Classic Gluten Free Banana Pudding

Classic Gluten Free Banana Pudding

This gluten free banana pudding takes a classic Southern dessert to another level with banana puree cooked right into the smooth, creamy pudding. Make your own GF vanilla wafers, or use store bought for the perfect nostalgic dessert!

Banana pudding in a jar with whip cream and banana

I’m not Southern, but I do know banana pudding. I’ve always found the idea of smooth vanilla pudding layered with vanilla wafers and topped with lightly-toasted meringue or fresh whipped cream to be both compelling—and disappointing all at once. If you’re a Southern belle, hear me out! If you’re going to make something called banana pudding, shouldn’t it have, well, bananas in the pudding? It should be more than just proximity to bananas that proves the pudding is, indeed, banana.

Banana pudding being assembled in jar on white surface

Now I’ve made banana pudding both ways—with banana puree in the pudding and with just a simple vanilla pudding layered with bananas and vanilla wafers. There’s just no comparison between the two. I realize that’s because I wasn’t raised on the stuff. If you simply cannot abide banana puree in your pudding, I’ve included instructions for how to eliminate the offending extra bananas.

Close up of banana pudding on jar on white plate

This gluten free banana pudding takes a classic Southern dessert to another level with banana puree cooked right into the smooth, creamy pudding. Make your own GF vanilla wafers, or use store bought for the perfect nostalgic dessert! https://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-banana-pudding/

In case you’re wondering, I don’t use cornstarch as a thickener in puddings and I don’t recommend you do, either. Cornstarch has a tendency to leak moisture when used as a thickener in a mixture, like pudding, that is then cooled. Essentially, the pudding separates. I favor my basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (link and details in recipe ingredients below), but superfine sweet white rice flour works well if you prefer a single-ingredient flour. It’s quite a versatile flour, actually.

One more detail! If you’re wondering what to do with the 5 egg whites you have after separating out the yolks, instead of topping your banana pudding with fresh whipped cream, use the whites to make a meringue like we did in our lemon meringue pie in jars. Or make an egg white omelet (that’s what I did and it was a Very Good Move).

More Southern Desserts
Hummingbird Cake
Red Velvet Cake

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 4 servings


1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar

5 egg yolks (125 g)

5 ripe bananas (500 g peeled), sliced into 1/4-inch thick disks*

4 cups (32 fluid ounces) milk (any kind, just not nonfat)

7 tablespoons (61 g) basic gum-free gluten free flour blend (40 g superfine white rice flour + 13 g potato starch + 8 g tapioca starch/flour) (or try an equal amount of superfine sweet white rice flour)

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 dozen homemade gluten free ‘nilla wafers (or store-bought (aff link))

Whipped cream, for serving

*If you prefer your banana pudding without banana puree in the pudding itself, you will only need 3 ripe bananas, not 5. Eliminate the bananas from the blender stage of the recipe (step 1 below), increase the sugar to 3/4 cup (150 g) and add 2 tablespoons (28 g) of chopped unsalted butter to the pudding right after you remove it from the heat in step 2 below.


  • Place the sugar, egg yolks, 2 of the sliced bananas (200 g), 1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces) of the milk, the flour and the salt in a blender and blend until very smooth. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size, heat-safe bowl and set it next to the stove. In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring the remaining milk and vanilla bean (or vanilla extract) to a simmer. Remove the pan from the heat. If using a vanilla bean, remove it from the milk and, using a sharp knife, slice it halfway through the length to expose the vanilla seeds. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the milk and whisk to combine.

  • In a slow trickle and while whisking the flour and yolk mixture constantly, pour about 2 cups of the warm milk mixture to the bowl with the egg yolk mixture. This tempers the egg yolks by warming them slowly, so they don’t clump and curdle. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-low heat. Continue to cook, still whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. The pudding will thicken as it cooks, and will thicken more as it cools. Pour the pudding into a separate, heat-safe bowl and cover immediately with a plastic wrap that rests right on the surface of the pudding to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool until no longer hot to the touch. At this point, the pudding can be refrigerated for up to 4 days before assembling the banana pudding. 

