Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert…and it’s super easy to make!  It’ll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”As I think back on my childhood, there are several desserts and snacks that come to mind.  A slightly toasted slice of my mother’s banana bread on a Spring morning.  A chocolate cake with fudge icing for Summer picnics.  A batch – or 4 – of snowball cookies during the holidays.  And then there was the Southern Banana Pudding.

Banana pudding is seriously one of my all-time favorite desserts.  If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, then you know I have a sweet tooth.  I love to bake, and I enjoy a sweet treat after dinner.  However, I usually have really good self control around desserts.  I say usually because self control goes out of the window when we’re talking about banana pudding (aka the Perfect Summer Year-Round Dessert)!

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”As a kid growing up in Charleston, SC and later Raleigh, NC, this banana pudding made frequent appearances at picnics, barbeques, and all sorts of family gatherings.  As with biscuits, Southern bakers and chefs are judged by their ability to make banana pudding.  If you can’t make a good banana pudding or a buttery golden biscuit, well then you better go back to the kitchen and stay there until you learn!

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

The good thing about this Southern Banana Pudding is it’s actually really easy to make.  You simply make the pudding and layer it with bananas and vanilla wafers.  It goes off to the fridge overnight, and the next day you just top the whole thing with whipped cream.  *Boom* *Done and done*

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”You might be surprised to learn that the banana flavor in this Southern Banana Pudding comes from real bananas, not any sort of flavor additive.  I remember I was shocked when I first learned how to make this recipe.  “Ok, I see the sliced bananas, but what about the banana pudding?”  That’s where the overnight rest comes in!  The flavors from the bananas and the vanilla pudding will meld together overnight, and the next day you have one heck of an awesome dessert!  Plus, even though this recipe is super easy to make, folks are usually quite impressed when you show up with homemade banana pudding.

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”I like to finish this dessert by crumbling several fresh vanilla wafers on top right before serving.  The whole vanilla wafers will get soft sitting in the fridge, so it’s nice to mix up the textures and add a crunchy topping.  Once you add in the fresh whipped cream, you’ve got a delicious dessert that will leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do – it’s a staple in our house!

Southern Banana Pudding #bananapudding #homemade

Did you make a batch of this Homemade Southern Banana Pudding at home?  Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  I’d love to see your version!

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”

Homemade Southern Banana Pudding

This Homemade Southern Banana Pudding is a classic dessert...and it's super easy to make!  It'll leave your family and friends begging for your “secret family recipe!”
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 347kcal


  • 2 cups whole milk divided
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • ½ cup sugar divided
  • Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large bananas sliced
  • vanilla wafers
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar


  • Using a heatproof mixing bowl, add 1 cup of milk, half-and-half, ¼ cup of sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks; stir until well combined. Set mixture aside.
  • Using a small saucepan, add remaining cup of milk and remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Place over medium heat, stirring often, until milk begins to simmer.
  • Slowly pour hot milk into bowl with the egg yolks, stirring constantly while you pour.
  • Return entire mixture to saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
  • Layer the sliced bananas, pudding and vanilla wafers in a large serving dish. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • Before serving, whip together the heavy whipping cream and confectioner's sugar until stiff. Spread whipped cream on top of the banana pudding and garnish with additional crumbled vanilla wafers. Serve cold.

Looking for more banana flavored desserts?  Check out these other favorites, too!

Who wants cake?  This moist and tasty Banana Rum Cake features a bit of rum and plenty of ripe bananas...Cheers!Banana Rum Cake

A cross between banana pudding and cheesecake, this Banana Cheesecake with Crumbled Pralines is the perfect summertime dessert!Banana Pudding Cheesecake with Crumbled Pralines

It's hard to beat creamy ice cream on a hot summer day.  Cool off with a batch of this Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream!Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream

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  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!

    1. 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!!

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

        1. 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

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

  7. This recipe looks great! What are your thoughts regarding substituting 1can of carnation milk and a small can of sweetened condensed milk instead of whole milk? I had a true southern lady bring in her mom’s banana pudding to a work pot luck. It was the best I have ever had. I asked her for the recipe, but she could not remember it from memory but could list what she put in it. Hoping you are able to clarify this for me. Thank you!

    1. Hey there, Christina! You know, I’ve only ever used whole milk to make this recipe. As long as the amount of liquid is the same, you could always try it with the substitutions listed…although I am a bit fearful that the new additions could make the pudding too sweet. And the new additions are also a good bit thicker than whole milk, so I’m not sure how that would play with the cornstarch used to make this version. I can absolutely say that this pudding is one of the best I’ve ever had…and I’ve eaten a lot of banana pudding! Of course, I didn’t get a chance to try the version at your work pot luck…haha. If you do try it with the substitutions, will you swing back by and let me know your thoughts? At the end of the day, I think it’s a trial and error type of thing if you do want to sub in the evaporated and condensed milk. Good luck!! 🙂

  8. Hi David! Banana pudding is my husband’s favorite and I’m planning on making this for valentine’s day. I have a couple of questions though… How many individual serving cups do you use? Are the bananas best just yellow ripe or spotted brown like when making banana bread? Approximately how many wafers and banana slices do you use in the layers? Thanks so much!

    1. Hey April! Banana pudding is really tasty, and I think it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day. To be honest, I haven’t made this recipe in a couple of years. It’s an oldie, but goodie…and I’ve just kinda forgotten about it. (On a side note, now that you reminded me of this one, I’m totally craving it again!)

      For the number of cups, that will depend on the size of the cups. We actually used cocktail glasses, and I believe we got 4 servings out of a batch. (Again, this will depend on the size of the glasses.) As far as the bananas, you don’t want them to be ‘banana bread bananas.’ You want them to be the same color as when you’d eat them if you were just eating a banana plain – does that make sense? And as far as the layers, that’s entirely up to you! I like more wafers to pudding ratio, and I used 6-7 per cup. I hope this helps a little bit. And I hope you enjoy this dessert! You’ve got me craving it again now! 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day!

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