on warm and it evaporated my wafers! Was it too hot? It turned into banana soup and the family still pokes fun of me for it. So I just wait for potlucks and buffets to enjoy it. :)

  7. Judy says

    I make mine from scratch too but vary the recipe a little. One thing I do that takes more time is I layer the cookies and bananas pour some pudding over them and repeat till I have no more pudding. Then I top the pudding with vanilla wafers. More time comsuming. I like your ideal better.

  8. Carol says

    Don’t know what I did wrong – from all the comments this pudding when done right is fab. After cooking and letting the pudding cook till slightly thick, I took it off the burner as directed. However, I could tste the flour in it. Yuck. What did I do wrong? thanks for you response. Carol

  9. Priscilla Flores says

    My HUGE family and I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. It is so delicious and creamy!! I’ve made this for my brothers birthday for the past 3 years. I always have to double the recipe, ALWAYS!!! :-)

  10. Brian C. says

    Just came across your site looking for coconut meringue pie recipes.
    I ONLY use recipes from an all recipes site (wink)…until today.
    As soon as I saw your recipe for Banana Puddin’, I knew this was the real deal site.
    I grew up in SC and this is pretty much the same recipe my grandmother used.
    I’ve always said if I could make biscuits, banana pudding. fried chicken and gravy like she did,
    I could die happy. It looks like you may be able to help with that!
    I love your site and will definitely be heading over to Amazon to get the book!
    Thanks so much,

  11. Lin says

    My dear, sweet mom (soon to be 88) has been a master banana pudding and pie maker for my whole life. With the invention of the microwave, she began cooking the pudding part in it and you don’t have a problem with it scorching the bottom of the pan. On a side note, homemade is always best! Just made alfredo sauce from scratch, easier than pie it was! Won’t want to go to the fancy Italian restaurants for that dish any more. Going back to my cooking roots has been wonderful for our budget & yummier than ever!

  12. CandyAnn says

    I love you! I am so happy I found your page. I will have to convert this recipe for my egg and dairy baby’s allergies (we’re working on literally getting rid of those allergies). I can not wait to try this out! I so love popular science as well, my shoulders shook side to side and I laughed when you said you love it because I said that at the same time. Anyway, thank you so much for taking the time to make your recipes available. It really made my day as I read your bubbly personality in your writing. Have a great day Christy!

  13. Katie says

    I made this last year and forgot to pin it. My husband said it was the best! I have tried a few recipes since then, and this is by far the simplest and tastiest! Thanks for the recipe!!

  14. matt says

    Super delicious recipe. It took me 27 minutes stirring on stove top (electric). The pudding recipe needs to be doubled for my liking. I like my NILLA wafers and bananas covered completely. I agree, good’ol southern banana pudding needs nothing on top. I will definitely use this again. Just more pudding next time. Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. Peggy says

    I grew up on homemade banana pudding but finally got tired of stirring the custard and updated the recipe cooking technique. Combine all the custard ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Cook at full power for 2 minutes; remove from m’wave and stir or whisk thoroughly. Return to microwave, cook for 2 minutes, remove, stir/whisk, return, cook for two more minutes. In my microwave six minutes (or three repetitions) is just about right. SOOOO much easier than standing and stirring!!

  16. Morgan Crick says

    I have been making this for years. Ever since my brother in-law made it. I only got a small taste and feel in love!! I got the recipe from him and it is the only banana pudding my family has eaten ever since! I plan on passing it along to my kids when they are old enough. This is the way banana pudding is supposed to be!!!!

  17. Faythe in illinois says

    Thank you so much!:]. i used this for a science project, because my project was about organic foods and i made homemade pudding and the pudding out of the box. my class loved the homemade better than the box! thanks again:].

  18. Barbara says

    I agree with you about the boxed pudding mix, meringue on top and the Nilla brand wafers. My mother in law did something with the egg whites tho, that I had not seen done before. She whipped them with an electric mixer and added them to the cooked pudding. It really is good that way-kinda gives it an ice cream flavor.

  19. says

    I make my banana pudding the same way you do. A while back I misplaced
    my receipe & searched the internet ask friends & any one I could think of
    for a true home made banana pudding & all I received was boxed pudding.
    Pitiful,thanks for making true banana pudding.

  20. says

    To set the mood:
    Just received my pre-ordered copy of “Southern Plate: Classic Comfort Food That Makes Everyone Feel Like Family”… (had to specify the exact title since I’m sure there are more cookbooks on the horizon…LOL). I cook all of the meals at my house (lots are from your website Christy).
    What happened:
    Girlfriend (out of the blue) cooked your Homemade Banana Pudding after reading it in your new cookbook. She had never made homemade pudding much less meringue… but she stayed the course.
    A great tasting homemade Southern banana pudding with no desire by me to try to “one up her”… THANKS… Great recipe.

  21. Kerri says

    When I saw your cookbook at Wal-Mart, I had to have it. I am a Texan living in Washington and crave the comfort foods I grew up on. While in line to check out, I noticed the avocado green mixing bowl on the cover and commented to my husband and kids that it is the same bowl that my mama has always made her banana pudding in. I turned to the banana pudding recipe in the book, and to my delight, you mentioned that your mama always made her banana pudding in the same bowl! I have to admit, I never tried to make the pudding from scratch (I left that to my mama). Well, that was the first recipe I tried from your cookbook, and it was delicious! I believe I will double the pudding recipe next time, and if confessions are being made, I will admit that I don’t like merengue, but love Cool Whip on my banana pudding. It’s always how mama did it- and you know how that is!


  1. […] 1. Your First Post. The first post I ever wrote for Southern Plate is what got me all started. Back then I didn’t actually have yet, I was just blogging on a little free blog over at I posted a tutorial with step by step photos of how to make homemade banana pudding, with a goal of making it easy for anyone to make, regardless of cooking experience. The very next day Vox featured it on their homepage! I was so excited that I quickly put up two more tutorials and both of them were featured the next day as well. By weeks end I was on the phone with my husband saying “I think if I got my own domain I could get four or five hundred readers…”Here is my very first post, Homemade Banana Pudding. […]

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