What is Banana Pudding?

A popular dessert with Southern roots, this trifle-like treat is made with pudding, cookies, and bananas
What is Banana Pudding?

Authentic banana pudding is actually made with vanilla pudding. It gets its name from the addition of sliced bananas.

Banana pudding is a dessert that originated in the southern United States. Banana pudding is a simple, no-fuss dessert that, despite the name, is made with vanilla pudding. The dessert consists of layers of vanilla pudding, vanilla wafer cookies, and fresh sliced bananas (much like a trifle) and is usually topped with whipped cream or meringue. Banana pudding recipes first appeared in the early twentieth century — 1902 in Mrs. Rorer’s New Cook Book and 1903 in The Kentucky Receipt Book — as a combination of the vanilla pudding, fresh sliced bananas, and whipped cream; the wafer cookies were added during the 1960s.

Banana pudding has grown in popularity since then; it has even inspired a National Banana Pudding Festival that takes place each year in Tennessee. The festival includes a Miss Banana Pudding pageant for girls between the ages of 5 and 13, two stages with entertainment, and, of course, a banana pudding cook-off.


Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal's Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.