Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding

Crisp Nilla wafer cookies, layered with creamy, luscious vanilla pudding and fresh sliced bananas, all topped off with light fluffy meringue topping. 

This classic dessert brings me back to my childhood, as it is the only dessert my mom knew how to make when my brother and I were kids. Every bite is sweet, nostalgic and reminds me of my mom, so in my house, this is a classic.

The cookies soften a little bit on the outside from the pudding and stay nice and crunchy on the inside, making the texture, just perfect with a creamy, crunchy combo. 

My mom used to always use box mix pudding and a tub of cool whip, so making this from scratch was such a treat and so much easier than you think. If you’ve never made pudding and meringue from scratch before, you will never go back to the store bought stuff again, it is that good!

Nilla Wafer Banana Pudding

Yield: 8 servings


Vanilla Pudding
  • 4 cups whole milk, cold
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated white sugar, divided
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 box nilla wafers
  • 4-5 medium-large bananas, sliced


Preheat oven to 350'F.

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together the milk, 3/4 cup of the sugar, cornstarch, and egg yolks (reserve whites for topping), stirring until mixture just begins to bubble and thicken, about 10-15 minutes. Once mixture has reached a simmer, cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The pudding should coat the back of the spatula without running off. Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla and salt until melted and smooth.

Line a 13-by-9-inch oven-safe casserole dish with a layer of Nilla wafers. Place a layer of banana slices on top. Pour a layer of the custard over the bananas and cookies, and continue to layer cookies, bananas and pudding, creating a total of 3 layers of each, ending with pudding

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form; gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until stiff, fluffy peaks form. Spoon on top of pudding, spreading evenly to cover entire surface and sealing well to edges. Use a spatula to spread the topping over the pudding, spreading all the way to the edges, to seal in the pudding. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the topping starts to turn light golden brown at the peaks. Allow to rest until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.