Mary’s Favorite Banana Pudding with Nilla® Wafers
If you know me, you know that I’m a bit of a vanilla enthusiast! In fact, I love the stuff so much that I even created my very own Cognac Barrel-Aged Pure Vanilla Extract. Fancy, right? It's a labor of love, made with the finest Madagascar vanilla beans (also known as Bourbon Island vanilla beans). It is soooo good. Finding the barrels was an adventure in itself, but that’s a story for another day.
If you’re going to try this recipe, I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of my artisan vanilla—and I’m not just saying that because I made it! Because it’s aged for 30 days in cognac barrels, it has this richness and depth of flavor that most vanilla extracts just don’t have.
Banana pudding is a great dessert option when you need to serve a crowd.
Can you guess what else I love besides vanilla? I have a soft spot for the humble banana. My upcoming pie cookbook is chock-full of delightful recipes starring bananas, because we just can’t get enough of them in my house. When we have family and friends over for a visit, this banana pudding recipe with Nilla wafers is a go-to crowd-pleaser. It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it serves up to 12 people.
How do you stop a banana from turning brown?
Slightly green bananas will turn brown slower than ripe bananas, so for this recipe, I lean towards picking bananas that are on the green side. Don’t use totally green bananas—they’re not ripe yet!
If you go for a yellow banana or you let them sit an extra day or two, there are still some ways you can slow down the banana browning. Lightly brushing the sliced pieces with fresh lemon juice will help, but it can also affect the taste of your dish. Rinsing the slices with cool water and drying them with paper towels will also help slow the browning process. You can even rinse them with club soda. Just don’t use tonic water because that will affect the taste.
Make sure to plan ahead when you make this recipe.
This pudding needs some time to set up. You can prepare it all in one day if you start early enough—it requires 8 hours total in the refrigerator. I personally prefer to spread the preparation out over two days: I make the pudding the day before serving so it gets nice and cold in the fridge, and the next morning I whip my cream, fold it into the pudding, and put everything together. Doing these steps the second day gives it plenty of time to chill before serving it later in the day and ensures that the bananas don't discolor. Ready to go? Let’s get baking!