Family Recipes: Banana Pudding



I offer this recipe to you with a bit of trepidation. I haven't personally eaten it all together. I tasted parts of it, but definitely not the whole. I'm not a fan of Nilla Wafers. And bananas? I've never really liked bananas. 

One day, when I was about eight, that changed. I learned to hate bananas. I was on a Girl Scout campout and there was nothing I liked for breakfast. So I ate a banana just because I disliked cereal more than I disliked bananas. Shortly after eating the banana, my face and mouth began to swell.

I was rushed to the hospital, pumped full of epinephrine, chased by Benadryl. 

And sent home. 

No one would let me go back to camp. They never said bananas were the culprit. But I hate them to this day.

All that said, my husband is a huge fan of banana pudding. Loves, loves, loves it. And he told my friend Mindy the other day that he really wished I'd make it for him. Big, brown, pitiful puppy dog eyes.

I did some research and tinkered a bit and came up with the following recipe. Mike declared it the best banana pudding EVER. And he's taste-tested all over the country. He was still talking about it four days later. With that stamp of approval, I offer it to you, even though there's no chance I'm quality-checking it myself.



Banana Pudding

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 5-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 4 ripe banana
  • 1 box of Nilla Wafers

Whip the whipping cream until you have soft peaks and set aside. You can sweeten it a little if you like, but I didn't.

In another bowl, beat the cream cheese until perfectly smooth and fluffy. Beat in the condensed milk. When that is smooth, beat in the whole milk, the extract, and the pudding mix until it is all incorporated and smooth. It will thicken a little more after sitting.

Line the bottom of a 9X13 inch glass pan with a single layer of Nilla Wafers. Add a layer of sliced bananas on top.

Gently fold half the whipped cream into the pudding mixture.

Gently spread the pudding mixture on top of the bananas.

Push Nilla Wafers vertically along the side of the pan.

Top the pudding with the remainder of the whipped cream.

If your children haven't yet polished off the remainder of the Nilla Wafers, make crumbs of them and sprinkle on top.

Refrigerate until serving time.

Serves 12 nicely.

I'm told it's top-notch for breakfast the next day.