Sex and the City may have made Magnolia Bakery world-renowned for its cupcakes, but anyone who’s been there will tell you the real star of the sweets shop is its banana pudding.
It’s lighter, and airier, than the traditional recipe — the texture is more like mousse — and like any respecting Southern banana pudding, it’s made with vanilla pudding, not banana. (Yep, that’s the secret: The only banana flavoring comes from layering in banana slices and letting the dish set for 30 minutes or longer.) One bite alone makes the chaotic crowds and long wait times worth it.
However, you don’t have to head to NYC to enjoy that luscious banana pudding: The owners were kind enough to share how its made in More from Magnolia and The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook. Once I saw it listed, I knew I had to try it.
This isn’t your five-minutes-and-done recipe, but it’s easy enough to whip together that you can start it on a regular Tuesday night, let it set overnight, then finish things up as you make dinner on Wednesday, leading to a dessert that makes any old weeknight into something borderline spectacular.
Decadent Banana Pudding Recipe
Adapted from Magnolia Bakery, as found in The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook
You'll have to let this pudding set overnight, but trust us, it's worth it.
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix (4 ounces)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 box vanilla wafers (12 ounces)
- 3 bananas, sliced into thin coins
- Mix water, pudding mix and sweetened condensed milk together until all lumps are broken up and everything's thoroughly combined, then stick it in the fridge overnight to let it thicken and set.
- Once the pudding has set, use an electric mixer to whip the heavy cream until it expands into whipped cream. Soft peaks should begin to form -- basically, when you pull the whisk attachment out of the cream, the cream forms a little mountain that's too soft to stand on its own. At that point, the whipped cream is ready to fold into the pudding mix. (Note: Don't use premade whipped cream -- it's already sweetened, and adding that to the pudding will make it cloyingly sugary.)
- In a separate bowl, layer vanilla wafers, banana slices, then pudding. Repeat until you've reached the top of the bowl. Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour before serving -- that way the wafers will no longer be crunchy and cookie-like.