Traditional Southern Style Banana Pudding

homemade banana pudding with vanilla wafers

Southern Comfort Food

Nothing says Southern comfort food more than a traditional banana pudding. You can prepare banana pudding with instant mixes and frozen whipped topping, but nothing takes the place of a warm banana pudding just out of the oven. Cold is just fine too!

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • KID FRIENDLY – What’s not to love…….bananas and vanilla wafers, you’re off to a good start!
  • SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – You likely have everything you need in your pantry except for bananas and possibly vanilla wafers. (By the way, Jackson vanilla wafers were the best! Unfortunately, they are no longer available. Nilla wafers are the next best option in my opinion.)
  • INEXPENSIVE – The vanilla wafers would be the most expensive ingredient in this recipe, but you should be able to make a banana pudding for less than $10.

Banana Pudding Ingredients

Southern Style Banana Pudding

custard or filling

3/4 c sugar

6 T flour

4 egg yolks (reserve whites)

dash salt

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 c milk

6 T butter

4 bananas sliced

vanilla wafers


4 egg whites

1/2 c sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

2 T cornstarch

1/2 water

Browning Bananas

The only downside to banana pudding, in my opinion, is that the sliced bananas turn brown quickly. This doesn’t affect the taste, but it does impact the appearance. At our house, banana pudding is usually eaten before the bananas can change color, but there are ways to slow down the process.

Sliced bananas turn brown because an enzyme in the fruit reacts with oxygen in the air, causing it to change color. The same thing happens to apples and pears when you peel them.

*This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission from the sale.


Dip sliced bananas in lemon juice to prevent browning. The citric acid in the lemon juice slows down the oxidation process.

My favorite method is to mix 2 tablespoons of Ball Fruit-Fresh with 3 tablespoons of water, dip the banana slices in the solution, and then drain them.


Prepare the Custard

Before you do anything with the custard (or filling), mix up the water and cornstarch for the meringue so it can be cooling. Just combine the water and cornstarch, cook over low heat until it’s thickened like a gel, remove from heat, and allow to cool completely.

Prepare the filling before you slice the bananas. Mix the sugar, flour, egg yolks, salt, vanilla extract, and milk and cook over low heat until thickened. It may take 5-10 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat and add butter.

Vanilla Wafers

You’ll notice I didn’t mention how many vanilla wafers. It just all depends on how you like your banana pudding))) I had a pound package and probably used about half.

Choose an oven-safe dish and grease it with butter if you prefer. I like to use a clear dish to line the sides with vanilla wafers. Place some wafers at the bottom and add banana slices on top. Pour or spread some of the filling over the wafers and bananas. Continue layering wafers and bananas, finishing with a layer of filling on top, covering the wafers and bananas completely to the edge.

Line the sides with more vanilla wafers if you like. Set aside and prepare the meringue.


Beat the egg whites until frothy using an electric mixer. Slowly add the sugar and cream of tartar. Occasionally I like to add a bit of vanilla extract but use clear vanilla. Add the cooled cornstarch gel and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.

Spread over the top of the banana pudding. Bake in a preheated oven at 350° until lightly browned. This will only take a few minutes, so watch it closely. There have been times that I have burned the meringue! If this happens to you, don’t worry))) You can scrape it off and make another batch!

Serve Your Banana Pudding

Some folks like it warm right from the oven (that would be me), and others rather have it chilled in the refrigerator. Either way, a traditional banana pudding will satisfy that craving for Southern comfort food.

Without a doubt, you’ll find banana pudding at any potluck dinner, family reunion, summer social, church supper, or funeral meal in the South.

Banana Pudding

Homestyle banana pudding, easy, delicious warm or cold, always a family favorite.
Prep Time10 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana pudding
Servings: 8
Calories: 353kcal





  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, flour, salt, egg yolks, milk and vanilla in a saucepan. Cook over low heat stirring constantly. Remove from heat when pudding thickens. Add butter.
    Grease a two-quart baking dish, layer banana slices and vanilla wafers then cover with custard, continue with layers finishing with custard on top. Add wafer to sides of dish.
    Prepare meringue. Combine water and cornstarch in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened. Cool mixture.
    Beat egg whites until foam and increasing in volume, slowly add sugar and Cream of Tartar. Continue to beat whip until soft peaks form. Add the cooled cornstarch mixture and whip until stiff peaks form. Spread over banana pudding and bake until lightly browned. Watch closely.
    Serve warm or cold.


Prepare custard before slicing bananas. 
Tip: Mix 2 tsp of Ball Fruit-Fresh with 3 T of water and dip banana slices to help keep them from turning as dark.
Note: Nutritional numbers are just estimates and not calculated by a nutritionist.


Serving: 0.75cup | Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 379mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 529IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1mg
following on pinterest
homemade banana pudding, southern comfort food

What about you?

Do you enjoy banana pudding warm or cold? Leave me a comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *