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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    9 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces vanilla wafers (about 60 cookies), divided
  • 4 large ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In an ungreased 8-in. square baking dish, layer 25 vanilla wafers, half of the banana slices and half of the pudding. Repeat layers.
  • Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove wrap; crush remaining wafers and sprinkle over top.

Banana Pudding Tips

How long will banana pudding keep?

Your homemade banana pudding should keep for 3 to 4 days stored covered in the fridge. (Here's exactly how to stock your fridge if you want your food to last.)

Why is my banana pudding runny?

There are different reasons why your banana pudding could be runny. After the eggs are added into the hot mixture, allow the pudding to reach at least 155°F—or else they will not be cooked thoroughly and you could wind up with a runny mixture. Bringing it to a gentle boil guarantees you are over 155°, which is when eggs coagulate. Also keep in mind that the refrigeration for 4 hours (or overnight) will help thicken and solidify the pudding.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

To keep bananas from turning brown in this banana pudding recipe, brush or spritz a small amount of lemon juice or other citrus acid onto the cut banana slices. That should help slow the browning process. (There's a different process when you need to keep apples from browning!)

How should I serve banana pudding?

The best way to serve your homemade banana pudding is cold, with crushed wafers over the top. Slice and serve into individual parfait cups for a fancier presentation!

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 302 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 80mg cholesterol, 206mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Horace
    Jan 5, 2021

    This is a delicious homemade banana pudding. I top mine with meringue and serve it warm or room temperature, not cold.

  • Katy's mom
    Dec 13, 2020

    I've lived in the south and eaten this pudding many times at various restaurants and functions. I've even made it a time or two, pretty much from this same recipe. I always thought it was sort of meh, but it was almost the national dish when I lived in Florida. I'd rather have a slice of banana cream pie any day, but that's a personal opinion. It might just be the store-bought vanilla wafers I never cared for..

  • Crystal
    Dec 8, 2020

    No comment left

  • Anna
    Oct 10, 2020

    Totally delish! I followed the timing and methodology as this type of recipe is a formula to work right. I added an additional 1/4 cup of brown sugar in addition to the white sugar listed. I added 1/2 tsp salt instead of 1/4. I used 2 tsp Mexican vanilla instead of the vanilla extract listed. I added 1 mashed banana when I added the vanilla. Recipe didn’t fit in an 8x8, used a larger pan.

  • pattecake
    Jun 20, 2020

    Been using a similar vh recipe for several years. Very tasty. We prefer it to pudding with meringue on top. If you like bvb your desserts super sweet use 1 cup sugar. We 3/4 cup sugar is perfect with sweet bananas and vanilla wafers.

  • Lauralee
    Jun 14, 2020

    Haven't tried this yet but I will take a little of each review and see if I can make some without screwing it up (I have a habit of it when a recipe seems confusing)....to to Alexa: since You are the ONLY one that had issues with the pudding smelling like rotten eggs that it WAS YOUR EGGS, NOT the pudding. Stuff that in your cap!

  • Caye
    May 23, 2020

    The perfect Banana Pudding, so good!!!

  • Raven
    Apr 13, 2020

    First homemade pudding I've ever made... and it came out great! I was concerned I would "scramble" the eggs, but I tempered as directed and didn't bring pudding to a full boil. The directions are a bit confusing because it says remove from heat, then bring to boil... but I just kept it on the heat and moved on. I saw comments that this was 'bland' or 'not sweet.' I found it actually to be a bit on the sweet side, and definitely not bland. It might matter your ingredients to start with tho-- I used fresh, organic milk, eggs, sugar, flour, vanilla. Only the salt wasn't organic... but I think if you use fresh ingredients and a GOOD vanilla (real vanilla not imitation) you'll have good success! It was super easy, and if I can do it... lol.

  • Alexa
    Apr 7, 2020

    I tried making this recipe, the pudding smelled like rotten eggs so I had to throw it out. I was very upset. I would give it less than 1 star if I could.

  • Joanna
    Mar 1, 2020

    @Bev Could you BE more snotty? Good for you little miss thing, with your from scratch everything. The person you replied to was 80 years old. 80. Shut up. Nobody thinks you're special because you make nilla wafers from scratch. An 80 year old probably isn't as enthusiastic about that bs. Seriously. Shut. Up.