New-Fashioned Banana Pudding


We're giving Mama's old-fashioned recipe some new competition.

New-Fashioned Banana Pudding
Photo: Victor Protasio; Food Styling: Ruth Blackburn; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis
Active Time:
35 mins
Chill Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 35 mins

It's hard to improve upon this beloved banana dessert, but that didn't stop our Test Kitchen from whipping up a new creamy, dreamy recipe for banana pudding. This might not be an old-fashioned banana pudding recipe, but we promise that it's just as good—if not better—than Mama's. We're calling it our New-Fashioned Banana Pudding.

Our banana pudding with a twist features layers of creamy, custardy vanilla pudding (which is made from scratch, not from a packet), crushed vanilla wafers, sliced fresh bananas, and to top it all off, a glorious Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, made with real vanilla beans. We're not messing around with this one. Fresh nutmeg is the secret ingredient that takes the flavor profile up a notch, differentiating it from a standard, vanilla-based banana pudding.

To scale this recipe up for a crowd, double the pudding, bananas, and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, then layer it all in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish with 60 vanilla wafers (or as desired). Chill at least three hours.


  • 4 large egg yolks

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  • ¾ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ tablespoon vanilla extract

  • 2 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers (from 1 [11-oz.] pkg.) plus whole wafers to garnish, if desired

  • 4 medium bananas, peeled and cut into ½-inch-thick rounds

  • Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream


  1. Whisk together egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium-size heatproof bowl until well combined. Whisk together milk, whipping cream, sugar, nutmeg, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium, whisking often, until steaming, about 4 to 6 minutes (do not let milk mixture boil). Remove from heat. Using a ladle, slowly drizzle 1 cup steaming milk mixture into egg mixture, whisking constantly until combined. Slowly drizzle egg mixture into remaining warmed milk mixture in saucepan, stirring constantly until combined. Cook milk mixture over medium, whisking constantly until mixture thickens and begins to simmer (about 200°F), about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, and whisk in butter and vanilla. Transfer pudding to a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap directly on surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until completely chilled, about 3 hours.

  2. Spoon 3 tablespoons crushed vanilla wafers into each of 12 stemless wineglasses or other 8-oz. glasses; top each with about ⅓ of a sliced banana and ⅓ cup pudding. Dollop each with about 2 tablespoons Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon crushed vanilla wafers. Cover loosely, and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 4 hours) before serving. Garnish each glass with a whole vanilla wafer, if desired.

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