Recipe for Southern Banana Pudding from Scratch

March 22, 2016 separator Dessert Recipes

Give Paula Deen a run for her money with this recipe for Southern banana pudding from scratch!

Southern Banana Pudding Parfaits Recipe

This sweet treat was a childhood necessity in my family growing up. My mom made banana pudding from scratch, and I have great memories of licking the pudding bowl while it was still warm.

Sometimes I would hover in the kitchen, sneaking the Nilla Wafers, and now when I make this recipe, my kids do the same to me.

You can make this banana pudding easy peasy with real bananas, real cream, Nilla Wafers, and of course some butter!

This recipe is one of those you never forget, and is still easy enough to make in an afternoon, and even enlist the help of kids. Layering the vanilla wafers and bananas, these can be made in any cups or even ramekins for individual servings. Have fun creating this amazing comfort food in a cup!

P.S. Need another recipe to help use up those ripe bananas? Try this gluten-free banana bread recipe!

banana pudding parfaits

Common Questions About Making Southern Banana Pudding from Scratch

  • Can banana pudding be made a day ahead of time? Real southern banana pudding is one of those magical dishes that actually gets better with time. So yes, feel free to make it in advance!
  • How do you thicken banana pudding? There are different ways you can thicken up banana pudding, but in this recipe we use cornstarch and heat. 
  • How long does banana pudding last in the fridge? Since we’re using fresh, real ingredients, you’ll want to eat your “from scratch” banana pudding within a week. 
  • How ripe should bananas be for banana pudding? You want to use really ripe bananas for a good southern banana pudding, so wait until they’re getting brown spots on the peels!
  • Do bananas ripen faster in plastic bags? Since you want really ripe bananas for this banana pudding recipe, you may need to help speed up the process a bit. Bananas actually ripen faster in a paper bag than a plastic bag because it allows oxygen to get through but traps the ethylene gas that the banana

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Recipe for southern banana pudding from scratch in single serving parfait cups with real Nilla Wafers

Tips When You’re Making This Southern Banana Pudding Recipe

  • Be patient. This banana pudding recipe is so much more delicious if you wait for the bananas to get ripe!
  • It’s all about the layers. Layering the ingredients and then letting the flavors meld is what makes this such a delicious dish — especially as banana pudding parfaits!
  • Homemade is best. This recipe is all about being made from scratch*. Yes, even for the homemade whipped cream**!
  • Get the kids involved. This is a great recipe to make with kids. Let them stir and layer and pour. They’ll love the memories you’re making together!

*You know what else is delicious and made from scratch? This pumpkin whoopie pie recipe!

**This strawberry whipped cream would be a fun way to add a unique flavor element.

banana pudding parfaits

Yield: 6

Recipe for Southern Banana Pudding from Scratch

Recipe for Southern Banana Pudding from Scratch

This recipe for Southern banana pudding from scratch uses real bananas, vanilla wafers, and whipped cream to make delicious single serving parfaits. So it's perfect for dessert at a party or a bridal shower -- especially in the South! Kids will love this sweet, simple treat, too!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Vanilla wafers
  • Bananas
  • 1 cup whipping cream


  1. Combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt with 1 cup of milk in a mixing bowl, and set it aside.
  2. Scald the remaining 3 cups of milk in a medium saucepan, and add the cornstarch mixture.
  3. Stir over medium heat until thickened, making sure not to let it burn on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Once it's thickened, after a few minutes, reduce the heat to low, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  5. Remove from heat, and add butter and a teaspoon of vanilla.
  6. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, but don't wait too long, or it'll get too thick.
  7. While you're waiting for it to cool, start layering Nilla Wafers and bananas in cups or ramekins.
  8. Pour pudding over the layers, and let it chill.
  9. Before serving, whip the cream and the remaining teaspoon of vanilla in a mixer on high until stiff peaks form.
  10. Top the parfaits with a scoop of homemade whipped cream and crumbled vanilla wafers. The more layers, the better!


  • To scald the milk, bring it almost to a boil.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 416Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 68mgSodium: 323mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 1gSugar: 30gProtein: 7g
banana pudding parfaits

Contributor: Stephanie Studer, Life Created: Instagram . Facebook . Pinterest . Twitter

Stephanie is an Arizona resident who owns her own small business & blog all about providing custom styling and photography for businesses, photographers, event planners and other bloggers. Being a mom of 3 little girls surely keeps her busy at home, but she loves to share her passion for beautiful shots and fresh style with others. As a family, Stephanie loves to play outside and spend a lot of time crafting or making yummy food to eat.


  1. Yum!!! Love that they are in individual cups, and I love anything banana flavored!

    1. Yeah – such a great way to prep for a party or shower or just little treats to eat throughout the week!

  2. Those look so beautiful! I LOVE banana pudding like woah! I am going to make these soon.


    1. Not terrible at all — I’m thinking of whipping up a batch for breakfast and lunch for the rest of the week! 😉

  3. Ohhh! I will be saving these and making them! Your photos make me want to jump into your blog and eat them up! haha!

    1. RIGHT?! Stephanie takes the most beautiful photos of food that I think I’d eat just about anything she shoots!

  4. Oh my goodness! I’m not the best cook, but I have to try this!!!! My stomach is growling as I type!

  5. My husband loves anything banana and this seems like such a perfectly easy but delicious dessert to surprise him with!
    Thanks for the share 🙂

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