Traditional Southern Banana Pudding

This classic Southern banana pudding starts with a layer of Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, homemade vanilla pudding, and is topped with piles of meringue. Eat it warm (the Southern way), or after it’s been chilled!

Quite a long time ago (seven years, to be exact), I shared a recipe for Southern banana pudding with you all. It had Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, even homemade vanilla pudding, and I topped it with homemade whipped cream.

If you’re from the south, you probably just cringed.

I received tons of comments from readers about how true banana pudding should be made with meringue on top, not whipped cream. And it really should be eaten warm, not cold. I’m not going to lie… I much prefer whipped cream to meringue and I like my pudding cold, not warm, but I put it on the back burner and figured I would give it a go one day.

Well, it’s here! And it only took seven years 


For the Pudding

  • 1 cup (198 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (71 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3½ cups (840 ml) whole milk, divided
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Assembly

  • 1 (11-ounce) box vanilla wafers
  • 6 medium bananas, sliced ½-inch thick

For the Meringue

  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1⅓ cups (265 grams) granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Make the Pudding: In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt. Whisk in ½ cup of the milk and the egg yolks. In a large saucepan, place the remaining 3 cups milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently. Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture. Whisk the egg mixture into the remaining hot milk in the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Add the butter and vanilla, stirring until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  • Assemble the Dish: Arrange vanilla wafers in the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish (you can reserve some to garnish, if you wish), and top with the banana slices. Pour the pudding through a fine-mesh sieve over the bananas and spread into an even layer.

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