This is NOT your Mama's saccharine sweet "banana pudding" that is actually vanilla pudding layered with Nilla Wafers and some banana slices. This, rather, is a deeply banana flavored, borderline butterscotchy pudding atop a layer of rich coffee rum flavored fudge. These Black Bottom Banana Puddings are a sophisticated dessert intended for the most discerning palates.
I have long been searching for a homemade banana pudding recipe that would celebrate the rich, caramel taste of cooked bananas. Bananas Foster has long been a favorite dessert of mine, and bananas pan fried in ghee with a little salt were my go-to Whole30 dessert. I love the texture of homemade pudding, but old-school "banana pudding" so often lacks any complexity and is cloyingly sweet. This recipe breaks that tired old mold.
If you have a bunch of spotty bananas languishing on your countertop and you want to make something different than the same old banana bread as a treat, give this Homemade Banana Pudding recipe a try. It is rich, sophisticated and surprisingly decadent.
Table of contents
- How to Infuse Flavored Milk
- How to Make Homemade Banana Pudding
- How to Make Coffee Rum Fudge
- How to Assemble Black Bottom Banana Puddings
- Other Uses for Homemade Banana Pudding and Coffee Rum Fudge
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Need more ways to use fruit? Check out these other delicious recipes:
How to Infuse Flavored Milk
Flavored milk is the base of this richly banana flavored pudding. While you can follow these steps to infuse any flavor you'd like into milk for pudding (e.g. chai tea, espresso, strawberry, etc.), the quantities may vary depending on your flavoring.
For this homemade banana pudding, I used a full 5 over ripe bananas that I peeled and cut into roughly ½" slices. Add the bananas, vanilla paste or pod and milk to a saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer, then remove from heat. Allow the milk to steep for at least 4 hours (at room temp), or, if you get busy like I did, up to 5 days (in the refrigerator).
When you're ready to complete your pudding, bring the milk back to a simmer. Using a mesh strainer, remove all banana slices from the mix. Gently press all of the bananas with the back of a spoon to remove any lingering liquids.
You can either compost the resulting banana mash or save it for use in a smoothie, banana muffins or pancakes. Just don't add it to the pudding, as it will ruin the consistency.
How to Make Homemade Banana Pudding
In my pastry chef days, I was always under the impression that the only way to make a pudding or custard properly was to temper the egg yolks with a warm milk mixture. Turns out, Stella Parks has a much easier method for anyone who is new to the concept of tempering.
Using the same (now empty) saucepan that you just warmed your banana infused milk in, whisk together your dry ingredients. Don't bother with cleaning the pan first! Now mix in your egg yolks, whisking thoroughly. Finally, whisk in your barely warm milk mix.
Place the saucepan over low-medium heat and whisk constantly until the mix begins to steam. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking constantly, being sure to hit the edges of the saucepan.
Custard is funny insofar as it feels like absolutely nothing is happening for a long time and then everything happens all at once. Suddenly, your pudding is going to thicken up like crazy. You will start to see trails behind your whisk, which is a good sign. KEEP WHISKING. Once the mixture begins to bubble, set a timer and keep on whisking for another 90 seconds to achieve the proper consistency.
Remove from the heat and add vanilla and butter. Now keep whisking for another 2-3 minutes, until the bottom of the pan has cooled enough to ensure that the banana pudding won't curdle and the vanilla and butter are incorporated. Set aside to cool a bit, stirring occasionally to keep a skin from forming.
How to Make Coffee Rum Fudge
In the top of a double boiler, add all ingredients for the fudge layer except for the heavy cream. Set over medium-high heat.
TIP: Make sure the bottom of the double boiler is not touching the water beneath or it may scald your chocolate.
Once butter is melted and the chocolate chips lose their shape when touched, remove the top of the double boiler from heat. Whisk to incorporate all of the ingredients, then whisk in the cream. Set aside to cool.
TIP: Fudge layer can be prepared up to a month in advance and refrigerated in a mason jar until you're ready.
You will end up with about 24 oz of leftover fudge, which makes an excellent hostess gift in smaller mason jars. Attach a small tag with instructions: Heat the fudge in 10-30 second intervals in the microwave (NO METAL LIDS!) until pourable, then serve over the ice cream of your choice for the best hot fudge ever.
How to Assemble Black Bottom Banana Puddings
Using small glasses or jars (I used these glasses), pour about ¼ cup of hot fudge into the bottom of each. Put in the refrigerator to chill until hardened.
Next, spoon in banana pudding until near the top of the glass. Cover with either parchment rounds or saran wrap touching the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
Top with whipped cream (made with bourbon if you're feeling saucy) and chocolate shavings or curls. Enjoy!
Other Uses for Homemade Banana Pudding and Coffee Rum Fudge
While turning this homemade banana pudding and coffee rum fudge into pudding cups is quite delicious, you also have some other options available. These elements make for a great pie, éclairs or cream puffs, too! Read below to learn how.
Turning banana pudding and coffee rum fudge into a pie:
Good idea! Make sure your pie crust is fully baked. A plain butter pie dough, gingerbread or graham cracker crust would all make wonderful bases for a banana fudge pie.
First, pour a layer of fudge into the bottom of your pie shell, then refrigerate until hard. I would recommend using only about ½ of the fudge recipe worth, lest your pie end up too fudgy and not banana-y enough.
