Homemade vanilla pudding with Nilla wafers and caramelized bananas, then topped with meringue. This Caramelized Banana Pudding takes your banana pudding to a new level!
In my Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake post I mentioned that I make my friend Mark a birthday dessert each year. This year he and his wife Kelly were having a big party with a lot of people, so I knew a single cake wouldn’t cut it. Plus, let’s be honest, I love an excuse to make more dessert.
Mark likes banana pudding, and given that I’m from the south, and take pride in southern desserts, I wanted to make him a really good banana pudding. I have made Mark Paula Dean’s Banana Pudding in years past. As with anything Paula Dean makes, it’s delicious, but hers uses boxed pudding. I wanted to do something with homemade pudding this year.
I decided I wanted to caramelize the bananas. Bananas are good, but caramelized bananas are amazing. The topping was a bit of a decision challenge for me in deciding between whipped cream and meringue. Typically I prefer whipped cream, but after tasting the pudding and banana combination, I thought the meringue would be best.
The next issue was how to brown the meringue since I don’t have a decorative oven proof dish. But, challenge was easily solved: brown the meringue on parchment paper, let it cool, and transfer to the top of the pudding. Worked like a charm!
Caramelized Banana Pudding
This caramelized banana pudding was a big hit at Mark’s birthday party. It was almost completely gone with ten minutes of setting it out. So next summer cookout or party you have where you want to take a banana pudding that will be the hit of the day, this recipe is the move.
Here are a few tips for ensuring success with this recipe:
- This dessert is best served the day it is made. However, if you’re in a time crunch, you can make the pudding the day before and keep it in the refrigerator.
- You can serve this banana pudding either hot or cold. I personally prefer it cold, but either way is good.
- Use just ripe bananas. I find that if they’ve started to brown, they fall apart when you try to caramelize them.
Caramelized Banana Pudding
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- pinch salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 cups milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 5 large bananas (just ripe, not brown) sliced into ~1/3″ slices
Topping and Assembly
- 1 box Nilla wafers
- 4 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup sugar
- In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add sugar, flour, and salt. Stir until well combined.
- Add egg yolks and milk. Stir until well combined.
- Continue stirring until mixture thickens.
- Once mixture thickens, reduce heat to low and continue to stir constantly for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, add brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Stir until mixture starts to bubble, about 3 minutes.
- After mixture bubbles, add in bananas and stir constantly for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a serving bowl or 9×13 dish, layer Nilla wafers, pudding, then caramelized bananas. Repeat until all of the pudding and bananas are used.
- To make meringue, use a mixer to beat egg whites until peaks begin to form. Once peaks form add in sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
- If your dish is oven safe, put meringue on top of pudding and place in oven on 425 degrees for 5 minutes. If you dish is not oven safe, trace the top of your dish on a parchment paper. Place parchment paper on a baking pan and spread meringue about 2″ from sides of tracing. Place pan in oven on 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Let meringue cool completely, then gently peel meringue from paper onto top of pudding (this is what I did for the photos below).
If you enjoyed this Caramelized Banana Pudding you should check out these other SugarSpicesLife recipes:
Links to items used to make this recipe: