Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

This banana pudding recipe makes a classic, Southern dessert. An heirloom family recipe, this homemade banana pudding is an essential part of so many holidays and celebrations!

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe from addapinch.com

This banana pudding recipe is about as much of a comfort food in the south as it is a dessert. One that everyone always looks forward to digging into to get the perfect ratio of vanilla wafers, pudding and bananas.

Grandmother always made hers with a towering meringue on top of the pudding that was light as air and the perfect combination with the rich banana pudding. She would ask my sister and me to help make her banana pudding recipe for dessert so many times when we were young girls. It was a request I don’t remember ever tiring of hearing. She would ask one of us to carefully line the glass bowl with the vanilla wafers while the other sliced the bananas. We each had an important job and the banana pudding just wouldn’t work without both of us completing our tasks with care.

Or at least she always made us believe it wouldn’t.

While we were consumed with our duties, Grandmother was busily cooking the pudding on her stovetop. She loved to chat as she cooked, asking us about our day, telling us about when she would help her mother cook, or telling us about a bird she saw when she went to the garden earlier. Her voice was always as sweet and velvety as the pudding she was stirring.

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe from addapinch.com

Once we had our vanilla wafers and banana slices layered just as she instructed, she would ask us to step back as she poured the hot pudding over them. Within minutes following, she would have her egg whites beaten to a perfect salute and would be carefully spreading her meringue on top of the pudding. Into the oven it would go for my sister and me to run and stare through the glass door in the oven as the meringue on top of the banana pudding magically browned.

That night for supper, we were anxious for everyone to taste “our” banana pudding because we knew it tasted just as good as Grandmother’s.

Here is her Southern Banana Pudding recipe. I know you’ll love it!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Southern Banana Pudding Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This banana pudding recipe makes a classic, Southern dessert. An heirloom family recipe, this homemade banana pudding is an essential part of so many holidays and celebrations!
Author:
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated (you'll need whites later for meringue)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 box vanilla wafer (approximately 45 wafers)
  • 5-6 bananas
  • 3 egg whites (reserved from above)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  3. Lightly beat egg yolks and combine with milk in a large bowl or measuring cup. Pour the egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients in heavy saucepan. Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are thickened and smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla.
  4. To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish, glass bowl, or another 3-quart container.
  5. Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
  6. Pour one-third of custard over wafers and bananas.
  7. Repeat layering process two more times until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used. Ending with a final layer of wafers for decorative purposes.
For the Meringue:
  1. Whip egg whites with an electric mixer set at high speed.
  2. Allow egg whites to foam, add cream of tartar and then gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  3. Continue whipping until sugar is well-dissolved.
  4. Add vanilla once stiff peaks have formed and whip until well-combined.
  5. Spread meringue over banana pudding, making sure to spread to the edges of the dish.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes until lightly the meringue is lightly browned.

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

Originally published January 2011. Republished March 2015.

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Comments

  1. 3

    says

    yum. yum. yum. yum.

    I have never had banana pudding with any sort of topping. :-)

    THIS sounds light and delicious.

    I swear, I think we need to have a banana pudding round up 😉 There are SO many versions!

    LOVE banana pudding. NOM

  2. 4

    says

    This sounds really lovely. I had not heard of the version with meringue and I do love meringue! Unfortunately it is really hard to get vanilla wafers here in England, but I can from time to time, so I’ve bookmarked your recipe for the next time I do!

    • 5

      Nene says

      I was curious as to how you had never seen this recipe with merengue. It was on the box of vanilla wafers for years,but if you can’t get vanilla wafers that would make sense.

  3. 9

    says

    Robyn, you really are killing me here! Southern Banana Pudding was one of my favorite desserts in the whole wide world but i quit making it because i’d eat the whole thing all by myself! wowie does this ever bring back memories!!!

  4. 14

    says

    Sounds like your grandma knew my grandmas recipe.I remember it very well to this day, though I haven’t made this since my children left the household. I think I’m going to have to re-live my childhood and make some again. Thanks for the memories.

  5. 16

    says

    Yep, this is it……my nana made this my entire life. Haven’t had it for a while, but that will change with one trip to the grocery! Thanks for reminding me!

  6. 17

    Kay says

    I haven’t made this for years. These days, people use instant pudding and whipped cream instead of meringue. It just isn’t the same. My grandmother would sometimes add blueberries when they were in season. SO good!

    • 18

      Kay says

      My grandmother used to add blueberries when they were in season, too. My brother would get so mad! Banana pudding was his favorite, and he didn’t want blueberries messing it up!

    • 20

      says

      Don’t you just love those heirloom recipes passed down through the generations in your family? I treasure them every time I make them.

      • 21

        Nene says

        This is the only pudding that I like.
        Remind everyone to make sure their egg whites are room temperature if they want the merengue to be fluffy.

  7. 22

    Marni says

    My goats are just coming into milk. This will be a great use for all of that delicious creamy milk I’m getting. I’ve been looking for a good homemade pudding recipe.

    P.S. I normally hate it when people give reviews without having made the recipe first….and here I am doing it too.

  8. 23

    Char R says

    I haven’t made this in a long time but seeing the picture (yum yum!) I am so hungry for it!
    The more meringue the better! Like many of the posts, I have such fond memories of of this recipe
    from when I was growing up. My daughter’s husband had never heard of it. (grew up in Boston)
    I couldn’t believe that! Not a Eastern dish?!

  9. 24

    Elizabeth (Liz)ny says

    Thanks Robyn for the post,this banana pudding recipe takes me back home to North Carolina.I Will make this for my husband, God bless.

  10. 30

    Cindy d Pouncey says

    I have this recipe on a recipe card that my Great Grandmother and generations after have made. It is the best Southern Banana pudding ever. I never used cream of tarter in my meringue, I will have to try it.

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