Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

This Southern 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 - This Southern 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! //

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.

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

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

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.

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

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

Yield: 8
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword banana pudding, banana pudding recipe, southern banana pudding

Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

Total Time 30 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
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!
4.8 from 49 votes
Did you make this recipe?


  • 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


  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.
Nutrition Facts
Southern Banana Pudding Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 343 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 8%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 89mg 4%
Potassium 436mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 68g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 57g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 5.9%
Vitamin C 7.8%
Calcium 11.8%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

All images and text © Robyn Stone for Add a Pinch

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.

187 comments on “Southern Banana Pudding Recipe”

  1. I used strawberries and blueberries in this recipe instead of bananas and it was delish!  Thank you for sharing!  The custard was fantastic!  

  2. This TN born girl moved to FL for 14 years and made this for friends from all over, many had not had banana pudding before. They loved it and thought it was the best thing they had ever eaten. Also made for friends that grew up in St Louis and Des Moines that had never had banana pudding before. So happy to be sharing a bit of the south. Time constrains for serving have me chilling my pudding before serving. This horrified my mom that I would do it, but have decided it helps the flavor to blend.

  3. My step mom made this when I was a kid and I was always intimidated by the recipe. Today I decided to try it and the results are amazing. So easy to make and so delicious! My kids have never had it this way before but I’m sure they’ll love it too.

  4. I cannot figure out what I did wrong, but my custard would not thicken, and I ended up throwing it all out. Any advice? I am a recipe follower, so I can’t imagine what happened. It made me so sad. I was extremely excited to make this for my upstate NY husband! I will try it again, with advice!

    • Hi Sherri,
      I’m sorry it didn’t thicken earlier – it should thicken on the stove while you are cooking it. Maybe it needed a bit longer? I’m not sure what could have happened but I hope this helps! Thanks!

      • Use whole milk or at least 1% or 2% milk.  If you use skim milk it won’t thicken as well.   

    • This happened to me to. Up the heat to high to get started and then lower. It allows it to thicken. You want to it to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) and lower it. It helps to switch between medium high and low to finish it off. Hope this helps!

  5. Love this recipe!

  6. I will have to make this a day in advance. If I refrigerate it will it ruin the meringue?

  7. Hi Thanks for the  recipe however after mixing all of the ingredients I could not get the pudding to thicken. I am not sure what I did wrong? /: waisted all of my ingredients after pouring them on the cookies and bananas only to finding them all floating to the top. ): 

    • I’m sorry your pudding didn’t thicken, Kristy. It sounds like it did not cook long enough on the stove as it should thicken during this step, because it will not get any thicker after being removed from the stove. The oven is just to brown the meringue topping. I hope this helps. Thanks!

  8. Loved this recipe.  Do I have to refrigerate it?  The kids love it warm.

  9. This recipe was super easy to follow and was really good! It does help to turn the custard up to a higher heat and stir it constantly. I had mine on low-medium for almost twenty minutes and nothing happened. Custard is thick so it takes longer to heat. Stir constantly on higher heat because you don’t want the milk to scald. Then lower the heat.
    My only suggestion is it was SOOO sweet. Way too sweet. I put in only 1 cup of sugar and it was still way too much. I could probably have done just a half cup and been fine. But will definitely keep! Thanks for this!

  10. I tried this twice and couldn’t get it to thicken either time. I tried a different saucepan, getting all ingredients to room temperature, heating it more, heating it less, heating it slower, stirring less, stirring more… I can never get anything to thicken, it seems like. Maybe it’s my flour? Eggs too old? I have no idea. I’m very sad. 

    • I’m sorry it didn’t thicken for you, Bridgette. It should thicken when cooking it while stirring constantly over low to medium heat. I hope this helps and you give it another try. It does help to use fresh flour that’s not too old. Thanks!

  11. For those who had trouble getting the custard to thicken, it can take 15-20 minutes to tighten up and you need to stir almost constantly or the flour will settle. If it does that the custard will not thicken. I also use about 3 tablespoons of flour. 

  12. I made this it turned out great the only problem I had was the topping and that’s because I did not buy the cream of tater but I used lemon juice instead, Next time I’ll get all what I need and it should be perfect .

  13. First time using this recipe and im not disappointed at all. Custard was perfect and so was the meringue. Remember folks, fast food aint good and good food aint fast! Take your time! I made this while dinner was in the other oven. It was ready to go shortly after dinner!

    • I appreciate your input Travis! It does take a little while to cook the pudding to get it the right thickness – but isn’t it so worth it?! I’m so happy you enjoyed the pudding! It’s been a favorite in my family for so many, many years! 🙂

  14. Not enough pudding!!!!!

  15. About the wafers – was i to put 13 on the bottom of a 13by9 ..then 13 in the middle and 13 on top because if i was supposed to do this it wouldnt cover the bottom just wondering since it says about 45 wafers total….i didnt want to make it turnnout dry …or should i just have used the whole box of wafers…still waiting for it to come out of the oven making it for my dad for his birthday….thank you for any advice

  16. Is the vanilla and the sugar in the ingredients list supposed to be there twice?? HELP!!!

    • Hi Emily –
      The second listing for vanilla and sugar amounts are for the meringue topping. The amounts for these listed first are for the custard part of pudding. The recipe instructions will detail when to use those ingredients for that part of the pudding recipe. Enjoy! Thanks!

  17. Ive tried many different recipes but this is the one closest to my German grandmother’s banana pudding. The third Sunday of each month she would cook fried chicken, mashed potatoes, cream gravy, fried okra, corn and her delicious banana pudding for her family. There were 19 of us that met there on those wonderful Sundays and we would eat, talk, joke and laugh to our hearts content. It evokes so many wonderful memories for me. Thank you very much for posting this delicious recipe. 

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