Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe — This old-fashioned banana pudding recipe is made with homemade vanilla pudding, ripe bananas, and Nilla Wafers. It’s easy to assemble and so good!

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe 

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe

I recently had a craving for banana pudding. I don’t know why banana pudding of all things popped into my head, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

So I had to make it. Plus, I love Nilla wafers and they’re layered in the pudding and sprinkled on top. Over time, they soften from the pudding but still retain some crunchiness, I’m in heaven.

This no-bake banana pudding recipe reminds me of the banana pudding my grandma used to make. It’s sweet, creamy, and thick with abundant vanilla. The pudding itself has no bananas in it, but they’re layered in the pan with Nilla wafers, making the pudding quite universal for non-banana desserts.

If you’ve never had pudding from scratch, it’s nothing like pudding mix from a box. I love the results of pudding mix in cookies or banana bread, but for eating as-is, scratch pudding is the promised land.

The homemade banana pudding is sweet, luscious, and smooth with big nostalgic appeal. The texture from the wafers and the bananas, both suspended in thick and creamy, is pure good old-fashioned comfort food in a bowl.

If you’ve never made Nilla Wafer banana pudding from scratch, you’re going to love it.

banana pudding from scratch in glass mug

Homemade Banana Pudding Ingredients 

To make this banana pudding from scratch, you’ll need: 

  • Granulated sugar
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt 
  • 2% milk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Eggs
  • Nilla Wafers
  • Ripe bananas

large baking dish filled with homemade banana pudding

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.

banana pudding from scratch in glass mug

After the mixture boils, whisk continually for the next 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding has thickened. Take it off the heat and add vanilla.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk together 3 eggs and add about 1/4 cup of the hot pudding mixture to the eggs, whisking the whole time. This is called tempering eggs and if you don’t do it, you’ll literally scramble them.

Slowly pour the contents of the measuring cup into the sauce pan, whisking the entire time. Return the pan to the heat for about 2 to 4 minutes, whisking the whole time. This cooks the eggs.

In the meantime, layer Nilla wafers, topped with bananas, in an 8×8-inch or similar sized pan. Mine was 10×7 inches. Pour half the pudding over the wafers and bananas. Add another layer of wafers, bananas, and top with the remaining pudding.

nilla wafer banana pudding in glass mug

How Long Will Homemade Banana Pudding Last? 

Once assembled, this easy banana pudding from scratch will last up to 4 days in the fridge if stored in an air-tight container. The bananas won’t brown since they’re not directly exposed to the air, but the Nilla Wafers will soften over time. 

Can I Prep This in Advance? 

I don’t see why not! Like I said, this Nilla Wafer banana pudding will last up to 4 days in the fridge, so you’re fine to make it the night before you plan on serving it. 

how to make banana pudding from scratch

Can I Use Another Type of Milk?

I have only made this recipe with 2% milk. The pudding was wonderfully creamy and thick with 2% and I think whole milk, half-and-half, or cream would make it too thick. I’m not sure how using a non-dairy milk would work. 

Is There a Nilla Wafer Substitute I Can Use? 

If you don’t have Nilla Wafters in your area, try graham crackers.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding in pan

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! 

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding - Sweet and creamy pudding with oodles of Nilla Wafers! A classic comfort-food dessert that's so good!

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding

This old-fashioned banana pudding recipe is made with homemade vanilla pudding, ripe bananas, and Nilla Wafers. It's easy to assemble and so good!

Yield: one 8x8-inch pan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • about 50 Nilla Wafers, divided (I prefer the Reduced Fat version; substitute with graham crackers if necessary)
  • 3 to 4 large/XL ripe bananas, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds (use ripe bananas not over-ripe, they’re too mushy)
  • about 3/4 cup coarsely chopped Nilla Wafers, for sprinkling (about 20-25 wafers)

