This Creamy Homemade Banana Pudding from scratch is off the chart delicious.  In fact, this homemade custard made it to the National Banana Pudding Contest.  For the Banana Pudding contest, I used this custard in to make a Salted Caramel Banana Pudding.

This post will cover each step to making custard from scratch for homemade banana pudding.   Plus, you will find tips so that your homemade banana pudding will come out ideally the first time you make it.  You will notice lots of different pictures of banana pudding in this post.  I cannot count the number of times I have made this homemade banana pudding.  It is fabulous, and your family and friends will wave about it.

Ingredients Homemade Banana Pudding

The good news about making the custard from scratch is you probably already have all the ingredients on hand.  All you will need are eggs, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and whole milk.  For the pudding layers, you will need bananas, Nilla wafers, or shortbread cookies.Large bowl full of pudding.

Serving pudding in a beautiful glass is perfect for any special occasion.  To add a more appealing touch, top the dessert off with a White chocolate heart and or New Orleans PralinesPralines are fabulous with banana pudding.

Large bowl full of pudding.

This Creamy Homemade Banana Pudding from scratch is off the chart delicious.  In fact, this homemade custard made it to the National Banana Pudding Contest.

Triffle bowl full of pudding.

Light and Creamy Layered Homemade Banana Pudding with Pralines and Chocolate Hearts.

Add praline to dress up your pudding.

Use your stem glasses to serve your Layered Banana Pudding.

History of Banana Pudding

Banana pudding became popular in the U.S. after the Civil War.  Steamships were improved, and bananas were shipped to the U.S. from the Caribbean and Central America.  In 1888, a banana pudding recipe was printed in a Good Housekeeping magazine.  Today, it is still one of America’s favorite desserts.  Why?  My guess is banana pudding brings back fond memories of when grandma or mom made a special treat for the family.  Banana pudding recipes have been handed down over generations. It is the star at most family reunions, church socials, holiday tables, and even funerals.

But just in case you did not grow up eating banana pudding, you may not know how it is made.

Banana pudding is a dessert made by layering a sweet custard, cookies, (normally Nilla Wafers) and sliced fresh bananas.  It is typically topped with sweetened whipped cream or meringue.

What is Southern Banana Pudding?

People will argue to make an authentic Southern Banana Pudding, you will not only need to make a custard from scratch but make a meringue to cover the top of the pudding.  Next, you bake the dessert until the meringue is golden.   I think any banana pudding is a Southern treat, no matter if it is no-bake, cooked on the stove, or cooked in the oven.  If you are from the North, I would love to hear your opinion.  Did you grow up eating banana pudding?

Begin Your Homemade Banana Pudding

Begin making your Homemade Banana Pudding in a large pot on low heat to warm the whole milk.  Constantly stir this milk mixture.  It will burn.  Heat this mixture just before the boiling point.

Microwave to Warm Milk

You can use your microwave to warm your milk.  It is a faster way to warm milk and less likely to burn.  To steam 4 cups of cold whole milk, microwave 4 minutes and check to see how warm it is.  The milk should be steaming but not boiling.  If it is not steaming, warm another minute.

Separate Your Eggs

Separate the egg whites from the egg yolks.  You can save the egg white for an omelet or do whatever you want with them.  While I am preparing this pudding, I also treat my dogs by cooking the egg whites in the microwave for their treat.  They cannot eat the award-winning banana pudding, but they do not care.  They get a treat too.

Whisk The Egg Yolks

Now that you have your egg yolks separated grab a whisk and whisk them well.  Add the cornstarch, sugar, and salt, and continue whisking until very smooth and creamy.

Temper Your Egg Mixture

Tempering eggs can be scary, but it is not hard.  Trust me; you can do it.  The reason you temper your egg mixture is that if you put your eggs into the hot milk mixture, it will scramble the eggs.

Slowly drizzle 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while constantly whisking.  The trick is to whisk the eggs while adding the hot milk continually.  To be safe, I add a second cup of hot milk to the egg mixture.  Once all the eggs are warm, you can safely add the rest of the warm milk while stirring constantly.

Tip: When Making Homemade Banana Pudding Custard

If you have some bits of scrambled egg in your egg mixture, strain it.  Straining the mixture through a sieve will help you achieve a creamy banana pudding without lumps.

