Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle

Who can resist the classic, cool, creamy concoction of banana pudding and vanilla wafers? I’ll admit that I usually much prefer chocolate desserts, but this banana pudding trifle has nearly convinced me to change my mind. Not only does it make you feel like a rockstar for making banana pudding from scratch, but it is such a refreshing, delicious, crowd-pleasing dessert, that all the extra work (which really isn’t hard at all!) is worth it.

The depth of flavor from using roasted bananas morphs this popular pudding dessert into a whole new level. Rich, silky and absolutely tasty, this treat can be made up to two days in advance and actually benefits from a longer refrigeration time – helping the pudding set up and the flavors meld together. I brought this to a potluck BBQ and let me just tell you that kids and adults alike went crazy for it.

I think this dessert has a magical way of bringing out the kid in all of us. Lucky for whoever makes this, the presentation is pretty and elegant enough to serve toddlers or totterers. That is, until you dish it up, because despite my best efforts, it looked like complete slop when it was served. Oh well. It still tasted absolutely heavenly.

Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle

One Year Ago: Parker House Rolls
Two Years Ago: Fusilli alla Caprese

Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle

Yield: Serves up to 12

Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle

Note: this pudding can be made up to 2 days in advance!


  • 7 slightly underripe large bananas (you want them slightly green on the ends – no spots!)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 cups half-and-half
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 (12-ounce) box vanilla wafers
  • Whipped Topping:
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and make sure an oven rack is in the upper-middle position. Place three unpeeled bananas on the baking sheet and bake until the skins are completely black, about 20 minutes. Let the bananas cool for 5 minutes.
  2. While the bananas are roasting, whisk 1/2 cup sugar, egg yolks, and cornstarch together in a medium bowl until smooth. In a large saucepan, bring the half-and-half, remaining sugar and salt to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, whisk 1/2 of the hot half-and-half mixture into the egg yolk mixture, whisking quickly and constantly so the egg yolks don’t overcook and form little lumps. Slowly whisk the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thick and large bubbles are popping at the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pudding from the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
  3. Transfer the pudding to a food processor (if your food processor is small, puree half the pudding with the roasted bananas and lemon juice and then transfer it all to a large bowl and whisk in the rest of the pudding). Add the warm, peeled roasted bananas and 2 tablespoons lemon juice and puree until the mixture is smooth. Scrape the pudding into a large bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin forming. Refrigerate until the pudding is mostly cool, about 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Cut the remaining bananas into 1/4-inch slices and toss in a bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Spoon 1/4 of the pudding into a 3-quart trifle dish and top with a layer of cookies, layer of sliced bananas, and another layer of cookies, making sure cookies go all the way to the edges of the dish. Repeat twice, ending with the pudding. Place another sheet of plastic wrap directly touching the surface and refrigerate until the wafers have softened, at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
  5. To garnish, whip the cream, sugar and vanilla to stiff peaks in a medium bowl. Top the banana pudding with the whipped cream. Serve!

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Cook’s Country Aug/Sept 2010

38 Responses to Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle

  1. Cheryl P says:

    This looks wonderfully yummy! I’ve wondered long and hard about banana pudding as to *why* the banana flavor can’t be part of the pudding (like the fake stuff) – and here you’ve done it! πŸ™‚ I think I might try baking the bananas (a fav family dessert growing up was baked bananas with cinnamon and brown sugar) instead of roasting in the skins. That would give a nice carmalized color as well. Can’t wait to try this! Now to find a “from scratch” sub for those ‘Nilla wafers.

  2. tgl says:

    Tried this today and it was good, however, I think it would be truly fantastic if made with riper bananas.

  3. Hi Mel–just put the trifle together, and the pudding did thicken well overnight. Yea! However, my pudding also has the tinge of gray that a few others talked about. It just doesn’t have that nice yellow color it had before I added the roasted bananas. I did do a taste test though and it did taste good. My son suggested using yellow food coloring to brighten it up a bit, but I was hesitant and just went with it looking gray. The real test will be tomorrow when we try it. By the way, I am pretty new to your blog and am enjoying it so much. Keep the wonderful recipes coming!!

  4. Mel, Help! I tried this recipe and got it all the way to the pudding chilling stage and I was getting ready to put it together, but my pudding is very runny. It was beautiful and thick before I put it in the food processor, but when it came out it was very runny. It was still runny after being in the fridge for 2 hours. I don’t think I over-processed it. Is it supposed to look like that? Will it thicken more as it sits?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Martha – is it runny like milk or still thick like pudding (just pourable)? It’s been a long time since I made this recipe but if I remember right, it will thicken as it sits in the fridge, also.

  5. […] made this banana pudding yesterday, and it was delicious (but that lemon juice did nothing to save the […]

  6. Susan Papierski says:

    Banana pudding

  7. Theo says:

    I realize I’m a little late coming to this recipe, but I’m so glad I made it. I’ve only just finished the pudding portion, but I’m so excited for the final product. Pudding has always come out of a box before, but I think that’s over now. There is a crazy difference in texture and flavor!

    After reading the comments, I’m going to use a little extra lemon juice to get all of the bananas coated (maybe even a little pineapple juice just to mix things up). But having it turn gray wouldn’t be the end of the world, cause man, that pudding still tastes really darn good.

    I was planning on taking this to a friend’s house for a party, but I might not share.

  8. Reyna says:

    I do love a trifle. This was my first go at home made pudding, and it was a huge surprise to me how easy and delicious that process is. I could have stopped there and been happy. But when all the layers came together it was even better. My only disappointment came in the slightly grayish tinge it had. It in no way affected the flavor, and certainly didn’t stop anyone from going back for seconds (or thirds), but I had hoped the lemon in there would counteract the oxidation. Either way it was still a huge hit and fed a crowd and I could do it ahead of time (giving me time to focus on important things like cinnamon rolls!) which earns a billion points in my book.