  • In 4 to 6 separate small containers, or one large container, place a thin layer of pudding, followed by a layer of wafers, then a layer of banana slices. Repeat the pudding-wafer-banana slices sequence until you reach the top of the container. Refrigerate the mixture until chilled, at least one hour. Top with whipped cream before serving.

  • First published on the blog in 2011. Recipe and photos updated in 2016. 


Comments are closed.

  • youngbaker2002
    April 13, 2016 at 12:50 PM

    Just the other day me and mom were looking for a banana pudding recipe that had a banana puree in the pudding like my mom used to make. But nobody put the bananas actually IN the pudding, they just put in slices of banana. I’m so glad you put out this recipe Nicole! And now I don’t need to try to convert the recipe on my own!
    Thank You so much Nicole!

    • youngbaker2002
      September 28, 2016 at 5:00 PM

      Loved this recipe! Turned out fantastically! I followed the recipe exactly except I used vanilla bean paste instead of a vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Highly recommend!!!

  • Tammy Park
    October 7, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Nikki, I loved reading your blog immediately. The things you say ring so true, and make me truly believe I’ve found a soul sister. I already have a sister named Nikki, but if she ever reads your blog, she’ll understand why there’s room in my heart for both of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for bringing joy, excitement and real hope to me and others about having delicious food again, after a celiac diagnosis. You may not feel it yet, but I can’t help think that some day soon, you are going to be VERY well-known and respected among the GF blogs and food professionals. You are already well-loved, and deserve to be even more so. I’m spreading the word about you, and your great advice and recipes, everywhere I go. xxx

    • Nicole
      October 8, 2011 at 7:59 PM

      Hi, Tammy,
      Thank you so much for the kind words. They really mean a tremendous amount to me. I’m so glad you feel hopeful. That is why I do this. Full stop. It’s really gratifying (& motivating) to know that it is hitting home. As long as I have my all-purpose gluten-free flour, I’m brimming with optimism.
      It sounds like your sister got to keep her nickname. Sadly, nearly everyone stopped using mine, and even as a kid I missed it when they stopped. I just didn’t know how to ask for it back, you know?
      Thank you for spreading the word. I’m not holding my breath to be welcomed by blog cliques. The hell with ’em. I don’t need them. I just need you and yours. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Marty
    August 23, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    Oh Nicole, I love your blog (and you) best of all. I do visit some other g-f bloggers, just to see what’s out there. And I enjoy looking at their stuff. But I rarely make any of their recipes. Yours, I make almost everything (even back when you used “the other” flour.) I have your cookbook and use it at least 3-4 times a week.

    You make g-f cooking simple, like me I guess, and fun. I do not want to produce a gourmet meal. I only want to be able to feed myself as simply and affordably as possible! I want to make good, easy bread for sandwiches and for toast, good cookies and muffins and desserts that my grandkids won’t know I made with “my flour”, not “regular.” I don’t want to spend my whole weekend in the kitchen or waste money on obscure ingredients for each recipe, I can’t. And on the flip side of the snobbly g-f gourmet bloggers out there are the “frugal girls.” And that is way too much work and I’m not going to the lengths that some of them do to save money on food.

    Your blog suits me, it’s homey. And you feel like a friend. (BTW my given name is Martha and as a child I got Marcy, which became Marty in high school. ) So here’s to Nikki! And I will raise a spoonful of whipped cream for the toast.

    • Nicole
      August 23, 2011 at 8:40 PM

      Hi, Marty,
      I can’t believe you’ve been with me since the days of the “other” flour! I remember being thrilled when I found that I could buy that “other” flour at a reasonable price in the regular supermarket! My how things have changed – for the better! You summed up the main idea of this blog way better than I ever have. We want to be able to eat like we are used to, and eat well – & also to fool other people who might scoff at gluten-free food. Period. Full stop.
      By the way, who are these frugal girls? Extreme coupon clippers and the like? Or maybe they sew all their own clothes, and raise and kill their own food?
      I’m so glad I feel like a friend. I feel like a friend, since we can also use one in this. And we each deserve to have one who “gets” us. I think you and I “get” each other, Marty. I have a cousin Marty whose given name is Martha. I have always loved it. Hear hear!
      xoxo Nikki

  • […] hope I didn’t embarrass you on Wednesday with all the puddin’ and love. But I’d do it again. ‘Cause I mean […]

  • Peggy
    August 18, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    I like the idea of adding rum! I have a feeling this will be one treat I won’t be sharing with family. LOL There wouldn’t be any left for me!!!

