Homemade Banana Pudding

5 from 2 votes
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Creamy and sweet Homemade Banana Pudding is a treat of a dessert, and this is the classic version made completely from scratch! You’ll find a cool custard filling layered between crisp gluten-free vanilla wafers and topped with a fluffy crown of meringue. This is a total crowd-pleaser!

A portion of homemade banana pudding is shown in a glass.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Everyone loves homemade banana pudding, especially the kids! And how could they not? This is a classic dessert for a reason, with three main components: creamy custard, crisp cookies, and pillowy meringue. You’ll layer the custard and cookies with ripe slices of banana, then top them with whipped egg whites.

This is such a homey, old-fashioned dessert that nonetheless satisfies our modern sensibilities. I love that every component in this gf banana pudding is made from scratch, including the vanilla wafers! (You can use my solid recipe for gluten-free vanilla wafers that’s linked below, although if you are short on time you can buy a box of gluten-free cookies.)

Whenever I serve banana pudding, there are very few leftovers! Here’s why you’ll love this gf banana pudding recipe:

  • Naturally gluten-free. This homemade banana pudding is entirely gluten-free, making it a wonderful choice for those who keep to a gluten-free diet.
  • Rich creamy flavor. Sweet bananas are the star of this dish, and you’ll definitely taste them. I love how the ripe banana slices sink into the custard filling during baking, and infuse the entire dessert with fragrance and flavor.
  • Feeds a crowd. This gf banana pudding makes a lot of pudding, 16 servings, to be precise. It’s a wonderful dessert to serve when you have company.
  • Prep in advance. It holds up well to being made in advance, so you can plan to make it the day before you serve it.
  • Timeless. Not only is it a classic, it’s a perfect choice for any time of year – bananas are always easily available, so you won’t have to worry about not being able to find them
A glass pan of homemade banana pudding is shown topped with meringue.

Homemade Banana Pudding Ingredients

Here’s an overview of the ingredients in this gluten free banana pudding. Make sure to scroll to the recipe card at the end of this post for the full ingredient amounts.

  • Eggs: Eggs form the creamy base of the pudding.
  • Granulated Sugar: To enhance the natural sweetness of the bananas.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a wonderful gluten-free thickener for sauces and pudding.
  • Salt: A little salt balances the sweetness of the pudding.
  • Milk: Whole milk is best in this recipe.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter.
  • Vanilla Extract: Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers: I love using homemade cookies in this recipe, but you can use store-bought cookies. You’ll need about two boxes of store-bought wafers, such as Kinnikinnick.
  • Ripe Bananas: Choose bananas that are very yellow, not green.
Ingredients for homemade banana pudding are shown in bowls: bananas, vanilla, milk, gluten free flour, gluten free cookies.

How To Make Banana Pudding From Scratch

Follow along with the photos and instructions below to help you make this wonderful banana pudding:

  • Separate the eggs. Separate your eggs and place the egg yolks in a small bowl and the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Set the whites aside to come to room temperature.
  • Start the custard. Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk.
  • Boil the mixture. Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking gently the entire time. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon and you can run your finger across and the liquid does not fill in where you wiped your finger.
  • Temper the eggs. Remove the pot from the heat. While whisking the yolks, slowly pour about a cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks. Then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture in the pot while whisking constantly.
  • Thicken the mixture. Return mixture to the stove and heat until it just begins to bubble, then remove from the heat immediately.
  • Finish the custard. Stir in butter until it is melted, then stir in vanilla. Set aside but move immediately to assembling the banana pudding so that it stays warm.
  • Make preparations for baking. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set aside about 8-10 vanilla wafers to top the banana pudding before serving.
  • Make the layers. Spread a layer of the egg custard evenly across the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, then cover with a layer of wafers and one-third of the banana slices. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients to make 3 layers.
  • Make the meringue. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed to form soft peaks. While beating, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat to form stiff peaks. Do not over beat and let them become dry.
  • Top with meringue. Spoon the egg white mixture over the top of the custard, spreading to the edges and sealing.
  • Bake the pudding. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned.
  • Cool and serve. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Top with reserved vanilla wafers (whole or crumbled) and/or additional banana slices before serving.
A glass pan of homemade banana pudding is shown topped with meringue.

