Banana Pudding · GF (enough to feed a half dozen sock monkeys)

You don’t need me to explain how to actually assemble banana pudding. But I have provided instructions for putting together a free-standing banana pudding, which is quite a party trick. The original blog post is here if you want to read more about this recipe.

Click each picture to enlarge.

You will need to assemble:

1 batch vanilla wafers or gluten free vanilla wafers, piped as 2” long fingers

1 bunch of bananas (seven or eight)

1 batch pastry cream, cooled and stirred until creamy

8 ounces cream, whipped

a hearty splash of vanilla extract

1 batch Swiss meringue (made at the last minute)


8” cake pan with 4” sides (or something like that)
Plenty of plastic wrap
A serrated knife
One sock monkey

So, first you’ll need to take the cake pan and line it with several layers of plastic wrap, making sure it’s a good fit at the corners.

Next, take the finger shaped vanilla wafers and use the serrated knife to carefully saw off one end of each, so that the finger shaped cookies have a straight edge on one end and are rounded on the other. You may find you also need to trim up the sides of the cookies so they fit snugly together in the pan, but this is optional.

Line the sides of the cake pan with these cookies so that the flat edge touches the bottom of the pan, and so the bottom of the cookie faces inward. (So the nicely browned, slightly rounded side will face out after you unmold the pudding.)

Arrange another layer of cookies to cover the bottom of the pan, flat side down.

In a large bowl, fold together the whipped cream and pastry cream; set aside. Slice the bananas and proceed to layer pastry cream pudding, bananas, and wafers until you’ve reached the top of the pan. Try and end things on a banana or cookie layer, it will make it just a little easier to unmold later. Cover the top with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.

To unmold, invert the cake pan on a flat plate. Tug at the edges of the plastic wrap all around the plan, loosening it from the sides. Once a little air gets between the pudding and the pan, it will release pretty easily.

Once the pan is off, remove the plastic wrap and invert again onto a serving plate. Remove the top layer of plastic, and finish the banana pudding by topping it with freshly made Swiss meringue. (Alternately, you could get all Paula Deen on it and use whipped cream.)

If you have a blowtorch (or an overpriced crème brûlée torch), by all means light that sucker up and toast till your heart’s content. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep a close eye on the dessert under the broiler of your oven.

Tie a ribbon around the whole thing if you’re feeling precious, and let the sock monkey have at it.


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Any questions?

Oct 04, 2010 ·  4:54 AM

Yes – this sounds like the recipe to follow!!

 · Emma  ·

Oct 15, 2010 · 10:44 AM

Thanks for checking it out! Let me know if you ever give it a shot.


Mar 26, 2011 ·  7:56 PM

Look fun and easy! I like the addition of a sock monkey.

 · egb ·

Mar 27, 2011 ·  3:06 AM

Aside from the whole banana pudding I was really looking for a recipe for vanilla wafers.Bookmarked! I really need to give it a try.

 · CaffeIna ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  5:08 AM

i like your blog so very much this cookies are so delicious i like it very much

 · Clowns Miami  ·

Mar 28, 2011 · 11:44 AM

Wow amazing. These pictures are actuating my yen for bananas.

 · Addicted Baker ·

Mar 28, 2011 · 11:49 AM

awesome photos, congrats on top 9!

 · Lori Lynn ·

Mar 28, 2011 · 12:03 PM

Great post! Congrats on the top 9

 · Dee ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  1:35 PM

Great photos and such a pretty looking pudding! Thanks for sharing!

 · Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  4:26 PM

If it’s good enough for Sock Monkey it’s good enough for me! Congrats on the Top 9!

 · Cheryl and Adam @ ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  5:03 PM

Beautiful dessert. I love the presentation.

 · briarrose ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  7:20 PM

I love banana cream pie, so I must try this. Looks great!

 · Margaret Murphy Tripp ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  8:31 PM

The cake is looking scrumptous, cant wait to make one for myself and try…too good !

 · sonia ·

Mar 28, 2011 ·  9:59 PM

@egb, thanks!

@CaffeIna, the vanilla wafers are pretty great. They are not quite exactly like a nilla wafer in terms of texture, but they are spot on in the pudding. I love a few with a glass of milk.

@Clowns Miami, glad you approve!

@Addicted Baker, the first few attempts I made in “perfecting banna pudding” involved steeping bananas into the milk for the pastry cream. The results, while totally delicious, were way to banana-y for a “classic” banana pudding. If you’re craving banana though, you should do that!

@Lori, thanks so much. Couldn’t do it without Rosco.

@everyone else, thanks so much for commenting. It makes my day when people enjoy something enough to leave me a little note. You’re all the best.


Mar 29, 2011 ·  1:01 AM

Great party trick indeed!

 · foodies at home ·

Sep 19, 2011 · 10:30 PM

I would love to have few of these for my kids party..

 · Rick ·

Sep 20, 2011 ·  5:33 PM

@Rick, wow, you’re a great Dad!


Sep 20, 2011 ·  5:58 PM

“Go all Paula Deen on it”! Ha! God forbid.

 · Kat ·

Sep 21, 2011 ·  8:47 PM

@Kat, I know, right? Mmmm, extra fatty pudding…


Nov 14, 2016 · 11:26 AM

Hi Stella, I can’t find the recipe for Vanilla Wafers on your website, and it seems like the links in this post don’t get there either. Is it still somewhere on your website? Thanks!

 · LlamaLover · 

Aug 25, 2017 · 10:52 PM

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 · Finger Monkey ·

Oct 06, 2017 ·  2:18 PM

sock monkey??? I’ve been looking for one high and low… about to check out trees and sock drawers!

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 · car ·


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