How to Make Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

This old-fashioned banana pudding recipe is a classic Southern dessert.

An old-fashioned banana pudding recipe is one of our favorite ways to use up ripe bananas. Also known as Southern banana pudding, this decadent dessert features layers of made-from-scratch vanilla pudding, wafer cookies and bananas. What sets this recipe apart from others is a delicate layer of meringue on top. (No time to make a meringue? Try this simpler banana pudding recipe instead.)

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe

banana pudding in a square baking dishTMB studio

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 36 vanilla wafers
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-in. slices

Meringue:

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Step 1: Make the pudding filling

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and flour. Stir in the milk and whisk until smooth. Cook and stir the pudding over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat, then cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks. Stir a small amount of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks, then return all to the saucepan, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the butter and vanilla.

Step 2: Layer

In an ungreased 8-in. square baking dish, layer a third of the vanilla wafers, bananas and pudding filling. Repeat layers twice.

Step 3: Make the meringue

To make the meringue, beat egg whites, vanilla and cream of tartar on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high until stiff peaks form. Spread the meringue evenly over the hot filling, sealing edges to the sides of the dish.

Step 4: Bake the pudding

Bake the pudding in a 350°F oven until the meringue is golden, 12-15 minutes.

Step 5: Cool and chill the pudding

Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving.

Tips for Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Southern Banana Pudding Exps Toham22 30774 B11 11 4b 18

How do you store old-fashioned banana pudding?

This Southern banana pudding lasts for about four days when stored in the fridge. It’s the perfect make-ahead treat!

Can you serve this dessert warm?

Our Test Kitchen experts think banana pudding is best served cold, but go with your personal preference.

What can you serve with old-fashioned banana pudding?

For even more creamy flavor, serve Southern banana pudding with a dollop of whipped cream.

Find more of our favorite classic Southern recipes and vintage recipes.

Susan Bronson
Susan is a food and wine writer and editor based in northern Wisconsin. In 2010, she created the food blog A Less Processed Life, which features made-from-scratch recipes that highlight locally grown ingredients. As a contributor for Taste of Home, Susan has written about twists on classic cocktails like apple cider sangria and maple old-fashioneds. She also shares tried-and-true cooking techniques and re-creates and reviews recipes from notable chefs, including Julia Child and Ina Garten. She lives on a small family farm with her husband and son, and loves tasting all that the Upper Midwest’s culinary landscape has to offer.