Hi, I’m from the Midwest and we went to the buffet growing up. I like to think I’ve evolved from that form of gluttony but now it’s just all a homemade smorgasbord. Whoops. In a sea of jello, sugar laden cakes and soft serve, there was always one dessert that stuck out to me. The banana pudding! No, not the southern style type with a perfectly coifed meringue on top. This baby had creamy vanilla pudding layered with nilla wafers and chopped up bananas. Today, I decided to recreate this dish with a bit of an elevation.
Don’t be alarmed by the homemade-ness of this dessert! Trust me, it’s super easy. The pudding recipe is oh, so, simple and very forgiving. I’ve made homemade pastry cream in the past which is a little more difficult. You’ve gotta be careful not to scramble your eggs into your cream. Luckily, there is no need to worry about that with this homemade pudding. There is no need to pour hot milk into your eggs. I told you this recipe was easy. I made my pudding a little thinner than your generic snack-pak but it definitely firmed up in the fridge. Just leave it on the stove a little longer or shorter depending on how your desired thickness.
But, the pudding isn’t the only homemade part of this dish. You could just grab a box of those little vanilla cookies with all the icky ingredients. Or, you could just as easily whip up these cute little vanilla wafers. If you have little ones at home, this is a super easy recipe for them to help make. It isn’t too technical like most other cookie recipes. Which means there is a good margin of error for our littlest chefs.
If you’ve ever had banana pudding, you’ll know that the best part is all the different textures in it. These little cookies help guide that texture. Since they are more of the crisp/crunchy side instead of soft, they definitely add some dimension to the banana pudding. Depending on how crunchy or mushy you like your vanilla wafers, you can leave them in shorter or longer before you dig in.
Obviously, I had to add a little something extra to my banana pudding. What else goes great with this besides dark chocolate chips? The answer is nothing, nothing goes better than chocolate with anything. If you want to take this to a party, all you need to do is create some layers in a 9×13 glass pan. I used a wine glass for mine because I think it’s cute and it’s actually the perfect shape! This dessert would be so perfect for a ladies night, especially when it’s served in this nice little glass cup. Here’s hoping I did the buffet proud.
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/8 cup cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 teaspoons vanilla
- finished vanilla pudding
- finished vanilla wafers
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- optional: strawberries, blueberries, other fruits
- Whisk sugar into milk and warm over low heat, until sugar is dissolved.
- When bubbles start to appear around the edges, ladle a cup of the milk/sugar into a separate bowl with the cornstarch.
- Whisk constantly until cornstarch is completely combined. Add back into remaining milk/sugar mix on stove.
- Stir constantly until mixture thickens, about 6-8 minutes.
- Turn the heat to the lowest setting and cover the pot loosely. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, uncover, and whisk in the butter and vanilla.
- Pour into separate bowl from saucepan and let cool.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar on medium for about 3 minutes.
- Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for about 1 minute.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined. Careful not to overmix.
- Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.
- Scoop the batter (teaspoon size) into balls and arrange on parchment lined baking sheets.
- Using fingers, slightly flatten the dough balls.
- Bake about 20-22 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
- Remove from pans and let cool on cooling rack.
- Chop banana and any other fruit and set aside.
- Choose your vessel for serving - wine glass, bowl, 9x13 pan, etc.
- Layer pudding, bananas, wafers, chocolate chips. Continue to layer until ingredients are gone or your serving vessel is full.
- Let your pudding cup hang out for a bit to let the cookies soften a bit.
- Dig in!