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Banana Pudding

I didn’t see my son, Lance Corporal Eric Harris, for more than two years after he enlisted in the Marines after high school. And when I saw him arrive at the airport, I just grabbed hold of him and burst out crying. When we got home, the first thing he ate was two bowls of my easy banana pudding recipe. He’s a true southern boy! It’s a dessert, but you can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. —Stephanie Harris, Montpelier, Virginia
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    9 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces vanilla wafers (about 60 cookies), divided
  • 4 large ripe bananas, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, mix sugar, flour and salt. Whisk in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Whisk a small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return all to pan, whisking constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • In an ungreased 8-in. square baking dish, layer 25 vanilla wafers, half of the banana slices and half of the pudding. Repeat layers.
  • Press plastic wrap onto surface of pudding. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove wrap; crush remaining wafers and sprinkle over top.

Banana Pudding Tips

How long will banana pudding keep?

Your homemade banana pudding should keep for 3 to 4 days stored covered in the fridge. (Here's exactly how to stock your fridge if you want your food to last.)

Why is my banana pudding runny?

There are different reasons why your banana pudding could be runny. After the eggs are added into the hot mixture, allow the pudding to reach at least 155°F—or else they will not be cooked thoroughly and you could wind up with a runny mixture. Bringing it to a gentle boil guarantees you are over 155°, which is when eggs coagulate. Also keep in mind that the refrigeration for 4 hours (or overnight) will help thicken and solidify the pudding.

How do you keep bananas from turning brown in banana pudding?

To keep bananas from turning brown in this banana pudding recipe, brush or spritz a small amount of lemon juice or other citrus acid onto the cut banana slices. That should help slow the browning process. (There's a different process when you need to keep apples from browning!)

How should I serve banana pudding?

The best way to serve your homemade banana pudding is cold, with crushed wafers over the top. Slice and serve into individual parfait cups for a fancier presentation!

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 302 calories, 7g fat (2g saturated fat), 80mg cholesterol, 206mg sodium, 55g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.