Ultimate Banana Pudding is a traditional banana pudding and wafer dessert that can all be made from scratch. Yes, all four parts of this decadent and almost historical dessert are made by you (if you are feeling motivated)! If you love creamy desserts, try my Banana Cream Pie, too!


Piece of The Ultimate Banana Pudding on a White Plate with Fork

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.) If you love this dessert, you will also love my Banana Pudding Cheesecake!

Layers for Ultimate Banana Pudding


There are four important parts to this recipe–the pudding, vanilla wafers, banana simple syrup, and whipped cream.

Vanilla Pudding: If using store-bought pudding, look for a 3.4-ounce box of vanilla pudding mix to make before assembling the dessert.

Vanilla Wafers: You will need about 70 wafers for this recipe, or, use the homemade recipe for the perfect amount.

Banana Simple Syrup: It’s super easy to make your own simple syrup. So, if you don’t have any on hand, make your own. If you use my recipe, be sure to double it for this dessert. Save the bananas you use in the simple syrup for the dessert. (If you are not making homemade banana simple syrup, be sure to have some ripe bananas cut up to use.)

Whipped Cream: If you want the creamiest and most luscious whipped cream, make your own. Or, a tub of cool whip would also work.

Vanilla Wafers for The Ultimate Banana Pudding

Preparing Ultimate Banana Pudding

It’s best to start with the pudding first, either homemade or store-bought, especially if it has to be chilled to set up. While the pudding is chilling, you can work on making the other three important parts of 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. Or, make a couple of the parts of the recipe from scratch and buy the other parts.

Banana Simple Syrup for The Ultimate Banana Pudding

Can I Make This Dessert Ahead of Time?

If making this dessert from scratch, you can get all of the parts of the dessert made in advance. Everything from the pudding to the wafers to the simple syrup and whipped cream can be made a few days ahead of time. Then, it will all be ready to be assembled when you are ready!

Pan of cut into Banana Pudding

How to Store

Banana pudding, once assembled, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Just make sure it is covered when storing.

Fork taking bite out of a piece of The Ultimate Banana Pudding

Can I Freeze Banana Pudding?

Yes, you can freeze this dessert once assembled. However, the texture of the pudding will probably change and the bananas may brown a bit, but it is possible and will still be delicious. Freeze the dessert in a freezer-safe container for up to a month (at the longest). Let it thaw in the refrigerator before serving.

5 from 3 votes

Ultimate Banana Pudding

Prep Time 10 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Ultimate Banana Pudding is the ultimate delectable dessert with all parts made from scratch!


  • 70 vanilla wafers, homemade or store-bought, divided
  • ½ cup banana simple syrup, homemade or store-bought
  • 6 ripe bananas, chopped, divided
  • 1 recipe vanilla pudding, or 1 box (3.4 ounces) vanilla pudding mix, made according to package instructions, divided
  • whipped cream, homemade or store-bought


Ultimate Banana Pudding

  • In a large bowl, soak the vanilla wafers in the banana simple syrup for about ten minutes.
  • When ready, in an 8×8 baking dish, layer ⅓ of the soaked wafers, ⅓ of the chopped bananas, and ⅓ of the pudding. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with a final layer of pudding.
  • Spoon the whipped topping over the pudding and spread to cover completely. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I have searched for years for a vanilla cookie recipe. I thought I could find one on the internet but never really successful. So, I can’t tell you how pleased I was to get your mail today. Thank you, very much. I can’t wait to try your recipe.
    Have a great day, and thanks again.

  2. I followed the recipe pretty close. I made the cookies and sautéed the bananas in some sugar water but not as much as the recipe called for. It was the best banana pudding I’ve had! Thank you

  3. Awesome recipe. Thank you so much for providing all the components to make this dessert absolutely from scratch. Flavors were spot, and reminded me of my Mom’s banana pudding growing up, but better tasting and healthier! (I avoid food items with artificial flavors and ingredients). Only thing was it was quite sweet for my taste. Any recommendations on how to reduce the sugar in the vanilla pudding without compromising texture? And if the banana syrup can be made with less sugar?

  4. Dear Amanda:
    Thank you so much for all these
    delicious banana recipes. I love
    bananas and I do have many of
    the banana recipes, but I want to
    use your recipes. So many are
    similar, but there are still slight
    differences and I would love to
    try them.
    Thank you again, I’m still copying
    Yours down.

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