You probably have certain foods that, when you smell or taste them, instantly transport you back to an almost tangible memory. You can clearly see the people and place, hear the sounds and of course, smell and taste the food. Banana Pudding is one of those foods for me. When I think of Banana Pudding, I am instantly taken back to Sunday lunch, after Church at my Grandmother’s house outside of Houston. Mommom, the name I gave her as the first grandchild, would make a big Pyrex baking dish of it as the perfect ending to a big roast beef lunch. She was busy in the kitchen (you still can’t get her to sit down), kids and grand-kids running around playing in the Texas Spring time and me perched up on a bar stool watching her go, flipping through cook books and sneaking tastes of whatever I could reach.
She always made the best meals and desserts and I attribute my love for cooking to her. I always loved being in the kitchen with her. As a little girl, my job was to stir and “sneak” vanilla wafers that she would always leave conveniently within reach. Like going on a road trip I would ask, almost incessantly, “is it done now…?” As I got older she would teach me how to make all the things and had the patience of a saint….looking back I can see what a miracle that really was ha! She would make all of her pie and puddings from scratch. The kind where you would have to stand over the stove and constantly stir for what seemed like hours but in the end was always worth it. Over the years I’ve tried many different banana pudding recipes. Some from scratch and some from an instant box mix and I can honestly say I like both! If done right a box mix can be doctored up and taste just as good, but for this cake I decided to go at it the old-fashioned way. One thing I always have to put in my banana pudding is Sweetened condensed milk. I almost wanted it to be the star of the show so its inside the pudding and draping the entire cake as well.
Since I was already making the banana pudding I decided to make mini mason jars filled with just the banana pudding and I gave them out as teachers gifts. They were extremely easy to assemble in the little jars and then I found some miniature disposable spoons at hobby lobby and tied a ribbon around the whole jar to secure it. Its such a pretty and easy gift idea that used up the excess pudding.
Banana pudding recipe:
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cups sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp banana extract (optional)
- 2 TBL salted butter
- 1 box vanilla wafers approximately 20 wafers (use discretion and make layers of them when you stack your pudding)
- 2-3 bananas
- 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk (7 oz)
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
Lightly beat egg yolks and combine with milk in a bowl.
Pour the egg and milk mixture into dry ingredients in heavy saucepan.
Cook over low to medium heat, stirring constantly, until ingredients are thickened and smooth.
Remove saucepan from heat and stir in extracts and butter.
- Once completely cooled and cold add the sweetened condensed milk
- Reserve to layer in between cake layers
Assembly for just the banana pudding: (you could layer in a baking dish or mason jars)
To layer your banana pudding, begin by placing vanilla wafers on the bottom of a 2 quart glass bowl or baking dish.
Slice bananas and place on top of wafers.
Pour custard over wafers and bananas.
Repeat layering process until all wafers, bananas, and custard have been used.
- I also layered extra creamy cool whip in between my layers as well and topped the entire pudding with that (you could also use whipped cream or eliminate this step)
- 4 large eggs
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 5 VERY ripe bananas
- 1 cups vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2/3 cups water
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
- 4 sticks of butter, softened
- 5-6 cups Powdered sugar (depending on consistency)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon banana extract
- 3-4 drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
- Cake – Preheat oven to 325F. Grease and flour 3 8 inch cake pans; set aside
- In an electric mixer add the eggs, sugar, bananas, oil, vanilla and combine
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and mix until combined
- Add the water at the very end and combine but don’t over-mix
- Turn batter out into prepared pan, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula
- Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, no batter
- Set cake aside on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting it so the frosting doesn’t melt
- Frosting – In a large mixing bowl (or to the bowl of a stand mixer) add the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, extracts and beat until smooth and fluffy or beat with an electric mixer (or use the paddle attachment of a stand mixer)
- Add food coloring and mix completely until light and fluffy
Sweetened condensed milk drip:
- 1 Cup Pure white candy melts
- 3 Tbl heavy cream
- 7 TBL sweetened condensed milk
- You can combine all the ingredients and melt them together in either a double boiler on the stove top or use the defrost setting in your microwave to slowly melt it
- Allow cakes to fully cool, preferably in the freezer for at least 1 hour. This will allow them to set and be much easier to work with.
- Lay your first cake layer onto a cake stand or board and spread the pudding on top, then layer bananas then the vanilla wafer layer
- Repeat steps with the remaining layers
- frost cake with the banana cream cheese frosting frosting (I frosted the cake making it look Naked or leaving the cake layers semi exposed)
- pour the ganache drip starting in the center of the cake allowing it to pour down the sides
- top with a border of frosting and more vanilla wafers