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.

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.

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

4.8 from 25 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!
Serves: 8-10
  • 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
  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.

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.

120 comments on “Southern Banana Pudding Recipe”

  1. I had so much fun making this and it was so rich and delicious that on the 5th of July the banana pudding was made and today it’s gone thank you so much.

  2. I tried this recipe today, I loved this recipe all but the sugar amount, but it’s problems was I think was my dish only held two bananas, so I must apologize. My meringue didn’t rise well so I had to do them agai using 2 egg whites with ust sugar, & etc After the whites were peaked. Turned out perfect. Thank You for this delicious receipe.

  3. When I tried this recipe my bananas came out tasting sour

    • Oh no! That sounds really awful! I’ve not had that happen when I’ve made this recipe, which is very, very often. I hate that that happened to you!

  4. what can I substitute with vanilla wafers?

  5. I am making this today for tonight. How do I store and is it ok to serve when it’s not hot out of the oven? Thanks! It smells so good!

  6. Made this today and it was absolutely delicious. Thanks for helping me remember my childhood. I only suggest going a little easy on the sugar for the pudding. It’s a little to sweet.

  7. Well I’ll be making this for Sunday for my New Years meal. Excited to see how it turns out. I’ll be using date sugar though and aquafaba for the meringue. I’m vegan so we’ll see if I can convert this dessert correctly 🙂

    • Hi I am happy you plan to try this for your New Years dessert.
      You mention you are vegan, so I want to make sure you know there are eggs and milk in the homemade pudding, as well as egg whites in the meringue. I’ve never made this into a vegan recipe so I’m not able to advise how it turns out. I’d love to hear how it tastes after making it vegan.
      Thanks so much! xo

  8. I had this at a friend’s house and it was out of this world! But when I tried it, it was a disaster.
    Can this recipe be made ahead? I tried making it earlier in the day on Thanksgiving (including baking the meringue), but the meringue then sort of melted in the frig. I assume I did something wrong… But before I try again I would appreciate any tips. Thanks!

    • Hi Leslie,
      While I absolutely adore this banana pudding the next day, I think it is best for serving right after you make it. Meringues do not hold up well when made-ahead and are best served after making. Also, you’ll find that the bananas may begin to brown if not served right after baking.

  9. I made this banana pudding and it was very good I dont know why that other person’s banana ‘s tasted sour in their pudding , the banana’s in my pudding came out very sweet tasteing , the banana pudding itself was a little rich but it was still yummy I topped it with instant vanilla pudding , me and my roomate could not stop eating it , I made a big bowl of it and the whole thing was gone by the next day we had it for breakfast lunch and for dessert after dinner , thats how good it was , !!

  10. I was wondering if you could mash the bananas up and place them inside the pudding? Instead of slicing them up on top of the pudding.

    • Hi Donna,
      I’ve not made it this way so I can’t say how it turns out, but I’m sure you could probably try mashing the banana into the cooked custard/pudding. Thanks so much!

  11. Robyn, bless you. This is a treat my grandma used to make for me. You bring sweet memories back to me today. I’m pinning this and will share with my family soon. Thanks so much for a classic recipe

    • Thank you so much, Susan! Grandmother’s had the best food, didn’t they?! I’m touched that this brought memories back for you and I appreciate you sharing that with me! Bless you, Susan. xo

  12. Can make and bake this entire recipe but just leave off the meringue?

    • You can totally leave it off. Not everyone likes meringue. Some might top the pudding with a non-dairy whipped topping and some might really do the dessert up right and do a real whipped cream topping. I have also eaten banana pudding with no topping.. Recipe looks like classic banana pudding!

    • You can leave off the meringue if you wish. It will still be delicious with the homemade pudding and you can top with whipped topping if you don’t like meringue. Hope you enjoy it! My family has been enjoying this recipe for many, many years. Thanks so much!

  13. Love this old standby, nothing quite like digging out those vanilla wafers and a nice chunk of banana all gooey with pudding. Yummy. I am hoping that perhaps you might be able to help me out. Several years ago I came across a banana pudding recipe that called for sour cream in the pudding. It was an especially good banana pudding. Unfortunately I didn’t hang on to the recipe and can’t seem to find one on line. Have you ever run across such a recipe?

    • I’ve not seen that one, Carla. This is the recipe my Grandmother and Mama always made, so of course it’s the one I love to make for my family. Thanks so much! xo

    • Hey Carla. I saw a recipe on here called sour cream banana pudding. I love sour cream so I would probably really like this but don’t think it could surpass this recipe in taste as it uses box pudding which just can’t stand up to yummy home made. Home made hot banana pudding is the best!!

