Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of this Southern-style baked banana pudding recipe. Classicly made with that meringue topping, you may have found this at church potlucks or family dinners as a child. This simple homemade custard is combined with ripe bananas, Nilla wafers, and a homemade meringue topping to create a delicious dessert.
Baked Banana Pudding
This recipe is specifically for those who prefer meringue topping over a whipped cream topping. While it's not a favorite with everyone, it is a good change of pace and can definitely remind you of the classic Southern dish. This is, in fact, very close to the recipe my Granny made when I was a kid.
If you like puddings and creamy desserts, then you will enjoy not just this pudding, but our easy chocolate mousse recipe. Another choice to add to your menu is the strawberry lemon cheesecake bars or even the no-bake strawberry cheesecake recipe. These creamy desserts are so delicious and easy to add to any menu.
Do I Have to Use Whole Milk?
For this recipe, I really recommend sticking with the richer full-fat milk. When making a homemade custard like this, you really need that added richness and fat to help develop the flavors in the pudding.
If you need a dairy-free version, I would recommend using coconut milk as a replacement for the creamiest and richest flavor in the finished product. You may also prefer trying a combination of canned coconut milk and almond milk.
How Long Does it Last?
Banana pudding lasts 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Storing longer than that you may find the pudding begin to get watery or separate. This recipe is best served within the first three days after preparing it.
While it stores well in the refrigerator, puddings like this are not something I recommend freezing.Can you? Yes, but I just don't find the thawed texture to be as good as fresh.
Should it Be Served Hot or Cold?
This is one thing that is a personal preference. Traditional Southern-style banana pudding that is cooked like this is most often served warm. You can, of course, serve it cold like you might any other pudding. The warm part is mostly due to the use of meringue and that it is baked to cook the egg whites. If you prefer it hot, eat it hot. If you prefer it cold, eat it cold. Both ways are acceptable and safe to eat.
Can I Make This Without Baking It?
While the pudding itself can be served without baking, the meringue topping needs to be cooked to set and cook the egg whites. Since eggs are pasteurized, it is unlikely that you will have any issues with salmonella from consuming the eggs, but the texture is best when cooked.
An alternative to this is to serve the pudding with whipped cream or Cool whip on top of the pudding. I have even seen this made with a kitchen torch to brown the egg whites. While I prefer cooking them in the oven, you can adjust if needed.
What Cookies Can I Use?
I used Nilla wafers for this version as it is standard for a Southern-style banana pudding. You can use Chessman cookies, generic vanilla wafers, shortbread, or even Graham crackers. I find the best for this is the true Nilla brand as they have that extra flavor that you don't find in generics.
- Unsalted butter
- All-purpose flour
- Whole milk
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Nilla wafers
- Cream of tartar
Handy Kitchen Tools
- Heavy bottom saucepan
- Rubber spatula
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and measuring spoons
- Hand mixer or stand mixer
- 8"x8" baking dish
Step By Step Instructions With Photos
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until completely dissolved.
Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture whisking constantly.
To this mixture, add the sugar, salt, and egg yolks, stirring constantly to incorporate. Be sure to stir constantly while it comes to a boil so it does not scramble the eggs.
Once boiling, reduce the heat, and continue cooking until thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes. The pudding should coat the back of a spoon.
Remove the pudding from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form. This takes 4 to 5 minutes.
In the baking dish, add a layer of pudding, then Nilla wafers, then bananas.
Repeat the layers 2 to 3 times until all pudding is used.
Spread the egg white mixture onto the top of the banana pudding.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the meringue is golden brown on top.
Let the pudding stand for 20 minutes before serving.
More Banana Dessert Recipes
If you love bananas as much as I do, then you will absolutely love these recipes. Below you will find a few more great ideas using bananas as the main ingredient. Be sure to bookmark, pin, or print these recipes to add to your dessert menu soon!
- Delicious Banana Pudding Cheesecake with Chessman Cookies
- The Best Banana Bread Blondies with Dark Chocolate
- Moist Cheesecake Banana Bread Recipe
- Brown Sugar Walnut Banana Bread Recipe
Ingredients for Pudding
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 30-35 vanilla wafers
- 5 ripe bananas, sliced
Ingredients for Meringue
- 2 egg whites
- ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until completely dissolved.
- Slowly add the milk to the flour mixture whisking constantly.
- To this mixture, add the sugar, salt, and egg yolks, stirring constantly to incorporate. Be sure to stir constantly while it comes to a boil so it does not scramble the eggs.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat, and continue cooking until thickened, approximately 2-3 minutes. The pudding should coat the back of a spoon.
- Remove the pudding from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a large bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form. This takes 4 to 5 minutes.
- In the baking dish, add a layer of pudding, then Nilla wafers, then bananas. Repeat the layers 2 to 3 times until all pudding is used.
- Spread the egg white mixture onto the top of the banana pudding.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the meringue is golden brown on top.
- Let the pudding stand for 20 minutes before serving.
If wanted, you can replace the meringue with whipped cream or Cool Whip.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 305Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 387mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 41gProtein: 4g