The first time I had Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding pudding was on a work trip to Boston. I didn’t even know they had a location in Chicago only a few minutes from my job at the time, but after trying this for the first time I wish I had! It was light, fluffy and had such a perfect balance of textures.
I loved it so much I had to stop and get it twice, and then talked about it the entire trip. When I got home and did some googling, I was so excited to found out that they shared their actual recipe in their cookbook!
This recipe is so much easier than I thought it would be. I was ready to see some secret, unusual ingredient that perfected this pudding, but it was all stuff I keep in my kitchen regularly!
Pudding Mix – Make sure you are using the instant kind. If it’s not instant pudding, it will stay pretty watery and never set properly. I’ve used the regular vanilla and french vanilla, and both taste great!
Bananas – I recommend looking for some that are a little green on the stem. Since they’re being sliced, we don’t want them to brown. You can try rinsing them in water or seltzer (not tonic) to prevent browning. Brushing them with lemon juice is also an option, but it may change the flavor slightly.
Nilla Wafers – I love what these cookies bring to this dessert. After sitting in the pudding, they get soft and almost cake-like. I love having some fresh wafers with mine too for some added crunch.
Sweetened Condensed Milk – This might be the most surprising ingredient in this pudding. But I love the texture and depth of flavor it gives the pudding. It really lifts it from the artificial sugary taste instant pudding can sometimes have.
Heavy Cream – Make sure this is cold from the start! Cold cream whips much easier than warm or room temperature cream.
Pro Tip: To make sure cream is whipped smoothly and easily, place your bowl and whisk or whisk attachments in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before starting.
You can do this with a hand mixer, stand mixer or just a good ole’ wooden spoon! Doing it by hand may take a little longer to make sure there are no lumps after adding the pudding mix, but you can do it! Whipping the cream will take a while just using a whisk, so I really recommend at least using a hand mixer.
I’ve served this is both a 9×13 pan and a trifle bowl. When it’s just my husband and me, putting it in a pan is fine. But if I’m serving this at a party, I love putting it in a trifle bowl. I really love the way it shows off all the layers!
Give Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding a try, and share your results with me! Tag me on instagram at @fg_bakes or hashtag #forgoodnessbakes.
Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding
Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding, right at home! Straight from their cookbook, this recipe is perfect for a crowd, or just because!
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups ice cold water
1 (3.4 oz.) box vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups heavy cream
4 cups sliced barely ripe bananas
1 (12 oz.) box Nilla Wafers
- In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and cold water together until well combined, about 1 minute. Then, add the pudding mix and beat well, about another 2 minutes. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours or overnight. It’s important that you allow enough time for the pudding to set, otherwise it will be watery.
- In another large bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold into pudding mixture until no streaks appear. Be sure not to miss any pudding at the bottom of the bowl.
- Grab serving dish. You can use individual cups, trifle bowl, 4-5 quart serving bowl or 9×13 pan.
- Assemble the layers. Start with a layer of wafers, then a layer of sliced bananas, then pudding mixture. Usually I do this in ⅓’s of each layer, but it depends on the size of your serving dish. Garnish with additional wafers or wafer crumbs, if desired. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, no more than 8 hours. Serve with additional wafers or sliced bananas if desired.
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