Banana Pudding

4.50 from 8 votes
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Banana Pudding Recipe by Mr. Make It Happen


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Introduction:

Few treats evoke the same sense of nostalgia and satisfaction as banana pudding. With its layers of creamy pudding, ripe bananas, and vanilla wafers, banana pudding is a beloved classic that has been delighting taste buds for generations. In this ode to the iconic dessert, we’ll explore its rich history, celebrate its timeless appeal, and share tips for creating the perfect batch of banana pudding in your own kitchen.

The Origins of Banana Pudding

Like many beloved dishes, the exact origins of banana pudding are somewhat murky, but its roots can be traced back to the American South. Early versions of banana pudding likely emerged in the late 19th or early 20th century, when home cooks began experimenting with simple, comforting desserts using readily available ingredients.

Banana pudding quickly became a staple at church suppers, potlucks, and family gatherings throughout the South, cherished for its deliciously creamy texture and comforting flavors. Over the years, banana pudding recipes evolved and spread beyond the South, becoming a beloved dessert enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds.

The Classic Recipe:

While there are countless variations of banana pudding, the classic recipe typically consists of layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafer cookies, topped with whipped cream or meringue. The combination of creamy pudding, sweet bananas, and crunchy cookies creates a symphony of flavors and textures that is both comforting and indulgent.

However, part of the beauty of banana pudding is its versatility. Home cooks and professional chefs alike have put their own spin on the classic recipe, incorporating ingredients such as caramel sauce, chocolate ganache, or even peanut butter for a unique twist on this beloved dessert.

Tips for Perfect Banana Pudding:

Creating the perfect batch of banana pudding requires a few key tips and techniques. Here are some suggestions to help you achieve banana pudding perfection:

  1. Use ripe bananas: For the best flavor and texture, be sure to use ripe bananas that are slightly soft and sweet. Avoid bananas that are overly ripe or mushy, as they may become too soft when layered in the pudding.
  2. Make homemade whipped cream and caramel sauce.
  3. Layer it up: To assemble the perfect banana pudding, start by layering vanilla wafers on the bottom of a serving dish, followed by sliced bananas and pudding. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the dish, then finish with a layer of whipped cream or meringue.
  4. Let it chill: Allow the banana pudding to chill in the refrigerator for at least a few hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld together and the pudding to set.
  5. Get creative with toppings: Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings for your banana pudding. Try sprinkling crushed cookies, toasted nuts, or a drizzle of chocolate sauce on top for added flavor and texture.

Get started by making your banana pudding. If you decide to make it from scratch, kudos to you – however, if you’re pressed for time, the boxed stuff is actually pretty good and very convenient. I think making the whipped cream and caramel sauce from scratch will offset the use of the boxed pudding here, but totally up to you.

Homemade whipped cream is a delightful addition to countless desserts, from pies and cakes to fruit salads and hot cocoa. It’s surprisingly easy to make and far superior in flavor and texture compared to store-bought whipped toppings. Here’s a simple recipe to whip up your own batch of homemade whipped cream:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups cold heavy cream (also known as whipping cream)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, for flavor)

Instructions:

  1. Chill your equipment: Before you begin, it’s essential to chill your mixing bowl and beaters or whisk in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps the cream whip faster and ensures a light, fluffy texture.
  2. Pour the cream: Once your equipment is chilled, pour the cold heavy cream into the chilled mixing bowl.
  3. Add sugar and vanilla: If desired, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the cream. The powdered sugar adds sweetness, and the vanilla extract contributes flavor, but you can omit either or both if you prefer unsweetened or plain whipped cream.
  4. Start whipping: Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the cream on low speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high as the cream thickens.
  5. Watch for soft peaks: Whip the cream until it reaches the desired consistency. Soft peaks will form when you lift the beaters out of the cream, and the peaks gently curl over. Be careful not to overmix, as the cream can quickly turn into butter.
  6. Taste and adjust: Once the whipped cream reaches the desired consistency, taste it and adjust the sweetness if necessary by adding more powdered sugar. Mix briefly to incorporate any additional sugar.
  7. Serve or store: Homemade whipped cream is best served immediately, but you can also cover and refrigerate it for later use. It will keep in the refrigerator for several hours, but it may lose some of its volume over time.
  8. Enjoy: Use your homemade whipped cream to top pies, cakes, fruit, hot cocoa, or any other dessert that could use a creamy, decadent finishing touch. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different flavor variations by adding extracts, spices, or flavored syrups.

Once your homemade whipped cream is done, slowly fold and incorporate it into your pudding.

Slice those bananas.. the more ripe – the better. Honestly, I would have liked these to be a bit riper today, but sometimes you have to just make it happen.

Feel free to get creative here but I love the combo of Nilla Wafers and Chessmen Butter cookies.

