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Old Fashioned Banana Pudding from Scratch

If you’re looking for a great recipe for small-batch old fashioned banana pudding from scratch, you’ve come to the right place! This classic banana pudding recipe is simple and delicious. My kitchen always has the ingredients to make this easy homemade pudding from scratch. 

If you have some leftover bananas. you might also like my single-serving homemade panna cotta, mini banana cream pie, or the popular mini eggless banana bread recipe for one.

Single serving  of banana pudding in clear dessert cup.

❤️What to Love About This Recipe

  • It’s a perfect easy weekend banana and graham cracker dessert to have on hand.
  • A great to make-ahead dessert, and it gets even tastier the next day.
  • Say goodbye to powdered pudding mix and hello to easy homemade banana pudding with these eight simple ingredients.
  • This classic southern dessert yield is 2 cups; however, it can easily be doubled.

✔ Ingredients Notes

banana pudding ingredients; sugar, milk, cornstarch, egg yolk,vanilla paste, butter, graham crackers and banana.
what you need to make pudding from scratch, it’s so easy you will never buy packaged again.

✔ 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.
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract can be substituted for the vanilla paste. You can so use a lemon extract for a lemony pudding. For extra banana flavor add a drop or two of banana extract.
  • The basic pudding from scratch is really a base for other flavors. Try adding in mixed berries instead of banana slices.
  • You can substitute chocolate wafers, vanilla wafers, nilla 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 Banana Pudding from Scratch

pudding cooking in saucepan.

Step 1: Combine your flour, sugar, cornstarch, and milk in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and whisk in the egg yolk.

Step 2: Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble and starts to thicken about 10-12 minutes. Don’t turn up the heat to make it cook faster, you want the pudding to cook slowly to avoid burning the mixture.

Step 3: Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla paste.

Collage of banana pudding layers in small baking dish.

Step 4: Place broken-up pieces of graham crackers sliced bananas on the bottom of a small casserole dish.

Step 5: Pour the pudding over the bananas and graham crackers, and top with more slices of banana.

Step 6: Sprinkle finely crushed graham crackers on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set and serve cold. 

This pudding is great topped with some homemade whipped cream. if you enjoy this recipe then check out more of my small batch dessert recipes.

✎Recipe Notes

  • I like the banana flavor to come from the fresh ripe bananas,  a banana-flavored pudding mix overpowers the fresh flavor and the instant vanilla pudding is always a little too sweet for my liking.  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.
  • I love the lighter 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.

🍽️How to Serve

The banana pudding should be chilled before serving. This old-fashioned pudding is a great make-ahead dessert.

For the best banana flavor refrigerate the pudding overnight. 

❄️Storage

Refrigerate any unused pudding in a covered container. The bananas may brown but will still taste wonderful!

?Common Questions

What can I substitute for cornstarch when making pudding?

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.

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.

Did you make this recipe? I would love it if you left a comment or review! Be sure to sign up for the email list and follow “A Weekend Cook” on Pinterest and my Facebook page.

vanilla pudding in rectangular casserole dish topped with sliced bananas and graham cracker crumbs.

Homemade Banana Pudding

An old-fashioned creamy dessert.
Estimated Cost: $1.35 recipe / $0.34 serving
4.50 from 14 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 291kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana’s sliced
  • 2 sheet graham crackers crushed
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla paste

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan whisk together the sugar, milk, cornstarch, salt, and lightly beaten egg yolk
  • Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently. Cook until the mixture begins to bubble and starts to thicken about 10-12 minutes. Don't turn up the heat to make it cook faster, you want the pudding to cook slowly to avoid burning the mixture.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla paste.
  • Place broken-up pieces of graham crackers sliced bananas on the bottom of a small casserole dish.
  • Pour the pudding over the bananas and graham crackers, and top with more slices of banana.
  • Sprinkle finely crushed graham crackers on top.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set and serve cold. 

Notes

Choose the Right Bananas: Just like with banana bread, the choice of bananas can make a big difference. However, in contrast to banana bread, where overripe bananas are preferred, for banana pudding, you want to use bananas that are ripe but still firm, to prevent them from turning mushy.
Make Homemade Custard: The custard is the backbone of banana pudding. It does make a difference in terms of flavor and richness. Use fresh ingredients for the best result.
Layering Is Key: The arrangement of your ingredients can affect the final result. Always start and finish with a layer of graham crackers, with bananas and custard in between. This will allow the graham crackers to absorb some moisture and become deliciously soft.
Use Plain Graham Crackers: The cookies play a substantial role in banana pudding, so opt for a plain graham crackers to avoid an oeverly sweet taste. For a more traditional banana pudding, substitute vanilla wafers for the graham crackers.
Let It Sit: Banana pudding gets better with time. Allowing it to sit in the fridge for a few hours, or even overnight, lets the flavors meld together and enhances the overall taste.
Top with Fresh Whipped Cream: Instead of store-bought, try making your own whipped cream for topping. It’s simple to make and the freshness will enhance the taste of your pudding. 
Serve Chilled: Banana pudding is best served chilled. Before serving, make sure it has had enough time in the refrigerator.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup | Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g
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What’s your favorite graham cracker dessert?

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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My Grandma always made banana pudding from scratch when we would go to visit on the first Sunday of every month. Everyone always looked forward to Grandma’s to-die-for banana pudding. She kept her recipe secret and never passed it down to anyone. I made this pudding last night, and Oh! how it reminded me of my childhood days at Grandma’s house! Sometimes she made it with graham crackers, and sometimes with Nilla Wafers. I tweaked the recipe slightly, by adding a couple drops of banana extract and a pinch of salt. I also did the bottom layer of graham crackers and bananas, then poured the pudding to cover that layer, then another layer of bananas, covering with the rest of the pudding. This way there are no exposed bananas to turn brown. Absolutley delicious! Thanks you for sharing your recipe!

    1. Thank you for sharing and Im so happy you enjoy the recipe! Every time i make this pudding I think of my Mom, true comfort food.
      Cheers