How To Make Microwave Banana Pudding from Scratch

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Sneak Peek: Learn how to make a Microwave Banana Pudding from scratch that tastes better than instant pudding and is almost as fast. No scorching, double boiler, or standing over a hot stove is necessary.

Finished Microwave Banana Pudding--ready to serve

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Do you ever feel like your microwave should be more than a leftover warmer? I used to teach microwave classes in the ’80s and I am in love with it. One of my favorite things is the way it makes a great dessert like this classic banana pudding. It will taste fabulously sweet and creamy without you breaking a sweat–literally!

The day I discovered I could make tasty vanilla pudding in my microwave changed my attitude about making banana pudding. I quit making instant pudding mix and threw away Mom’s old-fashioned pudding custard recipe made on the stove.

A blender or food processor is a quick way to mix up this scratch pudding recipe. Then pour it into a large microwave-proof dish or batter bowl. A good whisk and a powerful arm will suffice if you don’t have either appliance.

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Cook your pudding in the microwave. Layer with vanilla wafers and bananas. Top with fresh whipped cream.


Why you’ll love this simple banana pudding recipe:

1. No worries about lumps.

Mix all of the vanilla pudding ingredients in a flash with a blender or food processor. The custard mixture will go into the microwave silky smooth. The cooked pudding should come out smooth, assuming you don’t forget to whisk it occasionally. Tempering the egg yolks is unnecessary.

2. This recipe is so uncomplicated that you can memorize it.

This is a huge plus in my book, especially when I don’t feel like cooking.

3. Clean-up is easy.

You no longer need to worry about scorching and then having to scrub the pan. The blender and pyrex bowl you use in the microwave will clean up easily. I throw mine in the dishwasher.

4. Using a microwave reduces cooking time.

My microwave is SLOW but requires only 7 minutes or less to thicken the pudding. Less time will be required if your oven is relatively new and more powerful. If your oven is old or small, it may take longer. Pay attention the first time or two that you make the pudding to determine the proper cooking time. Write the time down and you won’t have to think about it again.

bowl of microwave banana pudding with a serving removed--shows layers

Ingredients and substitutions:

ingredients for banana pudding
  • SUGAR: Use white granulated sugar. I have not tested this recipe for any substitutions of this ingredient.
  • EGG YOLKS: I designed all of my recipes for large eggs. (50 grams per whole egg.) If you’re wondering what to do with the egg whites, this Birthday Angel Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache recipe is my favorite.
  • FLOUR: The recipe is formulated for plain flour, aka all-purpose flour. Use bleached or unbleached—it doesn’t matter.
  • MILK: Any type of dairy milk from fat-free to whole milk will work. Of course, the higher the fat content, the richer the final product. I’m guessing non-dairy milk such as almond or cashew milk would work, but I haven’t tested it.
  • SALT: You need a lot, but a bit enhances the sweetness. I use sea salt but table salt or Kosher salt is also good.
  • VANILLA EXTRACT: This flavoring adds so much character to the banana pudding. Try not to leave it out. If you have it, vanilla bean paste with the obvious black specks will take this recipe up a notch.
  • BUTTER: Butter smooths out the texture, firms the pudding as it chills, and adds flavor. Substitute margarine if you prefer. FYI: You don’t need to use melted butter since the butter will melt quickly when added to the hot pudding.
  • BANANAS: The bananas you choose for this recipe should not be overly ripe bananas, nor should they be under-ripe. Use the “Goldilocks Rule.” Look for “just right” in the store, or buy under-ripe bananas and wait until they are perfect.
  • VANILLA WAFERS: We prefer “Nilla” wafers. Be sure they are fresher than fresh. I always have a few leftover cookies for the grandkids.

    Looking for a substitute for vanilla wafers? According to Happy Muncher.com, “The best substitute for vanilla wafers, or Nilla Wafers, is graham crackers. Graham crackers have a similar crunch to vanilla wafers, but with a little bit of sweetness on the tongue.”
  • WHIPPING CREAM: Use heavy or whipping cream. Substitutes include non-dairy whipped topping or canned whipped cream. Some people prefer meringue on top of their banana pudding. We never do it that way.

Variation:

Store-bought vanilla wafers are my go-to cookie for this dessert. But sometimes, I like to make my shortbread crumbles for a dessert that tastes like banana cream pie in a bowl. Oh, my! It’s wicked good!!

individual servings of banana pudding with homemade shortbread crumbles.
Instead of vanilla wafers, I made these individual portions of Microwave Banana Pudding with the shortbread crust found in this recipe. Store-bought shortbread would also work.

How to make banana pudding in a microwave:

ingredients in a blender
Add sugar, egg yolks, flour, milk, and salt to a blender, food processor bowl, or microwave-safe batter bowl.
blending ingredients.
Pulse 5 times until mixed well. (If mixing by hand, whisk until this mixture is as smooth as possible.)
pouring milk into blender
Pour the contents of the blender into a 2-qt microwave-safe bowl. I like to use a microwave-proof batter bowl. (If mixing by hand, hopefully, you used a microwave-safe bowl so you can put the uncooked pudding straight into the microwave oven.)
whisking the ingredient after cooking a few minutes in the microwave.
Microwave on HIGH for 3-1/2 to 5 minutes. Stop and whisk well. Microwave for 2-3 more minutes, stopping to whisk when the pudding batter starts to rise in the bowl or a least once every minute.
pudding should coat a spoon thickly
Don’t stop microwaving until the pudding mixture coats the back of a spoon.
adding butter and vanilla
Add the vanilla extract and butter. Whisk the pudding until smooth.

Assembling the layers:

first layer of pudding
1. Spread enough pudding in your serving dish to cover the bottom.
layer of vanilla wafers
2. Place a layer of vanilla wafers that cover the bottom. I like to make a layer around the side, too. However, that’s optional.
layer of bananas
3. Make a layer using half of the banana slices to cover the wafers.

4. Cover with half of the pudding.

5. Layer the rest of the banana slices over the pudding.

6. Add one final layer of vanilla wafers.

7. Finish with the other half of the pudding.

layer of pudding
Don’t worry if you get any of the layers out of order. It will still taste great and look fine. The main thing is that you end up with pudding on top. Also, cover all the sliced bananas so they won’t turn brown too quickly.
covering banana pudding with plastic wrap
Cover your banana pudding with plastic wrap. Use your hands to rub over the top of the wrap to ensure there are no air bubbles underneath. Chill the pudding for at least two hours.
whipping cream with a portable mixer
Before serving, prepare the whipped cream topping. Pour cold whipping cream into a small bowl. Start mixing. As soon as the cream thickens, add the powdered sugar (aka confectioner’s sugar or icing sugar) and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Continue mixing until the whipping cream will hold a peak.
finished banana pudding
Cover the top of the banana pudding with whipped cream. Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with vanilla wafer crumbs, maraschino cherries, or sliced strawberries.


FAQ

Can I make banana pudding ahead of time?

Eat this pudding the same day you make it. Making it the night before is the next best option. However, it needs at least 2-3 hours to chill, so you must make it a ahead of time. Once served, the remaining bananas will turn brown and quickly soften when exposed to oxygen.

Can I make this pudding on top of the stove?

Yes. The recipe will be the same, but the method is more complicated and time-consuming. You would be better off finding a stove-top recipe like this one copied from the back of the box of Nilla wafers.

What can I use if I don’t have a blender or food processor to mix the pudding ingredients?

Whisk the ingredients together as well as you can. Cook this mixture in the microwave as instructed. Whisk every 45 seconds once the mixture begins to thicken. If you have any lumps, pour the pudding through a strainer immediately.

On the bright side, lumps get lost in the banana pudding because of the other textures involved. Don’t sweat it.


Parting thoughts: If you are as excited as I am about using your microwave to make pastry cream, I have more ideas for you. Try my extremely popular Mini Fruit Tarts filled with vanilla pastry cream made in a microwave. Other possibilities include this unique Zebra Cream Pie and my Speedy Chocolate Cream Pie. Both include pie filling or pastry cream with microwave instructions.