Tips for Success

Here are a few best tips for success when you make this pudding:

  • Use ripe bananas. For a strong banana taste (this is banana pudding after all!), make sure to use ripe bananas. You’ll want to choose bananas that are yellow with a few brown spots for the best flavor. Skip using bananas that are still green.
  • Separate your eggs carefully. For the best, fluffiest meringue, separate your eggs carefully. Try to avoid getting even a speck of yolk in the whites because that will affect how well they whip up.
  • Make sure your bowl and beaters are clean. Using a very clean bowl and beaters or whisk on your mixer will help you easily whip the meringue.
  • Bring the egg white to room temperature. Another tip for making the best meringue is to bring your egg whites to room temperature before you whip them.
  • Swap the meringue for whipped cream. If you’d like a creamier, richer topping for this homemade banana pudding, you can use whipped cream. Simply leave off the meringue and proceed with the recipe as written. When the pudding is thoroughly chilled in the fridge, whip 2 cups of heavy cream, then spread it evenly over the top of the pudding. Or, serve this gf banana pudding with dollops of whipped cream alongside the meringue topping.
A portion of homemade banana pudding is shown in a glass.

Can GF Banana Pudding Be Prepared In Advance?

Yes! Banana pudding is best made in advance so that it has enough time to cool and set. I recommend making this pudding the day before you plan to serve it, although you can plan to make it at least 2 hours in advance of serving it for the best results.

Proper Storage

Store homemade banana pudding in the pan in the fridge for up to 3 days. To keep the meringue intact, stick some toothpicks into the top of the pudding and then lay plastic wrap on top so that it doesn’t touch the surface of the pudding.

A portion of homemade banana pudding is shown in a glass.
5 from 2 votes

Homemade Banana Pudding

Creamy and sweet Homemade Banana Pudding is a treat of a dessert, and this is the classic version made completely from scratch! You'll find a cool custard filling layered between crisp gluten-free vanilla wafers and topped with a fluffy crown of meringue. This is a total crowd-pleaser!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 16 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs , separated, with the yolks lightly beaten
  • 1 cup granulated sugar , divided
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups whole milk (you can use 2%, but it will result in a softer set)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 batch Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers or about two boxes of store-bought wafers (such as Kinnikinnick), depending on the size you’ll need about 50-80 cookies (16-25 per layer, plus extra for garnish)
  • 5 ripe bananas , sliced (about 3 ½ cups)

Instructions

  • Separate your eggs and place the egg yolks in a small bowl and the egg whites in a very clean mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer. Set the whites aside to come to room temperature.
  • Combine ¾ cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the milk.
  • Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking gently the entire time.
  • Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon and you can run your finger across and the liquid does not fill in where you wiped your finger.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. While whisking the yolks, slowly pour about a cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks.
  • Then pour the egg yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture in the pot while whisking constantly.
  • Return mixture to the stove and heat until it just begins to bubble, then remove from the heat immediately.
  • Stir in butter until it is melted, then stir in vanilla. Set aside but move immediately to assembling the banana pudding so that it stays warm.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Set aside about 8-10 vanilla wafers to top the banana pudding before serving.
  • Spread a thin layer of the custard on the bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish or 1 ½ quart casserole dish. Cover with a single layer of vanilla wafers, and about one-third of the banana slices. Pour one-third of the remaining custard over the bananas, followed by a layer of wafers and another one-third of the bananas. Repeat with another one-third of the custard, wafers, and the remaining bananas. Finish with a final layer of custard.
  • Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the egg whites on high speed to form soft peaks. While beating, gradually add the remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar and beat to form stiff peaks. Do not over beat and let them become dry.
  • Spoon the egg white mixture over the top of the custard, spreading to the edges and sealing.
  • Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the meringue is lightly browned.
  • Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Top with reserved vanilla wafers (whole or crumbled) and/or additional banana slices before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Banana Pudding
Amount Per Serving
Calories 142 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.3g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 40mg13%
Sodium 67mg3%
Potassium 214mg6%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 19g21%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 186IU4%
Vitamin C 3mg4%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Disclaimers: Please discuss your individual dietary needs (i.e. gluten free) with a physician. Even when not specified, be sure to verify all ingredients are gluten free, if needed, by reading labels on all packaging and/or confirming with the manufacturer this varies by brand and can change at any time. Nutrition information shown is an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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