  14. This looks absolutely amazing and I need it in my life, Robyn!

  15. This was a staple in our household as well! I was born and raised in Mississippi and my fondest memories was the warm pudding for the first bowl and after a slightly different taste after it has been refrigerated. Both so amazingly wonderful. Cold or warm this is the best! I always wanted to take a nap after a bowl…:-)

    • You are so right, Fena! It’s equally delicious whether warm or cold – but each way has it’s own wonderful taste!
      So many fond memories around this delicious dessert for me too!
      Thanks for sharing, Fena! Glad to have you here!

  16. My grandmother, mother and now me have all used a very similar recipe. I am totally going to indulge after i finish my cleanse. There really isn’t anything better than some homemade banana pudding fresh out of the oven accompanied by a cold glass of milk. So delicious.

    • Hi Jasmine,
      I totally agree with you about warm, freshly homemade Banana Pudding – it’s a comfort dessert if there ever was one! And with a cold glass of milk…purely blissful! 😉
      Thanks! xo

  17. My Southern Jewish grandmother from Mississippi made the PERFECT banana pudding as well as the crunchiest (and never greasy) fried chicken. In those days, no one worried about cholesterol…we would dine on these delights when she moved to where we live. It was pretty funny…Matzo ball soup, Southern Fried Chicken, Banana Pudding. What nice memories… I guess a box of Nilas is somehow going to make it on my grocery list soon.

    • I bet she had mouthwatering meals!!! And her menu of Matzo ball soup, Southern Fried Chicken, and Banana Pudding sounds mighty delicious!!! xo

  18. I would love to make this for Easter this year…can it be made a day ahead of time? If so, should I wait to put the meringue on right before serving? Thank you!!

    • I tested this recipe last weekend before using on Easter dinner guests, and it was fabulous! So, I came here looking for the same advice…I won’t have time to make it tomorrow morning, I think I’m going to make it tonight and top it tomorrow. Hoping the bananas don’t brown too much!

  19. How long does it take to cool to set up after you remove it from the oven from browning?

  20. I love southern banana pudding with meringue!! Saving this one to try soon! 🙂

  21. Howdy from Texas, Robyn. I’m going to make your recipe for Mothers Day. It is a request from my husband. ? I will have to use Graham crackers instead of wafers since I don’t have any on hand. I’ll let you know how it turns out. BTW my maiden name is Stone. ?Thank you for this recipe. It does bring back a lot of memories of my grandmother. Take care and God Bless You

  22. This is a very delicious recipe. The only problem is there is not enough pudding for a 13 x 9 inch dish. There is barely enough pudding for a 2 quart container, but it worked. If I were to make this recipe again, and I definitely will, I will double the pudding for a 13 x 9 inch dish and for a 2 quart container as well. If you use the 13 x 9 inch dish, you will need more than five bananas….more like 8 or 9 depending on how big they are and how big you slice them. You might need to double the meringue for a 13 x 9 inch dish, too. The meringue is absolutely delicious and the pudding is outstanding, but takes a long time to get thick, but it is worth the wait. Yum!!

  23. Hey!
    I came across your recipe and had to give it a whirl, since it is Fsthers Day !!
    Banana Pudding is a little favorite of my husbands. I usually use less sugar in my own recipe so I’m a little nervous. I think I’ll use less the next time.
    I put it in individual ramekins and it looks wonderful
    Hope he enjoys it.
    Thanks, Winnie

  24. I totally pinned this! This reminds me of the pudding my grandma use to make! Looks great dear!

    • I’m so glad you did, Nicole! It’s a family favorite my grandmother and Mama both made before me. It’s so good and just the perfect southern dessert! I hope you enjoy it! Thanks! xo

  25. Can this be made the night before and refrigerated, then add Meringue and bake the next day?

  26. this recipe is wonderful. Are you in cahoots with inkjet/computer paper company? I am pretty adept at printing. i copy and pasted JUST THE RECIPE so I could take it to the kitchen and not mess with my Ipad it STILL printed 20!!!!!!!!! pages! what a waste of paper. no longer will print anything. just use my ipad. sorry you were the so called “messenger”

    • Oh No! That’s definitely frustrating!!! Did you click on the “print” button on the actual recipe? When you click on that button, it should display a page that only has the recipe and recipe image on the page. You then are able to just print that one page. It sounds like maybe you were on the post and then printed that instead (which would print gobs!). xo

  27. We normally like cold pudding, can I refrigerate it after us done?

  28. I agree this is delicious but not enough to fill a pan of the size it calls for. We used an 8×8 and it was fine. I was a bit baffled at that while cooking it! lol!

  29. Great recipe. Wayyyyyyy too sweet.
    3/4 cup to 1 cup of sugar should suffice.
    Gonna re-make it with less sugar today.

  30. This recipe worked amazingly for me! Turned DELICIOUS!!! Thank you!

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