Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce
Out-of-this-world banana pudding drizzled with salted caramel sauce. This is the perfect dessert to serve for Easter! Loaded with vanilla wafers, pudding, whipped cream, sliced bananas and topped with my salted caramel sauce. This is a recipe, you’ve GOT to try!
I’m bringing you a piece of my heart today. It’s southern-style banana pudding that’s been given a facelift. Drizzled generously with salted caramel sauce. I’ll never eat banana trifle without it. Ever again.
There’s so much goodness that goes into this recipe, it’s bound to make everyone happy. We’re talking Nilla wafers, sweet, but not too sweet vanilla pudding, whipped cream, ribbons of salted caramel, and sliced bananas. Am I speaking your love language or what?
I have been dreaming about bananas and pudding for, I can’t even recall how long. What I love most about this dessert is that everything can be prepared ahead of time. You can make the vanilla pudding base, salted caramel, and the whipped cream 1 day in advance and just assemble the day of or assemble the whole thing 24 hours in advance. I like to assemble it a day ahead. The Nilla wafers get nice and soft, almost cake-like. <– it’s beyond blissful! Making it ahead of time MAKES LIFE SOOO MUCH EASIER!
The vanilla pudding in this recipe can be enjoyed with this banana trifle or just by it’s self. We’re making a thick mixture of eggs, milk, sugar, cornstarch, salt, vanilla, and a couple tablespoons of butter for a little added shine and lots of richness.
Trust me, the two tablespoons of butter that we add in this recipe really makes my pudding stand above all the rest. We’re using an entire tablespoon of vanilla. My rule of thumb for vanilla extract and eggs for most of my baked/cooked desserts is 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract for every egg that we add. And trust me, it’s spot on 99% of the time!
This pudding is not something that should be made with skim or 1% milk. Nope! It’s completely southern comfort food, and it would be a sin to make it with anything less than 2%. I would highly recommend using whole milk and you know what, if you’re making this for a crowd, replace half the milk with half and half. It’s top quality pudding that just cannot be achieved from a Jell-O pudding mix.
For the whipped cream, it’s 2 simple ingredients — heavy whipping cream and a couple tablespoons of granulated sugar. You can use this whipped cream as a topping on almost anything! I’ve made enough for the 6 individual servings (or 3 large servings) but you can double it if you like more whipped cream on your banana custard.
The salted caramel sauce in this recipe is DYNO-MITE. I’ve used it on cinnamon rolls and brownies other than this banana custard and it gets so much praise every. single. time.
Grab a mason jar full of layered banana pudding with lots of sliced bananas and ribbons of salted caramel sauce. You just can’t resist this southern classic. Don’t be surprised when your guests are lining up for seconds…
and thirds too!
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk (see notes)
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, cubed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
For Assembling the pudding:
- 1 1/2 cups sliced bananas
- Vanilla wafers (such as Nilla)
- Salted caramel sauce
To make the vanilla pudding:
- Place a fine mesh strainer over a medium heat-proof bowl; set aside.
- Place a 2 1/2 quart saucepan on the stove and without turning the heat on, add the sugar, cornstarch, and salt; whisk to combine. Continue to whisk as you add in 1/2 cup of milk. Keep mixing until the mixture is smooth. Add the yolks and the remaining milk and whisk to combine.
- Turn the stove on to medium high heat, whisking every now and then until the pudding is visibly thicker. This will take about 4-7 minutes. Reduce the heat when the pudding is thick and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the saucepan. Stir constantly until the pudding makes ribbons as is falls from the spatula, about 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla extract. Pour pudding through strainer. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the pudding and let cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Let cool completely in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours.
- Whip cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When soft peaks start to form add the sugar and continue to beat until firm. Do not overbeat.
- In small dessert cups or mason jars, layer the wafers, bananas, pudding, whipped cream, and salted caramel sauce. Cover tightly with plastic wrap or serve right away.
- I highly recommend replacing some or most of the milk with heavy whipping cream and/or half and half. This will make the pudding a lot richer and tastier.
- Doubling the recipe (for both the pudding and the whipped cream) will produce enough banana pudding to fill a large trifle bowl and will comfortably serve 12-14 people.
- Please note that not all the caramel sauce will be used. For a sweeter banana pudding layer the caramel sauce between layers of vanilla pudding and whipped cream. For a less sweet pudding, just drizzle the salted caramel sauce just on top. Caramel can be prepared up to 3 weeks in advance.
- Banana pudding can be assembled up to 24 hours in advance.