Essence of Eats: Famous Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding

IMG_4171Sometimes the idea of banana-flavored desserts isn’t always appealing. However, with creamy vanilla pudding, whipped cream, ‘Nilla wafers and ripened bananas, this famous recipe for Magnolia Bakery banana pudding, takes the cake–errr–the pudding. When I made this pudding a few weeks ago, my mom wasn’t so sure she would like it.  I split my pudding up in little mason jar mugs (OK. they’re pretty big, see right.) and she vowed she was only going to have half a jar…guess what actually happened? She finished it! 

This recipe is just as good as the stuff you stand in line for on Bleecker Street, since the recipe comes directly from the official Magnolia Bakery cookbook, and is super easy to make! I like to top mine with a few additional ‘Nilla wafers and a slice of banana, so set some aside if you’d like to, too.

With Thanksgiving fast-approaching (is it seriously a week from tomorrow?) this mouthwatering, creamy confection is a perfect addition to any delectable dessert display and your guests will be bugging you for the recipe.

IMG_4179What you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2/3 cup instant vanilla pudding mix (I used Jell-O)
  • 1, 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1, 12-ounce box vanilla wafers
  • 4 bananas, sliced width-wise (small circles)

Let’s make it!

  • Mix together the water, pudding mix, and sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight until it sets up.
  • Whip heavy cream until soft peaks form. Working in thirds, fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until well incorporated.
  • I chose to use mason jar mugs, but this can be made in a trifle bowl or any dessert servingware you choose.
  • In your servingware: layer vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and pudding mixture; continue until the pudding mixture is gone.
  • Optional: Set aside extra wafers and a few extra banana slices.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes more before serving. I recommend refrigerating overnight for the best taste. It allows the bananas time to flavor the pudding and for the wafers to soak up some of the mixture and become cake-like.
  • Optional: Garnish with three vanilla wafers and leftover banana slices and additional fresh whipped cream just before serving.


(Adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from the World-Famous Bakery and Allysa Torey’s Home Kitchen)


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