Add The Rest of  The Hot Milk

Whisk the rest of the milk into the eggs.  Keep whisking until the mixture thickens just until it coats the back of the spoon.  If you take it off the stove to early, the custard will be too thin.  The custard should be thick but not clumpy.  It should not be thick enough to stick to the spoon.  It will thicken even more in the refrigerator.  Once you fold in the sweetened whipped cream, it will create a light and almost mousse-like texture.

Remove The Custard From The Stove

Take the custard off the burner, and add one tablespoon pure Vanilla or pure Vanilla paste.

  • Cover the custard with plastic directly on top of it.
  • Place the custard in the refrigerator to cool before layering.

Once the Custard is Cool

To finish your Homemade Banana Pudding, whip up 1-1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/3 cup confectioners sugar.  It is best to fold the cream into the cooled custard for a light and creamy banana pudding.

Sliced Bananas

Slice the bananas and place them in a bowl with the juice of one lemon.

Layer This Banana Pudding

  1. Add banana pudding in the bottom of individual glasses.
  2. Top it with Nilla wafers.
  3. Add a layer of half of the sliced bananas.
  4. Repeat layers one more time
  5. Crush half a package of cookies in a ziplock bag and layer it on top of the pudding.
  6. Decorate with additional whipped cream.  Whip up one cup of heavy cream with 1/4 cup salted caramel.

Decorating Tip:

  1. Whip up one cup of heavy cream with 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.  Place it into a piping bag with a large decorating tip on it and pipe the whipped cream around the edges of this award-winning banana pudding.
  2. Decorate with Mini-Rolos

You could also put it in the Ziplock bag and pipe it on the pudding too.

Refrigerate You Pudding

White Chocolate Hearts

Melt the chocolate in a microwave 15 seconds at a time and then stir well.  Place the chocolate in a piping bag (use a zip-lock if you do not have a piping bag). Cut a tiny amount off the end of the bag.  Pipe an outline of a heart on a sheet of parchment paper, then fill it in with more chocolate.  Place on the counter to harden a few minutes.  Be careful when picking this chocolate up.

Be sure to see these delicious Banana Puddings:

Award-Winning Banana Pudding from National Banana Pudding Contest.

No-Bake Banana Pudding Also an Award-winning banana pudding at National Banana Pudding Contest.

This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you purchase after clicking a link, I will earn a small commission which helps keep my blog up and running, but it won’t cost you a penny more).

Banana Pudding Pie

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

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The following are some of my favorites glasses when making a special presentation with banana pudding.  You can go from plain to fabulous with a simple glass.

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Homemade Banana Pudding

This homemade banana pudding is fabulous and worth every bite.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana pudding, best banana pudding, best dessert, dessert, dessert desserts, homemade banana pudding
Servings: 10
Calories: 285kcal


  • Double this recipe if you are filling a large bowl.
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped with 1/4 cup sugar, add two tsp vanilla (You could also use Cool Whip)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 box Nilla wafers
  • 4 large bananas sliced (coat bananas with a couple of teaspoons of lemon juice)


  • warm the cold milk on the stove just until it is steaming and not boiling. You could also warm it in the microwave for 4 minutes. Do not boil or burn the milk. Watch it carefully.
  • Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt, and egg yolks to in a large pot.
  • While continually whisking, slowly drizzle two cups of steaming milk into the egg mixture.
  • Whisk in the rest of the steaming milk into the eggs.
  • With the burner on medium heat, whisk constantly until it starts to boil and thickens into pudding about 5 minutes.
  • Pudding will burn if it sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and butter and whisk until smooth.
  • Cover with a sheet of plastic wraps directly on top of the pudding to keep a skin from forming.
  • Refrigerate until cool.
  • Add a layer the pudding in your favorite glassware. Next, layer cookies, bananas. If have room in your glass. If you have room in your glass, repeat the layers until they fill the glass.
  • Decorate with sweetened whipped cream, cookies, pralines, white chocolate, caramel.
  • To make the sweetened whipped cream, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip! You will have butter.


Double this recipe if you are filling a large bowl like the one at the top of the page.


Calories: 285kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 130mg | Sodium: 94mg | Potassium: 261mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 582IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg

Homemade Banana Pudding

This Creamy Homemade Banana Pudding from scratch is off the chart delicious.  In fact, this homemade custard made it to the National Banana Pudding Contest.

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