This Famous Banana Pudding is served in a popular bakery in Manhattan and has won over the hearts of so many pudding lovers everywhere! You won’t believe how easy and perfect this banana pudding is to make… and eat!
So my 28th birthday was a couple weeks ago, and let’s just say I indulged a LOT.
Like, too much. I know. There’s such a boundary, and I have crossed it.
I was pretty much going out to eat every night leading up to and after my birthday, ordering whatever my heart desired and eating dessert after every meal. I wasn’t so much drinking – if I know I want dessert there, I’ll usually skip a boozy beverage in favor of dessert – but I was definitely indulging.
And now my body is like HOLD UP GIRL and is waving a white flag. So now I’m back to eating salads and crap like that, when really, I’d love to dive head-first into pasta, fried chicken, and my fave dessert evah: banana pudding!
I didn’t realize how much I adored banana pudding until a local restaurant opened up literally next door to my apartments. It’s called Lazy Dog, and they are basically a scratch-made American cuisine type of restaurant and have banana pudding on the menu. Prior to eating theirs, I dreamed of Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding in NYC. It’s creamy, decadent, lusciously soft and so divine, but I’m not exactly in close proximity to Manhattan. So when I discovered Lazy Dog’s, it became an excellent stand-in.
However, I recently acquired the recipe to Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding and I had to share it with you. It tastes JUST like their version and it couldn’t be simpler. It is a little time consuming, in that there are a few steps that require some chill-time…. don’t be discouraged! There’s very little hands-on work, and if you make it ahead, it has time to set and merry all those incredible flavors.
It starts with a surprise ingredient that you’ll never guess “homemade” pudding to have: pudding mix! Yep, this comes directly from Magnolia Bakery’s pastry chefs and it’s the real deal. They use – as well as this recipe – Jell-O instant pudding mix. Their recipe calls for vanilla pudding mix, but I love banana flavors so I actually use banana flavored pudding mix in my recipe. It’s entirely up to you what you choose, if you want to be more authentic to Magnolia’s recipe, or have more of a punchy banana flavor.
You’ll combine the pudding mix, some water, and a can of sweetened condensed milk together until it all comes together in a delectable, cohesive pudding. Cover and refrigerate it for several hours so it has ample time to set properly. Once it has set, you’ll beat the daylights out of some heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form, then you’ll gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream mixture. The whipped cream gives this pudding body: light, airy, and fluffy as a cloud with that homemade flavor from fresh cream.
Once your pudding has come together, now it is time to layer it up! I only recommend using Nilla-brand vanilla wafers, along with fresh banana slices. Arrange the Nilla wafers and banana slices in a dish, then layer with 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of pudding. I like to add some crushed Nilla wafers on top for a little texture and presentation. The hardest part is you’ll want to let this set in the fridge for at LEAST 4 hours. And once it is ready, you’ll die and go to heaven because this stuff is AMAZING.
Creamy, smooth, rich and fluffy pudding flavored with fresh banana and sweet Nilla wafers. Just like Magnolia’s, but ten times better since it is homemade!
*adapted from Magnolia Bakery’s cookbook
Famous Banana Pudding
- One box (3.4 oz box) Jell-O instant vanilla pudding mix may use banana flavor instead for a more punchy banana flavor, which is my preference
- 14 ounces (One 14 oz can) sweetened condensed milk
- 1½ cups ice cold water
- 3 cups heavy whipping cream
- One box (One 12 oz box) Nilla Wafer cookies
- 3½ cups 4 cups sliced fresh bananas start at 3½ cups, may need 4 cups total
- Beat together the pudding mix, condensed milk, and water in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer until combined, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate the pudding mixture for 3-4 hours, or overnight, before continuing. This step is very important to allow the pudding to set properly!
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream mixture, scraping the bottom of the bowl to ensure it is fully combined and no streaks of pudding remain.
- To assemble the pudding: Lightly grease a 4-5 quart dish. I used a rectangular porcelain one. Arrange one third of the wafer cookies onto the bottom of the dish, then one third of the bananas, and then finally one third of the banana pudding. Repeat layers twice, finishing with the banana pudding. Crush any remaining wafers on top of the pudding layer.
- Cover very tightly and refrigerate for 4 hours, or up to 8 hours, before serving. This is best served within 2 days.
I just adore this simple, delicious pudding!
Have a super sweet day!
Dee Kyles says
This recipe is not famous. Many yrs my family since I was a kid used this exact recipe and I make it for my grown family. We agree it is wonderful tasting!
Perfection! I used gluten free pudding and Wafer cookies. Easy to make gluten free. Oh my goodness! So good. Not overly sweet. Just right. Thanks for a great recipe.