Old Fashioned Banana Pudding with Meringue

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
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This old fashioned banana pudding with a light and fluffy toasted meringue topping and crispy wafers is a creamy cloud of goodness on a plate. This classic Southern dessert is a simple afternoon treat everyone will love!

Old Fashioned Banana Pudding Recipe with Meringue

Chilled or fresh out of the oven, this old fashioned banana pudding with homemade meringue is all about the layers! Drizzled with a bit of salted caramel sauce, it’s a dreamy afternoon treat full of warm flavors.

With golden baked meringue covering a custardy interior, every bite is incredibly soft and pillowy. For a bit of texture, don’t forget the crispy wafers— which can be chocolate or vanilla. Finally, some sliced bananas add natural sweetness to this easy, velvety pudding.

Made with a simple vanilla custard and store-bought wafers for convenience, you’ll be digging into it before you know it. You might also want to give bananas a permanent spot in your kitchen because you’ll be going through more bananas than your grocery list can keep up with once you’ve had a taste.

Looking for an easy banana pudding using a box of instant pudding mix? Try my Mom’s recipe for Easy Banana Pudding!

Ingredients for banana pudding.

What You’ll Need

This recipe is full of creamy ingredients for the best pudding ever. Check the recipe card at the bottom of the post for full ingredient amounts.

For the Pudding

  • Whole milk – This makes the creamiest pudding, but low-fat milk works too. Evaporated milk is a good substitute.
  • Sweetened condensed milk – A must include ingredient in any good banana pudding recipe!!
  • Granulated sugar – You can use light brown sugar instead.
  • Cornstarch – Don’t use flour for this.
  • Egg yolks – Keep in mind that you will use egg whites for the meringue, so make sure you save those egg whites while separating the yolks!
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Vanilla wafers – Or you can also use Pepperidge Farm Chess Cookies.
  • Bananas – They need to be ripe, but not over-ripe. Pick bananas that are solid yellow with no spots.

For the Meringue

  • Egg whites – There’s no swap for this.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Cream of tartar – It helps stabilize the meringue, but you can leave it out.
Spoonful of banana pudding.

How to Make Old Fashioned Banana Pudding with Meringue

This dessert is all about the layers. Pudding, wafers, and bananas. Pudding, wafers, and bananas.

  • Mix the wet ingredients. Add the milk, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, vanilla, and salt to a medium pot. Whisk to combine. Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  • Simmer it. Place the pot over medium heat and cook the mixture until it comes to a simmer. Stir constantly. Once it thickens (about 2-3 minutes), remove the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • Layer the pudding. Evenly spread 1/3 of the pudding mixture in a 9×13″ baking pan. Add a layer of vanilla wafers and bananas. Repeat this process for all the pudding, wafers, and bananas. Set it aside.
  • Beat the whites. Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Beat them over medium-high speed until frothy.
  • Make the meringue. Slowly add in the sugar as you continue beating the whites. Add the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread it. Add the meringue over the layered pudding. Evenly spread it all the way to the edges. Any empty spaces will cause the heat to overcook the bananas. Use a spoon or spatula to gently tap the top of the meringue to create small peaks on the surface.
  • Bake it. Pop the baking pan into the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the meringue peaks are golden brown. Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tips for the Best Southern Pudding

You’ll be surprised how easy this pudding is if you use the right bowl and bake in the middle rack. I’ve also included ideas for making this recipe extra flavorful.

  • Swap the wafers. Strawberry and chocolate wafers are a yummy twist on this recipe. You can also swap the classic Nilla Wafers for graham crackers or some Pepperidge Farm Chess Cookies instead.
  • Add syrup. Drizzling a bit of Salted Caramel Sauce or Chocolate Sauce on top is an easy way to add more flavor to your pudding.
  • Use the right bowl. Not all bowls are created equal when it comes to whipping egg whites. That means some bowls will make it significantly harder for your meringue to rise. This is true for most plastic and glass bowls. Stick to stainless steel and ceramic mixing bowls for an effortless meringue.
  • Use the middle rack. Never bake pudding on the lowest oven rack. It will cause the bottom to burn but will leave the top undercooked. Always use the middle rack where the distribution of heat is more even.
Grabbing a spoonful of banana pudding.

Do You Eat Banana Pudding Hot or Cold?

This recipe can be enjoyed either way! Fresh out of the oven or chilled after sitting in the fridge for a while, it’s still an ultra creamy dessert everyone will love. It’s really up to your personal preference!

Do I Have To Bake This?

If you do not want to bake this old fashioned banana pudding, you can use a kitchen torch to quickly toast the meringue on top instead. This is a great method for those who love chilled banana pudding, but also want a toasted meringue topping.

How to Store Leftovers

It’s best to eat this dessert when freshly made, but in case there are any leftovers, you can refrigerate it. Keep it in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Place it away from any strong-smelling foods like onion and chili to avoid the transfer of odors.

There’s no need to reheat it unless you’d like it warm. In that case, pop it into the microwave in 12 second increments until nice and warm. If you’re reheating a large portion, do it in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes.

Plate with banana pudding on top.

Can You Freeze Banana Pudding with Meringue?

Unfortunately, this recipe doesn’t freeze well. Bananas have a high-water content (which means they freeze well) but, once thawed, their texture changes significantly. The wafers also soften too much and the meringue deflates.

More Recipes With Bananas

Landscape photo of banana pudding.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 10 servings

Banana Pudding with Meringue

With golden baked meringue, this layered banana pudding with crispy wafers is a creamy cloud of goodness on a plate. 
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time1 hour


For the Pudding

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • cup cornstarch
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 11 oz box vanilla wafers
  • 3 large bananas, sliced

For the Meringue:

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. 
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, sweetened condensed milk, sugar, cornstarch, egg yolks, vanilla and salt.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a simmer. Cook until it thickens, about 2 to 3 minutes, then remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
  • In a 9×13-inch baking pan, layer 1/3 of the pudding mixture on the base and add a layer of the vanilla wafers and bananas on top. Repeat this process 2 more times, until you have used up all the ingredients. Set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until they turn frothy.
  • Slowly add in the sugar and beat until it becomes fluffy, then add in the cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  • Spread the meringue over the top of the banana pudding, sealing the edges to not overcook the bananas and creating small peaks with a spatula.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the meringue peaks are golden brown. Let pudding rest for 5 minutes and then serve warm or refridgerate for 2 hours to chill if you prefer it cold.


Serving: 1, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 68mg, Sodium: 152mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 38g


Post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.