Easy Homemade Banana Pudding

banana pudding in bowl with gold spoon

This Easy Homemade Banana Pudding is made with creamy, homemade vanilla pudding, loaded with fresh bananas and of course, crunchy Vanilla Wafers. Made with real food, this is the most wholesome, delicious banana pudding you will ever eat!

Banana pudding has and always will be my absolute favorite Summer dessert. It’s cool, refreshing and simply sweet. I love the creaminess of the pudding combined with the sweetness of the bananas…and you can’t forget those amazingly delicious vanilla wafers. I could eat a whole box of those puppies in one sitting. Real talk: I love it when the banana pudding has been in the fridge for a day or so and all of the wafers get slightly soggy. I don’t know why – that’s just my favorite. I could eat this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or dessert. Or all of the above. I’m obsessed.

easy homemade banana pudding in dish

You can ask my mom. Growing up, I would ask her to make her banana pudding for me almost every weekend. I always remember going in the grocery store and trying to sneak in a few boxes of the Jello Vanilla Pudding Mix so we could make it. Or I could make it at 10 PM when everyone else had went to bed. Man, I was a cool kid.

I have been planning this recipe for months. I knew this Summer I wanted to spotlight this perfect beyond anything dessert. So let me start off by saying, I used to make this recipe with the instant pudding boxes. It’s all I ever knew. The ingredients in the pudding boxes are as followed:

  • sugar
  • modified cornstarch
  • some artificial flavors and dyes.

Please, for the love of banana pudding, take the 20 minutes to make this homemade pudding and skip the instant stuff! I promise you won’t regret it. Still not sure? Let me list out the ingredients that I know you probably already have in your kitchen:

  • milk
  • sugar
  • 2 eggs + one egg yolk
  • pure vanilla extract
  • sugar
  • butter
  • cornstarch

Sounds a lot more complex, real and wholesome than the instant stuff, huh? 

This was my first time making homemade pudding, y’all. I knew I had to do a little bit of research. Cornstarch acts as the main thickening agent in this recipe. It helps to make the pudding the thick creamy superstar that it is. The whole fat milk makes it deliciously rich, and the real vanilla extract gives it a delicious, pure vanilla flavor. 

A few tips: Use a large saucepan and a large heat-proof bowl for this recipe. You don’t want your Mama’s favorite Pyrex cracking in the middle of whisking your pudding because it’s too hot! Ha.

Another tip: Take yo time. Seriously, don’t rush the thickening of the pudding, no matter how tired your arm is. If it gets to be too bad and you think you may have carpal tunnel, call in your significant other and tag team them in for a turn. I won’t lie – there is a LOT of stirring involved. Mostly to make sure that the dairy doesn’t scorch in the pan. I promise it will be worth it in the end, though!

vanilla wafers in dish

I would only make this with either whole milk or 2% milk. I think anything below 2%, including almond milk and other non-dairy milks wouldn’t have enough fat to help thicken it.

pudding layer in the easy homemade banana pudding

If you are making this a day or two ahead of an event, I recommend coating the sliced bananas in lemon juice prior to assembling the pudding. This will ensure they don’t turn brown as quickly as they normally would!

Once the pudding is finished and has cooled in the fridge, the world is your oyster when it comes to how you want to layer your banana pudding.

banana layer in the easy homemade banana pudding

I chose wafers, pudding then banana. I layered it 3 times and then sprinkled crushed up wafers on top for some extra oomph! You can feel free to make it banana first, pudding next and cookies on top. Whatever you want. As long as the three main ingredients get in the dish and then make it into your mouth, you’re set.

close up of easy homemade banana pudding in bowl

Find the full instructions for the pudding below! I promise this will be a hit for your Memorial Day weekend cookout!

Now I’m gonna go devour the rest of my pudding in the fridge. Bye! Xo.

Easy Homemade Banana Pudding

This Easy Homemade Banana Pudding is made with creamy, homemade vanilla pudding, loaded with fresh bananas and of course, crunchy Vanilla Wafers. Made with real food, this is the most wholesome, delicious banana pudding you will ever eat!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword BBQ desserts, easy banana pudding, homemade banana pudding
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 327 kcal

Ingredients

Homemade Vanilla Pudding

  • 3 cups whole milk (divided)
  • 1.5 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Banana Pudding

  • 3-4 cups vanilla pudding
  • 2-3 large bananas
  • 30-40 vanilla wafers

Instructions

For the Vanilla Pudding

  1. Add the eggs and the egg yolk to a large heat-safe bowl. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 cup cornstarch and 1/2 cup of milk. Whisk vigorously until smooth and combined. Set aside. 

  2. To a medium saucepan, add the remaining 2.5 cups of milk along with 1/4 cup of sugar. Using medium heat, let it come to ALMOST a boil and then take it off immediately. 

  3. Slowly, VERY SLOWLY, pour in your milk to your egg mixture. I recommend having the milk in the saucepan in one hand, and a whisk in the egg mixture in the other hand. Do it a little bit at a time, constantly whisking as you pour in your milk. You don't want to the egg mixture to get hot too fast, otherwise your eggs will cook and your pudding will be lumpy Patience is key here!

  4. Once all whisked in, add the combined mixture back into your sauce pan and place on medium low heat. Whisk and/or stir with a rubber spatula for 8-10 minutes, or until thickened. Make sure to continuously get the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching. 

  5. Once it has thickened, pour pudding back into the heat-safe bowl. Add in the butter and vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Let cool in fridge.

For the Banana Pudding

  1. Slice your bananas 1/8 inch thick. Take 4-5 vanilla wafers, place them in a ziploc bag and crush them into crumbs. Save for the end. 

  2. Once your pudding has fully cooled, get a large baking dish. Begin layering your banana pudding. Start with vanilla wafers, cover the wafers with the pudding and then cover the pudding with slices of banana. Repeat until dish is filled to the top. 

  3. At the end of the layering, sprinkle the vanilla wafer crumbs on top. Enjoy a large scoop and garnish with additional wafers and banana slices if desired!

Recipe Notes

If you are making this for an event ahead of time, coat your banana slices in lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.

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