Instructions

    1. Get everything you need out and ready before beginning because you’ll be busy whisking and read the recipe over, at least twice, in full.
    2. In a medium sauce pan combine the sugar, flour, optional pinch of salt, and pour the milk over it.
    3. Heat this together over medium heat until it begins to boil gently, whisking quite frequently so that pudding skin doesn’t form on the bottom of the pan. Keeping the heat at medium is advised because higher heat will likely cause the milky mixture to scorch. 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.
    4. After you see the mixture boil, whisk continually for the next 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pudding has thickened. A transition comes when the pudding gets thicker by the stroke. Use your judgment and when you think the pudding has thickened up sufficiently, take it off the heat.
    5. Whisk in the vanilla; set aside.
    6. In a glass measuring cup, whisk together 3 eggs (using the same whisk is fine).
    7. Add about 1/4 cup of the hot pudding mixture to the eggs, whisking the whole time to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble.
    8. Slowly pour the contents of the measuring cup into the sauce pan, whisking the entire time so you don’t scramble the eggs.
    9. Return the pan to the stove, and cook over medium heat for about 2 to 4 minutes, whisking the whole time. This cooks the eggs. You’ll know when the pudding is done and you can take it off the heat. It will be thick, creamy, and will look like pudding. It thickens up as it cools so don’t over-cook it or it can get a little too firm. Take it off the heat; set aside, whisking every few minutes so skin doesn’t form.
    10. In an 8×8, 10×7, or similar sized pan (9×9 is too big) make one even flat layer of Nilla wafers, covering the entire base of the pan (about 24 wafers).
    11. Top with banana slices in an even flat layer, covering the wafers.
    12. Whisk pudding and pour half over the bananas, smoothing lightly with a spatula.
    13. Repeat the layers, making one flat layer of wafers, another layer of bananas, and top with remaining pudding, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
    14. Cover with plasticwrap and refrigerate the pudding for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
    15. Before serving, evenly sprinkle the chopped wafers over the pudding.

Notes

Pudding will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The banana slices don’t turn brown, although the wafers do continue soften as time passes.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 67mg Sodium: 175mg Carbohydrates: 54g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 35g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g

More Banana Dessert Recipes: 

Fudgy Banana Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze — Fudgy is the only word that describes these bars! They’re the banana equivalent of moist, fudgy brownies with zero trace of cakiness.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — These cookies are soft, moist, and oh-so chewy. They taste like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies rolled into one dessert! 

Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake — This upside down cake is super moist thanks to the combination of sour cream, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. It’s so easy to make, and the caramelized banana flavor is impossible to resist! 

Banana Bread Pudding – Bread pudding meets banana bread in this EASY recipe that everyone will LOVE!! Firmer exterior with a custardy interior and an amazing vanilla sauce that is to-die-for!

Six-Banana Banana Chocolate Chip Cake – Yes, 6 bananas in 1 cake means it’s super SOFT, moist, and has robust banana flavor with chocolate chips in EVERY bite!

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars – A FAST and EASY dessert that is on the HEALTHIER side with only 1/4 cup butter and no oil!! Bold banana flavor, chewiness from the oats, and plenty of chocolate in every bite!!

Banana Cream Pie Bars – Faster and easier than making a banana cream pie and taste AMAZING!! A crunchy crust, tender banana slices, luscious banana pudding, and creamy whipped topping make these layered pie bars WINNERS!

84 comments on “Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding”

  1. My mouth is watering, seriously. Sometimes you just need those old time recipes, you know! Gorgeous Averie!

  2. and you were generous with the crunch topping!
    yes!
    love my crunch with banana pudding!

  3. This looks incredible! I’ve followed you (ok, I can’t say followed because I only check-in when the littles permit) for going on 4 years now and I can’t believe how phenomenal your photography is! You have a true talent and it’s always so refreshing to visit your blog, Avery :)

  4. Oh wow. This was a total blast from the past! My grandma, she was Oma to us (German), made this dessert ALL the time. I have not had it since she made it for us as children! Wow. I remember sneaking Nilla Wafers. My boys have never had this because amazingly, I had not thought of this pudding until just now. I will have to make this and tell them my Oma’s story. So fun. Thanks for the delightful trip down memory lane! :-)

    • I hadn’t thought of it for years. Like maybe 10-15?I mean a VERY long time. And then it just bam popped into my head I have no idea why and I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I made it! I know your boys are going to flip for this stuff :) Please LMK how it goes!

