Making Homemade Banana Pudding from scratch is a great way to create a delicious nostalgic dessert from basic kitchen staples, no box mix required!
Whether eaten warm, chilled in cups, in a banana dream fluff dessert or a banana cream pie this homemade pudding turns kitchen basics like milk, butter, sugar, eggs and bananas and turns it into something amazing.
A nostalgic dessert from kitchen basics
Instead of buying a box mix make banana pudding from scratch with only milk, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla and bananas. This delicious homemade banana pudding is made in minutes on the stove top and can be served warm or chill individual banana pudding in a jar for later, or even us as a flavorful banana cream pie filling!
Banana pudding ingredients are simple and can be found in most households without having to run out and purchase anything special – my favorite kind of recipe!
- milk – use whole milk for a creamy and light pudding. Or substitute cream or cream mixed with 2% milk. You can even use coconut milk for a tropical coconut banana flavored pudding!
- flour – substitute cornstarch for a gluten free alternative (using half the amount of cornstarch)
- eggs – egg yolks only, save egg whites for another use (perfect macaron cookies perhaps?). Or, see the meringue topped baked banana pudding variation below.
- sugar – fresh banana and granulated sugar bring the sweetness necessary to classify this custard as dessert. Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar or replace with your favorite sugar alternative.
- butter– whisked into the cooked pudding butter adds a rich flavor and glossy sheen.
- vanilla extract – or vanilla powder or paste really adds the right flavor to compliment the banana. I’ve tried to substitute with rum or leave out the vanilla and it’s just not the same without it.
- ripe banana – the best part of this recipe (aside from the absolute freaking deliciousness) is that it helps prevent food waste by saving ripe bananas from ending up in the trash, just like my Banana Bread, Banana Chiffon Cake, Strawberry Banana Protein Muffins and Bananas Foster Egg Rolls with Rum Sauce. You want the banana to be ripe enough to easily turn into a paste, but not too ripe that it smells sour or is mushy.
- Vanilla wafers- classic vanilla cookies, graham crackers or shortbread cookies add crunch to the final served dish.
Step by step instructions
Making pudding from scratch is actually super easy. And once you learn the basic method you’ll be whipping up all sorts of different flavored homemade puddings! With wholesome ingredients, the ability to adjust sweetness and flavors and amazing flavor and texture you’ll never buy boxed pudding again.
- Beat egg yolks and dry ingredients to combine.
- In a saucepan heat milk over medium heat stirring constantly just until bubbles begin to form around the edges of the pan.
- Slowly pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg yolk mixture, whisking until combined to temper the egg yolks.
- While whisking pour the tempered yolks into the pan with the remaining hot milk.
- Stirring constantly cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes. Then, continue stirring while bubbling for about 2 minutes.
- Once the pudding has thickened, remove from the heat and stir in butter and vanilla. note: pudding will continue to thicken as it cools.
- Although not necessary, strain if desired using a fine mesh sieve if desired. I only bother if serving pudding unadorned to a discerning crowd or if I failed on the tempering and there are some eggy bits.
- Pour into individual cups and press plastic wrap over surface to prevent a skin from forming. At this point you could include banana slices in the middle by pouring half, adding bananas, then pouring remainder of pudding to cover (or see below for other recipe variations).
- Refrigerate to chill, at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, whip cream.
- Top with whipped cream and garnish with vanilla cookies and/or sliced bananas.
How to stop bananas from turning brown
Because the banana is inside the pudding there’s no need to add banana slices for banana flavor. But if you prefer the quintessential look of layered banana pudding simply pour pudding jars only halfway full. Then add a slice or two of banana before topping with remaining pudding. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth down pudding and prevent air pockets from allowing oxidation (browning) to happen.
Or squeeze a bit of lemon on the banana slices that you’re using to garnish. And use as soon as possible.
How to store
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for up to 3 days. For best results top with whipped cream, sliced bananas and vanilla wafers before serving.
Freeze individual pudding cups for up to 3 months. Or pour into popsicle containers to make homemade pudding pops! Serve frozen or thaw in the refrigerator before topping with whipped cream and serving.
- Substitute 3 tablespoons cornstarch in place of flour for homemade gluten free banana pudding.
- Because the banana is infused throughout the entire dish there’s no need to layer in banana slices. For classic layered banana pudding simply add half the pudding, layer with sliced bananas then cover with remaining pudding.
- Or make banana pudding pie! Simply double the recipe and layer with whipped cream and vanilla wafers to make banana fluff. Or, layer it onto a baked pie shell or graham cracker crust to make banana cream pie. My personal favorite is to use combine half the pudding with half the whipped cream as the middle layer.
- This same recipe can be used to make baked southern banana pudding with meringue. Simply use the three egg whites to whip up a meringue then top pudding and bake or broil until browned.
- Substitute coconut milk and coconut oil for a dairy free tropical coconut banana pudding.
- 3 large egg yolks
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ¼ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped banana from 1 banana, save remaining for garnish
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- Separate egg yolks from whites and save whites for another use. Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl. Then whisk in sugar, flour, and salt until well combined and falls off the spoon in thick ribbons.
- In a saucepan heat milk just until bubbles start to form around the edge.
- Whisk a small ladle of the hot milk into the beaten egg yolk mixture. Add one more ladle whisking continuously to bring to temp without scrambling the eggs.
- Add entire egg yolk mixture to remainder of hot mixture in saucepan. Stirring constantly cook until beginning to bubble, about 8 minutes more. Once bubbly cook about 2 minutes longer to thicken.
- Remove pudding from the stove, whisk in ¼ cup chopped banana, butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency.
- Pour half the pudding into individual banana pudding cups. Add 1-2 slices of banana on each serving then top with remaining banana pudding.
- Using a spoon or offset spatula gently push pudding down to cover banana slices and prevent them from browning.
- Place plastic wrap over surface and refrigerate until cooled, 1 hour or more.
- Meanwhile, whip cream. Using a cold mixer and cold cream whip on medium speed until frothy then increase to high and add powdered sugar. Continue whipping until stiff peaks form. Before serving, top with whipped cream and garnish with a vanilla wafer and/or banana slices.