Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

A true Southern Classic, this Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe is flavored with ripe banana and vanilla essence and is perfectly creamy and rich from the addition of egg yolks and heavy cream.

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Straight on shot of homemade banana pudding in mini glasses with nilla cookies and meringue

This wonderful recipe comes from my dear friend Carla Hall and her cookbook Carla Hall’s Soul Food.  It is such a fantastic book with so much heart and well “soul” that you must add to your collection.  I felt so genuinely connected to all of the recipes in the book but this one stood out to me.

The Heart and Soul of the Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Cuisine Inspiration: Southern Comfort
Primary Cooking Method: Stovetop, Refrigeration
Dietary Info: Vegetarian
Key Flavor: Sweet, Creamy Banana
Skill Level: Easy

Sweet Highlights:

  • Nostalgic Bliss: This banana pudding brings you right back to grandma’s kitchen, offering a hug in every bite.
  • Simple and Satisfying: No need for a culinary degree here—this recipe is straightforward and foolproof, perfect for bakers of all levels.
  • Creamy Consistency: With layers of velvety pudding, soft bananas, and meringue, every spoonful is a dream.
  • Versatile Sweetness: This banana pudding is adaptable; enjoy it as a comforting dessert at home or dress it up for a fancy gathering.
  • Make-Ahead Magic: Prep this delight ahead of time, and watch it become even more flavorful as it chills in the fridge.
Three homemade old fashioned banana pudding in small miniature glasses with wafer cookies. The best banana pudding recipe ever!

Ingredients

Each ingredient in this pudding is vital; they each add their own flavor, texture and flare.

  1. Cornstarch
  2. Sugar
  3. Egg yolks
  4. Salt
  5. Whole milk
  6. Half & Half
  7. Bananas
  8. Vanilla extract
  9. Unsalted butter
  10. Heavy cream
  11. Vanilla shortbread cookies
Three homemade old fashioned banana pudding in small miniature glasses with wafer cookies

How to Make Banana Pudding

This recipe requires a ton of whisking. You whisk your cornstarch, sugar and egg yolks together, then you heat your milk, half and half and mashed bananas in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. While whisking your egg yolk mixture, add your heated milk mixture to it a little at a time. Your prep time for all this whisking to create your pudding is roughly 10 to 15 minutes. Once your pudding is finished, put the bowl it is in in the refrigerator to cool and top it with plastic wrap.

Overhead shot of one homemade banana pudding recipe in a mini glass with nilla cookie and meringue with a spoon of some out

How to Keep Bananas From Turning Brown

You can spray a small amount of citrus juice on the bananas before adding it to the completed dish. This keeps the bananas from turning brown.

Overhead shot of banana pudding in a mini glass with nilla cookie and meringue with a spoon of some out

How to Store

Refrigerated banana pudding can last up to a week. If you want to keep it a little longer, you can freeze it. Before serving the dish, take a portion out right after completing it. Scoop it into a freezer-safe and airtight container and place in the freezer.

Overhead shot of two homemade banana pudding in mini glasses with nilla cookies and meringue

Together, each component of this recipe creates a more elevated version of this classic dessert. That’s not to say that it’s any better but occasionally a slight variation is just what we need. A little change never hurt anybody. The best part of this pudding is its simplicity; you can assemble it quickly without compromising on flavor or quality. Regardless of where you bring it, who you serve it to or what you serve it in, it’s guaranteed to be a crowd pleaser anywhere you serve it.

If you like my banana pudding recipe, you’ll some of my other recipes that feature pudding.

*Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating and leave comments below!*
Straight on shot of homemade banana pudding in mini glasses with nilla cookies and meringue

Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

A true Southern classic done right.  This old fashioned banana pudding is flavored with ripe banana and vanilla essence. This wonderful recipe from "Carla Hall's Soul Food".  
4.47 from 32 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Refrigeration 2 hours
Total Time 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Banana Pudding

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2 inch slices

For the Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

For the Pudding

  • Whisk the cornstarch, sugar, egg yolks and salt in a medium bowl. Heat the milk, half-and-half, and mashed banana in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. While whisking the egg yolks, add the hot milk a little at a time. When the bowl feels warm, whisk in the remaining milk.  Make sure you whisk well.
  • Return to the saucepan and set over medium heat.  Whisk until the custard thickens and then boils for 2 minutes.  Put the vanilla and butter in a large bowl and strain the hot cream over them through a fine-mesh sieve.  Stir until smooth, then press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface and refrigerate until cold.
  • Whisk the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form.  Whisk one third of the whipped cream into the pastry cream to loosen it, then gently fold the remainder until incorporated.  Fold in the banana chucks.

For the Meringue

  • Whisk the egg whites and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm to the touch. Immediately transfer to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium-high speed until shiny, stiff peaks form. The bowl should no longer feel warm. Whisk in the vanilla and vinegar. 
  • Preheat the broiler.
  • Place 12 ramekins on a half-sheet pan.  Crumble one cookie into the bottom of each.  Divide the pudding among the ramekins, then top with the meringue.  Broil until golden brown.  Stick 2 shortbreads into each ramekin and serve immediately.

Video

Notes

This recipe is just fantastic with shortbreads but you can also go with an original classic using nilla cookies.  That will give you an old fashioned taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 82mg | Potassium: 105mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 700IU | Vitamin C: 0.9mg | Calcium: 71mg
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Filed Under:  Comfort Food, Pastries, Puddings and Cinnamon Rolls, Southern Classics, Stovetop, Summer Recipes

Comments

  1. Has she ever explained what the vinegar’s purpose is in the recipe? Will all the questions and comments I would expect a response.

    1. Hi GK, thank you for your patience. I have been traveling for work so I hope you can be understanding of that. The vinegar helps to further stabilize the meringue. Please let me know if you have any additional questions.

  2. This pudding is DIVINE. I’ve never made banana pudding from scratch. I used whipping cream as the topping instead of meringue, and did it in a large container for a potluck dinner. It got rave reviews. A tiny bit labor intensive, but worth every effort. I will make this again and it would make a perfect banana cream pie filling. TO DIE FOR!

  3. Never put vinegar in meringue. Can you please tell me what is it’s purpose and how does it affect the taste?

  4. Thanks for all the banana recipes. I so love banana pudding. I can’t wait for the weekend to make it.

  5. Banana pudding is tasty-no mystery at all! And I love this recipe-it looks gorgeous and like it yields silky perfect pudding <3

  6. I just recently started following you on your blog and I am delighted that I made this discussion. I have always wanted a recipe for homemade banana pudding. I have tried many of your recipes and they turned out great. Thanks.
    I was sadden to read about the loss of your grandma. I have been praying without ceasing for your strength and peace. One of my favorite scripture is Isiah 26:1-5 which speak to peace.
    Your daughter is adorable. Always let her know how much you love her and how you feel blessed that GOD trusted you to raise her. I am a GiGi of two beautiful granddaughters and they bring so much joy to my world.
    Thanks for being a awesome role model to the women of the world.
    Blessing to you.

  7. Cannot wait to make this! I made a homemade banana pudding like this when I first got married. Haven’t done one from scratch since, shame on me lol. But I will very soooooon! Your sweet baby girl is adorable and so pretty. Enjoy every minute! Thanks so much for inspiring us.

4.47 from 32 votes (22 ratings without comment)

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