After the fudge has hardened, pour cooled banana pudding into the shell and refrigerate for about 2 hours. Finally, whip a pint of cream to stiff peaks with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla.
You can either pipe or swirl the whipped cream on top of the pie to achieve the desired effect. Using a vegetable peeler on the broad side of a chocolate bar, make large chocolate curls to decorate the top. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Turning homemeade banana pudding and coffee rum fudge into banana chocolate éclairs (or cream puffs) instead:
First, you're going to want to lighten up the pudding into more of a mousse like texture by folding in some whipped cream. Check "What if the pudding is too dense for me?" section under FAQs for more instructions on how to do this.
Next, make your pâte à choux dough and pipe it into éclair (or cream puff) shapes before baking. When the choux comes out of the oven, use a small paring knife to cut a small hole in the bottom of the pastries.
Fill a piping bag with your whipped cream-lightened banana pudding and fill the éclairs until heavy, then refrigerate for about an hour.
Dip the tops of the chilled éclairs into the fudge once it has cooled to about room temperature. You may need to refrigerate the dipped pastries for a few minutes to harden the fudge and then re-dip them for a thicker fudge layer. Refrigerate for at least an hour and up to 6 hours before serving.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don't like coffee?
While I find that the coffee rum fudge layer goes swimmingly with the banana pudding, I totally get if that's not your jam. In that case, you can sub bourbon, vanilla extract, amaretto or almond extract instead.
TIP: If you use extracts, be sure to start small (like, teaspoon at a time) as their flavors are intense, then add more as you need it.
What if the banana pudding is too dense for me?
If the texture of the pudding is too dense for you, you can totally lighten it up by folding in lightly sweetened whipped cream once it has cooled.
Simply beat a pint of whipped cream to stiff peaks with a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to stabilize and flavor it. Now gently fold in the whipped cream, stopping as soon as the mixture is uniform.
In case you're having a David and Moira moment about the word "fold," check out this blog post to help you understand.
Can I eat the pudding hot?
Heck yeah! I'm not going to judge. Just remember that hot pudding will melt through the fudge layer and may not be as pretty in the glasses.
But if you're wanting to eat the homemade banana pudding straight from the pot (zero judgement, I totally helped myself to some too), I have a feeling that appearances are less important than majorflavorinyourmouthrightnow. And I have a feeling we would be friends.
Need more ways to use fruit? Check out these other delicious recipes:
- Healthy Protein Banana Blender Pancakes
- Banana Chocolate Chip Breakfast Bars
- Coconut Ginger Key Lime Bars
- Lemon, Blueberry and Ginger Trifle
- Easy and Adaptable Fruit Crumble
- Banana & Apricot Upside Down Cake
If you tried my Homemade Banana Pudding with Coffee Rum Fudge, please rate and review it below so I know how it turned out for you! If you want more yummy recipes, grocery reviews and store bought hacks delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for my email newsletter. You can also follow me on Instagram, Pinterest or Facebook for delicious food pics on your feed.
Homemade Banana Pudding with Coffee Rum Fudge
- Combine milk, banana slices and vanilla paste in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Allow to marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
- Reheat the banana milk mixture to a simmer. Remove the banana slices and press them gently in a mesh strainer to remove any leftover juices. Banana paste may be discarded or used to moisten muffins/cakes or in smoothies. In the same empty saucepan (no need to wash it) off of heat, whisk together coconut sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, salt and cloves. Add egg yolks, then whisk to combine. Next add banana milk mixture and whisk to combine. Return saucepan to medium low heat, whisking constantly. After mixture begins to steam, turn the heat up to medium. Continue whisking constantly to prevent curdling. The mixture will not feel like it's thickening much, and then it happens all at once. Once the thickened mixture begins to bubble, set a timer for 90 seconds and continue cooking and whisking for the duration. Remove from heat, then continue whisking for another few minutes to prevent bits from sticking to the bottom of the hot pan.
- Add chocolate, butter, coffee rum, Irish cream and corn syrup to the top of a double boiler. Be sure the bottom of the top pan is not touching the water or you might scorch the chocolate. Set over medium heat, whisking occasionally. When all chocolate and butter is melted, remove from heat and whisk to incorporate. Add cream and whisk until uniform.
- Add about ¼ C of hot fudge to each of your serving dishes. Place in the refrigerator to firm up. Once the fudge layer is firm, spoon in your banana pudding. Use roughly ¾ C pudding. Top with parchment or saran wrap to keep a film from forming, then refrigerate until firm.
- Top with whipped cream (bourbon spiked, if you're feeling boozy) and grate a bit of chocolate on top for garnish. Enjoy!
- If the banana flavor is too intense for your palate, or if you prefer to turn the pudding into an eclair filling, whip one pint of cold heavy cream + 1 teaspoon vanilla + 1 T powdered sugar to stiff peaks, then fold the cream into the pudding.
- For eclairs, follow bullet point above for filling. Use the hot fudge as a ganache dip for the filled eclairs.
- To make this into a pie, use a pre-baked pie crust - graham, ginger, pecan or plain butter pastry would all be delightful. Layer the hot fudge on the bottom, then refrigerate to firm up. Spoon in pudding, covering with parchment or saran wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Top with pillows of whipped cream and garnish with grated chocolate.
- If you do not have coffee flavored rum or Irish cream on hand, you can easily substitute bourbon and vanilla extract.