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Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding

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Recipe - Magnolia Bakery's Famous Banana Pudding

Image and Recipe from Magnolia Bakery

Banana pudding has been around since the late 1800s, when faster steam ships meant bananas could make their way to US ports. It was first made with sponge cake but by the 1920s, cake was replaced with vanilla wafers. For this recipe, I use Nabisco Nilla wafers and strongly recommend you don’t make any substitutions to ensure you get the crave-worthy texture of this iconic dessert. 


  • 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk cups (360g/12.7oz)
  • 1½ cups (360g/12.7oz) ice-cold water
  • 1 (3.4oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
  • 3 cups (720g/25.5oz) heavy cream
  • 1 (11oz) box Nilla wafers
  • 4 to 5 ripe bananas, sliced


  1. Using a hand mixer, beat the condensed milk and water on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat until there are no lumps and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Using a hand mixer, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 1 minute, until the cream starts to thicken, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip.
  3. Mixing on low, add the pudding mixture a spoonful at a time. Mix until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
  4. To assemble, select a trifle bowl or a wide glass bowl with a 4- to 5-quart capacity, or individual serving bowls.
  5. Saving 4 to 5 cookies for the garnish on top, begin assembly. Spread one-quarter of the pudding over the bottom and layer with one-third of the cookies and one-third of the sliced bananas (enough to cover the layer). Repeat the layering twice more. End with a final layer of pudding. Garnish the top with additional cookies or cookie crumbs.
  6. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours. Cookies should be tender when poked with a knife. This dessert is best served within 12 hours of assembling.

Makes: 4 to 5 quarts; serves up to 16

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