Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

Southern Banana Pudding #bananapudding #homemadeFirst off, I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day! We certainly did. Stay tuned later in the week for a Memorial Day recap post + a recipe for an amazing Black Bean Salad. But for today, my attention is entirely focused on desserts. And not just any dessert. Homemade Banana Pudding. (aka the Perfect Summer Dessert). As a kid growing up in the South, banana pudding made frequent appearances at picnics, barbeques, and all sorts of family gatherings. Similar to the Old-Fashioned Biscuits I posted several weeks ago, Southern bakers and chefs are judged by their ability to make banana pudding. This Homemade Banana Pudding is fairly easy to make, and it is quite tasty! My wife and I exercised some serious self-control and made this dessert last several nights.

Southern Banana Pudding #bananapudding #homemadeIf you’ve never had Homemade Banana Pudding, then you are absolutely missing out. The boxed stuff is ok in a pinch, but the homemade version is SO much better! The banana flavor in the homemade version comes from real bananas, not any sort of flavor additive. The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for it to cool in the fridge. And to make matters worse, the banana pudding will taste even better the next day once the flavors have melded overnight. I know, I know. I’m giving you the recipe for an amazing banana pudding, and then I’m telling you to make it and put it away for a day. But trust me. Your patience will pay off! I guess the silver lining here is that this is a good dessert to make the day before and then just pull it out when it’s time to serve. I like to finish this dessert by crumbling several fresh vanilla wafers on top right before serving. The vanilla wafers tend to get soft sitting in the fridge, so it’s nice to mix up the textures and add a crunchy topping. Then just top with fresh whipped cream and you’ve got a delicious dessert that will leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”

Homemade Southern Banana Pudding


  • 2 cups whole milk, divided into 2 1-cup portions
  • 6 Tbsp granulated sugar, divided into 2 3-Tbsp portions
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 bananas, sliced
  • vanilla wafers, for garnishing (optional)
  • whipped cream, for garnishing (optional)


  1. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup whole milk and 3 Tbsp granulated sugar. Heat on medium until mixture reaches a boil, stirring frequently.
  2. While first mixture is heating, combine remaining 1 cup of milk, 3 Tbsp granulated sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks. Stir until well combined.
  3. Once first mixture reaches a boil, slowly pour it into the egg mixture, stirring constantly as you pour.
  4. After the two mixtures have been combined, return to medium heat and stir constantly until it reaches a boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Stir until butter is melted and well combined.
  5. Layer the pudding into serving dishes with sliced bananas and vanilla wafers.
  6. Refrigerate overnight.
  7. Top with whipped cream (optional) and additional crumbled vanilla wafers (optional). Serve chilled.


The key to this recipe is the two mixtures. Combine each mixture well and stir constantly whenever on the stovetop to prevent scorching. Also, when pouring the heated milk mixture into the egg mixture, pour slowly and stir aggressively.



  1. I lived most of my life without knowing the southern joys of things like homemade biscuits with sausage gravy, baked mac n cheese and banana pudding. It’s one of the many reasons why I’m glad I married my wife. I feel like I was being lied to growing up!

    This sounds and looks like a good recipe, I’m going to give it a shot since she was wanting some banana pudding the other day. Thanks!

    • Thanks so much, ManChefDad! Good thing your wife is Southern to show you all the yummy secrets of the Southern kitchen. :-) Hope you enjoy the banana pudding!

  2. Heck yeah, I love, love, love banana puddin’!! 😀 Another good one to make is a Strawberry Pudding. Hull and wash 3 cups of strawberries, then halve or quarter them, (we like to take it one step further and lightly break them up with a potato masher), add them to a bowl and toss with 3 or 4 Tbs. sugar. Refrigerate 6 hours to overnight. Layer the strawberries with the custard and wafers as you normally would or, like my Aunt Joyce, just fold them all together in a big bowl. Enjoy!!

    • Hey Nicky! Thank you so much for the idea. I love strawberries…they are the perfect early summer fruit. So I will definitely have to give this a shot soon. It sounds delicious!

  3. I made this over the weekend, and while it was delicious as is, I couldn’t get it to thicken properly. When I put it in the glasses, the pudding ran down over the cookies, and there was no layering. Has it ever done this for you? I might add that it is very hot and humid here now, but I didn’t know what to do to thicken it.

    • Hey Mac! Sorry to hear that the pudding didn’t thicken up for you. My first guess is cooking time. Once you return the mixture to the pan for the final stage (step #4), it should get quite thick. It will still boil, but it will look more like a boiling “gel” rather than water. Does this make sense? Also, did you double check the ingredient list? Things like skim milk instead of whole milk would make a huge difference, too. I’ve never had a problem with this pudding myself (and we make it fairly often!). If you try it again, let me know how it turns out the 2nd time!

      • Thanks for your reply, David. There is one thing that I just noticed in reading over the instructions again. I don’t think I brought it to a boil. If I’m remembering correctly–and, at my age, who knows–I only heated it to steaming. That might be the problem. But, at any rate, I will definitely be making it again. The flavor of this pudding is to die for. My bosses daughter ate so much of it, her mom had to hide the last one so her husband could, at least, taste it. Great recipe.

        • Hmmm…I suspect that might be the culprit here! You don’t want to burn the pudding, but you do want it to reach a boil. It’s really thick at this point, and you’ll have to stir somewhat vigorously, but it will work! I usually find myself hiding some of this pudding, too…but I’m usually hiding it for me to find later!

  4. I don’t think there is anything better than a southern style banana pudding. I love your recipe and the individual servings. Of course, my serving would need to be twice this size. :)

  5. How much does this recipe make? I’m wanting to put it in a dish instead of individual servings and was curious how big to use… Thanks

    • Hey Gennifer! I’ve usually served these in individual glasses, but I would estimate that this recipe makes enough to fill a pie pan, but not enough to fill a 9×13 pan. When in doubt, just make a little extra…it won’t go to waste!! Just remember to pour the mixture in Step 3 in slowly so that you don’t scramble the eggs. :-)

  6. is it a hard and fast rule to refrigerate overnight? this is delicious warm, even , and i told myself, that one dish hasnt got quite enough in it so i may as well finish it off. but i wondered-if say six or seven hours refrig were enough or if it needs to be overnight to be its best. this is as good as my Mom’s custard, maybe even a teeny bit better ( feel bad saying that) , i will use this basic custard for many other things.

    • Hey Jerrie! My apologies for the delayed response…I was out of town the past few days, and I’m just now getting caught up on email. It’s certainly not a hard and fast rule to refrigerate overnight. Once you finish making the pudding, it’s cooked and ready to eat…it just tastes a lot better once it sets up in the fridge. I would guess that 6-7 hours should be more than enough to let the pudding set up…I just find that it’s easier to make it the day ahead and not worry about the timing. I’m really glad you enjoy this one…it’s one of our favorites around here! :-) Thank you so much for commenting!


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