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

microwave banana pudding

Microwave Banana Pudding Recipe

These instructions are for cooking the vanilla pudding in a microwave. Layer pudding with bananas and vanilla wafers. Serve with whipped cream if desired.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 7 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 17 mins
Course Desserts
Servings 8 servings

Video

Ingredients

  • cup granulated sugar - 132 gr
  • 3 egg yolks - from large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour - 23 gr
  • 2 cups milk - (skim, 1%, 2% or whole)454 gr
  • ¼ teaspoon table or sea salt - 2 gr
  • teaspoons vanilla extract - use vanilla bean paste if feeling extravagant
  • 2 tablespoons butter - 28 gr
  • 4 medium or 3 large bananas
  • 1 11-oz box vanilla wafers

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream - 240 gr
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar - 57 gr
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Add ⅔ C sugar, 3 egg yolks, 3 T flour, 2 C milk, and ¼ t salt to a blender or food processor bowl. Pulse 5 times until mixed well. Pour into a 2-quart batter bowl.
  • Microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes. Stop and whisk well. Microwave for 2-3 more minutes, stopping to whisk when pudding starts to rise in a bowl or at least once every minute. (Note: Microwaves vary in power. My microwave is older and slower. Check your pudding after 3 minutes. Yours could be done in as little as 5 minutes.)
  • When the mixture thickens enough to coat a spoon (see picture), remove from the microwave. Whisk the pudding until smooth.
  • Add 2 T butter and 1½ vanilla to the pudding. Whisk well.

Assembly

  • Cover the bottom of a 1½ quart casserole dish with a thin layer of pudding.
  • Add a layer of vanilla wafers followed by a layer of sliced bananas.
  • Add half of the remaining pudding, followed by another layer of vanilla wafers and bananas.
  • End with a layer of pudding.
  • Cover with plastic wrap placed in a way that it touches the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Chill at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream Topping

  • Pour whipping cream into a small ball. Use a small mixer to whip cream. When whipping cream starts to get thick, add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Continue beating until the cream will hold a fairly stiff peak. Don’t beat too long or the whipping cream will turn into butter.
  • Spread over the chilled banana pudding and serve immediately.

Notes

1. If you decide to make your own shortbread, let it cool, then crumble and layer in the same way as vanilla wafers.
2. I don’t use a sieve for this pudding. Mixing in a blender before microwaving prevents lumps. However, if the pudding does turn out lumpy, push it through a coarse sieve before it cools.
3. I also use this recipe to make banana cream pie, coconut cream pie, and chocolate cream pie.
4. Many people put meringue on top of their banana pudding, but I’m a whipped cream girl. Suit yourself.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Microwave Banana Pudding Recipe
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
325
Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
10
g
63
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
126
mg
42
%
Sodium
 
141
mg
6
%
Carbohydrates
 
40
g
13
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
31
g
34
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Keywords: banana pudding and vanilla wafers, banana pudding from scratch, banana pudding microwave recipe, easy banana pudding, how to make vanilla custard in the microwave
Like this recipe? Thanks for leaving a 5-star rating inside the recipe at the top! 🤩

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Recipe Rating




33 Comments

  1. Christina Lee says:

    So sorry to hear about your dad not doing well. 🙁
    Y’all are in my prayers.
    On the upside, this recipe looks great.

  2. Thanks so much Christina. Hope you are doing better yourself.

    I’ve gotten several positive comments on my new pictures. Thanks again!

  3. Paula, I’m so sorry about your father. I hope things turn around.
    But, I love the look of this pudding! It sounds delicious and I love the photos 🙂

  4. Was looking for a easy dessert, and this looks great!

    Sorry about your dad not feeling well – from the way you write he must be a special guy, and I can’t imagine how tough this is for you. Big hugs.

  5. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Absolutely gorgeous photos! Well done!

  6. No matter our age,no matter that we know this day will come, it is painful to lose a parent. How wonderful that your Dad is helping you prepare for his death. Wish I was there to help you too.

  7. I’m SO sorry to hear about your father. It made my heart pout with sadness to read what you’re going through. I’ll keep him in my thoughts and prayers.

    Side note: love your blog!

