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Banana Pudding Recipe

Banana Pudding Recipe

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 for the first time at the airport last fall, I just grabbed hold of him and busted out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my banana pudding. 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 YIELD:9 servings


  • 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


  • 1. 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.
  • 2. 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.
  • 3. In an ungreased 8-in. square baking dish, layer 25 vanilla wafers, half of the banana slices and half of the pudding. Repeat layers.
  • 4. Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove wrap; crush remaining wafers and sprinkle over top. Yield: 9 servings.

Recipe Note

Test Kitchen Tips

  • Pop unpeeled bananas in the fridge to slow the ripening process. They may look a little funky, but they'll taste great.
  • Use plastic wrap over the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. The plastic peels off easily after the pudding cools.
  • Gild that lily! A peanut butter drizzle and chopped salted peanuts take this to another level.
  • Nutritional Facts

    1 serving: 302 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 80mg cholesterol, 206mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

    Reviews for Banana Pudding

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    Marsha User ID: 9220766 269589
    Reviewed Jul. 17, 2017

    "Great recipe! Simple, homemade goodness. I ended up using Lactaid whole milk and it worked just fine. Had to go ahead & add a meringue in memory of my precious Mom & the way she preferred to serve it."

    Chargett User ID: 7747932 269267
    Reviewed Jul. 10, 2017

    "What a blessing to me to have a homemade recipe! Thank you for submitting this!"

    mom2lauren User ID: 7407229 266003
    Reviewed May. 16, 2017

    "Delicious! I've been wanting to make this for awhile but my immediate family isn't big on pudding or bananas so I had to wait until I had to take a dessert somewhere so I could try this. Made it for our Mother's Day dinner at my parents. My 9 year old nephew absolutely loved it. I sent some leftovers home with him and they texted the next night to say how much they enjoyed it. As a Volunteer Field Editor, I enjoy trying out new recipes!"

    shannondobos User ID: 5115022 260275
    Reviewed Jan. 25, 2017

    "I loved the flavor! It was so simple to make, and aside from the wafers, I generally have all of these ingredients on hand. Next time I will crush the vanilla wafers or use graham wafer crumbs, but that is purely a personal preference. I didn't care for the wafers left whole. All in all, a delicious recipe!"

    MimiCT User ID: 1905447 260042
    Reviewed Jan. 21, 2017

    "This is the old Magnolia Restaurant recipe and it's very good. I like it better made with pound cake or lady fingers. Yummy stuff."

    kate28 User ID: 8389978 250112
    Reviewed Jul. 5, 2016

    "5-Stars! Just like my mom use to make! Turned out great!"

    rprust User ID: 3826682 250065
    Reviewed Jul. 4, 2016

    "My mom is from Virginia and always made this. All pies and puddings from scratch are the best! Please tell your son Thank You for his service and God Bless. Thank you too, I can't imagine not seeing either of my boys for two years!"

    sweetbitters User ID: 8365979 248759
    Reviewed May. 28, 2016

    "I haven't tried this recipe (but I will), reminds me of the way my great Aunt made it except she also put meringue on hers. Would keep the pudding from getting a skin on top. Can't wait!"

    TNbluffbaker User ID: 46423 248405
    Reviewed May. 19, 2016

    "The end results are worth the work! Reminds me of what my mother used to make. I dip the bananas in lemon juice to keep them from turning brown, especially since this lasts a few days at my house."

    Me.lee User ID: 8637523 243450
    Reviewed Feb. 8, 2016

    "I love banana pudding and that is just what this is, if you want something else ask for that recipe!

    This is great"

    LoveToCookChicken User ID: 7580213 241799
    Reviewed Jan. 15, 2016

    "I found this very easy to make and most important very delicious. It took a lot of will power not to finish it after tasting the first piece. Keep in mind that you must have patience while stirring the mixture in the first step. This can take time but it will eventually thicken. Bon appetite!!!!"

    melody52 User ID: 1427799 240147
    Reviewed Dec. 24, 2015

    "Cook til thick...Perfect!"