    • Nicole
      August 18, 2011 at 9:21 PM

      You gotta take care of #1, Peggy. You gotta take care of you. :)
      xoxo Nikki

  • Peggy
    August 18, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Nikki, once I found your blog I haven’t gone back to any of the others. I much perfer “family”!!! Love Banana Pudding so thank you for helping some of us to relive our childhood!!!

    • Nicole
      August 18, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      Hi, Peggy,
      I love it. Thank you so much! I will always do my best to treat you just like that .. like family.
      Enjoy the nostalgia!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Tammie
    August 18, 2011 at 7:44 PM

    You always make me feel so warm and fuzzy inside! I just LOVE you Nicole!!! You’re the best so never change and keep your delicious recipes with a slice of life coming our way :) P.S. you ain’t no hack baby…you’re the real deal! <3

    • Nicole
      August 18, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      Hi, Tammie,
      Warm and fuzzy is the best! I’m so glad. A slice of pie, and a slice of life. Got it. Thanks, Tammie!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Nance
    August 18, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    Nikki, the thing with other blogs is I feel like a ‘visitor’. Here…you make me feel like ‘family’ and I love that feeling. I chuckle my way through most of your posts and then find these incredible recipes for deliciousness that has been denied for so long and it is like finding the pot of gold at the end of a beautiful rainbow. I feel welcome and comfortable here like I would sitting down with my own sister or my daughters or my best friend. Nicole is a beautiful name…but Nikki suits you more in my mind because we call our BFF forever by nicknames now, don’t we? ;)

    • Nicole
      August 18, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      Hi, Nance,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me all that. That’s exactly the feeling that I experience, and the one I try to provide you. It’s really gratifying to know that you are pickin’ it up. I know it can verge into sounding flippant, but it never, ever is. I feel a strong sense of responsibility for providing a ‘home’ for the gluten-free community, and I don’t take it lightly at all. Thank you again. You really made my day. :)
      xoxo Nikki (thanks for that, too :) )

  • August 18, 2011 at 7:01 AM

    Oh.Yum!! So.Making.This….and who the heck says you aren’t already one of the bloggy goddesses…not me, that’s for sure!

  • Darlene
    August 17, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    I was going to put a link to the Train song, “Hey, Soul Sister” but then I read the lyrics. Not really appropriate. There needs to be a Soul Sister anthem for girls. “Girls Just Wanna Have fun” doesn’t cut it.

    Oh, and about your mascot. How about a cartoony Villi since that seems to be the troublemaker. You want it with a Spanish flair? But a sombrero on him. Pancho Villi and the Gluten Revolution!

    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 8:45 PM

      Oh my god I love Pancho Villi! Do you think he knows Shakira?
      xoxo Nicole

      • Darlene
        August 18, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        I think they did a video together.

        • Nicole
          August 18, 2011 at 8:14 PM

          I thought so …

  • Rochelle
    August 17, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Oh this souds so good…but I’ve also got one in the house that is df-can I substitute rice milk and still get a similar consistancy or will it be to runny?

    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 2:13 PM

      Hi, Rochelle,
      I haven’t tried it dairy free, but I have made pudding and custard with soy milk before, and been successful. It shouldn’t be runny unless you use something like rice milk, which tends to be very watery. If you like the flavor, coconut milk would work probably best of all. Enjoy!
      xoxo Nicole

  • Jennifer
    August 17, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Thank you a million times over! You make me feel like I am not the only one. Some days I read your blog and get misty eyed becuase you have such a gift of putting feelings into words and tying them to recipies. Bannana pudding is a BIG deal in our family but there are 2 of us that can’t eat it. I am so excited to try this one. I will even put them in mason jars so everyone will know that the Ian B and I get the special stuff!

    Isn’t it funny how our names grow up as we do… I was Jenny B all through school. Now, I have one friend that still calls me that.

