Everybody loves a scoop of cool, luscious banana pudding. Serve it as a Layered Banana Pudding Trifle, and now you’ve got a full-on show stopper! This beautiful dessert comes together seamlessly and features layer upon layer of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, Nilla Wafers, and a thick and creamy homemade whipped cream.
In addition to a gorgeous new dessert recipe, you’ll also leave today with tricks and make-ahead tips that make this beauty over the top easy!
KEEP YOUR DESSERT FROM BEING DESSERTED
Dessert overload is not too far out of the ordinary for most Southern potluck gatherings. So how do you make your dessert stand out amongst the rest? How do you keep your dessert from being…well, deserted?
Let’s face it: When it comes to potluck desserts, the ladies are on the hunt for a show-stopper. A dessert that’ll bring the house down and have guests ranting and raving over our sweet, sweet success. Your solution lies within the many layers of the lovely trifle. A trifle is a layered dessert typically consisting of pudding, some sort of cake and whipped cream. They are moist, decadent and absolutely beautiful.
ABOUT LAYERED BANANA PUDDING
Banana Pudding is a classic Southern dessert. It is served cold and creamy making it the perfect dessert for both Spring and Summer entertaining. It is most often served out of a casserole dish, but it is especially impressive standing tall in a trifle dish. Either way, Banana Pudding is assembled as a layered dessert and it is as beautiful as it is tasty.
The layers consist of:
- Vanilla Pudding (make it from scratch or use a box)
- Whipped Cream
- Nilla Wafers
HOW TO MAKE BANANA PUDDING TRIFLE
- Make the pudding (homemade or from a box), and allow to cool completely.
- Make the whipped cream.
- Slice the bananas.
- Assemble the trifle and place in refrigerator to chill.
1. MAKE THE PUDDING
Banana Pudding Trifle begins with a creamy, decadent homemade vanilla pudding and layers of fresh sliced bananas. If you don’t want to make pudding yourself, purchase 3 large boxes of vanilla pudding mix, whip up a big batch, and use that instead.
2. MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM
Once the pudding has cooled (which takes a good while — be sure to account for this in your prep time), you’ll make the whipped cream and begin putting together your trifle. Whipped cream is another one of those things you could sub in a store-bought version for, however, I will encourage you with this: Homemade whipped cream is extremely easy and fast to make, and storebought renditions typically do not even come close to the real thing. It’s an extra step, but one worth taking.
3. SLICE THE BANANAS
Slicing the bananas is one of the last things you’ll do before you assemble your trifle as they brown quickly when exposed to air. Slice them on a slight bias (just over a 1/4″ in thickness) for better coverage.
4. HOW TO LAYER A TRIFLE
Layering your banana pudding trifle is as simple as following this pattern:
- Nilla Wafers
- Whipped Cream
You’ll repeat this pattern twice for you trifle, and end it with the decorative placement of leftover Nilla Wafers.
You can make your homemade or vanilla pudding up to 2 days in advance. Your whipped cream can be made up to a day in advance. This will help you to pace out the work, and also ensure that all of your ingredients are perfectly cooled come assembly time.
The trifle itself is best made either the night before you intend to serve it, or at least 2 hours in advance so it is served completely chilled.
5 MORE PARTY DESSERTS YOU’LL LOVE
- Reece’s No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie is a gorgeous, mile-high pie equipped with a creamy peanut butter filling, speckled with decadent bites of chopped Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups.
- Egg Hunt Blondies feature the best, chewy blondies topped with buttercream icing and M&M candies. Plus, an easy trick to make the frosting look like grass for an Easter egg hunt topping!
- Texas Sheet Cake is super chocolatey, decadently moist and tender, and topped with gooey, fudgy icing.
- Classic Buttermilk Pie has a smooth, custard filling with sweet, sugary notes of vanilla and a lemon-like tang, all baked atop a buttery, flaky pie crust.
- Easy Pecan Pie is an easy, no-fail pie with crunchy pecans covered in an ooey-gooey, rich, syrup-like custard. This recipe delivers in both flavor and simplicity.
A classic Southern pudding dessert recipe featuring homemade vanilla pudding and whipped cream, Nilla Wafer cookies and bananas.
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt separated
- 5 cups whole milk
- 8 large egg yolks
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups cold heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons confectioners (powdered) sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups homemade vanilla pudding
- 2-3 bananas, cut at a 1/4” bias
- 4 cups homemade whipped cream
- 8-10 ounces Nilla Wafers™
In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and fine sea salt. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large sauce pan, warm the milk over medium heat. Do not allow to simmer. Remove from the heat once warmed and set aside.
Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don't have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until pale yellow and thickened, 3-5 minutes.
Sprinkle in cornstarch mixture and mix until absorbed. Then, mixing on low, stream in the warmed milk. Remove from the stand mixer, and scrape down the sides of the bowl, and whisk to combine thoroughly. Pour the contents of the bowl back into the saucepan.
Transfer to the stovetop and place over medium heat, slowly stirring, occasionally, for about 8-10 minutes or until the mixture reaches a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 2-3 minutes, until thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until melted, followed by the vanilla extract. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours, or until chilled through. The pudding can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated until ready to use.
For the whipped cream, combine cream, confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, use a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer.
Begin beating on low speed until the mixture has just slightly thickened, then crank up the speed to medium-high. Beat for 2-4 minutes, until stiff peaks have formed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble the trifle, in a standard-sized trifle bowl, add a layer of vanilla pudding (about 3/4 cup) and spread using an offset spatula or the back of a large spoon. Add a single layer of bananas across the pudding, followed by another layer of pudding. Place Nilla Wafers ™ atop and add one more layer of pudding. Top with 2 cups of the whipped cream. Repeat this exact process once more.
NOTE: Both additions will go like this: Pudding, bananas, pudding, wafer cookies, pudding, and lastly, whipped cream.
Place trifle in the refrigerator and allow to chill at least 2 hours before serving.
You must allow the pudding at least 4-5 hours to completely cool. DO NOT combine warm pudding and cold whipped cream in the same serving vessel.
Pudding will be gritty if cooked over too high of a heat setting. Do not be tempted to raise the heat above medium to reach a simmer more quickly.