Regular banana pudding falls a bit flat for me. The secret? Roasted banana pudding!

Roasting the bananas brings out their sweetness, and then you can blend the roasted puree right into the pudding as well as layering sliced fresh banana into the mix.

The dulce de leche is a nice touch, too, bringing a bit deeper flavor and caramel notes to what can often be a somewhat too sweet and often bland, not-banana-y-enough dessert. Sorry, fellow Southerners.

Oh, and if you think your banana pudding can be made better by using Lorna Doone cookies, you’re 100% correct.

For ease of browsing, here are all my pudding and custard recipes in one place. Thanks for visiting, friends!

Three small glasses filled with roasted banana pudding and topped with a Lorna Doone cookie.

Baking for Friends

I got a text from Neighbor Thomas last week.

“Do you make banana pudding? Have someone with a birthday next week if you’re interested.”

To which I responded, “I haven’t, but I could!”

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I don’t really like bananas all that much, although I could be persuaded to change my tune after that daiquiri, but I never say no to Neighbor Thomas.

When he asks for dessert, I really get to play, like when I made cookie butter cheesecake for him.

Why Make This Banana Pudding?

An overhead shot of a sliced banana, some Lorna Doone cookies, and a spoonful of dulce de leche on a white plate.

For lovers of non-traditional traditional desserts, this pudding is for you.

You get tons of banana flavor, because there’s roasted banana in the actual pudding as well as sliced bananas layered in.

The dulce de leche in the pudding also brings in deep, rich caramel notes that really complement the banana flavor.

And although I have nothing against vanilla wafers, rich and buttery Lorna Doones are a step or two up from those guys.

Roasted Banana Pudding: The Components

Once I had the dulce de leche, my next thought was to roast some bananas and put them in my custard, because I don’t understand using vanilla pudding to make banana pudding.

Why not layer in as much banana flavor as you can? Really commit to the banana pudding.

The resulting flavor of the pudding was lovely–sweetly banana-y and dulce-ish. Really good.

The next consideration was the cookies.

Cookies are a vital part of the whole structure of banana pudding. They’re there for textural contrast, although most folks like them to soften up in the pudding somewhat.

After long and serious consideration, and after I realized that I did not want to purchase vanilla wafers as I had a whole crate of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies here, I decided to throw caution to the wind and deviate even further from the standard by losing the Nillas and going with shortbread.

It was a great call. Highly recommend!

This dessert is made with four main components:

  1. banana custard
  2. dulce de leche topping
  3. Lorna Doone cookies.
  4. sliced bananas

Here are all the ingredients you’ll need. Some you will use in two different components.

I will list substitutions where I can:

The ingredients needed for making roasted banana pudding, labeled on a white background.
  • Bananas: You’ll need a couple for the puree and then more freshly sliced bananas for layering
  • Milk: I use whole milk. You can substitute 2% or make it rich and go with half and half. You can also use a plant-based milk as long as it is okay to boil it.
  • Egg yolks: For richness in the custard. It calls for four. You can get away with fewer if you increase the cornstarch by maybe 2 teaspoons for each yolk you leave out
  • Cornstarch: To thicken the custard. You can also use regular all-purpose flour if that’s what you have on hand
  • Sugar: For sweetness in the custard
  • Dulce de Leche: Dulce appears in both the custard and the topping for flavor, sweetness, and body.
  • Salt: Brings all the flavors into focus so the dessert really shines. Without salt, the flavors would all fall flat.
  • Vanilla: Rounds out the flavors
  • Cream cheese: For body and a little tang in the topping. It makes it pipeable so that it holds its shape for a long time
  • Heavy cream: In the topping, for body, to carry flavor, and “whippability.”
  • Lorna Doone cookies: You may use vanilla wafters, Chessmen, or some other buttery, vanilla-flavored cookies

More Old-Fashioned Desserts You Might Enjoy

If you’re a fan of pudding and custards and other old fashioned desserts, consider these options, friends:

High Praise for This Roasted Banana Pudding

Three glasses of roasted banana pudding with dulce de leche topping.
Layers of roasted banana pudding made with dulce de leche, fresh bananas, and Lorna Doone cookies are a sophisticated spin on traditional banana pudding.

