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In nan world of desserts, banana pudding earns nan congeniality award. It’s a friends benignant of look — bully to nan cook, because it’s a awesome make-ahead action that’s ever well-received, and awesome for those who eat it, because it’s simply delicious. Banana pudding is awesome immoderate clip of year, excessively — conscionable arsenic invited astatine a backyard barbecue arsenic it is connected a vacation sideboard — and it tin consciousness homey aliases fancy depending connected nan presentation.
As a lifelong Southerner (I grew up successful Mississippi and now unrecorded successful Birmingham, Alabama), I person enjoyed my adjacent stock of banana pudding. I’ve typically had it arsenic a acold layered dessert made pinch vanilla custard, sliced bananas, and Nilla Wafers that soften successful nan aforesaid measurement that graham crackers aliases cookies do successful an icebox cake. Recently, I moreover had my world rocked by a lukewarm type (amazing!) made pinch crisp pecan sandies (also incredible!) astatine a section restaurant.
But what makes for a winning banana pudding recipe? To find out, I pitted 4 celebrated recipes against each different successful a side-by-side test. I was amazed by really different each look tasted, contempt being composed of fundamentally nan aforesaid elements: bananas, vanilla custard, cookies, and a creamy topping. The victor was 1 I’ll beryllium dreaming astir (and making) a lot!
So, What’s nan Best Banana Pudding Recipe?
Rodney Scott’s banana pudding is nan very champion look we tested. The rich | and creamy custard is worthy making from scratch, and nan store-bought wafer cookies makes it comparatively easy to whip together.
Meet Our 4 Banana Pudding Contenders
The banana pudding recipes I tested do stick, roughly, to nan aforesaid look — caller bananas, vanilla custard, creamy component, and cookies — but there’s a batch of variety among them. Two of nan recipes apical nan dessert pinch meringue — 1 an airy French meringue, and nan different a dense Swiss meringue — while different uses sweetened whipped pick arsenic nan topping. Three usage a homemade vanilla custard, while 1 uses a supermarket shortcut. Three of nan 4 instrumentality pinch classical vanilla wafer cookies, while 1 uses a homemade cookie. Each look was unsocial and amazingly different from nan rest.
Carla Hall: The look from this celebrated cook originates pinch homemade vanilla shortbread successful spot of packaged vanilla wafers. It besides blends banana (as in, successful a blender) for a fruit-infused pastry pick that besides incorporates whipped dense pick and chopped bananas. Finally, it layers nan cookies and pastry pick successful a trifle crockery and tops everything disconnected pinch a banana-flavored Swiss meringue.
Dolly Parton: The beloved vocalist shares her mother’s recipe, a elemental old-fashioned return that layers homemade vanilla custard pinch store-bought vanilla wafers and sliced bananas. The finishing touch is simply a basal French meringue that’s toasted by placing nan banana pudding successful nan oven agelong capable to springiness nan meringue immoderate color.
Rodney Scott: This recipe, shared by nan acclaimed southeastern barbecue chain, is akin to Parton’s recipe, successful that it uses a classical vanilla custard, sliced bananas, and store-bought vanilla wafers, but alternatively of meringue it tops nan pudding pinch chantilly pick (sweetened, vanilla-flavored whipped cream).
Magnolia Bakery: Promising to beryllium nan easiest look of nan bunch, this best-seller uses conscionable six ingredients (one of which is water), leans connected instant pudding mix, and requires nary cooking. It’s worthy noting besides that galore celebrated blogs guidelines their recipes connected Magnolia Bakery’s celebrated banana pudding.
How I Tested nan Banana Pudding Recipes
- I made each of nan banana pudding recipes connected nan aforesaid day. I prepared and assembled each of nan recipes successful nan morning, past chilled them for respective hours. (One exception: I made nan shortbread cooky mixed for Carla Hall’s look nan nighttime before, but I baked nan cookies nan adjacent morning.) I was capable to measure each of nan recipes side-by-side.
- I utilized nan aforesaid marque of communal ingredients. Aside from making judge to usage nan aforesaid marque of cream, eggs, milk, butter, vanilla, and sugar, I astir notably utilized Nabisco Nilla Wafers for nan 3 recipes that called for vanilla wafer cookies.
- I tasted each banana pudding twice. I tried each look a fewer hours aft assembling and chilling, lining them up side-by-side for comparison. I besides tried them again nan adjacent morning.
Why You Should Trust Me arsenic a Tester
In my 25 years successful nutrient media (20 arsenic a mag editor, 5 arsenic a freelance look developer and nutrient writer), I person written, tested, and developed virtually thousands of recipes. I cognize really to measure a look for flavor, texture, and clarity and occurrence (or failure) of nan process.