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My very favorite dessert is ice-cold banana pudding. As much as I love all things chocolate, as well as most cookies, and cakes, old-fashioned banana pudding tops them all. Today, a lot of people make this dessert with instant pudding. Although there is nothing wrong with instant, it cannot replace the homemade version. One reason that I love banana pudding so much is nostalgia. Every time I eat a bite, I think about my grandmother, mom, or late Aunt Liz, standing over the stovetop, stirring the ingredients until they become the perfect consistency.

A lot of BBQ joints and restaurants we visit serve banana pudding. When I see it on the menu, I always ask if the pudding is real or instant. If it is homemade, I order at least two servings, one for myself and one for Jackson. Jackson is such a picky eater, but he loves banana pudding as much as I do. For birthdays in my family, we bake or cook the birthday person’s present instead of exchanging gifts. My grandmother stopped asking long ago what I wanted; she knows it is banana pudding.

Some people consider banana pudding a southern dessert, and I think that is too bad. I want everyone to experience the amazing taste. Something lovely about the dish is that bananas are available year-round, so you can get them from the local grocer anytime you want. The dessert is appropriate for any holiday and any time of the year. Homemade meringue is a traditional topping, and others like whipped cream. I do not care for toppings much and prefer to eat the yummy goodness as is!

I want to share my grandmother’s banana pudding recipe with you today. To me, it is dessert perfection. I hope that you love it as much as I do!

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

1 box vanilla wafers

4-5 ripe bananas

2 cups of sugar

2 egg yolks (I use a Tovolo Silicone Yolk Out Egg Separator)

3 cups of milk

2 tsp. vanilla flavoring (I use Nielson Massey Vanilla Paste anytime a recipe calls for vanilla)

Begin by placing a layer of wafers into a 9 x 13 pan. Top the wafers completely with a layer of bananas. Repeat so that you have 2-3 layers of both wafers and bananas.

Pour the milk into a large saucepan. Add in the sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla flavoring. Either whisk vigorously or use a portable mixer to thoroughly mix the ingredients until you see no egg yolk. I actually begin by pouring all of my ingredients into my Vitamix (Click here for the latest price on Amazon), and blend them. Then, I pour the mixture into my pot.

Turn the heat on the stovetop to medium and begin to stir the ingredients until it thickens (by thick, I mean a thicker consistency. I still like my mixture slightly runny because it firms up in the refrigerator). After you have achieved the desired thickness of the pudding, take the pot off the heat and continue to stir until the mixture has slightly cooled.

Pour the mixture over your banana and wafer mixture. Just a tip… make sure the mixture is decently cool before you pour it over the layers. If the mixture is piping hot, the wafers will disintegrate.  

Toppings: I personally don’t like toppings on my banana pudding. Nevertheless, many people do, and I want to make sure that you have the recipes if desired.

Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

½ tsp vanilla flavoring

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high until the cream reaches stiff peaks (if you take the whisk attachment off the mixer, the cream will stand straight like a soldier). Spread over your pudding.


4 egg whites

½ cup of sugar

Pour the egg whites into your mixer. Use the whisk attachment and beat the egg whites on medium speed until they become very foam-like. Add in your sugar and turn the mixer on high until stiff peaks form (if you take the whisk attachment off the mixer, the whites will stand straight like a soldier). Pat the meringue onto the banana pudding and place it in an oven broiler on high until the meringue begins to brown. You can also use a Crème Brulee/flambe torch if you like having fun like I do!

Note: If you choose to serve your banana pudding cold, it will thicken up in the refrigerator. Keep this in mind when stirring on the stovetop.

Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator.

I really hope you enjoy this old-fashioned recipe from days gone by. May your memories and taste buds enjoy!

Do you have a favorite old-fashioned dessert that you love? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please drop us a line in the comment section below.

Interested in other fantastic desserts? Check out Amish Fruit Slush and our lovely Key Lime Pie!


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