A couple of years ago my mom, sister, friend Brittany and I went to New York for a week. Before I left a friend and fellow foodie told me I HAD to have the banana pudding from Magnolia Bakery. So one day after a long day of sightseeing, I dragged the 3 of them up and down the streets of New York before we finally found it hidden away in Grand Central Station. I wasn’t particularly sold on trying the banana pudding because so many of the other treats looked so delicious, but this girl knows her desserts so I knew I could not miss out. Needless to say it completely blew my mind! It was definitely not what I expected. Sitting there eating it, we tried to figure out how it was made. It almost tasted like pieces of banana bread soaked in a creamy pudding goodness. Much to my surprise when I returned home and scoured the internet for a knock off recipe, it does not contain any banana bread at all! Those cakey bits are actually Nilla wafers that have softened after sitting in the pudding mixture.
The original recipe I followed recommends chilling in the fridge for 4-8 hours so the bananas don’t get too brown. However, I like to make mine the night before so the Nilla wafers become just as soft and cakey as the pudding at the bakery. As long as you wait until just before serving to top with extra bananas or Nilla wafers, the bananas aren’t too brown for my liking.
Don’t let the simple ingredients fool you. This is a decadent dessert that even chocolate lovers will enjoy! It is quickly becoming one of my signature dishes that friends and family request at get-togethers.
Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 ½ cups cold water (I usually fill a liquid measuring cup with water and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to get it nice and chilled.)
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
4-5 ripe bananas
2 cups whipping cream
1 box Nilla wafers
In a large bowl, beat together the sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined – about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat well – about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight. It is very important to allow the proper amount of time for the pudding mixture to set.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the pudding mixture until no streaks of pudding remain.
To assemble dessert, select a large wide glass bowl or trifle bowl with 4-5 quart capacity.
Arrange ⅓ of the Nilla wafers covering the bottom, overlapping if necessary. Next, layer ⅓ of the bananas, and ⅓ of the pudding mixture. Repeat twice more, garnishing with additional wafers or bananas on the top layer. Cover tightly and allow to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours – or up to 8 hours.
Dessert can also be made into individual portions.