Ultimate Banana Pudding takes the traditional banana pudding and wafer dessert and is made completely from scratch! Yes, all four parts of this decadent and almost historical dessert are made by you! That includes the pudding, the vanilla wafers, banana simple syrup, and even the whipped cream! If you love creamy desserts, try my Cherry Vanilla Heaven Dessert.
Ultimate Banana Pudding
Ever since Nabisco put the banana pudding recipe on the back of its vanilla wafer box, the layer of wafers, banana pudding, and meringue became popular in many households. Then, when whipped topping could be bought in a can and pudding was instant, the ease of the dessert made it even more popular! But, this recipe brings the dessert back to before Nabisco made it so popular. I really encourage you to make all of the recipes by hand. It will be worth it! (But, of course, you know where to find some store-bought parts of the dessert if you need to cheat a little.)
Ultimate Banana Pudding Recipe
There are four important parts to this recipe–the pudding, vanilla wafers, banana simple syrup, and the whipped cream. I will give you the list of ingredients for each part of the recipe so you know what you will need.
Pudding Ingredients (full recipes below)
- Granulated sugar
- Kosher salt
- Eggs–Out of eggs? No problem. Try one of my Egg Substitutes for this recipe!
- Egg yolk
- Whole milk
- Unsalted butter
- Vanilla extract
Vanilla Wafers Ingredients
- Baking powder
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Egg–Don’t forget about an Egg substitute if you run out of eggs.
- Vanilla extract
- Whole milk
Banana Simple Syrup Ingredients
- Granulated sugar
- Ripe bananas
Whipped Topping Ingredients
- Heavy whipping cream
- Confectioners’ sugar
How to Make Ultimate Banana Pudding
It’s best to start with the homemade pudding first. This will need to chill for a few hours before it settles. While the pudding is chilling, you can work on making the other three important parts to this Ultimate Banana Pudding recipe. So, I hope you feel up to the ultimate challenge (see what I did there😉) of making all the parts of the recipe.
How to Make Vanilla Pudding
(Full recipe in a recipe card below) It’s really easy to make your own vanilla pudding. Pudding is a great dessert to have on hand, and most people like the smooth, creamy sweet (and sometimes even savory) treat. Plus, if you make a little extra, it’s nice to have as a snack or loaded with your favorite chocolate candy or treat.
- In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
- Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine.
- Then, whisk in the milk for about 30 seconds.
- Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. This mixture should thicken in 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat before you add the butter. Add the butter one cube at a time.
- Finally, whisk in the vanilla extract. Cover the pudding with plastic wrap and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This is the perfect time to start the other recipes.
How to Make Vanilla Wafers
With just a mixer and a parchment-lined baking sheet, you can whip up some of these fun cookies in no time! Of course, you will also need the oven preheated to 350°F. Plus, you know all the ingredients used to make the wafers are real ingredients–no imitations in this batch!
- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set this bowl aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed for at least two minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. (You can also use a hand-held mixer for this recipe if you don’t have a stand mixer.)
- Next, add the egg, vanilla, and milk to the stand mixer bowl and blend these ingredients for about 30 seconds.
- Then, add the flour mixture and mix on low until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Chill the batter for 10-15 minutes. (You can take this time to chill, too!)
- Use a 1/2 teaspoon to scoop out dollops of the batter and place them on the baking sheet. Leave each dollop about one inch apart.
- Bake the wafers for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to cool while you prepare the banana simple syrup.
How to Make Banana Simple Syrup
In about a half an hour, you can have Banana Simple Syrup ready to add to the vanilla wafers. You will even have extra to use in your favorite drink (Banana Daquari anyone?) or over ice cream later!
- First, get out a saucepan and place it over medium heat.
- Add the sugar, water, and salt. Whisk these three ingredients together until the mixture is brought to a low boil. This will probably take about 10 minutes or so.
- Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the saucepan, simmering it for about 10 minutes. Be sure to whisk it occasionally.
