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Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch Recipe

Follow this Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch recipe to whip up a pan full of old-timey deliciousness, just like Grandma used to make!

Follow this Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch recipe to whip up a pan full of old-timey deliciousness, just like Grandma used to make!

We have a debate in our home.  A great banana pudding debate.

The debate revolves around what's better ... "regular" banana pudding, which is the made-with-instant-pudding and topped-with-Cool-Whip stuff we all encounter most of the time ... or "real" banana pudding, which is the old-timey stuff resulting from this old-fashioned banana pudding from scratch recipe.

Can you guess which side of the debate I fall on?
While I certainly won't turn down any  form of banana pudding, when push comes to shove I would go for "regular" banana pudding ... made with instant pudding ... as my first choice.


Well on that front, I stand alone in our house.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch Recipe

Because my husband and Little Miss H. both prefer the "real" scratch-made old-fashioned kind.  Complete with creamy homemade-from-scratch vanilla pudding blanketing the sliced bananas, and gently toasted meringue topping instead of whipped cream.

Just like Grandma used to make in the good-old days before the prevalence of convenience foods like instant pudding and Cool Whip.

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch with meringue topping

Now when making this old-fashioned version of banana pudding, there are a few things to keep in mind ...

When it comes to making the pudding, low and slow is key.  The pudding is a simple custard mixture of sugar, milk, and eggs.  Heating these slowly over low heat, stirring the entire time with a whisk, creates a smooth and creamy pudding.  Turning up the heat to make the process go more quickly can easily lead to lumps or little bits are scrambled eggs unappetizingly floating around in the finished pudding.  It may be tempting to try to speed up the process, but keep it low and slow for the best result.

When layering the pudding and bananas, make sure to get each banana slice coated with at least a thin layer of pudding.  This keeps the bananas "protected" from air and helps keep them from turning brown.

Finally, when spreading on the meringue topping, be sure to spread it over the entire top of the pudding all the way to and touching the edges of the pan.  Meringue has a tendency to shrink a bit as it bakes, and touching the sides of the pan helps reduce the shrinking.

Then get ready to serve up a pan full of old-fashioned deliciousness!  Just like Grandma used to make.

So which side of the great banana pudding debate are you  on? ... "Regular" or "real?"

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch with homemade pudding and meringue topping
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Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch Recipe
Source:  My mother-in-law
(Printable recipe)
  • 1 c. granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 T. all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 4 eggs, separated {place egg whites in refrigerator until needed}
  • 3 c. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • about 40 Nilla wafers
  • 4 or 5 bananas
  1. MAKE THE PUDDING: In a saucepan, combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, flour, and salt; whisk until mixed. Whisk in the 1 whole egg and 4 egg yolks.
  2. Turn the heat on to medium-low and whisk in milk. Cook over medium-low, stirring constantly with a whisk, until thickened (about 15 to 20 minutes). It’s tempting to stop stirring, or to turn up the heat, but this will cook the eggs too quickly and result in lumping pudding. For smooth creamy pudding, keep it low and slow ... and keep stirring.
  3. Remove pudding from heat and stir in vanilla extract.
  4. LAYER THE PUDDING: Crumble Nilla wafers and place in a 9x13” baking dish to cover the bottom. Top with a layer of sliced bananas. Pour about half of the vanilla pudding over the bananas. Repeat with another layer of bananas and then pudding.
  5. MAKE MERINGUE TOPPING: Place egg whites in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. With the mixing going, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form.
  6. Pile meringue on top of pudding and spread to cover the entire surface. Bake at 400℉ for 5-8 minutes, or until meringue is lightly browned.
  7. Chill until ready to serve.

Follow along with our deliciousness on Pinterest!
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Please enjoy these other old-fashioned favorites from The Kitchen is My Playground ...

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

Classic Pound Cake

Grandma's Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

Old-Fashioned Apple Cake

Old-timey Banana Pudding from scratch

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  1. Looks so good! I have some bananas that are calling my name for this! :) Thanks for sharing!

  2. my hubby will be most grateful.
    Thank U

  3. I love banana pudding. My mom use to make it growing up all the time. Brings back great memories.

  4. We love Banana Pudding and this looks like a great recipe! Hope you have a fantastic weekend and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  5. Is there a substitute for the nilla wafers?

    1. There are natural waffer options, otherwise, maybe sweetened toasted coconut flakes would work.

  6. I love homemade, from scratch puddings - they taste so good! Your Banana Pudding looks amazing - what a lovely treat, Tracey. Pinned. Thank you for sharing with us at Hearth and Soul. Hope to 'see' you again this week!

  7. I'll take either one, although it's much easier to make the instant kind. I grew up with the old-fashioned Banana pudding that my grandmother made. So good!

  8. What does the T. mean with respect to flour?

  9. I am making this as we speak and have been stirring the pudding for 26 minutes and it is no where near thick. What am I doing wrong! Help!

  10. I just used this recipe for a friendsgiving event.



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