This Southern dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth and help you keep your cool! Banana pudding is perfect for the hottest day. Pulled straight from the refrigerator it’s a layered dessert that rivals any cake.
Cake?! Yes, we are talking about Southern banana pudding which is so much more than a jiggly bowl of congealed banana flavor. There is a bottom cakey layer of pudding soaked vanilla wafers followed by more pudding and sweet, ripe banana slices – it’s so good you need to add a few more layers on top of that!
There is a little bit of planning involved if you make your vanilla pudding from scratch since you’ll need to cook your pudding. However there are other alternatives. You can use pre-made store bought vanilla pudding or you can really cheat and use vanilla vegan yogurt in place of homemade pudding.
The yogurt gives it a tangier flavor that’s not quite traditional, but considering it takes zero work it’s perfect for a last minute dessert. Just make sure to let the completed dessert chill for at least an hour or two to overnight so that all the layers meld and the cookies soften. That’s when it’s at its best!
The photo above gives you an example of about how thick my pudding recipe needs to be before you let it cool. You are welcome to cook it down even thicker. Just remember it will get thicker as it cools in the fridge too.
Once your pudding is cool it’s time to assemble your banana pudding.
- A box of vanilla wafers – some brands are vegan just check the labels carefully
- 3 to 4 bananas – the riper they are the sweeter your dessert will be
- Vegan vanilla pudding or vanilla yogurt, cooled
Get out a dish that has a cover and layer the bottom and sides with vanilla wafers. Spread a layer of vanilla pudding and top with banana slices and repeat. Save the broken wafers to crumble on the very top.
Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour and as long as 12 hours. You can serve topped with vegan whipped cream or enjoy it as is.
Vegan Vanilla Pudding
Makes about 3 cups
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch + 1/2 cup nondairy milk
- 2½ cups non dairy milk
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (I used 2)
Whisk the cornstarch into a unheated sauce pan with 1/2 cup nondairy milk until smooth.
Now take the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the 2 1/2 cups nondairy milk, sugar and vanilla. Whisk frequently (every 3 to 5 minutes).
Once the mixture almost comes to a boil (about 10 minutes), lower the heat to medium low and cook until thick – whisking every few minutes so the mixture does not separate.
You will know the mixture is thick enough when it sticks to a wooden spoon instead of running right off. At this point it will not be as thick as pudding, but more of a thick vanilla sauce. It will thicken more as it cools.
Once thick, set the pan aside to let the mixture cool. Store the pudding in the fridge in single servings so you can grab one whenever you want!