These homemade banana pudding cups feature layers of luscious pudding, fresh bananas, and sweet cookies, all served in charming individual glasses or cups. It’s a decadent dessert perfect for any occasion.
If you’re a fan of the timeless classic that is banana pudding, you simply can’t miss out on these delightful Homemade Banana Pudding Cups! The burst of flavors is truly exceptional – the melding of fresh bananas, chessman cookies, and fluffy vanilla pudding is an absolute delight.
Remember Paula Deen’s famous Not Yo Mama’s Banana Pudding? I’ve given it a homemade twist! Say goodbye to boxed pudding and frozen whipped topping. This recipe boasts luscious from-scratch pudding and freshly whipped cream. Make sure you read through the recipe, as there are hours of refrigeration needed for this recipe.
This dessert takes a front-row seat among my all-time favorites! And speaking of must-tries, try some of these other fabulous banana-based recipes: Banana Bread with Pecans, Cinnamon Banana Muffins, Cinnamon Crunch Banana Bread, Banana Nutella Muffins, or Banana Rhubarb Bread.
WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE
This recipe is easy to scale up or down, so you can make as many or as few as you’d like.
- Small and Delightful: Mini individual desserts are an absolute hit. Their adorable size offers inherent portion control, a blessing for a delectable dessert. They’re also a host’s dream – no fussing over serving each person their share of banana pudding.
- Advance Prep for Easy Enjoyment: We introduced these treats at a recent family gathering, and the preparation was a game-changer. You can have them prepared in advance, ready to be plucked from the fridge as the party begins. Just add the finishing touches on top right before serving.
- Suited for Every Occasion: Crafting 8 individual servings, this recipe is ideal for intimate gatherings. And don’t fret if you’re catering to a larger crowd – double the recipe to serve 16. These delights shine at potlucks, picnics, Mother’s Day celebrations, and any event you can imagine.
- Creamy and comforting: Words fall short when trying to capture the sublime flavors of this dessert. Yet, I can assure you that once you dip your spoon into the layers of creamy pudding, buttery cookies, and sweet bananas, a single serving might leave you craving more!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
Get ready to whip up some delicious banana pudding cups! To create this scrumptious treat, you’ll need just a handful of simple and easily available ingredients.
Granulated Sugar: Sugar plays a crucial role in the texture of pudding. When heated, sugar dissolves and forms a syrup that contributes to the smooth and creamy consistency of the pudding. It also helps in giving the pudding a soft and luscious mouthfeel.
Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used in pudding as a thickening agent. When you cook pudding, the ingredients need to come together and reach a certain consistency that is smooth and creamy. Cornstarch helps achieve this texture by absorbing the liquid and forming a gel-like structure as it cooks. This process thickens the pudding, giving it the desired creamy and smooth texture.
Egg Yolks: When heated and mixed with the milk and sugar, egg yolks emulsify and distribute the fats evenly throughout the mixture, creating a smooth and velvety consistency.
Whole Milk: The higher fat content in whole milk (typically around 3.25%) creates a creamier texture in the pudding. The fat molecules help coat the other ingredients, resulting in a smooth consistency.
Unsalted Butter: Butter contributes to the mouthfeel of the pudding, giving it a soft and buttery sensation as it melts in your mouth.
Heavy Cream: This will be used to create whipped cream that will be folded into the pudding to create a more delicate and fluffy consistency. It is also used to make the topping.
Cream Cheese: The slight tanginess of cream cheese provides a pleasant contrast to the sweetness of the pudding and the bananas, adding complexity to the overall taste. Sweetened Condensed Milk: Condensed milk is concentrated, with water removed, leaving behind thick, sweet milk with added sugar. Its natural sweetness adds a delicious sugary flavor to the pudding, reducing the need for additional sugar in the recipe. Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies: Chessman cookies are known for their rich and buttery flavor. When layered in banana pudding, they add a delicious buttery taste that complements the sweetness of the pudding and the bananas. You can sub vanilla wafers if you prefer. Bananas: Bananas are the star of the show in banana pudding, providing the primary flavor for the dessert. Vanilla and Salt: vanilla and salt contribute to the overall harmony of flavors in banana pudding, making it a well-rounded and delicious dessert.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BANANA PUDDING IN CUPS
STEP 1: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium nonreactive saucepan. I used a 4-quart saucepan.
STEP 2: Slowly whisk in the milk and egg yolks until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking continuously until large bubble forms. Reduce the heat to low and cook for one minute or until thick.
STEP 3: Remove from heat and transfer the pudding to a medium bowl. Stir in butter and vanilla until combined. Cover the top with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
STEP 4: In a bowl of stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form; transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
STEP 5: No need to clean the bowl. Add cream cheese and condensed milk to the mixer bowl with the whisk attachment and beat until smooth. Add the vanilla pudding to the cream cheese mixture and whip until light and fluffy.
STEP 6: Transfer cream cheese/pudding mixture to a large bowl. Fold the whipped cream in the pudding mixture.
HOW TO MAKE WHIPPED CREAM TOPPING
Combine 2 cups cold heavy cream, 3 tablespoons granulated or powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and whip until soft peaks. Fill the whipped cream into a large piping bag with a #1M Wilson tip.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE BANANA PUDDING CUPS
STEP 1: Begin by placing a single Chessman cookie at the base of each glass, followed by a layer of 3-4 sliced bananas.
STEP 2: Next, spread a layer of the pudding/whipped cream mixture over the bananas, ensuring every slice is fully coated and concealed.
STEP 3: Carry on by replicating the sequence with yet another layer – a solo cookie, a delicate arrangement of sliced bananas, and a silky layer of pudding.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 or 24 hours before serving. Top with whipped cream before serving, if desired.
Tips and Tricks
- Use Ripe Bananas: Opt for bananas that are perfectly ripe, displaying a vibrant yellow hue without any brown spots. Overly ripe bananas tend to turn brown and become mushy faster.
- Layer Wisely: When assembling the pudding cups, layer the ingredients strategically. Start with a layer of cookies, then add a layer of sliced bananas, followed by a generous dollop of homemade pudding. Repeat the layers until you fill the cup.
- Chill Thoroughly: While the preparation is wonderfully straightforward, do set aside a generous amount of time for chilling. Firstly, the pudding requires approximately 4 hours in the fridge to achieve the right consistency. Then, once the cups are assembled, they should be refrigerated for 8 hours. This extended chilling period allows the flavors to harmonize, and the cookies turn perfectly cake-like,
- Whipped Cream Topping: Top each cup with a generous swirl of freshly whipped cream just before serving. It adds a luscious creaminess and enhances the overall presentation.
- Garnish: Before serving, add a few slices of fresh banana or a cookie for a beautiful finishing touch.
- Experiment with Flavors: Feel free to get creative with the recipe! You can add a drizzle of chocolate sauce, sprinkle crushed nuts, or even incorporate other fruits like strawberries or raspberries for different flavor combinations.
With these tips, your homemade banana pudding cups will surely be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy the creamy, fruity goodness of this classic dessert!
How long does banana pudding last?
Consume the banana pudding within 3 to 4 days for the best taste and quality. Store the pudding in the refrigerator. The cold temperature helps slow down the growth of bacteria and maintains the freshness of the ingredients. Use an airtight container to store the pudding.
- Whole Milk: These precise amounts of whole milk are ideal. Using all or some half-and-half wouldn’t yield the same milkfat needed. Lower-fat or nondairy milks will produce a very thin pudding, so I don’t recommend either.
- Pepperidge Farm Chessman Cookies: Nilla Wafers instead of Chessman cookies are commonly used in banana pudding. If you prefer Nilla wafers go ahead and use those. I love the buttery note of the chessman cookies in this recipe. Note that you will need 2 bags of Chessman Cookies.
- Individual Banana Puddings or 1 9×13 pan: This recipe yields enough for at least 8-10 (6-8 ounce) parfaits. You can also make this banana pudding in a 9×13-inch baking dish. You should have enough for 2 layers of cookies, bananas, and pudding using the exact ingredient amounts given above.
- Tropical Delight: Layer the banana pudding cups with slices of fresh pineapple, shredded coconut, and a drizzle of caramel sauce for a tropical twist.