    Well Nikki, here’s to staying young at heart!
    Jenny B

    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Hi, Jenny B,
      I think maybe you get misty because you feel connected? At least that’s what I hope it is. When you’ve felt like “other,” it’s so nice to feel a sense of belonging.
      I think that everyone else will be jealous of your pudding in mason jars. I love mason jars. I wish I could squeeze my children into them. They’d be so much easier to keep track of.
      I wish my name had never grown up. I never asked anyone to grow it up. They did it without consulting me. ;)
      You’re not the only one. You belong here. With me. I’m a lunatic, but I make some mean banana pudding. :)
      xoxo Nikki

  • Diana Schremp via Facebook
    August 17, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    One of my oldest memories is my family ‘fighting’ over “The Puddin'” that was only served on Tday. Whip cream is not optional in my family! I know good puddin’ and we have missed it without the texture you get for the nilla wafers. I’ve tried it without, I’ve tried it with substitute cookies……never to live up to Grandmother’s. I am gonna try this. If it is awesome you may be my new BFF :D

  • Michelle B
    August 17, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    May I just say Nicole that I love your narratives before the recipe almost more than the recipes sometimes. Is that wrong? I love your recipes too though!

    It’s just that I see everyone putting LOL everywhere about all kinds of emails and blogs and rarely if ever do I actually laugh or chuckle audibly. Except for maybe yours…

    It is extremely tough to find a blog that I can relate to in a “real person” kind of way. Not boring or stuffy and someone with a life and a family. Thanks for all you do with your blog and your recipes. Just know that I tell everyone to buy your cookbook both in person and online in hopes you can publish many, many more and keep me from having to deal with failed, expensive GF experiments.


    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Hi, Michelle,
      You made my day. Because (I think) you feel comfortable here, and because I think you’re really pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down. I know just what you mean about the many “LOLs” where they don’t belong. I only say “LOL” when I mean it. And I usually write it with periods (L.O.L.), since I do really mean it when I say it. That is also one of the big reasons why I don’t feel at home on many other blogs. Not only does the blogger seem bossy, but it makes me mental when I think that there’s a mob mentality among the readers. I find it very isolating. So I have vowed not to spend more than 10 minutes at a time reading other people’s blogs, and to instead just spend more time working on my own.
      Thank you so much for evangelizing for me! I really appreciate it. You’re always welcome here. And I am writing another cookbook! It should be out Fall 2012.
      Thank you again for the kindness. And the straight dope. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • August 17, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    And everyone called me Jessi in college….some of them still do…lol

  • August 17, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    Oooooooo!!! Nomnessssssss!!!!

  • Noor
    August 17, 2011 at 11:33 AM

    You. Are. Awesome!!
    Amazing Soul sister!
    You sound just like the voice in my head! Seriously, no joke. In a good way though!
    And yes, I feel pretty awful after visiting some blogs. Not in a poor me way, but sorta like a “I wish I had a smidgen of the coolness these bloggy women have” way.
    Keep on going with those Nilla wafers, Gonna make some today, Nom nom!

    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Hi, Noor,
      That’s the feeling! That I’ll-never-be-as-supercool feeling. The heck with that! This is all so very easy. Keep in mind that, when I take a photo of the food, I pick the very, very best of the batch of Nilla Wafers, and the very, very best most fluffiest whipped cream, and I crop out the parts that don’t look so pretty. It’s not airbrushed, but it’s not exactly reality, either. The only reason I do that is because my stuff has to look at least a bit aspirational, or you won’t wanna make it. And if you’re not excited about making it, then you’re not gonna try your hand at it. But it’s all completely accessible, from anywhere. If I don’t think an ingredient is readily available pretty much anywhere, I don’t use it in a recipe (or I make sure it’s truly optional).
      The love is real. The recipes are do-able. There is no veil. It’s all out there, you know?
      Okay. I’ll stop now. :)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Linda
    August 17, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Wow. How do you come up with these things…this.looks.absolutely.scrumptious. I need a bigger spoon…:-)

    • Nicole
      August 17, 2011 at 11:43 AM

      Hi, Linda!
      I will definitely get you a bigger spoon. Note to self. Linda doesn’t want to waste any time.
      You know, I didn’t really come up with this. You all did! The comments section to the Nilla Wafers post is replete with references to banana pudding!
      xoxo Nicole

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