i love a good cupcake. like LOVE. whenever i would take the train home from NYC in the last year or two, i would pop over to the little magnolia bakery stand in grand central and get a treat for the ride home. it would be pretty darn difficult to convince me to get something other than their cupcakes because i even like their frosting and i am NOT a frosting person.
then one day, i was feeling daring. i had heard rumors that their banana pudding was their truly hidden gem, better than any cupcake and i didn’t believe it. i was in new york for a couple of days and knew i could always grab a cupcake later if said pudding was gross, so i went ahead and tried it. let me tell you! it was practically life-changing. HOLY COW!
fluffy, light, sweet, chunks of banana, nilla wafers sort of soaked by the pudding so they were cakey, not crunchy. basically, i wanted to bathe in this stuff.
fast forward to a visit from my friends allie & adam this december. i had a hankering for some pudding (because, well, when do i not crave it??) and as a surprise, they brought some in with them from the city (!!!). best surprise ever?
i ate it slowly because i didn’t want it to end, so i was on the 1-2 Tablespoon a day plan until i realized it would go bad at that rate. i even (gasp) shared some of it.
as soon as it was over, though, i needed more. my schedule would not allow for any trips to new york soon, so i was left to my own devices, the internet and the grocery store. turns out their recipe had been released a few years ago in the magnolia bakery cookbook.
in all honesty, i didn’t follow this recipe completely (in hopes of reducing a wee bit of the sugar and fat). it still tasted AMAZING, i felt a little less guilty about eating it, but the pudding just didn’t have the light, fluffy texture that the real stuff has. to be honest… i’m okay with that. the magnolia version is an amazing treat a few times a year - this stuff was a nice compromise.
if you’re interested in the real recipe, buy the book check it out here. if you don’t mind nixing half the evaporated milk, holding off on half the cookies or swapping out heavy cream for the lighter variety, check out my version here!
8 oz. sweetened condensed milk (1/2 a standard 16 oz. can)
1 1/2 c. cold water
small box instant vanilla pudding
1.5 cups light cream
1/2 box Nilla wafers
3 bananas, sliced
not too intimidating of an ingredient list, eh?
first mix together your sweetened condensed milk, pudding and water in a medium bowl. once it’s dissolved together, pop it in the fridge and let it sit for 3-4 hours.
i tried to whip my light cream and fast forward… it does nothing but froth it. i actually liked this step, but feel free to skip it. by using light instead of heavy cream, you not only save plenty of fat, but you also take away the ability to make whipped cream. hence the lack of the light, fluffy pudding found in the original. this method still makes it less “gloppy” and solid than normal pudding, though, so i recommend it!
anywho, after you whip/attempt to whip the cream, fold in your pudding that should be set in the fridge.
while that sits for a second, slice up your bananas and open up the nilla wafers. get out a large glass bowl/trifle and then get to layering!
pudding > bananas > nillas so on and so forth until you run out of all the ingredients! make sure you’re topping it all off with a final layer of pudding.
and there you have it! a slightly less decadent, still totally amazing version of magnolia bakery’s famous banana pudding :) enjoy!