You’ve come to the right place to learn how to make homemade banana pudding. This recipe includes making the creamy vanilla pudding from scratch then serving it over Nilla wafers and fresh-cut bananas for the most delicious classic Southern dessert.
I love and adore old fashioned banana pudding – real Southern banana pudding. By real I mean the kind where you make the homemade 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 an instant vanilla pudding mix… that was not banana pudding! This is banana pudding!
I think homemade pudding is such a classic and underrated dessert. This one, in particular, has it all. It features a sweet, rich, and creamy homemade vanilla pudding made from scratch, which is served on top of fresh banana slices and melt-in-your-mouth Nilla wafers. It’s the ultimate comfort food that I know your whole family will love.
Now, you have to be patient when making this homemade banana pudding recipe from scratch, but believe me when I say it’s worth the wait.
If you’re in the mood for more pudding, here are some more of my favorite pudding dessert recipes: frozen banana pudding cups, vanilla wafer pudding with pineapple, chocolate vanilla wafer pudding, and my banana bread pudding sundae.
- 1/2 cup sugar (or swerve)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1 box Nilla wafers
- 5 ripe bananas
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Dash of salt
How to Make Homemade Banana Pudding From Scratch
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 vanilla 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 a Pyrex Spring Blossom mixing bowl and 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 egg 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 flour, 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 the saucepan.
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 15 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 15 minutes straight.
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.
Now, your pudding isn’t going to get super thick, but after about 15 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 a scorched pudding or lumpy pudding mixture, just use it anyway andpay attention to me when I tell you to slow down next time!
Add a teaspoon of vanilla and stir.
Immediately pour vanilla pudding over your sliced banana 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. YUM!
Store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. I don’t recommend freezing this homemade pudding, as the wafers will be too soggy.
- 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 homemade banana pudding, I decided not to do 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!
- Many recipes opt to refrigerate the and then serve it with some form of , whether that’s or .
- If you’d like to transform this banana pudding recipe into a trifle cake, double the recipe and follow the same instructions. You’ll just be adding more layers to a trifle bowl.
- If you don’t have access to Nilla or another type of vanilla wafer, try graham crackers instead.
How do you keep bananas from turning brown in a banana pudding?
To keep bananas from turning brown, I recommend brushing the banana slices with lemon juice, which slows down any fruit browning process.
How do you serve pudding?
If it’s for a dinner party, you can opt to serve your puddings in individual parfait cups with crushed wafers on top.
Can I make this pudding ahead of time?
Absolutely! This banana pudding recipe lasts four days covered in the fridge and it tastes great cold, so you could definitely make it the night before and let the pudding soak into the wafers overnight.
Is one banana dessert not enough? Check out these other delicious banana recipes:
- 1/2 cup sugar or swerve
- 1/3 cup flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1 box Nilla wafers
- 5 bananas
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- dash salt
- 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 the remaining bananas.1 box Nilla wafers, 5 bananas
- In a saucepot (or double boiler) on medium-low heat, add all ingredients except for the vanilla. Stir well with a wire whisk. Allow to cook, stirring constantly to prevent scorching, until thickened - about 15 minutes.1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 3 egg yolks, 2 cups milk, dash salt
- 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.1/2 tsp vanilla