Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding

This vanilla wafer banana pudding recipe tastes even better than the recipe your mom made when you were a kid (you know, the one that comes on the box of instant pudding) but is just as easy to make. Swear.

Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding Recipe

Vanilla wafer banana pudding. Not a lot has changed since you last had this after-school classic. It’s still easy. It’s still quick. And it’s still gosh darned comforting as heck. Here it is, made from scratch rather than from a box of instant pudding. Although one thing that has changed, thankfully, is the fact that there are now vanilla wafers on the market that don’t contain high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, or any other multi-syllabic and mysterious-sounding ingredients that we stumble to pronounce. Many thanks, Back to Nature Foods. This recipe has been updated. Originally published August 16, 2012.Renee Schettler Rossi

Vanilla Wafer Banana Pudding Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 10 to 12


  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 ripe bananas, depending on their size
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 50 vanilla wafers, crushed if desired, plus a few whole wafers for decoration


  • 1. Place the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl and whisk just enough to combine them
  • 2. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Carefully add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly until the mixture starts to thicken, about 8 minutes. Do not let the pudding come to a full rolling boil, just a wee gentle boil. Immediately remove the pan from the heat.
  • 3. Slowly pour half the thickened milk into the egg yolks, whisking well. Return the pan to medium heat and slowly pour the yolk mixture into the pan. Stirring the mixture in the pan constantly, bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Continue to cook, still stirring constantly, for 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract until incorporated. Set aside to cool.
  • 4. While the pudding cools, beat the cream with a stand mixer or handheld mixer until light and fluffy. Do not overbeat. Gently fold in the confectioners’ sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.
  • 5. Peel the bananas, cut them into 1/2 inch slices, sprinkle them with the lemon juice, and gently toss to coat.
  • 6. Spoon 2 cups vanilla pudding in the bottom of a 2-quart bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup crushed wafers (or, if you prefer the wafers whole, 1/3 of the wafers). Arrange 1 cup sliced bananas any way you wish over the wafers. Spoon in the rest of the pudding and coat with 1 cup crushed wafers or almost all of the remaining wafers. Arrange the remaining banana slices on top of the wafers, reserving a few banana slices for garnish. Cover the entire surface with the whipped cream. If desired, decorate with the reserved banana slices and some more whole wafers. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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