This Southern Banana Pudding is an heirloom family recipe and classic Southern dessert. Airy meringue atop creamy pudding is a delicious favorite and makes the best banana pudding!

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe - An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue. // addapinch.com

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

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 pudding. She would ask my sister and me to help make her 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 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 - An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue. // 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 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.

And in the morning, we always knew she would have her banana bread waiting on us, too! 🙂

Before we dig into making her iconic recipe, let’s cover a few basics.

What is Banana Pudding?

Banana pudding is a sweet Southern dessert made with layers of vanilla custard, cookies, and slices of fresh bananas. The dish is then topped with whipped cream or, as in my Grandmother’s traditional Southern Banana Pudding recipe, meringue.

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe - An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue. // addapinch.com

How to Make the Best Banana Pudding Recipe

Ready in 30 minutes, you will definitely love this classic, heirloom recipe!

  • Preheat the oven to 325º F.

How to Make the Custard for the Pudding:

  • Combine your flour, sugar, and salt in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  • Lightly beat your egg yolks and whisk to combine with milk in a large bowl or even use a large liquid measuring cup, such as a 4-cup.
  • Whisk your egg yolk mixture into your dry ingredients in the saucepan set over medium to low heat. Stir constantly until the custard is thickened, remove from the heat and stir in your vanilla extract.

How to Assemble Banana Pudding:

  • Arrange vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2-quart dish, such as an oven-safe glass bowl or dish.
  • Slice bananas and place on top of the vanilla wafer layer.
  • Pour 1/3 of the pudding over the wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process, ending with a layer of wafers.
Southern Banana Pudding Recipe - An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue. // addapinch.com

How to Make the Meringue Topping:

  • Use very clean beaters and bowl that have been refrigerated for a few moments. Then, whip the egg whites with your electric mixer at very high speed.
  • Once the egg whites begin to foam, add the cream of tartar and then gradually add the sugar one tablespoon at a time. Continue to whip the egg whites until all of the sugar has dissolved and stiff peaks have formed, then incorporate the vanilla extract.
  • Spread the meringue over the top of the pudding, taking care to completely spread to the inner edge of the dish to completely cover the pudding.
  • Bake for 25 minutes until the meringue has lightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve.

    Source: How to Make Meringue

How Long Will Banana Pudding Keep?

Store your banana pudding wrapped with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe - An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue. // addapinch.com

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe – An heirloom family recipe for banana pudding that is a classic, Southern dessert. Creamy, traditional banana pudding topped with airy meringue.
4.81 from 94 votes

Review Recipe

Print Recipe

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8
Course Dessert
Calories: 343kcal
Cuisine American
Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 3 large eggs separated (you’ll need whites later for meringue)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 box vanilla wafers approximately 45 wafers
  • 5-6 bananas
  • 3 egg whites reserved from above
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325º F.
  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  • 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.
  • To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2 quart oven-safe glass bowl or baking dish.
  • Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
  • Pour one-third of custard over wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process two more times until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used, ending with a final layer of wafers. 

For the Meringue:

  • Whip egg whites with an electric mixer set at high speed.
  • Allow egg whites to foam, add cream of tartar and then gradually add sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  • Continue whipping until sugar is well-dissolved.
  • Add vanilla once stiff peaks have formed and whip until well-combined.
  • Spread meringue over banana pudding, making sure to spread to the edges of the dish.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until the meringue is lightly browned.

Video

Nutrition Information

Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 89mg | Potassium: 436mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 57g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 6.4mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 0.7mg
Have you made this recipe?Tag @addapinch on Instagram or hashtag it #addapinch

Enjoy!
Robyn xo

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! // addapinch.com

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives, originally published 2011.

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Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

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341 Comments Leave a comment or review

    1. I attempted this recipe and my custard was just liquid as a result. Would you have any tips or advice as to what I did incorrectly? I followed the steps as indicated and this is my first time attempting to make the custard. I will add that the meringue, my first attempt too, turned out superb.

      Thank you!

      1. Watch the video that is embedded in the online recipe. It shows you how to make the custard and the meringue. Your custard should be thickened before you remove it from the heat. It sounds like you needed to turn up the heat a little more or cook the custard longer. Hope this helps.

  1. Hi, I am looking forward to making this delicious recipe; however I have a question about the sugar. Does the 1 1/2 cup of sugar go into the custard or the meringue? It’s my first time attempting to do this and I want to make sure I’m doing it correctly.

    1. Candi, the 1 1/2 cups of sugar goes into the custard. The meringue recipe starts at the bottom of the recipe with the egg whites. I hope you enjoy this pudding.

  2. Great recipe. Easy to follow and well articulated. This Naner Puddin was an absolute knockout of a dish. I am beside myself with how well this came out. Old memories of a carefree child hood happened today and I thank you miss Robyn!

  3. Hi Robyn, it’s Candi following up. I tried your southern banana pudding recipe to the T and it was sooo good!!! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Hi, could I make this on Christmas Eve and keep it in the fridge overnight if I want to serve it on Christmas day? Should I cook the meringue and put it in the fridge or put the meringue on Christmas and then cook and serve? Thanks!!

    1. Smriti, you can make the pudding including the meringue a day ahead. Make sure the meringue is spread to “seal” all the edges of the dish. Cool the pudding and cover tightly with plastic wrap so it is airtight, then store in the refrigerator overnight.

  5. This is a very good recipe. Tastes just like my mil used to make. I use homemade whipped cream instead of the merengue as that is what we prefer.

  6. Fantastic the day it’s made (nice and warm) and does not disappoint the following day right out of the fridge. Will definitely be making this again. Absolutely delicious!

    1. Thanks, Michelle. I love this pudding warm and cold but some days, I like it better after it has been refrigerated.

  7. Hi Robyn,
    I made the Banana Pudding last night, very delicious but the pudding was runny. Please advise what may have went wrong. Also, after making the pudding and assembling the dessert, is it required to bake it? Once it’s assembled, cooled, can it be placed in the fridge overnight? Thank You so much!!

    1. Debrah, if the pudding was runny, it sounds like it didn’t cook long enough to thicken properly. Look at the video that is with the recipe to see how to make the recipe. It shows how thick the pudding should be before removing from the heat. Also, you will need to bake the meringue for about 25 minutes if you used it. If you used meringue and didn’t bake it, the pudding would be runny from the uncooked egg whites. Once the pudding has cooled thoroughly, you can store it wrapped tightly with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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