Desserts | August 9, 2019

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

This is no ordinary Banana Pudding! It’s the original recipe from the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City. The Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe is creamy and light and filled with just the right amount of Nilla Wafers and fresh bananas. And it’s one of the easiest and most delicious desserts you will ever make!

Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

This isn’t a copycat, but Magnolia Bakery’s original recipe for their banana pudding. If you’ve been to New York, and you love food,  you’ve probably been to Magnolia Bakery. Magnolia Bakery also  has locations in LA, and Chicago as well. While Magnolia Bakery is famous for their cakes and cupcakes, I think the best item sold in the bakery is their banana pudding.

It’s made in a huge container and then scooped out and put into their cute paper cups for serving. I love the original banana pudding and the chocolate version as well! Utah is a long way from NYC, so enjoying banana pudding from Magnolia doesn’t happen often enough. The options for getting a taste of New York in Utah comes two ways. One, order a batch of pudding delivered to your door for $100. Yes $100 for about 10 servings. Not bad if you consider most desserts  at restaurants cost between $6-$10,  but not really affordable for most folks. Option two, make the banana pudding in your home, with fresh bananas, cream, pudding and wafers for about $1-$1.50 per serving.  And you’ll have the bowl and beaters to lick (no charge)!

The Best Banana Pudding

This banana pudding outshines my mom’s banana pudding by a landslide. Don’t tell my mom! She made banana pudding for us growing up, probably the way most of your moms made banana pudding, and the way I made it,  before I knew better. A box of Nilla Wafers, a box of banana pudding (banana flavor) Cool Whip, and of course, bananas!

This recipe uses the Nilla Wafers, but that’s about the extent of the old version. The Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe incorporates a can of sweetened condensed milk, fresh whipped cream, bananas and cookies. So simple, and so good. I can’t really imagine a person in their right mind not loving this dessert. Every time I serve it, this is the conversation that follows… “What is this??”  “This is SO GOOD”  “This is probably really bad for me” “Can I have the recipe?” and  “This is the best banana pudding ever!”

Banana Pudding,  a few essential tips for success

Five essential tips for making the best banana pudding on the earth:

  1. First and probably most important tip, (besides making sure you have purchased all correct ingredients)  is to PLAN AHEAD. The success of this dessert depends on planning ahead. You need a full 3-4 hours for the pudding to set up properly. Make pudding as directed in recipe, then let sit in fridge. You can do this up to two days ahead of assembling dessert. You also need to allow an additional few minutes to assemble the dessert and another 4-8 hours to set up before serving. I have served this at the 4 hour mark, 6 and 8 hours after assembling and I think 6 hours is the perfect amount of time for setting up.
  2. Buy bananas that are slightly green. No old bananas. Those are for banana bread, not banana pudding! The slightly under ripe bananas are perfect for this dessert. Make sure the bananas are almost ripe, not bright green!  Many people brush the bananas with lemon juice or “fruit fresh” to keep from browning, but I have found using slightly under ripe bananas and serving within 6 hours of assembling keeps the bananas looking fresh. I also make sure to completely cover the bananas with pudding. This helps the browning from happening too quickly.
  3. Purchase the right ingredients. Regular–  (not low sugar or low fat) pudding mix, whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and cookies. The success of the dessert depends on it. Too often, I have readers tell me they have made a recipe and followed the directions exactly and had a fail. When I drill down the ingredients I usually find they substituted margarine for butter, or stevia for sugar, or used low fat cream cheese instead of regular cream cheese…all of these substitutions seem insignificant, but when a recipe fails, it is often traced back to improper ingredients used or simply not carefully following directions. This recipe is, dare I say…foolproof? It is very simple. Just make sure you use the ingredients called for!
  4. The set up time of the finished desert is critical. If you’ve ever eaten Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding, you know the cookies absorb the pudding and bananas and almost become ONE. Meaning, the dessert is best when the flavors and ingredients have a chance to meld together into one soft, fluffy mouthful of creamy goodness. This won’t happen if you make the dessert, assemble and serve too soon. 4 hours is minimum, 8 is maximum set time.
  5. Wait to top the banana pudding with any fresh bananas until just before serving for best presentation!

