Old Fashioned Banana Pudding




We had some ripe bananas on the kitchen table yesterday, and my daughter asked what we could make with them besides banana bread.  When I mentioned banana pudding,  everyone perked up.  “Everyone” includes my daughter, my mother and me.  We have all been together here in Vermont at my mother’s home for the last several weeks.  My mom is in her 90’s,  and came originally from Mississippi…Tupelo, to be exact.  I can remember some of the southern specialties that we enjoyed in Tupelo, when we visited our family there.  There is nothing yummier than a bowl of velvety banana pudding, with softened vanilla wafers layered between ripe bananas and soothing vanilla custard.

Banana Pudding does not require any fancy ingredients.   Ripe bananas, a box of  Vanilla Wafers, some vanilla custard or pudding, and whipped cream.   There are recipes for Banana Pudding that call for merengue on top…and I’ll bet that’s really good…but requires heating the oven.  I asked the native Mississippian-turned-Vermonter which topping  she would prefer, and her choice was whipped cream.  Easy.

There is a recipe on the box of Nabisco Nilla Wafers for Easy Southern Banana Pudding that uses instant pudding and a tub of whipped topping.  This is the ultimate easy way, but I would rather make real, homemade vanilla custard. It doesn’t take very long and is sooo  much better.   There are lots of recipes online…some use whole milk, some use flour for thickening and others use corn starch.  I picked a recipe with lots of vanilla…lots of flavor in that custard!  Here’s the one I used:  Southern Banana Pudding Recipe with Made From Scratch Pudding/Custard.  Next time I would use 2/3 cup sugar instead of a full cup….a little less sweet.


Once the custard has cooled for several hours,  just layer the vanilla wafers, bananas and custard in a bowl or oblong cake pan.  Finish with a thicker layer of custard on top, and put the Banana Pudding into the refrigerator.  When you’re ready to serve,  add whipped cream on top for a pretty presentation.


 Part of the joy of Banana Pudding is the anticipation….the making of the custard, waiting for it to cool, and then putting the pieces together in a beautiful glass bowl.  Children love to take turns placing the cookies into the pudding, then let mom or older siblings add the sliced bananas and spread that creamy custard with a spatula on top of each layer.  Delicious memories.


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  1. Thanks for trying my recipe, Mimi, yours looks delicious! I hope you were still able to enjoy it with the extra sweetness. 🙂
    Michelle recently posted..5 Budgeting Tips for CollegeMy Profile

    • Thanks for your wonderful post, Michelle! We all love the custard! My mom just asked if we have some left for today….at 92 it’s not always easy to find foods she will enjoy and savor. Your banana pudding was perfect!

  2. This brings back memories of my Dad’s last days with us nearly two years ago. Everyday he banana or chocolate pudding. I also made the banana pudding but didn’t even think of adding the wafers. He would have loved that. Thanks for the nice memories Mimi. I so enjoy your site.

    • Thanks, Anna. I’m so grateful that Mom is enjoying food again and regaining her strength. It helps to serve foods that bring back happy memories.

  3. I love the image of three generations of women sitting together and enjoying this Southern-inspired dessert. Take lots of family photos while the three of you are together, yes?
    Lizthechef recently posted..Cucumber-Avocado SoupMy Profile

    • Hi Liz, Yes! We’re taking photos…Mom needed to feel well enough to agree. We finished the pudding today…guess I’ll be making more tomorrow!

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