  5. I love banana pudding! This looks incredible!

  6. Hi Averie, Your Banana Bread looks just amazing! I happen to have all of the ingredients on hand!!I think I will make this tomorrow or over the weekend! Thank you for a great recipe.

  7. YUM! This is a staple dessert at southern restaurants down here but I haven’t had it in a really long time. I’m sure it’s WAY better with homemade pudding! Pinning this to try at home! :)

  8. I LOVE those cookies, I remember making my mom buy them all the time when I was little! They are so melt in their mouth!
    This looks like the perfect dish for a family get together! Beautiful pictures!

  9. I love banana pudding, and with vanilla wafers! This looks amazing!

  10. Oh Averie – your banana pudding looks so dreamy! I want to just take that spoon and take a bite of it! :D I have never had banana pudding but now I seriously want to :D

  11. Oh you always have the best desserts. This looks divine. Will put on my list of must haves to make.

  12. Banana pudding has always been one of my all-time favorite desserts! I haven’t had a banana pudding that I don’t love…and get seconds of. Your pictures look amazing, Averie! Make me want to go in my kitchen and make a batch of naner pudding right now. :)

  13. This looks like the absolute BEST recipe for banana pudding I’ve ever seen! The perfect amount of bananas and Nilla wafers mmmmm

  14. Love, love, love banana pudding! This looks awesome!

  15. I have a love/hate relationship with pudding. It’s easy, love, but I hate the standing over the stove with a whisk thing. This, however, would make me get over that entirely because this looks amazing!! Especially with those nilla wafers!

  16. My dinky little arm muscles would get tired whisking for that long — you must have been able to skip your run that day! ;) I’ve actually never had banana pudding, but with how much I love them (I eat one every day with breakfast!), that needs to change. It’s too funny how you mentioned scrambling the eggs if you don’t temper them… My mom accidentally did that making brownies for a bake sale as a 7-year-old, and she’s never made them from scratch since. It scarred her for life!

    • I don’t skip workouts. Period. They are my sanity :) And I saw your McDonald’s copycat on the Ziplist newsletter – congrats!

      • Aww Averie, you’re just the sweetest — thank you so much!! I thought my mom and I were the only ones to ever read those newsletters. I’m so touched that you noticed! :) And I completely agree, workouts keep me sane. Especially when I’m up to my elbows in brownie batter and cookie dough!

  17. I love Nilla wafers and a banana combination!

  18. This is just what I need at 11PM as I’m sure this will relieve ALL of my tax stresses! Plus, Nilla wafers are my guilty pleasure!

  19. Pudding would never be my first pick for dessert but this looks amazing! Vanilla wafers are classic.

  20. I never had banana pudding until a few years into my marriage. My southern raised wife was holding out on me. BIG time! By the looks of it I’m sure she would approve of this. Maybe I’ll surprise her one day.

  21. Yum! Nothing beats an old fashioned banana pudding! And Millard wafers! Mmmmm. :) pinned!

  22. Oh yum! It’s been a while since I’ve had banana pudding but now you’ve got me craving it too :) this looks so delicious!

  23. That looks absolutely heavenly, never thought I’d like banana pudding until I tried the one at Magnolia Bakery in NYC and I realized its quite lovely when the custard is vanilla/plain but there are bananas layered in, just like yours :)

  24. Awwwww, this dessert really brings me wonderful memories of my childhood, Averie. We didn’t have them often but sometimes, for a treat, my mom would buy a box of Nilla wafers (usually when they were on sale) and my sisters and I would fight over every single precious cookie. Making pudding from scratch is definitely an arm work out but you’re right, the flavour and texture is worth it over the boxed mixes. I love banana desserts so this is right in my wheel house. Love this and your beautiful photos!

  25. This was a delicious dessert. My husband loved this. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! This was the first I’ve made from your website and I’m sure there will be many more that I will make. :)

    • Thanks for trying this recipe! Of all recipes to make first, this wasn’t one I would expect (usually it’s cookies or bars) so if you can make this, 98% of everything else on my site is faster and easier! Glad you and your hubby loved this!

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