Banana Pudding  is Comfort Food 101

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned no-bake dessert to end the week or start a new week! Banana Pudding is the perfect Sunday dessert. Gather your loved ones around the dinner table and pass the banana pudding. If you don’t want to take a lot of time to make banana pudding in individual containers, throw it all in a big glass bowl, or a 9×13 pan. That’s how my mom used to make it.  If you’re serving this for a party, the options for serving are endless. Pick up some cute paper containers, or use fancy glasses , a trifle bowl, or even china cups! Serving banana pudding for dessert can be as formal or relaxed as you like. Hope you enjoy this Banana Pudding recipe from Magnolia Bakery and of course,  take time to visit one of their locations if you’re in NYC!

4.25 from 4 votes
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Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

Magnolia Bakery in New York City is known for its cupcakes, but many agree the banana pudding is the best dessert made at the bakery! Vanilla pudding mix, sweetened condensed milk, fresh whipped cream, bananas and of course, Nilla Wafers, are key ingredients in this easy to make treat.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword american dessert, banana pudding, comfort food, Magnolia Bakery banana pudding, refrigerator dessert
Prep Time 15 minutes
chill 10 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Servings 10 generous 1 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk NOT evaporated milk!
  • 1 1/2 cups cold water I use cold bottled water from fridge
  • 1 3.4 oz (smal box) Instant Vanilla Pudding I like Jello Brand "Instant Pudding and Pie Filling" mix sold in a box
  • 3 cups good quality heavy whipping cream, shaken I use Darigold or Winder Dairy
  • 4-5 cups slightly under-ripe bananas, sliced (about 5 large bananas) bananas should be slighly green (not bright green!)
  • 1- 12 oz box Nilla Wafers regular or mini size reserve some for crumbling on top and placing on top of pudding

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl whisk together the can of sweetened condensed milk and 1 1/2 cups cold water until combined.
  2. Add the pudding mix and beat with a whisk or the whisk attachment. The mixture should be smooth and all pudding ingredients dissolved.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3hours or overnight, or up to two days ahead of serving. Make sure to allow the pudding enough time to set up.
  4. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream in a clean bowl for a few minutes (this takes about 3-4 minutes in a stand mixeon high until the cream is stiff.
  5. Using a rubber spatula, fold the whipped cream into the set up pudding mixture until no streaks of pudding remain. Don't beat with a mixer; gently fold mixture so the cream doesn't deflate! You may use a large whisk and whisk by hand.
  6. To assemble dessert, use a large glass bowl, trifle bowl, 9x13 pan or (10-20) 4-8 oz cups:
  7. If making in small individual containers, I like to use a 1/4 cup measure and place pudding in the bottom of the bowl or cup first, then layer sliced bananas and a layer of cookies. Repeat and end with a little pudding mixture on top. Cover and let chill for 4-8 hours.
  8. When ready to serve, slice a few bananas and place a Nilla Wafer or crushed wafers on top of each serving if making individual portions. If making in a bowl, arrange in three layers and end with either wafers or pudding on top.

Recipe Notes

  • PLAN AHEAD. You need a full 2-3 hours for the pudding to set up properly. You can do this up to two days ahead of assembling dessert. After allowing the pudding to set up, you'll need another 4-8 hours for the assembled dessert to set up properly. I think 6 hours is the perfect amount of time.
  • Buy bananas that are slightly green. Make sure the bananas are almost ripe, not bright green! I received several messages regarding the ripeness factor of the bananas when I posted the original Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding. I understand a riper banana will yield a sweeter banana, but I'd rather have a firm banana that is not discolored than a sweet soft (and eventually slimy) banana in my dessert!
  • Purchase regular pudding, whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk, and cookies. The success of the dessert depends on it. No low fat or low sugar ingredients/versions of the listed ingredients.
  • If you are topping the dessert with fresh bananas, wait to top the pudding with bananas until just before serving!
  • If you are making this for a party, and would like to make individual servings, the recipe yields about 10 heaping 1 cup servings (quite a large serving), or about 18-20 1/2 cup servings. I suggest the smaller version for most occasions.

