Southern-Style Banana Pudding With Vanilla Wafers Recipe

Southern-Style Banana Pudding With Vanilla Wafers Recipe: Imagine sitting on a porch swing on a warm Southern evening, enjoying a spoonful of creamy, dreamy banana pudding. This classic Southern dessert, beloved for its rich flavor and simple charm, combines ripe bananas, velvety vanilla custard, and crisp vanilla wafers, all topped with a fluffy meringue or whipped cream. Here’s how you can bring this delightful treat to your table, evoking the sweetness and warmth of the South in every bite.

Why Banana Pudding Captures the Southern Essence

More Than Just a Dessert

Banana pudding is more than just a sweet treat; it’s a part of Southern culture, often present at family gatherings, Sunday dinners, and holiday tables. It represents comfort, tradition, and a sense of home.

Essential Ingredients for Authentic Flavor

Choosing Your Components

To make authentic Southern-style banana pudding, you need the right ingredients. Each component plays a crucial role in creating the perfect dessert.

Key Ingredients

  • Vanilla wafers
  • Ripe bananas
  • Vanilla pudding mix or homemade custard
  • Whipped cream or meringue topping

Classic Southern-Style Banana Pudding Recipe

A Time-Honored Tradition

Follow these steps to create a banana pudding that tastes like it came straight from a Southern grandma’s kitchen.


  1. Vanilla Wafers: 1 box (about 11 ounces)
  2. Bananas: 5-6 medium, sliced
  3. Milk: 3 cups (for the pudding mix)
  4. Vanilla Pudding Mix: 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) or homemade custard
  5. Heavy Cream: 2 cups (for homemade whipped cream)
  6. Granulated Sugar: 1/4 cup (for whipped cream)
  7. Vanilla Extract: 1 teaspoon (for whipped cream)

Preparing the Pudding

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Layer the Wafers

Start by lining the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish with vanilla wafers. Overlap them slightly to create a solid base.

Step 2: Add Bananas

Layer the sliced bananas on top of the wafers. Ensure even coverage so every bite gets a taste of banana.

Step 3: Prepare the Pudding

If using pudding mix: Whisk the pudding mix with milk until smooth and slightly thickened, then pour over the banana layer. If making custard from scratch: Prepare your custard, then pour it over the bananas while still warm.

Assembling the Dessert

Creating Layers

Repeat the layering process if desired, or proceed to topping the pudding for a single-layer dessert.

Step 4: Add Toppings

For whipped cream: Whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form, then spread over the pudding. For meringue: Beat egg whites with sugar until stiff peaks form and spread over the pudding, making sure to seal the edges.

Baking the Meringue

Final Touches

If using meringue, bake the pudding at 350°F for about 15 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown. If using whipped cream, chill the pudding for at least an hour before serving.

Tips for the Best Banana Pudding

Ensuring Perfection

  1. Banana Ripeness: Use bananas that are ripe but still firm enough to hold their shape when sliced.
  2. Chill Time: Allow the pudding to chill thoroughly before serving to let the flavors meld together.
  3. Serving: Serve chilled, garnished with additional wafers or banana slices if desired.


Southern-style banana pudding with vanilla wafers is a delightful treat that brings the comfort and tradition of Southern cooking right to your dining table. Whether for a festive occasion or a casual dessert, this banana pudding recipe promises to be a crowd-pleaser.

Leave a Comment