    • Mel says:

      Reyna – ick on the grayish tinge. I think even adding more lemon juice could help that but then again, maybe not. Glad it was a hit despite the fact that it looked like sludge. πŸ™‚

  9. Roasted bananas, yumm! This sounds too good, thanks for sharing!

  10. I love banana pudding with the wafer cookies…brings back sooooo many childhood memories!!!

  11. ingrid says:

    This beauty has just jumped to the top of my must try recipe list. We love bananas and while I’ve made banana pudding it hasn’t been totally from scratch. I can only imagine how much yummier it is. Thanks for sharing!

    Happy Monday!

  12. Pauline says:

    My results were disappointing, I must have done something wrong as every recipe of yours I’ve tried have been wonderful! I generally follow lower-fat recipes so this was going to be a real indulgence for me. My husband loves bananas, so I figured this would be my big TA-DA. I thought the roasted bananas would give it this HUGE boost of flavor. It didn’t. Instead, I got a slight tinge of gray. There was certainly a creaminess to the homemade pudding, but not enough to warrant the excessive fat content. DARN! I hope someone else posts that they tried it and it came out as wonderful as I had hoped! Let me know what I did wrong.

    • Mel says:

      Oh, Pauline, I’m so sorry! It is so disappointing to get your hopes up about a recipe only to make it with less than stellar results. I am not sure why you would have gotten the tinge of gray, I’ve been thinking about it since I read your comment earlier today and wonder if perhaps the lemon juice didn’t quite coat all the bananas – since that is the trick in the recipe for the bananas not to discolor. Again, I’m sorry that your big splurge didn’t turn out very well! Thanks for letting me know, though!

      • judy anderson says:

        The cook’s country TV show demonstrated this recipe. They take a slice of banana and 2 vanilla wafers and make little sandwiches. The bananas do not turn brown or get runny. It stays good for a few days after it’s been originally served. I don’t know how long it would keep because it’s so good it doesn’t stay around too long.

  13. CaSaundra says:

    Yum! I bet this pudding is excellent, especially because it’s homemade.

  14. Memoria says:

    I want this right now!! Wow.

  15. Kim F. says:

    HI! Thanks for the comment on my blog, Italian Chicken Rollps.
    I love trifle. LOVE LOVE any kind of trifle. Roasted bananas huh? Sounds wonderful!

  16. » Saturday Surfing says:

    […] Creamy Banana Pudding Trifle (with roasted bananas) […]

  17. Paula says:

    banana desserts are my fav!

  18. Jena says:

    This looks great! I’m making it this coming week!

  19. Jenna says:

    Holy smokes, there are over 200 food blogs out there? I check two and they (mostly just yours) keeps me well fed. Thanks for keeping an eye on the other 200+ for me!

  20. Julie says:

    Would this filling work in a banana cream pie? It sounds very close to the one I use, but roasting the bananas really intrigues me.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Julie – I’m sure it would, although you would probably only want half as much filling since the original recipe would make way too much filling for one pie crust. Roasting the bananas gives such a wonderful flavor – I might try it in a banana cream pie, too, now that you mentioned it!

  21. Reyna says:

    Thank goodness I have a trifle bowl. And just the occasion coming up so I have a really good reason to make it. I will return and report!

  22. grace says:

    if i’m being honest (as i always, always, always try to be…), i’ll take banana pudding over anything chocolate after a dumpy day. this is one of my choice comfort foods!

  23. Bruce The Low Carb King says:

    Is this low carb?

  24. Natasha says:

    Now I need to go find a bargain trifle bowl! Looks delish, I may have to just put it in a plain bowl so I can make it, hahah.

  25. Johanna says:

    Ok, so this comment isn’t about the incredible dessert above… although it’s something I’m going to HAVE to try for my husband who loves banana pudding. It’s more about your page as a whole! I am in love with it, and even might be a bit obsessed with it! I look each day for a new recipe, loving the blog that goes along with it! I’m am amazed each time I cook from here how simple and tasty the recipes are! My husband qickly knows what I’m talking about when I say I got the recipe from my favorite blog online. THANKS for the wonderful recipes! I have a huge list that I’m still waiting to try. One question… you often speak of other peoples blogs and or people mention blogs in their posts, but I never know which ones they are talking about. I’m new to these blogs and am really enjoying them and would love some suggestions of other yummy or interesting ones to try. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Johanna! I’ve had a lot of people ask me about other blogs I check. I have over 200 food blogs in my google reader but sometime in the near future, I’ll share a few of my favorites with everyone!

  26. banana pudding is one of my favorites, and i have yet to try it in a trifle bowl! I can’t wait to make it πŸ™‚

  27. Nancy J says:

    That looks sooo good, but I have to say my favorite all time banana dessert is: not yo mama’s banana pudding from Paula Deen- you can get the recipe off the food network site. If you like bananas, you HAVE TO TRY THIS! Seriously, trust me, I know what I’m talking about.

  28. Very interesting…I’ve never heard of roasting the bananas for banana pudding. Might have to try this because my honey LOVES bananas any way he can get ’em. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  29. Sallie says:

    I’ve always been a bit hesitant to try banana pudding but this sounds delicious!

  30. Kim in MD says:

    The only way I like bananas is slightly under ripe (or totally over ripe in banana bread), so I would love this pudding! It looks so good….

  31. I love banana desserts! This sounds fantastic.

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