    MaryJFisher User ID: 7340573 238640
    Reviewed Dec. 2, 2015

    "This is the best banana pudding recipe I've found. I've made it twice in the last two weeks and it was devoured both times. As for the pudding not being thick enough, you have to cook it until it is thick. This is an awesome recipe!"

    JMonty2 User ID: 8586248 235606
    Reviewed Oct. 25, 2015

    "This is absolutely the best tasting banana pudding. Follow directions and it turns out perfect. I've made it several times now and it's that real old time homemade flavor!!"

    PenelopeWin User ID: 5924001 229899
    Reviewed Jul. 20, 2015

    "When I made this the custard/pudding smelled and tasted so great I couldn't wait to taste the completed dessert. However, with the bananas you could not taste the pudding. Now I know it is banana pudding but that was literally all I could taste. If I make this again, I might use less bananas and also I think I will do a graham crust. i might even use strawberries instead. I don't think the flavor of the strawberries will be so overwhelming."

    Briadona User ID: 5500759 229570
    Reviewed Jul. 14, 2015 Edited Jul. 21, 2015

    "Trying to make this today. The pudding tastes great but doesn't appear thick enough. Could it be the 2% milk or would cornstarch be better than flour as someone suggested??

    And Eric yes thanks for your service!
    Ok folks after letting the pudding set overnight thought I would put it together though still a thin consistency compared to most puddings. Then I refrigerated overnight and it held together just fine. But it gets runny if kept any longer. Still think I would use whole milk next time to see if better results."

    KristineChayes User ID: 1441542 229343
    Reviewed Jul. 10, 2015

    "I made a double batch of this Banana Pudding today for company tomorrow, but took a small amount aside to try. It's very good and was definitely worth taking the extra time to make the pudding from scratch, as directed. I topped it all off with a layer of whipped cream. I know my guests will devour it! *** Stephanie, welcome home to Eric. His bravery in serving our country is sincerely appreciated! Blessings!"

    Water4Chocolate User ID: 7962831 225083
    Reviewed Apr. 19, 2015

    "Stephanie I'm so glad you shared the "real McCoy" of southern banana pudding! Disregard the negative reviewers who don't realize this is the real deal. Flour is the only way to make the taste and texture correct! Merrangue is optional of course and is usually quite tasteless for me. It's not meant to be a spin off on a banana cream pie either. Goodness! As for swapping out the 2% for 1/2 and 1/2 and adding butter, enjoy it all the way to the heart doc. The butter takes away the "stickiness" that is part of the good ol' banana pudding of the south. And I'm a Y. transplant of 44 yrs btw."

    seanh User ID: 3242371 224930
    Reviewed Apr. 16, 2015

    "Silverfox2951: We need to create a recipe that will make the negative remarks vanish as soon as the submit tab is hit . Will certainly try this since I love bananas and it sounds great."

    vickystick User ID: 4491033 224765
    Reviewed Apr. 13, 2015

    "This is a true southern recipe except the original has meringue on top!"

    Monona User ID: 1831287 224713
    Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

    "I just made this and I think it would be much better with corn starch instead of flour. Mine curdled and I followed the directions to the letter. Next time I will use corn starch."

    mindysmama User ID: 6929696 224700
    Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

    "I have been making this pudding for many years and it always disappears very quickly. As for boxed pudding YUCK!! I think the scratch pudding is what makes this so good"

    silverfox2951 User ID: 6536833 224695
    Reviewed Apr. 12, 2015

    "First off , Stephanie you must be so proud of your son serving our country! I've made your pudding several times and everyone always wants the recipe!. Someone commented on here that it only got 3 stars because of the "extra work" involved! ??? And that it's easier to use French Vanilla Pudding? I don't understand why people make comments like that when they don't want to follow the recipe as stated. They should move on and make their own then instead of adding their two cents!!! Thank you for the great recipe Stephanie!!!"

