Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch Recipe

March 10, 2018
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!

Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch recipe image

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 photo

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.

Serve up a pan full of old-fashioned deliciousness!  Just like Grandma used to make.

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 image

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. 

When it comes to making the pudding, low and slow is key. 

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 image

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 a stand mixer or electric mixer until soft peaks form. With the mixer 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.

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-Fashioned Banana Pudding from scratch ~ whip up a pan full of old-timey deliciousness, just like Grandma used to make! #bananapudding #bananapuddingfromscratch #oldfashionedrecipes #Southerndesserts #Southerncooking #thekitchenismyplayground  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

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This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.


  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.

    2. I'm using chessmen Pepperidge farm cookies

    3. YES! ... The Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies will work great. Shortbread cookies could work, too.

  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!

    1. I stirred this recipe for over an hour and a half and even turned the heat up and it never thickened. I followed recipe to the "T". When I googled other recipes they all seem to have more egg yolks and used corn start as oppose to flour. Trying different recipe in the morning. Waste time and ingredients on this one.

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


  11. I tried this recipe and it's terrible. I fought with the pudding for an hour only to have it never thicken, even after adding cornstarch. I'm a trained chef, I've made this dish numerous times perfectly. But this recipe is a no go.

    1. I make it multiple times a year with no issue. Maybe you're not patient enough, and being a trained chef has nothing to do with it.

    2. I make this all the time, too {using this recipe} with no issue, as well. My only suggestion is to turn the heat of your burner up a little bit for a tad to expedite the thickening, and then turn the heat back down to finish it off and avoid scorching.

    3. Trained chef hahahhahahahhahahahahahaha
      Great recipe. My grandma God rest her was at the table with us I swear.
      Thank you.

  12. I just made this today and it was perfection.

  13. I just made it today for Christmas and it came out BEAUTIFUL!!!!

  14. This looks so amazing! I think I might have to make it. I haven't had banana pudding in years. Definitely saving this recipe!

  15. YUM! I love old fashioned pudding so much-but I'll eat the other stuff too. Not TOO picky : ) Thanks for linking to the Friday frenzy!

  16. Mmmm...love a good classic! Pinned! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy!

  17. I have everything on hand to surprise my husband with this awesome recipe tonight- except I only have 1% milk. How important is the whole milk? Will it still thicken like it's supposed to? Will I need to add a teeny bit more flour or cornstarch maybe?

  18. Have no desire to make Banana Pudding with instant pudding mix and coolwhip. My Mamaw would turn over in her grave. I grew up enjoying her Banana Pudding made from scratch and that is how I make mine. Nothing better. YUMMY

  19. Girl!!! You know I pinned this! Thanks for sharing at Friday Frenzy!

  20. Could this be made with a sugar substitute ?

    1. Ummmm ... I have no idea, I've never tried it. Give it a go and let us know!

  21. I made this banana pudding tonight just like the directions and it came out perfect and delicious! 15-20 mins and it was done. Thank you for sharing this great recipe!

  22. Trained chef....That is so funny! GTFOH This recipe is close to grandmas and came out perfect! If it did not work for you, then obviously you messed up on the directions somewhere. Reading comprehension is a mf! Chef lmao

  23. Hi what size pan should I be prepared to use for this recipe? It looks yummy!


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