- After the mixture simmers for the first ten minutes, get your bananas chopped and add them to the mixture, simmering for another 10 minutes.
- Strain out the bananas, trying to get as much of the syrup off the bananas as you can. (If you notice a lot of syrup sticking to the bananas, just rinse them quickly with a tablespoon or two of hot water while you are straining them.) Set aside the bananas and 4 ounces of the simple syrup for the dessert. The remaining syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Pour the 4 ounces of the banana simple syrup over the wafers to let it soak in for about 10 minutes.
How to Make Whipped Cream
- Don’t aim for “stiff peaks”. You want the whipped cream to keep its shape and be soft, billowing peaks. If by chance you OVERBEAT the whipped cream (I have done this and cried!) fixing it is actually very easy. Simply add in more fresh whipped cream and whisk by hand. My life was changed when I found that out!
- Wait until peaks start to form before adding in the confectioners’ sugar in this recipe. (I prefer confectioners’ sugar as it dissolves entirely and leaves a smooth texture.) If you choose to use granulated sugar be sure to add it immediately at the beginning and whip it with the cream.
Putting together Ultimate Banana Pudding
Once you have conquered all parts of the Ultimate Banana Pudding Recipe, it’s time to put it all together to get the final creamy and delectable layered dessert! I used an 8×8-inch baking dish for this recipe.
- First, take about 1/3 of the soaked wafers to layer on the bottom of the pan.
- Next, use 1/3 of the bananas you had set aside for the second layer.
- Then, add 1/3 of the pudding as the third layer.
- Repeat this layering three times.
- Finally, add the whipped cream as the top layer. Be sure to spread it over the entire surface! Refrigerate the dessert for about 30 minutes before serving. It will last up to three days if you keep it covered in the refrigerator.
How to Make EASY Banana Pudding
As much as I want to tell you to try this from-scratch version because of how AMAZING it is, I know sometimes time can be an issue. If you want to easiest banana pudding of all time, feel free to use a box of vanilla pudding, cut up fresh bananas, store-bought vanilla wafers, and Cool Whip. Layer as instructed in the recipe and you will have a fast and easy dessert!
Looking for More Dessert Recipes?
Ultimate Banana Pudding is the ultimate delectable dessert with all parts made from scratch!
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (187.5g) flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (62.5g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 2 cups (400g) granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 ripe bananas, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 pint heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup (64g) confectioners' sugar
In a large bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt.
Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk to combine.
Add the milk and whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds.
Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until thickened, approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time.
Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Cover with plastic wrap and chill 2 hours. While the pudding, make your bananas, wafers, and whipped topping.
In a saucepan over medium heat, add sugar, water, and salt. Whisk frequently until the mixture comes to a low boil and sugar is dissolved (8-10 minutes).
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chopped banana pieces, simmer for 10 more minutes.
Strain out bananas and set aside.
Reserve 4 ounces of the banana syrup and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars on medium speed for at least 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add the egg, vanilla, and milk, and blend until smooth and fluffy, (about 30 seconds).
Add the flour mixture and mix on low until fully incorporated.
Chill the batter for 10-15 minutes.
Scoop ½ teaspoon-sized dollops of the batter (about 1 inch apart) onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
Bake about 15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking (cookies will be golden brown)
Set aside to cool.
Lay the cooled vanilla wafers, flat side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Evenly distribute the banana simple syrup over the cookies. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Add heavy cream to mixing bowl, mix starting with low speed, then gradually increase to medium speed until the cream starts getting thicker (the gradual speed progression prevents you from spraying yourself with cream).
When the cream starts to thicken stop the mixer, add in the powdered sugar and then resume mixing again starting with low speed and increase to medium speed up to high speed.
The cream will thicken and start to peak. Mix on high speed until the cream is thick and stiff.
· In an 8x8 baking dish layer 1/3 of the soaked wafers, 1/3 of the bananas, and 1/3 of the pudding. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a final layer of pudding.
Spoon the whipped topping over the cooled pudding and spread to cover completely. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.