The Best Banana Pudding

Closeup view of a glass jar of homemade banana pudding garnished with a vanilla wafer and a banana slice.

5 from 1 reviews

This homemade banana pudding recipe is thick, creamy, and bursting with so much delicious banana flavor! It's truly the absolute best banana pudding from scratch (and it's secretly healthier). Cute individual minis are easy to make-ahead, or make one big dish for bringing to summer cookouts.


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-inch vanilla bean pod, beans scraped out (or 1 tbsp vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp banana liqueur (optional - but highly recommended!)
  • 2 large bananas, sliced
  • About 16 vanilla wafers (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract (or pods from 1/4" piece vanilla bean)


  1. In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in eggs and milk.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in butter, vanilla beans and banana liqueur (if using), and mix well. Let the mixture cool and cover with plastic wrap, pressing plastic onto the surface of the pudding to prevent a film from developing. Chill at least 1 hour.
  3. To make the whipped cream, chill a large bowl and beaters in the freezer for 20 minutes or so. Add whipping cream to the bowl and beat on high until soft peaks just start to form, 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla and continue beating until peaks are a bit stiffer but still soft.
  4. When ready to assemble the pudding, place a wafer in the bottom of each of 8 small jars of dishes, or layer them in the bottom of one big dish. Top with a layer of sliced bananas and a layer of pudding. Top with whipped cream and garnish with an additional bananas and/or vanilla wafers before serving.


  • To make the banana liqueur that I typically use, simply place a few ripe banana slices in a jar, cover with white rum or vodka (about 1/4 cup) and cover. Let the mixture sit for at least 3 days. Then remove the bananas and store in the refrigerator.
  • When making the pudding, be sure to whisk constantly, and make sure you get the edges, too. This helps prevent clumps and scorched pieces.
  • Use ripe bananas that aren't too ripe for both the best flavor and presentation. You want bananas that don't yet have and brown spots in the middle.
  • I highly recommend making the banana liqueur yourself if you can't find it at a spirits store.
  • If you don't like soft cookies in your banana pudding, leave them out when you're creating the layers. Place them in the bottom of your bowl just before serving for crispy cookies.
  • When making the whipped cream, don't over-whip. It should be fluffy, but not too stiff.
  • This pudding is naturally gluten-free if you use gluten-free vanilla wafer cookies.
  • I don't recommend making this pudding dairy-free. I have used dairy-free milk in the pudding itself once and it wasn't great. It will work but the taste isn't the same.
  • You can use tapioca starch or arrowroot starch in place of cornstarch.
  • If you don't have vanilla beans, vanilla bean paste is excellent. If you can't find the paste, regular vanilla extract will also work.

Keywords: the best banana pudding, banana pudding from scratch, healthy banana pudding