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Homemade Banana Pudding

Homemade Banana Pudding is the perfect Southern dessert. The combination of vanilla pudding, made from scratch, vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and meringue make up a delectable treat.

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding

Picture of banana pudding

This old fashioned banana pudding is something you’ll want to make over and over again. 

With layers of Nilla Wafers, homemade pudding, and meringue you just can’t go wrong.

And this recipe is a hit not only in the south, but everywhere. 

Overall this Homemade Banana Pudding is one of my favorite desserts. It’s one of those Southern staples. Plus, it’s the Tennessee State dessert.

If you’re short on time, you can make this easy banana pudding with instant pudding, but the homemade version wins out every time.

In fact, you can make the homemade pudding the day before, keep it in the refrigerator, and use it the next day when you’re ready to put the dessert together.

Generally speaking, the dessert makes an entire 13″ x 9″ pan so there is plenty to go around.

Full printable recipe with measurements and instructions at the bottom of the post in the recipe card

Step-By-Step Instructions For Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding

Picture of flour in a saucepan.

First, you’re going to start off by adding sugar to a saucepan.

Picture of flour and sugar in a saucepan

Secondly, add the flour and salt to the saucepan.

Picture of eggs and flour in a saucepan

Thirdly, add one whole egg to the saucepan. You’ll be adding just the yolks in a minute.

Picture of milk in a saucepan.

Milk is the next ingredient to add.

Picture of yolks and milk in a saucepan.

Now, add the four egg yolks. (Save the whites for your meringue). Mix everything together well and cook over the stovetop on medium-low. Stir frequently to keep the lumps out.

I use a whisk to mix the ingredients because it tends to help get all of the lumps out. 

Usually, it will take about 10-15 minutes to thicken. It will thicken more as it cools.

Once the pudding cooks, add the vanilla and stir.

Picture of cookies and bananas in a casserole dish

While your pudding is cooking, spray the bottom of a 13″ x 9″ casserole dish. Then, line the dish with vanilla wafers.

Slice two bananas and place them on top of the vanilla wafers. Set the dish aside until the pudding is done.

Picture of banana pudding in a casserole dish.

Once the banana pudding is finished cooking, pour half of it over the bananas and vanilla wafers.

Slice the other two bananas and spread the slices out on top of the pudding. Then add the remainder of the pudding on top.

Tip: Pour slowly or you will send vanilla wafers hither and yon. They will spread out and you will have to find them in the pudding and push them back to where they belong.

I am speaking from experience. I have done this more than once with several different recipes.

Picture of meringue on top of banana pudding

After you get done pouring the pudding into the casserole dish whip up the meringue and spread it on top of the pudding.

How to make meringue:

  • Add the egg whites to a medium-sized bowl.
  • Whip the egg whites with a hand mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Add the sugar and mix until well blended.
  • Spread over the banana pudding.

Additionally, some people use cream of tartar for making egg whites. It will make the meringue a bit fluffier, so you can add a small amount to the meringue if you’d like.

If you do want to add some cream of tartar, use about 1/8 teaspoon per egg white.

Meringue tips:

  • When you add the egg whites to the bowl, make sure the bowl is dry and that you don’t have a drop of water or any other liquid in there. Anything other than the egg whites will keep the meringue from fluffing up.
  • Make sure you don’t get any yolk in the egg whites. Even a drop of yolk will keep your whites from fluffing up.
Picture of banana pudding

Bake the Nilla Wafer banana pudding recipe for about 8-10 minutes or until the meringue is browned on top.

You can allow the pudding to cool, or you can be like me and eat some warm. I can’t help myself. The banana pudding recipe is so delicious while it’s warm.

I will eat it cold, too. Just give me a plate of homemade banana pudding recipe and I will eat every bite.

Having said that, if you refrigerate the pudding before you eat it, it will set up a little bit more firm.

Picture of banana pudding

Ingredients for easy banana pudding:

  • Bananas
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • eggs
  • milk
  • vanilla
  • vanilla wafers
  • meringue
Picture of banana pudding on a plate

Can banana pudding be made a day ahead?

Yes, but only the pudding. If you make the entire dessert, the meringue will wilt a little and the vanilla wafers will soak up the pudding and be soggy. So, just make the pudding the day before and put the rest of the dessert together the next day and you’ll save some time.

How long is homemade pudding good for?

Homemade pudding will last in the fridge for almost a week.

How ripe should bananas be for banana pudding?

Bananas need to be very ripe for this particular dessert. The peel should be yellow with some brown specks.

Picture of bananas and banana pudding

Other delicious banana desserts:

Picture of banana pudding on a plate.

Homemade Banana Pudding

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Homemade Banana Pudding is the perfect Southern dessert. The combination of vanilla pudding, made from scratch, vanilla wafers, fresh bananas, and meringue make up a delectable treat. 


  • 4 Bananas


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 cups milk
  • 4 egg yolks (save the whites for meringue)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  • 45-50 vanilla wafers


  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Grease 13" x 9" casserole dish.


  1. Add the sugar, flour, salt, one whole egg, and milk to a saucepan. Mix together well.
  2. Add the four egg yolks and mix well.
  3. Cook over medium-low heat until thickened, stirring frequently. The sauce takes about 10-15 minutes to thicken.
  4. Once the sauce is done cooking, add the vanilla and stir.

The Crust

  1. Line the bottom and sides of a casserole dish with vanilla wafers.
  2. Slice two bananas over the vanilla wafers, just before the pudding is done, so they do not brown.
  3. Pour half of the pudding over the wafers and bananas.
  4. Slice two more bananas over the pudding.
  5. Pour the remainder of the pudding over the bananas.


  1. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  2. Add the sugar and mix until blended.
  3. Spread over the pudding mixture and bake for 8-10 minutes or until meringue is golden brown.
  4. Let cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving.


You can eat the banana pudding right out of the oven, but it will not be as thick. It will thicken in the refrigerator.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 243Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 27gProtein: 6g

Nutrition is approximate.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Find more recipes at Julia’s Simply SouthernSouth Your Mouth, and Southern Home Express

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Tuesday 26th of January 2021

[…] vanilla pudding – Pudding is one of those ingredients that always enhances the flavor of the cake. It’s also great in […]

Carlotta Gibson

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Made this tonight and it turned out perfect! I wanted to post a pic but can’t figure out how. Thank you for the clear instructions. Just like my grandmother’s!

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Love to hear that! Thanks for sharing! I don't think you can post a picture here in the comments, but you can on Pinterest.


Friday 15th of January 2021

Could you crush the wafers? My mother in law used to make this for my husband every year on his birthday and since she has now passed I was going to try it, you’re recipe sounds great. Thanks

Julie Pollitt

Saturday 16th of January 2021

Hi Susan, I think you could crush the wafers. You might need to add a little bit of melted butter to be able to press them into the bottom. Let me know how you liked it!

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Sunday 27th of December 2020

[…] Homemade Banana Pudding […]


Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

If you add another layer of vanilla wafers to the pudding layer and basically double layer everything...will the wafers in the middle get too soggy?

Julie Pollitt

Tuesday 3rd of November 2020

Hi Scarlett,

Honestly, I am not sure. I don't think they will, but it's worth a try. Let me know how it turns out!

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