This is the text I received from Thomas on Wednesday morning:

“Your dessert was a hit again! You’re a legend at the DOT.”

Friend and Neighbor Thomas

Mission Accomplished.

Roasted Banana Pudding Q & A

Can I make this into gluten-free banana pudding?

As written, the only gluten-containing ingredient is the cookies, so feel free to substitute gluten-free vanilla wafers or gluten-free cookie of your choice and you’ll be good to go.

How long will roasted banana pudding keep?

Store in the fridge and enjoy within five days.

Can I freeze banana pudding?

No. It will get weepy and soggy upon thawing.

Questions?

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07/19/2024 12:57 am GMT
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three glasses of roasted banana pudding with dulce de leche topping.

Dulce de Leche Roasted Banana Pudding

Jennifer Field
This roasted banana pudding is flavored with both roasted bananas and dulce de leche in the pudding, sliced fresh bananas, and Lorna Doone Cookies. Makes an 11" x 7" tray, or you can make them as individual puddings in small glasses.
5 from 11 votes
Tried this recipe?Please give it a star rating!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 15 minutes
Course Custard and Pudding Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 435 kcal

Ingredients

For the Roasted Bananas

  • 2 large bananas

For the Custard

  • Roasted banana puree
  • 32 oz whole milk 4 cups
  • 4 egg yolks
  • cup corn starch
  • 5 oz granulated sugar about 2/3 cup
  • ½ cup dulce de leche (the thicker and darker, the more flavor)
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

For the Dulce de Leche Topping

  • 6 oz 3/4 block softened cream cheese
  • 6 oz dulce de leche (the thicker and darker, the more flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar (or as sweet as you like)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt (you want this part to be fairly assertively salted)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 oz heavy cream or whipping cream

To Build

  • A lot of cookies of your choice: vanilla wafers Lorna Doones, Chessmen, etc
  • Banans as perfectly ripe as possible

Instructions
 

To Roast the Bananas

  • Remove the labels from the bananas but leave the skins on.
  • Place the bananas on a lined baking sheet and bake them at 350F for about 30 minutes. They will swell a bit and turn very dark brown all over.
  • Let them cool, then slit the skins and remove the sweet, roasted insides.
  • Puree the bananas and then press through a medium strainer. (For the smoothest pudding, please don't skip this step. If you're okay with chunkier pudding, then carry on without straining the bananas.)

For the Custard

  • Place the milk, yolks, cornstarch, sugar, dulce de leche, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan.
  • Put the banana puree and vanilla in a bowl large enough to hold the custard. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and set aside convenient to the stove.
  • Heat the custard over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly, until it comes just to a boil.
  • Keep at a low boil, whisking the whole time, for 2 minutes. The mixture will be quite thick.
  • Press the custard through the strainer and stir well to incorporate the roasted banana puree and the vanilla. Don;t forget to scrape the pudding off the bottom of the strainer–you don't want to leave any of that goodness behind!
  • Set the pudding aside to cool down a bit.

For the Topping

  • In your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Add the dulce de leche and whip until creamy and well incorporated, scraping the bowl as necessary, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla, and beat another minute more.
  • Pour in 1/4 (about 2 ounces) of the whipping cream and beat for a few seconds until incorporated and thick.
  • Add another fourth of the cream and whip again.
  • Add the rest in two more additions, whipping for 20-30 seconds with each addition and scraping the bowl as necessary. The mixture should be thick and hold its shape.

To Build

    It is entirely up to you how you layer in all of your ingredients, but here's how I made mine:

    • Spread a very thin layer of pudding in the bottom of the serving dish–using about 1/4-1/3 cup of pudding. Just enough to keep the cookies from sliding.
    • Add a layer of cookies, placing them close together.
    • Spread about 1 cup of custard over the cookies and top with a layer of sliced bananas.
    • Spread another cup of custard evenly over the bananas and top with another layer of cookies.
    • Spread another cup of custard evenly over the cookies and top with another layer of bananas.
    • Spread the last of the custard (there won't be much left) in a thin layer over the bananas. Top with another layer of cookies.
    • Spread or decoratively pipe the dulce de leche topping over the cookies.
    • Chill for at least four hours or overnight, depending on how much texture you want your cookies to have. They'll get softer the longer they sit.

