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!
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!
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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.
Grits 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
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together grits, butter, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and eggs.
- Stir in the vanilla and hot milk.
- Fill ramekins 1/3 full.
- Bake for thirty minutes or until the pudding just begins to set.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
- Top baked pudding with a layer of banana slices. Reserve a few slices to place on top of the whipped topping.
- Whip heavy whipping cream until it looks like whipped cream.
- Mix in sugar.
- In a separate bowl, mix in cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk.
- Gently fold cream cheese mixture into whipped cream.
- Scoop whipped topping over banana layer.
- Top with a few extra banana slices.
- 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).