Have you ever had your mouth water just looking at a dessert? Cause that’s what’s going to happen when you make this crazy-easy banana pudding. It has it all the things you could possibly want at the end of a meal: honey-like fruit, velvety vanilla pudding, and the satisfying crunch of buttery wafers. It’s a classic for a reason!
What is banana pudding?
Banana pudding is a Southern American dessert with layers of creamy vanilla pudding, fresh banana slices, and crunchy cookies. Sometimes it’s finished with a little whipped cream on top. It originated in the late 1800s when bananas went from exotic to everyday (like the internet did in the 90s. Do you remember dial-up? Kids these days don’t know the struggle. 😂)
How do you layer banana pudding?
There is a method to the madness when you’re layering banana pudding. Whether making a large bowl or individual servings, the foundation should always be cookies. That first layer of vanilla wafers will soak up that creamy vanilla pudding and transform into a cake-like consistency. Your second layer should be thin slices of ripe banana, so when you spoon the vanilla pudding over everything, it sinks into all the nooks and crannies. Then repeat. Holy cow. Don’t you want some RIGHT NOW?!?!
Can I make it in advance?
You can make the banana pudding a day ahead, but you should do what you can to prevent your bananas from browning cause ain’t nobody got time for that. It’s as simple as making an acid water bath for your banana slices. You can use one cup of water and then add a tablespoon of any acidic juice. Lemon, orange, lime, and pineapple work just fine. In a pinch, you can even use vinegar. Dip your slices for about 10 seconds in the bath, dry them on a paper towel, and then layer away!
How long does banana pudding last?
Banana pudding doesn’t have a long shelf life. Not that it needs it, as it quickly disappears whenever you make it. TRUST. If you treat the bananas to a citrusy bath, your pudding should keep for two to three days before the bananas start to brown and the cookies start to get mushy.
What if there aren’t ripe bananas at the store?
You can ripen green bananas by wrapping the bunch in aluminum foil. Then place them in a paper bag with other ripe fruit, like apples or avocadoes. Put the bag in a warm, sunny spot for about 12 to 24 hours. When the skin has yellowed, remove the foil and separate the bananas. Next, place them on a baking sheet in a 300ºF oven for about ten minutes. Their skin will start to brown, but any remaining starches will transform into sugar.
- 6 ounces vanilla wafers* ($1.43)
- 3 bananas ($0.69)
- 3 cups vanilla pudding* ($2.79)
- Slice bananas in about 1/3 inch thick rounds. Place four glasses that hold about 2 cups each on your work surface.
- Add about four vanilla wafers to each glass. If necessary, snap them in half to create an even layer. Top with 4 or 5 slices of banana.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup of pudding over the bananas. Repeat the layering process a second and a third time. Serve!
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How to Make Banana Pudding – Step by Step Photos
Place four glasses that hold about 2 cups each on your work surface. Add four vanilla wafers to each glass. If necessary, snap them in half to create an even layer. Top with a 4 or 5 slices of banana.
Spoon about 1/4 cup of pudding over the bananas. Repeat the layering process a second and a third time. Serve your banana pudding as is, or top with homemade whipped cream.
Suggestion: include a recipe to make your own pudding for a cost comparison. Found the recipe as written to be lazy.
Hi V- The vanilla pudding from scratch recipe is linked in the post. It is also discussed in the recipe card. Check it out. XOXO -Monti
Definitely make your own pudding! It really isn’t hard.
Maybe this is just a personal preference, but it doesn’t taste like banana pudding to me until the next day. The vanilla wafers certainly aren’t crunchy at that point, but the flavors are melded and it’s less runny. I didn’t do the citrus juice trick and the bananas were still fine the next day (they weren’t crazy ripe to begin with, and I made sure none of the slices were exposed to air).
This was great – I made the vanilla pudding and it was so easy and delicious and assembly of the banana pudding was VERY easy. Made for a great dessert with minimal effort. Yum!
4 stars very informative thank you.
Banana pudding is far from just a southern dessert.