We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Banana Pudding?

Tricia Christensen
By
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Banana pudding is a favorite dessert, particularly of the Southern United States. Many may be familiar with it since recipes often appear on Nilla Wafer® boxes. The dessert has several variations. These variations can mean you will be able to make the dessert with almost no cooking, or you can go all out, making your pudding from scratch, and baking the pudding with a layer of meringue on top.

The name banana pudding is a little deceptive, because the pudding actually doesn’t contain bananas. Instead recipes use vanilla pudding, which is used in layers between sliced bananas and vanilla wafers. The simplest recipes for banana pudding are just these ingredients, which you can layer together in individual serving cups or in larger dish like a pie or casserole dish. If you want a little extra flare, you can add a layer of whipped whipping cream to the the top, or at least a dollop of whipped cream on each serving.

More elaborate versions of banana pudding add a layer of meringue to the top, and then bake the pudding for few minutes to brown the whipped egg whites. This certainly provides an exciting presentation, and is sometimes considered the classic way to present the desert. For some, the very name banana pudding conjures up the idea of the fluffy white meringue sitting atop layers of bananas, wafers and vanilla custard or pudding. If you do plan to bake your pudding don’t use overly ripe bananas, since these can get fairly mushy with a few minutes of baking.

There is also considerable dispute about whether you should make your own pudding. If you are really striving for authenticity, then using instant pudding or pudding from the store is frowned upon. However, there are some very good quality store-bought puddings that will taste much like homemade ones. Many people rave about the Kozy Shack® brand, which doesn’t contain a lot of fillers or additional ingredients. One advantage to homemade pudding is you can control things like sugar amounts to a certain degree, and this may help create a more healthful dish.

One variant of banana pudding many people enjoy uses graham crackers instead of vanilla wafers. Alternately you can use wafer thin chocolate cookies. If you’re pressed for time, made or store bought rice pudding may be spooned into individual bowls and over layers of sliced bananas. This makes a great quick snack for kids or an easy dessert. You can also buy instant banana flavored pudding, though this isn’t considered an authentic take on the dessert.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By anon210071 — On Aug 29, 2011

A good variation on this is peach pudding. Just substitute fresh sliced peaches for the bananas. I don't use a meringue, because I don't like it on the pudding -- it's sweet and rich enough as it is.

If I'm going to go to the trouble of making a banana or peach pudding, I'm doing a homemade custard. They're not *that* difficult. You just have to stay with them and keep stirring, rather like with a roux or risotto. You can't leave it -- you've got to stay there and stir.

Day-old banana pudding is just as good as fresh made, in my opinion. Of course, as the author noted, it isn't often that there are too many leftovers for the next day. Still, it's good.

By golf07 — On Jun 07, 2011

The homemade banana pudding always tastes best, but if you don't have the time, using instant or store bought pudding is the next best thing. I try to use a little lemon juice on my bananas before mixing them in so they don't get so brown.

This dessert is best if it is eaten soon after making. It will still taste good the next day, but just doesn't look as appetizing. You don't usually have to worry about it though, because it is one of the desserts that most everybody loves and you don't have to worry about having much left over.

By honeybees — On Jun 06, 2011

I lived in a small Midwestern town for several years, and one of the ladies in the church brought her famous banana pudding to every potluck. I got the recipe from her, and even though it is not hard to make, it never seemed to taste as good as hers.

This old fashioned banana pudding recipe was made with real pudding and a touch of vanilla. It also used the crushed Nilla Wafers and whipped cream on the top. This always made the perfect dessert that was not too rich after eating so much good food.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a WiseGeek contributor, Tricia...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.