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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!

Banana Pudding with homemade Meringue in glass serving bowl //

This banana pudding recipe is about as much of a comfort food in the South as it is a dessert. It’s ready in 30 minutes and always a favorite dessert. One that everyone always looks forward to digging into to get the perfect ratio of vanilla wafers, pudding, bananas and meringue. It’s rich and delicious and hard to beat when thinking of iconic southern desserts!

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

Grandmother always made banana pudding with a towering meringue on top 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.

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 stories about cooking with her mother, or recalling a certain species of bird she saw when she went to the garden earlier in the day. Her voice was always as sweet and velvety as the pudding she was making.

Browned edges on homemade meringue tops Southern Banana Pudding in a glass bowl lined with vanilla wafers //

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.

Inside view of Southern Banana Pudding //

How to Make the Best Banana Pudding Recipe

This dessert is ready in 30 minutes and is always a crowd-pleaser!

To make this dessert, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • all-purpose flour
  • sugar
  • salt
  • eggs
  • milk
  • vanilla extract
  • vanilla wafers
  • bananas
  • egg whites (reserved from eggs above)
  • cream of tartar

To prepare this banana pudding, start by preheating the oven to 325º F.

Next you’ll make the custard.


  • 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.

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 ⅓ of the pudding over the wafers and bananas.
  • Repeat layering process, ending with a layer of wafers.
Closeup view of layers of custard, bananas and vanilla wafers in Banana Pudding //

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!

4.83 from 102 votes

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

Dessert 30 mins

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. //
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Servings 8
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
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 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


  • 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.


Nutritional 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

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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! //

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

Pies / Tarts / Cobblers Recipes

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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Recipe Review


  1. Hello! Wonderful recipe! Can I also make this without the meringue topping? If so, do I still need to put the pudding/banana/cookie mixture in the oven?

    1. Jody, you can omit the meringue topping if you want. You don’t put the pudding in the oven if you don’t use meringue. Hope you enjoy!

  2. I did everything exact, even went back and did it again, my pudding did not thicken like yours, will it thicken after baking or putting it in fridge?

    1. Jada, the pudding will thicken some once it is in the refrigerator. For future reference, watch my video for the banana pudding recipe. It will show you exactly how thick the pudding should be. You may need to increase the heat just a little and increase the cook time to get the pudding to the thickness you need.

  3. 5 stars
    With so many comments mentioning it was too sweet, for the pudding I only used 3/4 cup sugar. That was perfect for our tastes. This banana pudding is, indeed, divine! Especially when served warm out of the oven! Oh my.

  4. 5 stars
    The only banana pudding recipe I need from now on. I have made this twice already, to give to family.. Have not made the meringue topping yet. The hardest part is stirring it until it thickens 😂. I will be making another one to take to a BBQ on Father’s Day. Thanks for the delicious easy recipe

    1. Thanks, Janalee. You may want to increase the heat just a tiny bit if it is taking a long time to thicken. Be careful so you don’t scorch the pudding. We love it with the meringue topping so hope you try it sometime.

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