  8. So hard to see our parents slowing down– your wonderful dad is giving you time to get used to the unthinkable….

    Thanks so much for the recipe! Pudding is comfort food indeed, but I never seem to make it anymore–usually such an arduous process. I look forward to trying it this way!

  9. Thanks to all of you for your kind sentiments. I agree that my dad is being very thoughtful to make sure all is in order when his time is up–especially since my mom is still living and even older than he is. She’s hopeful they can celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary this coming December.

  10. It is hard to see parents not as functional as they once were. This is an important time for you to grab the moments and the memories. I am sorry about your Dad and I pray he has an easy time.

    Your dessert is wonderful.

  11. Sometimes comfort food is one of the few comforts around, isn’t it?
    If you are needing another easy dessert, I suggest pudding and strawberry parfaits. Just cook up some Danish Dessert – close to the pudding section if you’re new to this gelatin dessert. Fold in sliced strawberries and layer it with instant cheesecake pudding. Top with whipped topping and a strawberry. It is so cool and yummy.
    Hope things improve for your father soon.

  12. Blessings to you and your family at this time.

    Mmm, banana! pudding.

  13. Well, this is the first time your beautiful blog has made me cry:+)

    The food looks incredible, as always!!

    1. Aw-w-w-w. It’s sad, I know. And thanks for the compliment.

  14. 70? Now that IS an accomplishment. I’m right there with you in tears (all the way home). It is so thoughtful that he had the foresight to rid himself of the car (so many people have to yank it away from their parents)! 🙂 And so thoughtful to share another microwave recipe (LOVE your pastry cream – it has saved me)! Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Paula!

  15. Catching up on my reading. Had not heard the computer transfer story. It is very sad and tough to deal with. I hope you can find comfort in knowing this is what he wants, but it is difficult to resign ourselves to that. I hope they make the 70th too! How awesome would that be!!
    Recipe looks great. I have no excuse for not cooking more since you make it look so easy with the microwave. Now, just need the time! You are always in my prayers!!

  16. I’m sorry your Dad is not doing well. That is so hard. I love the photos here and think the idea of a quick no cook pudding is brilliant!

  17. I just found your blog today and love your food photography. Beautiful and I love your focus on making unhealthy food healthy. I hope your time with your father is a good one. Treasure him as much as you can.

  18. Hi,
    I was searching for a recipe for banana pudding and found yours on foodgawker. I read your entire post and cried. My father too is battling congestive heart failure and I am so glad I live just minutes away. It is so sad when they start telliing your they are finished with things. I wish you and your father the best and know you will enjoy all the days you have with him. Elalne

  19. Tasti Wave says:

    You provide very appetizing pictures. Thanks for sharing such detailed directions for the banana pudding.

  20. You are my hero…but if you think I’m capable of waiting 24 hours to eat this…. The pudding is in a sink full of ice water and I am standing over it with my spoon in hand.

    1. Thanks MadTyMom, I don’t blame you one bit for your impatience. The next challenge will be trying not to eat it all in one or two sittings. 🙂

  21. Where and what is the shortbread recipe called on your blog!

    1. Steve,
      That is a very good question. I usually make just the shortbread base for these toffee bars, then I break it into pieces.

  22. lovely recipe paula!! It was made perfect.
    have u got anymore easy recipes like this

  23. For a nice twist on traditional banana pudding, use ginger snaps instead of vanilla wafers.

    1. Alice, What a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  24. Made your pudding. It was so good!! Love the simpleness of the recipe as well. Thanks for a great recipe. No one would ever believe it was cooked in the microwave!!

    1. I couldn’t agree more. 🙂

  25. Rivkah Lynn says:

    5 stars
    This worked perfectly! I increased measurements by 20% and substituted suregel for the flour so I could make it gluten free. No lumps and the flavor was outstanding! Thank you!

    1. Gluten-free? Impressive. So happy it turned out good for you.

  26. Katherine Jacobs says:

    5 stars
    I love banana pudding, but I hate standing over a hot stove stirring constantly. Thank you for this easier way to make it from scratch. I don’t care for the new, what I call pre-fab banana pudding. 😀

    1. I agree with you, Katherine. The microwave is awesome for making pudding.