Make Ahead

Caramel Banana Pudding with Amazing Sauce

February 24, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I really love banana pudding. But I don't always love the mushy, brown lumps of banana in pudding that's been around a while. One day I stumbled along an old recipe for banana pudding that involved boiling very ripe bananas in milk to impart the flavor and sugar, then straining it to remove the banana bits. I loved the result, but recently have been wanting something with a little more flavor. I love bananas with caramel sauce and decided to try adding that flavor to the pudding. Since it's not really banana pudding without Vanilla Wafers, I topped the dessert with a Vanilla Wafer "crumble". Enjoy! - lizb —lizb

Test Kitchen Notes

If you like smooth pudding and prefer no mushy bananas, Lizb's caramel banana version is the way to go. Subtle hints of banana, vanilla and caramel are infused into the pudding and then strained to create a silky texture. The vanilla wafer topping is sweet and crunchy with touch of cardamom. Simply yummy! —jvcooks

What You'll Need
  • Caramel Banana Pudding
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • .25 cups tightly packed brown sugar
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • .25 cups sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vanilla Wafer Crumble
  • 30 Vanilla Wafers
  • 3 teaspoons sugar
  • .25 teaspoons cardamom
  • pinch salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  1. In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir to combine. Cook until the sugar is melted and browned a little, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Peel and chop the bananas into 1/2 inch pieces and combine with 2 cups of the milk, the sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the seeds into the milk mixture, add the pod in as well. Cook over medium-low heat until it starts to steam, then strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and discard the bananas and vanilla bean pod.
  3. Combine the eggs, cornstarch, and remaining half cup of milk in a bowl. Slowly add about 1/3 of the milk to the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Do the same with another 1/3 of the egg mixture. Add the egg and milk mixture back into the pan, stirring to incorporate.
  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens and just starts to boil – about five minutes. Stir in the caramel mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook another five minutes.
  5. Pour the pudding through a strainer into six ramekins (or about a one quart dish). Put plastic wrap directly on the pudding so it doesn't get a skin. Chill until cold, at least 30 minutes but up to a day. To serve, top with the crumble.
  6. To make the crumble, preheat the oven to 325°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and set aside. Place the vanilla wafers in a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin. (I like this better than the food processor, since the pieces are less uniform).
  7. Melt the butter -- I typically do this in the microwave rather than on the stove, but I have limited storage and few pots and pans. In a small bowl add the crushed wafers, the sugar, cardamom and salt. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Transfer to the baking sheet, and toast in the oven until brown and fragrant, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle the topping on the pudding. It makes a lot, but I love a good crunchy coating.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Rebecca Cherry
    Rebecca Cherry
  • Ann McCarthy
    Ann McCarthy
  • warholamm
  • lizb

5 Reviews

Rebecca C. June 10, 2015
I might now know why no one has commented in four years. Even though, I checked this recipe against other banana pudding recipes and my elementary knowledge of pudding making, I went with it, anyway. The work became a series of rescue attempts. In the end, it'll turn out pudding shape, form, and consistency (waiting for it to set, now) and will taste more like caramel pudding with hints of muddy banana than the refreshing raw banana flavor with hints of caramel, I thought it might. Nonetheless, not bad for a first time.
Ann M. March 12, 2011
Made this today for a dinner party. I used potato starch instead of cornstarch due to gluten allergies in the group and it didn't set up well. I was wondering if I shouldn't have put it through the strainer a second time? Or if I had the potato starch - cornstarch ratio off. The flavor, however, was great! Will try it again with corn starch.
lizb March 12, 2011
Ann, I've never tried substituting potato starch for cornstarch, so I can't speak to that, but you could make this without the cornstarch by increasing the eggs to four yolks and two whole eggs. I prefer a little less egg flavor so I suggested a little egg and a little cornstarch, but I love how creamy the extra egg makes the pudding if you go the all egg route. I hope it sets up better next time!
warholamm March 8, 2011
beautiful! instead of discarding the bananas, they were added to the cookie mixture and baked for 15 minutes. this turns into more of a bread pudding consistency, so if you prefer to have a crunchy topping this wouldn't be suggested. my family licked the bowls clean. thanks for the recipe!
lizb March 10, 2011
What a cool idea with the bananas, I bet that's good on it's own! Glad you enjoyed it.