    learningandlovingtocook User ID: 8289322 223698
    Reviewed Mar. 28, 2015

    "This turned our "pretty good". I think it was dressed up nicely with a layer of whipped topping on the top (under the cookie crumbs). The pudding was the best part. Otherwise, it had a very simple flavor, which was excellent for me, but from the banana pudding I have had in the past, it was a tad bit bland. Overall, it was great and I will make it again. (small tip: use well-aged bananas for the best flavor and whipped topping!)"

    jmkasprak User ID: 2880256 223650
    Reviewed Mar. 27, 2015

    "I always get banana pudding when we're traveling in the south. Now I can make my own! It's so easy to make homemade pudding and tastes so much better! I used whole milk."

    slocook805 User ID: 7734059 220804
    Reviewed Feb. 18, 2015

    "Delicious. Try swapping out the 2% milk for half and half and stir in a Tb of butter along with the vanilla. I prefer making mine from scratch also, boxed pudding mix is just too lacking in something."

    kredhead User ID: 710648 220602
    Reviewed Feb. 15, 2015

    "This recipe is how I remember my mother used to make it, I am so glad to have found it here. Homemade and so creamy. Nilla wafers have gotten much smaller than I remember, I just made sure I had the layers covered in the pan. Was a special Valentine's Day treat, we finished it up was even better. easy to make ahead. I sprinkled a little powdered chocolate peanut butter from Trader Joes on top or whipped cream. Wow, flavors made to go together. I used really ripe, sweet bananas as this is how I like them. Will now be in my regular dessert rotation. Comfort food at its best, thank you!"

    p8nthorselover User ID: 4171928 213600
    Reviewed Nov. 12, 2014

    "This has been a favorite since childhood. I prefer the scratch version as I can't tolerate the artificial flavorings, coloring, sweeteners found in boxes and the frozen desert topping. It only takes 15 minutes to whip up a batch from scratch and whip some real cream. It's worth the 15 minutes to me and my family, the taste is awesome!"

    Suecocoa User ID: 7344577 126739
    Reviewed Nov. 12, 2014

    "This only gets three stars because of the extra work involved. It's much easier to use instant French Vanilla Pudding and cool whip with the vanilla wafers. It's wonderful and you can put it together in no time at all."

    lorideshane User ID: 4647911 196752
    Reviewed Apr. 28, 2014

    "I make this recipe often... My family loves it! I have used other fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries and added them with the bananas. So good! I also increase the vanilla by one tsp and increase the salt by 1/4 tsp. I also use graham crackers in place of the vanilla wafers. Great warm weather dessert! ."

    BrownieQueen2 User ID: 1836231 140025
    Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

    "This is a very good recipe for banana pudding. Since it is in essence banana cream pie without the crust but with vanilla wafers it is easier to make. My family prefers the pie however as the vanilla wafers went soggy and tasted gritty."

    sks1124 User ID: 7451303 184845
    Reviewed Nov. 10, 2013

    "My family loved the pudding. The only thing I regret is not making a double batch."

    molly122 User ID: 6936737 199234
    Reviewed Jul. 22, 2013

    "Loved it!"

    rena 55 User ID: 1935799 199227
    Reviewed Jul. 12, 2013

    "This is a really tasty recipe. My MIL made something similar and always called it "banana salad". The only difference in her recipe was that instead of vanilla wafers, there's a layer of crushed, salted peanuts. A nice ending to a meal on a hot summer day."

    ceburk User ID: 7326475 199368
    Reviewed Jul. 5, 2013

    "Took it to a July 4th Party and now Ive been asked for the recipe. Thank You For Sharing!!"

    grammaberr User ID: 826492 200343
    Reviewed May. 14, 2013 Edited Jul. 15, 2015

    "I just wanted to say "WELCOME HOME, SOLDIER", glad you made it back safely. Now as for the pudding, this is kinda like my mother-in-law used to make and it sounds delicious!"

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