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Meringue Banana Pudding

This meringue banana pudding is a Southern-inspired dessert made with layers of an easy homemade custard, freshly sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers, topped with light and fluffy meringue. It’s a delicious way to finish any meal!

Looking for more banana pudding desserts? Try our condensed milk banana pudding, strawberry banana pudding, and red velvet banana pudding next!

pot of banana pudding with meringue on a white marble plate with spoon, flowers, and nilla wafers.

Banana pudding with meringue

Homemade banana pudding is one of our all-time favorite desserts. And today, we’re making it with a billowy toasted meringue topping rather than whipped cream.

I have a soft spot for Southern cuisine, and this meringue banana pudding is a classic Southern dessert that is absolutely delicious and irresistible.

This beautiful dessert features layers of creamy, homemade vanilla custard, crunchy nilla wafers, sweet banana slices, and clouds of fluffy, golden meringue on top.

It’s a delightful blend of different textures and flavors!

My easy recipe comes together in about 30 minutes with just a few simple steps.

You’ll love serving this delicious banana pudding to your family and friends on holidays, parties, birthdays, and just because!

If you love banana treats as much as we do, be sure to try our banana bread (a reader favorite), banana pudding brownies, and strawberry banana cheesecake salad next.

What is meringue banana pudding?

Meringue banana pudding is an old-fashioned Southern dessert. It’s made with layers of vanilla custard, vanilla wafer cookies, and slices of fresh bananas, topped with a fluffy golden meringue.

Southern Living has shared an article about the backstory of Southern banana pudding. It makes an interesting read!

meringue banana pudding ingredients.
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Ingredients

Just a short list of simple ingredients is needed for this banana pudding meringue recipe. Please refer to the recipe card at the end of the post for exact measurements.

  • All-purpose flour helps to thicken the custard.
  • Granulated sugar: We need granulated white sugar to sweeten the pudding and to whip the fluffy meringue.
  • Eggs: You’ll need 6 whole eggs for the recipe. The egg yolks go in the custard, and the egg whites are used for the meringue topping.
  • Milk: I like to use whole milk to prepare the pudding, but you can also use skim or fat-reduced milk.
  • Vanilla extract gives the pudding a rich vanilla flavor. Be sure to use a good-quality extract and skip the imitation stuff – you can really taste the difference.
  • Salted butter adds richness to the custard and balances the sweetness. If using unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt.
  • Vanilla wafers: I always use the Nilla wafers, but you can use your favorite brand or see my substitution ideas below.
  • Bananas: Sliced fresh bananas give the pudding amazing flavor. For the best results, use barely ripe bananas. In fact, underripe, slightly green bananas are ideal. Save overripe bananas for banana bread or banana muffins.
  • Cream of tartar helps the meringue to hold its shape. If you don’t have cream of tartar, add a pinch of salt instead.

Meringue is so intriguing! We also have delicate meringue cookies, this lovely lemon meringue pie, and key lime meringue pie on the blog.

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How to make meringue banana pudding

Despite its impressive looks, making homemade banana pudding with meringue is actually super simple. Let’s walk through the recipe step-by-step:

step 1 combine dry ingredients.

1. Combine dry ingredients

  • Whisk together the sugar and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
step 2 incorporate egg yolks.

2. Incorporate yolks

  • Add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup milk.
  • Whisk until well combined and smooth.
step 3 heat milk.

3. Heat milk

  • Pour the remaining 3 cups of milk into a large, heavy-bottom saucepan.
  • Warm over medium heat just until the milk begins to bubble around the edges of the pan.
step 4 temper egg yolks.

4. Temper egg yolks

  • Once the milk is hot, slowly ladle 1 cup of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you pour to temper the yolks.
  • Then, transfer the tempered yolks into the saucepan with the hot milk, whisking as you go.
step 5 cook custard.

5. Cook pudding

  • Cook the mixture over medium heat until the pudding has thickened.
  • Be sure to whisk and stir constantly to prevent scorching.
step 6 add butter and vanilla.

6. Add butter and vanilla

  • When the pudding is thick, take it off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.
step 7 assemble banana pudding.

7. Assemble banana pudding

  • Spread a dollop of pudding in the bottom of individual serving jars. You can also use a trifle dish, pie plate, baking dish, or large bowl.
  • Layer Nilla wafers, then add half of the banana slices.
  • Spoon half of the pudding mixture over the bananas.
  • Repeat the layers with the reaming Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding.

How do I keep my bananas from turning brown?

Lightly coat the sliced bananas in lemon, orange, or pineapple juice. Only add a little so as to not change the flavor.

You can also sprinkle them with a bit of citric acid powder. Again, only a little to not alter the flavor.

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How to make meringue for banana pudding

step 1 whip meringue.

1. Whip meringue

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks start to form.
  • Gradually add the sugar while beating and continue mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes.
step 2 apply meringue.

2. Apply meringue

  • Spread the meringue onto the banana pudding. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to create swirls and peaks in the meringue.
step 3 toast meringue.

