My kitchen always has the ingredients to make this easy homemade banana pudding with graham crackers. It's a perfect easy weekend dessert to have on hand and gets better the next day.
Say goodbye to powdered pudding mix because all you need to make homemade banana pudding are the eight simple ingredients.
Ingredient Substitutions and Variations
- Instead of whole milk, you can use low-fat milk with good results, the pudding won't be as rich but still good.
- Vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla paste. You can so use a lemon extract for a lemony pudding.
- The basic pudding from scratch is really a base for other flavors. Try adding in mixed berries instead of the bananas.
- You can substitute chocolate wafers, vanilla wafers, or even go another direction and layer in granola instead of using graham crackers.
- If out of cornstarch you can substitute flour at a 2:1 ratio, 2 parts flour to 1 part cornstarch.
How to Make the Pudding
- Combine your flour, sugar, cornstarch, and milk in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk in the egg yolk.
- Whisk constantly until the pudding begins to thicken, remove from the heat and stir in your vanilla extract and butter.
I use larger pieces of the graham crackers for the bottom layer and fine crumbs sprinkled on top of the banana pudding.
- Arrange sliced bananas and graham crackers on the bottom of a small casserole dish and pour in the vanilla pudding.
- Slice the remaining bananas and place them on top of the pudding and sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs.
- Chill until set.
What can I substitute for cornstarch?
Cornstarch is used as a thickener in the pudding. You can substitute flour at a 2:1 ratio, 2 tablespoons of flour for 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.
Why use homemade vanilla pudding instead of the packaged mix?
Homemade pudding is super simple and in my opinion, tastes better, and is made with fresh ingredients.
Why don't you use banana-flavored pudding mix in the recipe?
I like the banana flavor to come from the fresh bananas, a banana-flavored pudding mix overpowers the fresh flavor. It's really about personal preference, I love sweets, just not so sweet that it is all you taste. By using a homemade vanilla pudding, the flavor of the wafers and fresh banana mixes nicely. Again it really is about personal taste.
Why don't you use vanilla wafers?
I love the lighters texture and flavor of the graham crackers. On the bottom layer the graham crackers are in larger pieces and the top is sprinkled with a finer crumb.
Do I need to refrigerate the pudding?
Yes, the banana pudding should be chilled before serving. Banana pudding is a great make-ahead dessert. For the best banana flavor refrigerate the pudding overnight.
How Long Will Homemade Banana Pudding Last?
Your banana pudding should last for about two days if you leave it covered in the refrigerator. The bananas might start to look brown but they will still taste amazing.
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