This is bananas at their best.
There is nothing, and I mean nothing, like classic banana pudding. You may recall several months ago I shared a banana pudding parfait which was absolutely delicious but was not representative of the traditional dessert. In that recipe, I did a play on the “Elvis” which highlights the peanut butter and banana combination. Here, I stay very close to what we all know as banana pudding (or in the south, ‘nana puddin’). My favorite version of this style can be found at Magnolia Bakery in New York City. What I love about their interpretation is that they mix all of the ingredients together instead of layering, which is also a very common method. I mix my ingredients all together in the same way and each ingredient receives a lot of attention. It is made up of simply homemade vanilla pudding, ripe bananas, fresh whipped cream, and something you may not find in many other recipes, homemade ‘nilla wafers. If you don’t have the time to make the wafers, the boxed cookies are perfectly acceptable!
This is one dessert that you really should make for other people because if you don’t, then you are at risk of eating the whole thing in one sitting. I almost did and I’m not lying! If you have a love for this puddin’ classic then I know you won’t be let down by this recipe! Enjoy!
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ cups whole milk
- ½ cup white granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- 2 egg yolks
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 very ripe bananas, diced
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet (2 if you have it) with parchment paper or silicone liner. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for about 1 minute until light. Add the egg and beat to incorporate. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides then continue beating. Add the vanilla extract and combine well.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and slowly add the flour mixture. Once you add the final bit of flour, turn off the mixer. Use your spatula to fold the mixture to ensure the flour has been fully mixed in. Use a small teaspoon, or 2 small spoons, to scoop teaspoon size balls of the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Place a little flour on your palm and fingers and gently press down the tops of the balls so they are about ¼ inch thick.
- Bake in oven for 8 minutes, then rotate the pan and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Set aside until ready to assemble puddings.
- The night before you want to serve your pudding, make the pudding.*
- In a small heat-proof bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg yolks, and salt.
- In a small saucepan, add the whole milk. Bring the milk just to a simmer but do not boil. Turn off the heat and slowly, while whisking, add half of the milk mixture to the sugar and eggs mixture. Whisk quickly and then pour this mixture back into the pan with the remaining milk mixture, also while whisking. Turn the heat back on to low-medium and whisk for a few minutes. When it begins to thicken, switch to a wooden spoon or rubber spatula and continue to stir. Once it becomes thick (coats the spoon), after about 8-10 minutes, then turn off the heat. Allow it to cool slightly and then pour into a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap by placing the wrap right on top of the pudding so that it doesn't create a crust on top. Refrigerate for 1 hour then remove and add the diced bananas. Stir well, breaking up the bananas into even small pieces, and then replace the plastic wrap and refrigerate over night*.
- When you're ready to serve, beat the heavy cream until firm peaks form. Gently stir about half of the cream into the banana pudding and then add the remaining cream and about 10-12 crushed vanilla wafers (or more, if desired) and carefully fold into the mixture. It's okay for the cream to still show streaks. Serve in bowls and enjoy!