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Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe

Homemade Banana Pudding, with layers of nilla wafer cookies, banana slices, and custard, is a classic southern dessert that kids and adults alike devour.

Banana Pudding in an individual glass serving dish.


Banana Pudding, or Nanner Puddin as it is affectionately called, is one of the easiest desserts to make so long as you can make a homemade custard. If you can’t , just use a box of instant vanilla pudding. It won’t have that homemade taste, but it will still be good.


A few weeks ago when I published Banana Pudding Pancakes, I realized Spicy Southern Kitchen was lacking a straight up Banana Pudding Recipe. I’ve posted Banana Pudding Cupcakes and Banana Pudding Bars, but no basic Banana Pudding recipe. Well, problem fixed. This recipe will satisfy all your banana pudding cravings.


The best part of Banana Pudding is the Nilla Wafers. The way they get soft from the pudding is just so yummy. As a child, I’d just pick out the wafers and eat the whipped cream, completely eating around the bananas. But now I yum up every delicious bite and I love how the banana flavor permeates throughout the whole dessert. Even if you were to pick out all the banana slices before eating, it still tastes of bananas.

Banana Pudding in 2 glasses with vanilla wafers around the glasses.


Recipe Tips:

Because the flavor of banana tends to be really strong in banana pudding, especially if made a day in advance, you don’t want to use really ripe bananas. The flavor will be too strong and the banana slices will develop an unappetizing brown color. I like to use bananas that are nice and yellow, but haven’t started to get brown speckles.

Since it is prepared ahead of time, Banana Pudding is a wonderful dessert to serve for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks. I love to serve it during the warmer months as a refreshing treat straight from the refrigerator.

Note: You can use a tub of whipped topping to simplify things, but homemade whipped cream just tastes so much better.

Try These Other Banana Pudding Recipes:


Watch the short video below to see how easy this recipe is to make:

Banana Pudding in an individual glass serving dish.

Banana Pudding

A classic southern dessert made of layers of vanilla wafers, banana slices, and custard and topped with whipped cream.
PREP: 25 minutes
TOTAL: 25 minutes


  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box Nilla Wafers, you will use almost the whole box
  • 3 medium bananas, do this last minute so they won't turn brown, cut into slices
  • 1 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar


  • Make the pudding. Place half-and-half, milk, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan with a heavy bottom.. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar.
  • Place egg yolks in a medium bowl and add remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Whisk together well. Whisk in cornstarch until combined well, about 30 seconds.
  • When half-and -half mixture comes to a simmer, use a measuring cup to scoop out about 1 cup of the mixture. (Go ahead and turn the heat down some so it will not go beyond a slow simmer. Very gradually add it to egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper the eggs.
  • Pour egg mixture into saucepan. Stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in butter pieces and vanilla extract. If any of the egg curdles, pour the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing through with the back of a spoon.
  • To assemble, cover the bottom of a 2-quart casserole dish with a thin layer of pudding mixture.
  • Top with a layer of Nilla Wafers and then a layer of banana slices. Repeat layers, until all pudding is used.
  • Spread whipped cream on top. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.


Don't use overripe bananas. They will be too stong in flavor and have a tendency to turn brown. The skin on the bananas should be yellow with no black spots.
Cool Whip can be used instead of homemade whipped cream.


Calories: 609kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: banana pudding

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Originally published April 4, 2014

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

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43 thoughts on “Homemade Banana Pudding Recipe”

  1. Wonderful recipe. I will definitely make this again… The only suggestion is to add a little powder sugar and vanilla to the heavy cream when making the whipped cream. But overall its great!!!


    This is now my go-to recipe for banana pudding!!! I’ve tried a few other recipes, but this is by far the best. Only change I made is skipping the milk and using 3 cups of half and half. You won’t be dissapointed.


      This is now my go-to recipe for banana pudding!!! I’ve tried a few other recipes, but this is by far the best. Only change I made is skipping the milk and using 3 cups of half and half. You won’t be dissappointed.

  3. I have literally made this about a thousand times and I ALWAYS get compliments from my family, friends, and coworkers! I even get asked when I will be making more. Definitely in love with the recipe! Thank you!!

  4. Joe Schindler

    Made this tonight and the pudding was soup like, should it go in refrigerator before assembling? As I am doing it this way, or does it go in soupy and set in the fridge?

  5. Followed the recipe exactly and it was SO GOOD. Made this tonight for a birthday and it couldn’t have been easier. A+ times a thousand

  6. Love this recipe. I’m going to try it with the Madagascar Vanilla next time! Thanks- Ms. Lena

  7. Confused by recipe and something went terribly wrong!
    I never made this before, and followed directions and it came as like soup? Never thickened enough I guess? Followed directions exactly, but something went wrong? I simmered for almost 10 minutes and it never thickened. Question – why do you take out a cup of the milk mixture and don’t do anything with it? Makes no sense. I will try again, probably another recipe since this was total failure. Oh well, the next time will be better, it has to be. Always hoping for the best!

    1. Christin Victoria

      Diane, you missed one of the steps! When you remove the cup of simmering milk mixture its so you can mix it gradually with the egg yolk and cornstarch mixture (this helps to keep the egg from cooking and turning lumpy). Once mixed, you incorporate that back into the original pot.

    2. Diane C…..you didnt read the whole recipe. You take 1 cup of the warm milk and add it slowly to the egg yolk, sugar, cornstarch mixture. It is called tempering the eggs. Tempering brings them closer to the temperature of the stuff in the pan, so you dont end up with scrambled egg soup. If you pour eggs into something hot, they will start to cook like poached eggs which will leave you with lumpy sauce instead of smooth custard/pudding.

  8. I have never made banana pudding before. The instructions don’t say what to do with the pudding. It said a layer of wafers then layer of bananas then repeat the layers. Does the pudding go on top of all the wafer bananas layers or does it get layered too? I have no idea. Why vague about what to do with pudding?

    1. Yes. Just layer cookies, bananas and pudding. You can also make your own rules in your kitchen – and do it differently. The classic recipe is on the Nilla Wafers box. I have even used cool whip as an additional layer on top of the pudding layer to make it a little “lighter” in the heat of summer. (nanners, cookies, pudding, cool whip, then another layer, and another (until you run out of ingredients or your container is full).

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