Banana Pudding

For those people living outside of NYC, it was Carrie and Miranda from Sex and the City that made Magnolia Bakery infamous. I was an avid SATC watcher, and for me, there was something about the two ladies sitting on the bench, devouring the most delicious looking cupcakes, that I found so glamorous. Naturally, on my first trip to New York, post cupcake episode, it was a must that I swing by the West Village bakery to try these baked goods for myself. My nerdy self was so excited to be retracing the footsteps of these television icons; to my shock, it wasn’t the cupcakes that captivated me, but it was the discovery of Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding: fluffy, light, vanilla pudding laced with sliced bananas and Nilla wafers that have softened and taken on a cake-like consistency. I remember my sister-in-law and I walking down the street with our plastic spoons in one hand, and carton of pudding in the other, as we kept having “just one more bite”. It’s too good for words. The Banana Pudding has become a new must on each trip to NYC.

When I came across Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding recipe, I was ecstatic to be able to bring this little piece of New York into my kitchen. I used tiny mason jars to serve the layered treat, but this would look beautiful with more layers in a trifle dish. Although it didn’t feel as fun and authentic eating the pudding in my home, and not at Magnolia in NYC, the homemade version tasted almost as amazing as the real deal. And my guests who I shared the dessert with were in complete heaven!

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(Wooden spoons c/o Sucre Shop)

Magnolia Bakery's Banana Pudding

What You Need

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ cups ice cold water
  • 1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers
  • 4 cups sliced ripe bananas

What To Do

  1. In a small bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well, about 2 minutes more. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight, before continuing. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.
  2. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding mixture into the whipped cream until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
  3. To assemble the dessert, use a glass trifle dish. Arrange one-third of the wafers to cover the bottom of the bowl, overlapping if necessary, then one-third of the bananas and one-third of the pudding. Repeat the layering twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or wafer crumbs on the top layer of the pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours before serving (Nilla waivers need to become cake-like).


If you want to use small jars, you'll need 12-24, depending on the size. My jars were so small (4 ounces), so I coarsely chopped up the Nilla wafers before layering them on the bottom. Also, I only had room for one layer of the wafers, bananas and pudding, so I garnished the top with one whole wafer. However you decide to serve the pudding or layer it, you can't mess it up!

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