My brother lived in New York City for over 10 years and would rave to me all about the famous Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding. I would seethe with jealousy as I knew he could walk into the bakery every single day and get his banana pudding fix. Once I finally flew into NYC, we went straight to Magnolia’s to see what all the fuss was about. Maybe you don’t know this about me but I am super picky about bakeries. Okay, you probably could have gathered that by now! I did wonder if this would pass the test. My husband and I devoured the banana pudding in about 90 seconds so I would say that was a good sign. Best Places to Eat and See in NYC
Even though I love their banana pudding dessert, I wanted to create a similar copycat but make the pudding from scratch. It doesn’t take that much longer and there’s just something about handcrafted pudding, stirred with a wooden spoon, that makes it taste that much better.
This Homemade Banana Pudding Dessert is made by slowly cooking a mixture of whole milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, butter and vanilla bean until nice and thickened. I could eat an entire bowl of this stuff! It is layered with fresh sliced bananas, Nilla wafers, and homemade fluffy whipped cream.
My sister-in-law, Laura, who is a brilliant cook makes this custard every single year at Thanksgiving time. She is the BEST custard maker I know and this is a tried and true recipe. It is a recipe from her Grandma Rappleye that has been passed down through the years.
This can be made in a large trifle dish, a bowl, a glass pan, decorative jars, or even scooped into small bowls. It is such a versatile recipe. I enjoy layering it into a glass trifle dish or my favorite jars.
A few tips for making out-of-this-world Homemade Banana Pudding Dessert:
- Make sure you cook the pudding long enough for it to thicken. It needs to coat the back of a spoon. After cooking, let it chill to give it adequate time to set up.
- Temper the egg yolks. Adding a small amount of hot milk to the egg yolks brings them to a higher temperature slowly to prevent the eggs from cooking. After the eggs have been tempered, add them to the pan and continue to cook.
- Add vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract after the pudding is removed from heat. If added while still on the heat, the vanilla flavor will be cooked off.
- Use COLD heavy whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form. Adding powdered sugar brings out the flavor of the cream.
- Bananas turn brown over time (oxidation) when exposed to air. Brush the sliced bananas with lemon juice or sprinkle with fruit fresh.
- Vanilla Bean Pudding:
- ¾ cup Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch
- 3 Tablespoons Flour
- ¾ teaspoon Salt
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 3 Egg Yolks
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla or 1 Vanilla Bean, scraped
- Vanilla Whipped Cream:
- 2 cups Heavy Cream
- ⅓ cup Powdered Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla or Vanilla Bean, scraped
- 4-5 Bananas, sliced
- ½ Box Nilla Wafers
- In heavy bottomed pot, heat sugar, cornstarch, flour, salt, and milk over medium heat. Bring to a slow rolling boil and let thicken. Continue to cook and stir until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
- While milk mixture is cooking, place egg yolks in small bowl. Temper egg yolks by spooning a small amount of hot milk into bowl. Keep stirring.
- Bring it back to a boil for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
- Let chill in refrigerator and cool completely.
- Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar. Stir in vanilla.
- Slice bananas and sprinkle with lemon juice or fruit fresh to prevent browning.
- Layer banana pudding dessert with pudding, bananas, nilla wafers, and whipped cream.
- Let chill in refrigerator to set up.