Creamy, homemade Southern Banana Pudding with vanilla pudding made from scratch layered with vanilla wafers, slices of banana, and topped with a whipped topping! An easy to make, Southern dessert recipe sure to please a crowd!
Banana pudding in a baking dish being scooped up showing sliced bananas and nilla wafers with pudding and whipped cream.
Homemade banana pudding with a made-from-scratch vanilla pudding is layered with vanilla wafers and bananas and topped with fresh whipped cream. This decadent southern dessert is a no-bake recipe perfect for any weeknight, potluck dinners, or a summer picnic. Serve it in a pie pan, a trifle bowl, or individual ramekins, you truly can’t go wrong!
A few years ago, we took the kids to have lunch at my grandma’s; after we were done eating, she brought out little silver parfait cups filled with homemade banana pudding, along with Nilla wafers and whipped topping. The pudding was AMAZING and my husband and the kids couldn’t get enough.
I left with a copy of my grandma’s recipe and it has absolutely been a top-three dessert with my little crew ever since.
A Little More About Banana Pudding
Banana Pudding is a Southern dessert made of pudding, wafers, banana, and fresh whipped cream. Similar to a trifle, this layered dessert is often served cold after soaking a few hours to allow the vanilla wafers to soften from the vanilla pudding.
I have always been curious about what makes this a southern tradition (after all, it’s really just vanilla pudding, Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and whipped cream), so I did some reading.
It seems that bananas first began being marketed in the United States around the turn of the century, in the early 1900s. Cooks began using the fruit in all sorts of dishes, especially in recipes for puddings and custards with meringue toppings. The first banana pudding recipe came out of Kentucky in 1903 but didn’t include wafers.
CHILLING TIME:3hours hrs
TOTAL:3hours hrs 30minutes mins
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 tbsp cornstarch
- 1½ cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 ounces vanilla wafers
- 3 bananas sliced
HOMEMADE WHIPPED CREAM
- 3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
Add the egg yolks and cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
In a medium size saucepan combine the milk, cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, just until the milk starts bubbling around the edge of the pot.
Remove 1/2 cup of heated milk mixture and in a slow and steady stream, pour this into the egg yolk mixture while whisking. Add the now warmed egg mixture into the saucepan with the heated cream.
Bring the cream and egg mixture back to a simmer while whisking. Continue cooking until this mixture is thickened and pulling away from the sides of the pot. Remove from the heat.
Stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Stir into the pudding until completely melted and smooth.
If needed pour this mixture into a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps from cooking.
Let this pudding mixture sit and cool for about 5 minutes before adding to a medium size bowl.
Cover the pudding mixture with plastic wrap pressed down directly on top of the pudding and place in the refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes before proceeding with the next step.
In a medium size mixing bowl add the ingredients for the whipped cream.
Mix with a hand mixer or stand mixer until cream forms stiff peaks.
Spoon half of the whipped cream into the pudding and stir to combine.
In a 2 quart dish add a layer of Nilla wafers, top with a layer of sliced bananas, then half of the banana pudding mixture.
Repeat this one more time. If you are using a glass dish you could line wafers and slices of banana along the side of the dish to make a pretty presentation.
Cover and let this chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
Top with the remaining whipped cream just before serving.