    Did You Make Any Changes?

    Notes

    YIELD

    Makes a 7" x 11" pan of banana pudding. You can also make individual puddings in small glasses. For a super fancy presentation, you can build your pudding in a medium trifle bowl.

    VARIATIONS

    • Add some cinnamon either to the pudding, the dulce de leche topping, or both. Consider using cinnamon Graham crackers as your cookies.
    • Use chocolate wafer cookies for a chocolate twist. I mean, it's already non-traditional, so why not go all-in? In that case, maybe drizzle on some homemade chocolate syrup before serving.

    STORAGE

    Chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Keep, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Do not freeze.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1gCalories: 435kcalCarbohydrates: 56gProtein: 8gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 368mgFiber: 3gSugar: 38g
    Keyword banana pudding, roasted banana pudding
    Did you make this recipe?Please tell us what you loved!

    I do hope you give this pudding a try. The dulce de leche adds a subtle yet complex caramel note that is really rather sophisticated and plays really nicely with the bananas.

    Thanks for spending some time here with me today. Have a great day.

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    27 Comments

    1. Just a fun thing my family has started trying out with banana pudding- we like to experiment with all different types of cookies. We once found Cinnamon bun flavored Oreo cookies and that was fantastic! The carrot cake flavored cookies are great too. My husband’s absolute favorite is Nutter Butter in his banana pudding. And I agree, the peanut butter, bananas and pudding are a tasty combination. No wonder Elvis was called the king!

      1. I love that you guys play with the different cookies like that. There is no law that says banana pudding has to be made with vanilla wafers, and yet it’s like there *is* that law somewhere. lol Keep playing in the kitchen, and thanks for letting me know that Nutter Butters are the way to go!

      1. Thanks, Laura! the dulce goes really well with the roasted banana, and I think Lorna Doones are more interesting that Nilla Wafers. (Sorry, Nilla Wafers! lol)

    2. OMG. This sounds freakin’ fantastic! I’d sub the cornstarch and the lorna doones, due to my corn allergy, but I could easily make my own shortbread. Wow.

    3. If I just wanted to make banana pudding could I omit the dulce de leche? Would I need to replace it with something?
      Thanks

      1. You absolutely could! I’d just replace it with an equal amount of sweetened condensed milk. I think that would be easiest. You may need to up the salt and vanilla a smidge, but it would certainly work. Enjoy, Carly, and thanks for stopping by with the question!

    4. 5 stars
      Oh my goodness! These dulce de leche roasted banana pudding looks amazing. I got weak in the knees the more I read the recipe. It is very hard to step away from the computer screen after this. You are an awesome neighbor and good friend, Jenni. Thanks for generously sharing this recipe with the rest of us.

    5. 5 stars
      I’m a dark dulce dude too. I started making my first batches in a Kamenstein cow tea kettle a couple of lifetimes ago. But you dear Jenni, have raised the dulce bar in this glorious banana dessert. A lovely presentation in another lovely visit to your place. Brava!

    6. Really commit to the banana pudding? A whole crate of Lorna Doones? Ha ha ha that is why you are my friend! These are stupendous, my friend, and the beautiful little swirly action makes them even more mouthwatering and desirable! Lucky Thomas! Lucky Beloved if he gets any 🙂 That is one masterful, decadent Banana Pudding!!

      1. I really did own a whole crate of Lorna Doones! I think the huge box contained 30 6-packs of them. Warehouse stores will make you buy odd things. lol And the Beloved got 1. I gave one to neighbor Chuck for making Lester’s and Sam’s collars, and I’m a legend at the DOT. Everybody wins! =)

      1. Thanks, Denise! I’m starting to come around to the whole banana thing, finally! I think the daiquiri helped quite a bit. As did the dulce de leche! lol

        I would happily share with you!

    7. 5 stars
      I hate it when glue laughs at me! Thanks for the tips so I can save the cursing for when I reeeeally mean it! And thank you for clearing up about the Dulce de Leche. Yannick is crazy for it and I want to try it just to see what the fuss is about. Caramel is good too but…you know.

      You’re already a legend with me and I haven’t even tried the roasted banana pudding! What a great idea with the roasting. Beautiful pudding my friend!

    5 from 11 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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