- Banana Split Cups: Turn your pudding cups into a banana split-inspired treat by adding chocolate sauce, chopped nuts, and maraschino cherries on top.
- Strawberry Banana Cups: Incorporate fresh strawberry slices between the layers of pudding, bananas, and cookies for a delightful burst of fruity flavor.
- Choco-Banana Crunch: Mix in crushed chocolate cookies or brownie pieces with the layers for a delightful chocolate crunch in each bite.
- Nutty Banana Crunch: Sprinkle chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds between the layers to add a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor.
- Chocolate Banana Pudding: Mix cocoa powder into the pudding for a rich chocolate twist that pairs perfectly with the bananas.
- PB & Banana Cups: Add a layer of peanut butter mousse or peanut butter cups for a delectable combination of peanut butter and bananas.
- Salted Caramel Banana Cups: Drizzle salted caramel sauce between the layers for a sweet and savory indulgence.
Feel free to get creative and mix and match these variations to create your own unique banana pudding cups. The possibilities are endless! Enjoy experimenting with different flavors and toppings to delight your taste buds.
- Refrigeration: If you have leftover banana pudding cups, cover them tightly with plastic wrap or transfer them to an airtight container. Refrigerate promptly and store in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Layer Separation: To avoid the cookies getting too soggy, you can store the banana pudding components separately. Keep the pudding, sliced bananas, and cookies in separate containers in the fridge. Assemble the cups just before serving for the best texture.
- Freezing: While banana pudding cups are best enjoyed fresh, you can freeze the individual components. Freeze the pudding and sliced bananas in separate freezer-safe containers. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature. Thaw and assemble the cups when ready to serve.
- Whipped Cream: If your banana pudding cups are topped with whipped cream, it’s best to add the whipped cream just before serving to maintain its texture and appearance.
- Avoid Freezing Assembled Cups: Freezing fully assembled banana pudding cups with the pudding and bananas can change texture and consistency once thawed.
Remember, while storing banana pudding cups, the texture of the cookies may soften over time. So, it’s best to enjoy them within a day or two for the freshest taste and texture.
To prevent bananas from browning, lightly brush them with lemon juice before layering them in the cups. The citric acid in the lemon juice helps slow down the oxidation process.
Certainly! Instant pudding mix is an excellent way to create delightful mini banana pudding cups. Just follow the instructions on the pudding mix package to prepare the pudding. It’s a fast and convenient solution for crafting this delectable dessert.
Graham crackers, Shortbread cookies, Nilla wafers, Chessman cookies, Ladyfingers, Gingersnaps, and Biscoff cookies are all good options.
Yes! if you’re in a hurry or can’t refrigerate them immediately, you can enjoy them right after assembling them. Remember that the flavors might be less fully developed, and the texture will differ from when the dessert has had time to chill.
Homemade Banana Pudding Cups
- 8-10 6-8 oz clear glasses or jars to layer
- 2/3 cup (134 grams) granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt, for table salt, use about half as much by volume or the same weight
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup very cold heavy cream
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 (7.25 oz) packages Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
- 4 large ripe bananas thinly sliced
Fresh Whipped Cream (for serving)
- 2 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar or powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium nonreactive saucepan.
- Gently whisk in the milk until you have a smooth mixture. Then, whisk in the egg yolks until everything is smooth.
- Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the first big bubbles pop and sputter.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook, continuously whisking for 1 minute or more until thickened.
- Remove from heat and transfer the pudding to a medium bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla until combined.
- Cover the top with plastic wrap pressed directly against the surface. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
- Whip the heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside.
Cream Cheese mixture
- In a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Add the vanilla pudding to the cream cheese mixture and whip until light and fluffy.
- Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the whipped cream.
- Use clear individual serving cups, glasses, or jars to layer a chessman cookie, 3-4 banana slices, and pudding/whipped cream. Layer another chessman cookie, then 3-4 banana slices, and fill to close to the top with more of the pudding/whipped cream mixture.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours before serving.
- Right before serving, top with freshly whipped cream over the top.
Fresh Whipped Cream topping
- Mix 2 cups of cold heavy cream, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl with a stand mixer. Use the whisk attachment and whip until you see soft peaks forming.
- Before serving, top pudding cups with whipped cream (if desired).