3. Toast meringue

  • There are a few different ways to toast the meringue, depending on what type of container you are using to serve your banana pudding.
  • If I’m making individual servings, I will go over the meringue with a kitchen torch until toasted.
    For a big bowl or casserole dish, I like to bake it at 350°F until lightly browned on top.
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Tips for meringue topping for banana pudding

Preparing homemade meringue for banana pudding is easy, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind:

  • Clean equipment: Make sure your mixing bowl and whisk attachment are completely clean and free of fat. Even a tiny amount of fat can hinder the meringue from whipping up properly.
  • Separate eggs: Never let any egg yolk enter the egg whites as you separate the two. Yolks contain fat, which makes it hard to whip the whites properly. Here is a neat video that shows how to separate eggs.
  • Increase the mixer speed gradually: Strat whipping the egg whites on medium speed. Once they are foamy, increase the speed to high. If the whites are beaten too quickly at the beginning, the meringue will not be as strong and can deflate later.
  • Avoid making meringue on humid days: Humidity causes meringue to absorb moisture and become sticky and flat.
spoon dipping into a jar of homemade banana pudding with meringue.
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Serving suggestions

Banana pudding with meringue topping is a classic dessert, perfect for making for Sunday suppers, holidays, and celebrations! It is always a favorite!

Do you eat meringue banana pudding hot or cold?

You can eat meringue banana pudding hot and cold.

We love it while it’s still warm, and I’ve heard that’s how most Southerners prefer it as well.

Digging into a bowl of warm pudding is very satisfying and comforting!

But you can also prepare your banana pudding ahead of time and chill it in the refrigerator.

Then add and toast the meringue right before serving and serve the pudding cold.

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Variations

  • Whipped cream: If you prefer to top your banana pudding with whipped cream rather than meringue, you can certainly do so. You’ll need 1 to 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream for this recipe.
  • Other cookies: Feel free to substitute chocolate wafers, graham crackers, animal crackers, or other similar cookies.
  • Banana-less pudding: Not a fan of bananas? Simply omit them from the recipe. It will still be a delicious dessert. You can also swap in other fruit, such as sliced strawberries or mixed berries.
close-up of a jar filled with banana pudding with meringue topping.
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Storage instructions

How to store meringue banana pudding

Keep leftover banana pudding tightly covered or inside of an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will be good for 2 to 3 days.

The banana coins will brown, and the meringue starts to weep after a while, but the pudding will taste good nevertheless.

Can I make banana meringue pudding ahead?

Yes, you can prepare the recipe in advance. However, you don’t want to go too far ahead of time because the bananas will brown eventually.

It’s okay to prepare the banana pudding on the morning of or the evening before at the very earliest.

Be sure to drizzle the banana slices generously with lemon juice to keep them from browning.

Then, assemble the dessert, cover it airtight with plastic wrap, and store it in the fridge.

I suggest adding the meringue right before serving so it’s nice and fresh.

Can I freeze meringue banana pudding?

No, this is not a freezer-friendly desert. The pudding and bananas contain lots of moisture, which will come out and make the pudding soggy as it thaws.

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More desserts to love

If you’re feeling confident now that you have conquered meringue banana pudding, then it’s time to try more desserts! I’ve rounded up a few more of our favorite dessert recipes that you and your family will love.

Did you enjoy this recipe? Give it a 5-star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and leave a comment! Appreciate it so much, thank you!

If you had any issues, I’d appreciate the chance to help you troubleshoot before you rate.

meringue banana pudding.

Meringue Banana Pudding Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This meringue banana pudding is a Southern-inspired dessert made with layers of an easy homemade custard, freshly sliced bananas, and Nilla wafers, topped with light and fluffy meringue. It's a delicious way to finish any meal!

Ingredients

Pudding

  • 1/2 cup / 60 g / 2 oz all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz granulated sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks (save the white for the meringue)
  • 3 1/3 cups / 825 ml / 28 fl oz whole milk, divided
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 bananas
  • 1 box Nilla wafers

Meringue

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup / 100 g / 3.5 oz granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Instructions

  1. Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together the sugar and flour in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Incorporate yolks. Add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup milk. Whisk until well combined and smooth.
  3. Heat milk. Pour the remaining 3 cups of milk into a large, heavy-bottom saucepan. Warm over medium heat just until the milk begins to bubble around the edges of the pan.
  4. Temper egg yolks. Once the milk is hot, slowly ladle 1 cup of it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly as you pour to temper the yolks. Then, transfer the tempered yolks into the saucepan with the hot milk, whisking as you go.
  5. Cook pudding. Cook the mixture over medium heat for about 10 to 12 minutes until the pudding has thickened. Be sure to whisk and stir constantly to prevent scorching.
  6. Add butter and vanilla. When the pudding is thick, take it off the heat and stir in the butter and vanilla. If desired, add an extra pinch of salt.
  7. Assemble banana pudding. Spread a dollop of pudding in the bottom of individual serving jars. You can also use a trifle dish, pie plate, baking dish, or large bowl (see notes below). Layer Nilla wafers, then add half of the banana slices. Spoon half of the pudding mixture over the bananas. Repeat the layers with the reaming Nilla wafers, sliced bananas, and pudding.
  8. Whip meringue. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until soft peaks start to form. Gradually add the sugar while beating and continue mixing until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Apply meringue. Spread the meringue onto the banana pudding. Use a spatula or the back of a spoon to create swirls and peaks in the meringue.
  10. Toast meringue. There are a few different ways to toast the meringue, depending on what type of container you are using to serve your banana pudding. If I'm making individual servings, I will go over the meringue with a kitchen torch until toasted. For a big bowl or casserole dish, I like to bake it at 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4 for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned on top.
  11. Serve. Garnish with Nilla wafers and banana coins, if desired.

Notes

The recipe makes enough to fit 8 to 12 individual serving containers, dessert bowls, ramekins, or 4-oz to 6-oz mason jars.

It also fits a 9 to 10-inch pie plate or bowl or a 7x11-inch baking dish.

It isn't quite enough to fill a 9x13-inch dish. If feeding a crowd, consider making a double batch and use a 9x13-inch casserole dish.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 383Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 181mgSodium: 167mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 46gProtein: 13g

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