Food & Drink

Here's the Secret to Making Perfect Banana Pudding

Some people like to credit the Nabisco company for the popularity of banana pudding. After all, the recipe appeared on the side of their vanilla wafer box starting in the 1940s. But food writer Robert Moss notes that this iconic Southern comfort dessert started popping up back in the 1920s. And by the 1950s, it was most famously made in the South, along with ambrosia and pimento cheese.

This easy-to-make, decadent dessert has the clear advantage of serving plenty of people at a large gathering. And while some chefs like to add meringue and brown it in the oven, this particular recipe doesn't require any traditional cooking techniques. It also includes a secret ingredient: sweetened condensed milk.

Kenneth Strother over at Allrecipes figured out the perfect pudding proportions for this dreamy, creamy dish.


  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 container frozen whipped topping (12 oz)
  • 1 package vanilla wafers (16 ounce)
  • 14 bananas, sliced


  1. Mix together the vanilla pudding mix and the cold milk with an electric mixer.
  2. Add in the sweetened condensed milk and the vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Fold in the thawed whipped topping.
  4. Place a layer of vanilla wafers at the bottom of a large trifle dish. Then add a single layer of sliced banana.
  5. Top with about a third of the pudding mixture.
  6. Repeat this layering process two more times and top off with some whipped cream.

Keep this dish chilled in the fridge until you serve it. You could also make individual banana puddings in small mason jars for an adorable twist on the classic trifle dish.

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Here's the Secret to Making Perfect Banana Pudding