15 thoughts on “Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

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  1. Yep, a friend introduced me to this recipe a couple years ago and it really is THE BEST. I usually divide it into two containers and deliver one to a friend when I’m making it for just my family, it’s too good not to share 🙂

    1. Lori,

      Great suggestion! I think I’ll pick up a few extra clear containers from the deli and do the same next time. Last time I made this dessert I ate WAY too many servings of the leftovers!
      Thanks for reading AbK,
      xo
      Si

    2. 2 stars
      I give this 2 stars for convenience, but no true southern banana pudding recipe would ever use condensed milk and pudding mix. Yes, I’ve had this recipe, and it is tasty. But the amount of sugar in the pudding and the sweetened condensed milk was tooo much. Why use these products when a homemade vanilla pudding is so easy and oh so much better?? Guess my southern family spoiled me for banana pudding, and boy am I glad!

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I took my daughters to NYC and we got a banana pudding nightcap every night from magnolia! I’m excited to make this recipe with them! I have one question…by “three layers,” do you mean a layer of pudding, then cookies and bananas, then a layer of pudding and it’s finished, or do you mean a layer of pudding, then cookies and bananas, then repeat two more times so you have four layers of pudding and three layers of cookies/bananas? I know this should be intuitive, but I want to make sure. Thank you!

    1. Hi Beth,

      I believe the original recipe from Magnolia suggests three layers, but I just kind of wing it and create my own layers. I like to start with pudding and then lay the bananas right on top of the pudding because I want the bananas to be completely covered, I think this helps with prevention of browning of the bananas. If they are completely covered with pudding they seem to brown less! So any way you like to layer is fine, I like the look of pudding on top and a few crumbled cookies and/or a slice of cookie and banana on top! Other than the tips I suggest, this is a very forgiving and kind of a throw-together type of dessert when assembling! 🙂
      thanks for reading ABK,
      xo
      Si

  3. Hi, thank you for the recipe! Banana pudding is one of my most favorite desserts. My mom used to make amazing banana pudding and I don’t have her recipe. I can’t wait to try this!

    1. Hi Sarah,
      I think we all have a sweet memory of banana pudding served to us in our childhood! I think you will love this version >3
      xo
      Si

  4. If I have a small family and just want to make this over the weekend, how well do left overs sit in the fridge? Should I just make individual servings for one night, and then prep a second batch later on for the next day?

    1. Hi Kelly, I would make this recipe the day of serving, but it does take a couple hours of prep work, 3-4 hours for pudding to set, and then an additional 4-8 hours for the assembled dessert to set up. Hope this helps and thanks for asking!
      xo
      Si

  5. Hi Si,

    I saw someone made a chocolate version of this recipe on your video feed. Do you have recommendations for how to make this into a chocolate banana pudding?

  6. 5 stars
    I made this yummy pudding for my family exactly as directed and it was a huge hit!! I love that the recipe is so simple. My sister told me I am now obligated to bring it to every family dinner. Thanks for the great tips and wonderful recipe!

    1. I love how simple this recipe is too, Cara, it’s perfect for big family dinners. Thanks for sharing and for reading ABK!
      xo
      Si

  7. 5 stars
    The best banana pudding recipe EVER! I did use whole milk instead of water that it called for. I also doubled the recipe and it turned out amazing. No one waited the amount of time they were too ready to eat it!! I made it not even 3 hours ago and it’s already gone! Seriously SO GOOD! I can always count on your website for the best recipes ever, love them.