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The Best Banana Pudding Has a Secret Ingredient

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Grits Banana Pudding

Sure, you can make banana pudding with store-bought vanilla wafers, instant pudding mix, and cool whip, but if you want to try something extraordinary and you are willing to spend a little extra time, I encourage you to try my new favorite banana pudding.  This banana pudding has a surprising secret ingredient that is as southern as banana pudding itself  – grits!

Grits Banana Pudding

This banana pudding recipe begins with a grits pudding base.  Think of grits pudding as a cross between bread pudding, vanilla pudding, chilled custard, and a bowl of grits.    The grits pudding is topped with a layer of thinly sliced ripe bananas and the whole thing is covered in a mix of whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk, and cream cheese.

This banana pudding recipe may be a tough sell for banana pudding purists – but the proof is literally in the pudding!  Taste it and see if you’re sold.  I sure am!

Products Related to This Banana Pudding Recipe

While I made my banana pudding in King Arthur Flour’s silicone baking cups, you can prepare them in any ramekin.  Wouldn’t these yellow ones be so cute?

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Bob's Red Mill White Corn Grits/Polenta

These are the grits that I used.  Bob’s Red Mill actually has two different products that they call grits.  I went with the ones that they call “Southern-style”.

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Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer

This is not a product that I use, but this banana slicer has the funniest reviews of any Amazon product I’ve ever seen.  Go read them!

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Grits Banana Pudding Recipe

My grits pudding base is a slight adaption of a recipe on Bella Online.  I significantly upped the quantity of vanilla and decreased the cooking time to make the resulting pudding less solid.  The topping comes from Paula Deen’s Not Yo’ Mama’s Banana Pudding.  Lastly, I owe the whole concept of a grits banana pudding to a restaurant in Hilton Head called A Lowcounty Backyard.

If you've tried this recipe, please RATE THE RECIPE and leave a comment below!

Grits Banana Pudding
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Grits Banana Pudding

Servings 10 ramekins of banana pudding


Grits Pudding Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked grits
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups hot milk

Topping Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk


Grits Pudding Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together grits, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs.
  3. Stir in the vanilla and hot milk.
  4. Fill ramekins 1/3 full.
  5. Bake for thirty minutes or until the pudding just begins to set.
  6. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.

Topping Instructions

  1. Top baked pudding with a layer of banana slices. Reserve a few slices to place on top of the whipped topping.
  2. Whip heavy whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream.
  3. Mix in sugar.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix in cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.
  5. Gently fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.
  6. Scoop whipped topping over banana layer.
  7. Top with a few extra banana slices.
  8. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until ready to serve.

There’s more banana pudding fun coming soon (and yes, there will be a cupcake in the mix).

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