If you’re looking to nix the boxed pudding mix and make banana pudding from scratch, this Homemade Banana Pudding is the recipe you need! It’s light, creamy, SO delicious and totally the BEST.
If there’s one dessert in my top 3 (because I simply cannot narrow down my top 3!), it would have to be banana pudding.
I go ga-ga for the stuff. It’s absolutely addicting. In fact, any banana dessert is A-OK in my book. There’s something about the banana flavor that just gets me every single time!
I’ve made some banana puddings in my day (in fact, our family loves this recipe of mine!) but I haven’t made one entirely from scratch before until now. And good news: it’s surprisingly easy to do! So if you’ve been wanting to ditch the pudding mix in favor for a scratch-made version, this is it!
Homemade Banana Pudding
This recipe for banana pudding from scratch is pretty straightforward, which I love. It uses simple pantry ingredients you probably have on hand, or at the very least, can find at your neighborhood grocery store. Those ingredients are:
- Half-and-half: half & half is used instead of milk because I love the additional richness from the cream in the half & half as opposed to straight milk.
- Large egg yolks: for creamy richness and that quintessential pudding texture
- Sugar: for sweetness
- Cornstarch: acts as our thickener
- Salt: to balance the sweetness
- Butter: to add richness to the pudding, and also a velvety texture
- Vanilla extract: adds the flavor to the pudding
You’ll essentially cook this mixture on the stovetop until it is nice and thickened. Once thickened and pudding-like, you will assemble the pudding in a baking dish in layers with Nilla Wafer cookies and sliced fresh bananas.
The hardest part about this recipe was waiting for it to set in the fridge overnight. It was pretty much excruciating!
Banana Pudding Questions
Can you freeze this banana pudding?
You can freeze the pudding by itself, but note that the texture may change slightly when thawed. I recommend freezing the pudding without the cookies and bananas, as those will not thaw out properly.
I thought banana pudding was banana flavored!
Banana pudding traditionally is a vanilla-flavored pudding layered with fresh bananas. Some restaurants make a banana-flavored pudding which is just as delicious, but not traditional. If you want a banana-flavored pudding, consider swapping the vanilla extract in the recipe for banana extract.
This pudding is extremely creamy, light and luscious and layered with fresh bananas and sweet vanilla wafers in the most incredible Homemade Banana Pudding recipe ever! I can’t wait for you to try it!
Homemade Banana Pudding
- 4 cups half and half
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1½ cups granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 box vanilla wafer cookies
- 4 large ripe bananas, sliced
For the Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
- Whisk together the half-and-half, egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes or so until the mixture has thickened to a pudding-like consistency. Remove from the heat, and stir in the butter and vanilla extract, stirring until the butter melts completely.
- In a 2-qt/8x8" baking dish, add the vanilla wafer cookies in an even, single layer, followed by half of the sliced bananas. Spread half of the warm pudding evenly over the banana and cookie layer. Repeat with another layer of cookies and the remaining bananas; top with the remaining pudding mixture.
- Place plastic wrap directly on top of the pudding mixture to prevent a pudding "skin" from forming. Place the dish in the fridge to chill and set overnight, or at least 8 hours.
- Just before serving, make your whipped cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy whipping cream and confectioners' sugar together with the whisk attachment for 5-7 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Spread the whipped cream evenly over the banana pudding layer. Crush some remaining vanilla wafer cookies in your hands and sprinkle the crumbs over the top.
- Serve immediately, or store leftovers covered in the fridge.
This pudding is seriously DREAMY! I know you’re going to LOVE it.
Have a super sweet day!