Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe — This 100% scratch old-fashioned banana pudding recipe is made with homemade vanilla pudding, ripe bananas, and Nilla Wafers. It’s EASY to assemble and SO GOOD!
How to Make Banana Pudding From Scratch
Making pudding is like making gravy. It’s easy, but you’ll become best friends with your whisk for about a half hour. Get everything you need out and ready before starting because you’ll be busy whisking. Mise en place.
In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar, flour, optional pinch of salt, and pour 2 cups of 2% milk over it. Heat the mixture until it begins to boil gently, whisking frequently. If you don’t whisk frequently, tan pudding skin will form on the bottom of the pan . When it breaks up, you’ll have tan chunks floating through your creamy mixture. No thanks.
Keep the heat at medium because cranking it up will likely cause the mixture to scorch, so just take your time. It took a good 15 minutes of the pot appearing to do absolutely nothing for my pudding to finally begin to barely boil because I was compulsively whisking. I was staring into the proverbial pot that never boils, whisking it.
Tips for Making Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding
I used ripe bananas, but not over-ripe. Save those really freckled and speckled ones for banana bread. They will just disintegrate and biting into slightly firm banana slices is the goal.
I used Reduced Fat Nilla Wafers for two reasons. First, the obvious to save calories and fat when possible so you can eat more dessert. Secondly, the Reduced Fat variety are firmer, crunchier, and don’t turn to mush as easily, an advantage here.
If desired, you can top this homemade banana pudding with whipped cream as well as crushed Nilla Wafers. Make it however you grew up eating it!
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk (NOT skim)
- 4 or 5 ripe bananas, sliced thin (cover with plastic wrap or sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown)
- 1 box vanilla wafers
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon Butter (not margarine)
- 4 Egg yolks (Large eggs or better)
- 4 egg whites, room temperature
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 9×9-inch pan with a layer of vanilla wafers.
- Combine sugar, flour and salt in a bowl, and mix well. Set aside.
- In a heavy saucepan, beat the egg yolks well. Over medium heat, add the flour mixture to the egg yolks, alternately with the milk and vanilla, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil and, when the mixture begins to thicken, add the butter, continuing to stir. Keep boiling and stirring until mixture reaches a nice pudding consistency. Make sure you don’t scorch the pudding. Remove from heat.
- Place a layer of banana slices on top of the vanilla wafers. Pour half of the pudding over the banana layer. Put down another layer of vanilla wafers, another layer of banana slices, and cover with the remaining pudding.
- Beat the egg whites at high speed until they form soft peaks. Add the cream of tartar. At high speed, gradually add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the vanilla into the meringue, and spread the meringue over the pudding, sealing it at the sides of the dish.
- Bake until meringue browns, 12 to 15 minutes.