Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Feb 6, 2007 03:15 PM

Banana pudding recipe hunt

I'm trying to think of nostalgic desserts and the first that comes to mind is banana pudding with nilla wafers - now I want to make it! I searched for recipes and couldn't find any banana pudding recipes from scratch, just vanilla puddings that you could top with bananas. Does anyone out there have a good no bake banana pudding recipe where there is actual banana flavoring in the recipe?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Gee, I think classic banana pudding uses plain old vanilla pudding, either from scratch or from a mix. But the trick is to use the cooked version if you use a mix because the pudding should be warm when you pour it over the ripe bananas. And they should be ripe - lots of nice brown specks on the skins - so that the flavor of the bananas seeps into the pudding as it cools. Don't just put the bananas on top.
    The idea of banana flavoring gives me shivers. You can get that from the bananas without having to use chemicals.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MakingSense

      It does normally use vanilla pudding. However, I read a review for a recipe where someone used instant banana pudding instead of vanilla and really enjoyed it. That's why I was wondering if a "real" banana pudding recipe existed. I refuse to use box pudding. I didn't want to/don't plan to use any chemicals. If that was my plan I would have just dumped in extract - but yeah, ick.

      Thanks for the tip on the bananas being extra ripe, I will try that!

      1. re: YaYa

        I checked a Dessert recipes cookbook I bought from a school fundraiser. There's a recipe for Banana Pudding with 30 vanilla wafers. The pudding is made from scratch with evaporated milk, eggs, etc. It calls for vanilla extract. You could easily sub banana flavoring if you wanted. The eggs are separated and the whites used for a meringue. The pudding is baked to brown the meringue. Thanks for bring up the idea, I ought to make this for the next family dinner. I don't think I've ever made it so my son (now in his 20s) got gypped! At Christmas the family swooned over a custard pie and elderly friend brought. Sounds like time to find the old recipes.

        1. re: dfrostnh

          You can use banana liqueur instead of vanilla, that's what I usually do.

        2. re: YaYa

          Start with this custard:

          Multi purpose custard

          ¼ cup self rising flour
          1/3 cup water
          2/3 cup sugar
          2 egg yolks (can halve)
          ¼ cup cocoa (optional)
          1 ½ cup skim milk
          1 Tbsp vanilla

          Stir together 1st 5 ingredients in heavy bottom pan, making sure there are NO lumps. Add milk and cook over medium heat until thickened. Stir occasionally at first, then constantly after it begins steaming, remove from heat when you see the first bubble (do not boil). Add vanilla immediately, then stop stirring. Cover with saran wrap to avoid “skin”.

          Obviously, you don't want the optional cocoa. AP flour is fine, and you can use whole milk if you so choose. Add the bananas while the pudding is still very warm to infuse the flavor. Layer w/ nila wafers. Top with meringue:

          Combine 1 cup sugar, 4 egg whites in a the bowl of an electric mixer set over simmering water. Whisk til sugar dissolves. Transfer to mixer, and beatminutes or so until you get stiff glossy peaks. Pile excessively on top of pb (which looks nice in a triffle bowl) and torch the ridgelines w/ a kitchen torch, or put it under a broiler for a minute if your container will allow.

          The pudding recipe is a very old southern recipe. People weren't such pigs back then is my theory, so it doesn't make much. I always double it.

      2. Sounds like everyone has it covered. The only think I'd add is your options on the topping. Both meringue and whipped cream are considered acceptable but due to the heat in the South, meringue is generally the "summer topping" while whipped cream is the "winter topping."

        I really think most people use the recipe off the back of the Nilla wafers box but, yeah, no instant pudding - ever.

        1. This link to Texas Monthly has the recipe that most of us Southerners over 45 grew up with: It used to appear on the Nilla Wafer box until cooks got lazy. Making your own custard/pudding is essential for true banana pudding. I always use a double boiler (okay, I put a 2 1/2 quart pot with water on the stove and set a smaller one inside it) to make the custard. Cooking over the boiling water rather than direct heat easily prevents scorching. And to my mind, the meringue is essential too. I got in big trouble at about age 5 for stealing all the meringue off the banana pudding meant for that night's supper.

          1 Reply
          1. re: TNExplorer

            Darn. I got an error message when I tried that link.
            So I pulled out this neat cookbook called Best Recipes from the Backs of Boxes, Bottles, Cans and Jars, and there it was!
            The recipe for Banana Pudding from the back of the Nabisco Nilla Wafers box from long ago.
            3/4 c sugar
            3 T AP flour
            dash of salt
            4 eggs
            2 c milk
            1/2 t vanilla
            Nabisco vanilla wafers
            5 or 6 fully ripe, medium bananas, sliced
            Combine 1/2 c sugar, flour, and salt in top of dbl boiler. Mix in 1 whole egg and 3 egg yolks. Stir in milk. Cook uncovered over boiling water, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
            Spread small amount in bottom of 1 1/2 qt casserole. top w/nilla wafer, layer of bananas. Pour about a 1/3 of custard over bananas. Continue to layer, ending with custard.
            Make a meringue of the 3 egg whites beating them until dry before adding the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Pile on top of pudding covering entire surface.
            Bake in preheated 425 oven 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm or chilled.

            This is a great cheesy cookbook. Some old long-lost recipes from childhood! Oddly, some food companies have made minor changes in the recipes that they print on their packaging and it makes a difference in the way things turn out. Who knows why they do that.

          2. I have a fabulous recipe for banana pudding that is from Cooking Light. It makes the best custard, I modify it to use in filling cupcakes etc. If you want me to post it I will but I think it's on the site in the archives somewhere because I've posted it before. This one uses the meringue topping but you could always sub. whipped cream.

            4 Replies
            1. re: 4chowpups

              Thanks for the hint-I made the Cooking LIght recipe last night and it really was fabulous (and I normally avoid "light" versions of rich dishes like the plague). I subbed whipped cream from the meringue as I thought it would keep better as leftovers (plus it was easier) so it wasn't as light but it was very good. Leftovers are great, too.

              1. re: girlwonder88

                I'm so glad you liked it!! I am not a "diet" type foodie, I'd rather eat small amounts of full fat but if I can find recipes that taste great and don't have a lot of junk in them...I have liked Cooking Light more recently for that reason. I have altered several of their recipes to use butter instead of margerine etc. and I've noticed they are now reprinting the "new" recipes with butter!!! I love this banana pudding recipe and don't make it more often because I'd literally eat the whole thing myself, complete comfort food!!!

              2. Best Banana Pudding EVER! (but not for the dieting set)

                Mix 2 small packs of vanilla instant pudding with milk (as instructed on package) along with an added tsp. of vanilla.

                Once think add the following: I small tub of sour cream and 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Once mixed together fold in 3 large bananas sliced, I half of a medium sized tub of cool whip, and 1/2 package of nilla wafers.

                It's best to let this set up at least over night. I usually serve in a trifle dish and reserve some of the nillas for lining the dish as well as decorating the top.