Classic Homemade Southern Banana Pudding: Layers of vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, homemade pudding and sweet meringue on top. You don’t have to be from the South to love this dessert. It’s the best banana pudding recipe I’ve ever made!
I recently brought this Classic Homemade Southern Banana Pudding to a dinner party and everyone went crazy after they tasted it! I decided to make it at the last minute and I’m so glad I did. Isn’t it true that sometimes the best recipes are the ones that have been around forever? Homemade Banana Pudding isn’t fancy but man is it GOOD!
If you need a dessert to take to a party, this is THE ONE! I brought it to a cocktail party. The hostess didn’t ask me to bring a dessert but hello, mom loves baking. I couldn’t help myself. I just felt the urge to make banana pudding. So a couple hours before the event, I whipped it up. When we got there, our friends had a beautiful assortment of appetizers displayed on their island. The banana pudding sort of looked out of place. LOL. After a couple hours, no one had touched the dessert. So I thought I’d serve it up. I couldn’t believe how quickly it disappeared!
Who says you can’t bring Homemade Banana Pudding to a fancy party. Not me! It’s easy to make too!
Did your grandma make banana pudding when you were a kid? Mine totally did. We called her grandmother and she was a wonderful cook and baker. I have many fond memories of her delicious meals and there was always dessert! Banana pudding also reminds me of church luncheons, potluck suppers and Morrison’s restaurant back in the day. Remember? It was cafeteria style with lots of choices. My grandparents always took me there. It was downstairs in the mall in Dothan, Alabama.
How to make Homemade Banana Pudding
Making this recipe is super simple. All you need are some basic ingredients that you probably have already in your fridge and pantry. Here are the step-by-step instructions…
1) Start with a layer of Nilla wafers or your favorite vanilla cookie.
2) Next add a layer of sliced bananas.
3) Top with homemade vanilla pudding (recipe follows), then repeat these first 3 steps.
4) Make meringue and spread over pudding mixture.
5) Garnish with more wafers and banana slices. Slice and enjoy.
Can you make Banana Pudding with Whipped Cream?
Absolutely! If you prefer whipped cream instead of a meringue topping, go for it. Do you like Cool Whip? You could use that as well. That’s the beauty of such a simple recipe. You can make it your own. Choose the topping that YOUR family loves the most.
Can I use different cookies?
Yes! I used Nilla wafers for this recipe because to me, that’s the traditional way of making this recipe. If you prefer a different cookie, choose your favorite. Some other cookie ideas are graham crackers, shortbread, digestibles or even Nutter Butter (if you want to make it Elvis pudding).
What to do with Ripe Bananas
If you have extra bananas that are a little too ripe to eat, don’t throw them out. These are great for making smoothies. I like to peel them and place in a zip top plastic freezer bag. It’s best to cut them in half first or you could slice them into small pieces, if desired. They will last many months like this in the freezer. You could also make “Nice Cream” (recipe on Mom Loves Baking) which is pureed frozen bananas that tastes just like ice cream. Another idea is to make Banana Bread. I have a great recipe on this blog called Grandma’s Best Ever Banana Bread.
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Classic Homemade Southern Banana Pudding
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium bananas, sliced
- Vanilla wafers
For the Meringue Topping
- 3 egg whites
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Mix together sugar and flour and slowly add milk. In a heavy saucepan, cook it over low to medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens - do not leave it unattended. Slightly beat egg yolks, then add a small amount of the hot custard; stir well. Add egg mixture to custard and cook 2 more minutes. Turn heat off and add vanilla plus butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool. In 9.5-inch glass pie plate, layer bottom with wafers, then add sliced bananas, then half the pudding. Repeat. Add meringue topping, recipe follows.
- Whisk together egg whites and sugar, then pour into the top pan of a double boiler over just boiling water. Keep whisking constantly and continue for 1.5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. Add vanilla. With an electric mixer, immediately beat the egg white mixture on medium until stiff peaks form. Spread over pudding mix, completely sealing around edges. Garnish with more wafers and banana slices.
- Note: If you want to bake the meringue instead, then you don't need a double boiler. Beat the egg whites and sugar on medium until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Spread over pudding mix and bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown on top.
All text and images © Lise Ode for Mom Loves Baking. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe. Disclaimer: Nutrition information shown is not guaranteed to be accurate. This post may contain affiliate links.