Layer it all together in a pretty dish or just throw it in a foil pan.. either way, plate me up lol.

I like to garnish with the caramel sauce (recipe below) and crumbled cookies.

Caramel sauce:

1 cup sugar

6 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/2 cup cream

1 teaspoon sea salt

Splash of banana liquor (optional)

Caramel Sauce Instructions 

1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar on medium-low heat until it’s completely melted. Stir the sugar gently every so often, making sure the sugar doesn’t burn. The sugar will start to form clumps before melting slowly.  This process may take several minutes. 

2. Once completely melted, remove from heat immediately and stir in the butter. Adding the butter will cause the mixture to bubble quite a bit. 

3. Pour in a splash of the banana liquor and mix (optional)

4. Next, pour in the heavy cream and add the sea salt. Stir until everything is combined.

5. Pour into a small bowl or cup and allow to cool completely before using.

I poured the caramel into a squirt bottle after cooling completely to make drizzling the caramel easier.


4.50 from 8 votes

Banana Pudding

Servings: 8
Prep: 10 minutes
Few treats evoke the same sense of nostalgia and satisfaction as banana pudding. With its layers of creamy pudding, ripe bananas, and vanilla wafers, banana pudding is a beloved classic that has been delighting taste buds for generations. In this ode to the iconic dessert, we'll explore its rich history, celebrate its timeless appeal, and share tips for creating the perfect batch of banana pudding in your own kitchen

Equipment

  • 2 Large Mixing Bowls

Ingredients 

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • 3 cup cold heavy cream (also known as whipping cream)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, optional, for flavor

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Splash of banana liquor, optional
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Instructions 

Homemade Whipped Cream

  • Chill your equipment: Before you begin, it’s essential to chill your mixing bowl and beaters or whisk in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps the cream whip faster and ensures a light, fluffy texture.
  • Pour the cream: Once your equipment is chilled, pour the cold heavy cream into the chilled mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar and vanilla: If desired, add powdered sugar and vanilla extract to the cream. The powdered sugar adds sweetness, and the vanilla extract contributes flavor, but you can omit either or both if you prefer unsweetened or plain whipped cream.
  • Start whipping: Using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, begin whipping the cream on low speed. Gradually increase the speed to medium-high as the cream thickens.
  • Watch for soft peaks: Whip the cream until it reaches the desired consistency. Soft peaks will form when you lift the beaters out of the cream, and the peaks gently curl over. Be careful not to overmix, as the cream can quickly turn into butter.
  • Taste and adjust: Once the whipped cream reaches the desired consistency, taste it and adjust the sweetness if necessary by adding more powdered sugar. Mix briefly to incorporate any additional sugar.
  • Serve or store: Homemade whipped cream is best served immediately, but you can also cover and refrigerate it for later use. It will keep in the refrigerator for several hours, but it may lose some of its volume over time.
  • Enjoy: Use your homemade whipped cream to top pies, cakes, fruit, hot cocoa, or any other dessert that could use a creamy, decadent finishing touch. Get creative and have fun experimenting with different flavor variations by adding extracts, spices, or flavored syrups.
  • Once your homemade whipped cream is done, slowly fold and incorporate it into your pudding.
  • Slice those bananas.. the more ripe – the better.
  • Feel free to get creative here but I love the combo of Nilla Wafers and Chessmen Butter cookies.
  • Layer it all together in a pretty dish or just throw it in a foil pan.. either way, plate me up lol.
  • I like to garnish with the caramel sauce and crumbled cookies.

Homemade Caramel Sauce

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Splash of banana liquor (optional)
  • Caramel Sauce Instructions
  • In a sauce pan, heat the sugar on medium low heat until it’s completely melted. Stir the sugar gently every so often, making sure the sugar doesn’t burn. The sugar will start to form clumps before melting slowly. This process may take several minutes.
  • Once completely melted, remove from heat immediately and stir in the butter. Adding the butter will cause the mixture to bubble quite a bit.
  • Pour in a splash of the banana liquor and mix (optional)
  • Next, pour in the heavy cream and add the sea salt. Stir until everything is combined.
  • Pour into small bowl or cup and allow to cool completely before using.
  • I poured the caramel in a squirt bottle after cooling completely to make drizzling the caramel easier.

Notes

When making the homemade whipped cream,
Chill your equipment: Before you begin, it’s essential to chill your mixing bowl and beaters or whisk in the refrigerator for at least 15-20 minutes. This helps the cream whip faster and ensures a light, fluffy texture.

Additional Info

Course: Comfort Food, Dessert
Cuisine: American

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About Matt Price

I’m Matt Price – A self taught “Home Chef”, or “Internet Chef”, lol, from Virginia. I’m super passionate about cooking and sharing recipes and techniques to elevate home cooking. Too many of us have drifted away from the kitchen – and my goal is to change that! Let’s Make It Happen.

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