Banana Pudding

Gennaro’s birthday was last Wednesday and I struggled to come up with anything to make that would rival the 3-course Nobu knock-off meal I made last year — one which took exactly two days of prep, planning, and research and one full day of cooking. Somehow — as fun as that all may sound, I know — I lacked the energy or enthusiasm to attempt a repeat performance this year. Still, I wanted to do something special.

One of the perks of being a New York resident is being in the city long enough to try a place multiple times and really seek out the the best dish at any particular restaurant. Or the best, most delicious baked good at a bakery. Before becoming an official resident, and like most visitors of New York, I made a point to see what all the Magnolia Bakery hype was about, back when cupcakes were a hip and trendy thing (are they still? I’m not hip enough to know…) And truthfully? I didn’t understand the hype. The cupcakes were good, no doubt, but they were overly sweet and not that light, and certainly not at all unique or noteworthy. But, we’re all human, and the lack of cupcake spectacularity (is that a word?) didn’t stop us from going back. Multiple times. Obviously, this was all before I realized that pretty much everything that Magnolia had to offer was way off-limits for my poor, agonized digestive tract. Slowly we came to learn a little-known secret: the cupcakes are not the best thing Magnolia has to offer. The real deal there is the banana pudding, which quickly became our new favorite guilty pleasure.

And so you have it: another birthday, another New York favorite knocked-off in my kitchen. Too bad I didn’t know that the secret to this banana pudding was to let it sit overnight, because the night-of pudding was somewhat flavorless and underwhelming. Oh well, I thought. I’ll try that one again some other time. I packaged up the rest of the pudding left it at that. The next morning, something prompted me to have some of the pudding leftovers for breakfast (yep, that’s how I roll). And boy, did one night make a difference. Rich, banana-y, and slightly addicting, I had to consciously cut myself off so I could save the rest for Gennaro.

So, moral of the story? If you decide to make this, you have to promise to let it sit overnight. Otherwise — much like my reaction to Magnolia’s infamous cupcakes — you won’t understand the hype. And, because I wasn’t going to let a little thing like gluten intolerance rain on my banana pudding parade, I added my recipe for homemade vanilla wafers (gluten, dairy and sugar-free, of course) below. I used millet flour for the cookie recipe. I have to say, it came out nicely, but I did notice a slightly grainy, bitter aftertaste with the millet flour. Has anyone had this problem before? It was no issue once mixed with the pudding, and virtually disappeared when totally cooled, but the lack of explanation after a diligent Google search left me a bit puzzled as to why that may have happened.

Oh, and of course, after declaring myself agave-free as of late, I decided to use agave in this recipe. I guess I’ll have to eat my words. Or my pudding.


2 packages extra firm Mori-Nu Silken Tofu (room temperature)

1/4 cup coconut oil, liquified

1/3 cup agave nectar

4 medium bananas, not too ripe (try to find some that are a perfect yellow), divided

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Makes about a dozen

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Almond Flour (or make your own, thanks to this tip from Lexie’s Kitchen)

1 cup millet flour

1/4 tsp. xanthan gum

1/4 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tp. baking powder

1/3 cup Spectrum Organic shortening

1/3 cup agave nectar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


1. Make cookies: Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, salt, xanthan gum and baking powder. In a separate medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together agave, shortening and vanilla. Add dry to wet ingredients and use hand mixer to mix until incorporated. Make tablespoon-sized balls of cookies and roll into spheres. Lay onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and flatten with hands. Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the outside. Let cool. Repeat if necessary.

2. Make pudding: Add all ingredients for pudding, but only 2 of the 4 bananas, into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste for sweetness and adjust according to taste. Set aside.

3. Assemble pudding: When cookies have cooled, crumble 3-4 of them onto the bottom of a 1.5 to 2 qt. glass bowl (exact size isn’t too important). Using the remaining 2 bananas, cut slices (about 1/2 a bananas worth) of banana over the cookie crumbles so that the slices lay evenly over the cookies. Pour 1/3 of the pudding mixture over the sliced bananas. Repeat 2x. Line the outside edge of the top of the pudding with remaining banana slices. Cover and refridgerate overnight, or for at least 12 hours.


  1. says

    Yum!! I have to try this out. As in, as soon as I get home and make sure that I have all of the ingredients! Thank you for all of the amazing recipes :) Have a great weekend!

  2. says

    This looks so yummy! I love that you have a version of gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free vanilla wafers! I used to love!!!! those things! I’ll definitely have to try both the pudding and the vanilla wafers. I’ve had the problem with millet (I think it was millet?) before where my food tastes a slight bit bitter. I’m not an expert either, although I do wish that I could figure that out myself too! :) If you figure it out sometime, let me know!

    Oh, and you know, I’ve never been a tofu fan (because of the few times I’ve tried it and not liked it), but all your recipes for it are convincing me that it must not be bad…maybe the recipes I was using were? :)

    Ariana Anderson
    The Frugally Rich Life
    GF, dairy-free, refined sugar-free recipes and frugality (+ traditional “non-allergy” recipe too)
    Twitter: FrugallyRichAri

  3. says

    We have a milk and nut allergy in our house so I just had to try this. I waited overnight like you said, and it is absolutely delicious!! That night does make such a difference, it sets up nicely and in the words of my son “it tastes like ice cream”.

    My daughter is having her 2nd helping – I can’t believe it! My kids like some crunch, so we stirred in rice krispies right before eating. Thank you so much for sharing!


  4. Beth says

    Jennifer — I’m so happy to hear it!! I love hearing that your kids loved it, too!! I’m happy to share! : ) So glad you enjoyed.

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