Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe

Greetings from the Gulf of Oman! I’m currently on vacation in beautiful Zighy Bay, a remote fishing village on the Musandam Peninsula on the northern tip of Oman. After a 13-hour flight and a 2-hour drive, I met up with my family for the start of our adventures abroad.

The trip is a chance to experience the culture and cuisine of Oman and nearby Dubai. And I’ve been drawing inspiration from so many of the ingredients and dishes I’ve enjoyed so far, from traditional Arabic flatbreads and spicy curries to chicken shawarma and creamy hummus.

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

While I’m currently 6,829 miles away from my New York City kitchen, no distance was going to keep me from sharing this quick and easy recipe for classic banana pudding. The creamy pudding is layered with sliced bananas, crunchy Nilla Wafers and homemade salted caramel sauce, which adds the perfect savory twist to this southern-inspired sweet.

This crowd-friendly dessert can be prepared in a large serving dish or portioned out into smaller glass containers for eye-catching individual servings topped off with a pinch of large-flake sea salt. Slice up those bananas and stay tuned for much more to come from my culinary adventures overseas!

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

Banana Pudding

Homemade Whipped Cream

Banana Pudding with Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce

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Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel Sauce

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 15 min


For the salted caramel:

1 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

For the banana pudding:

4 cups whole milk
1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding
1 (3.4-ounce) box instant banana pudding
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup cold heavy cream
6 large bananas, sliced
Nilla Wafers or shortbread cookies (See Kelly's Notes)


Make the salted caramel:

Sprinkle the sugar in an even layer in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium-high heat. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir the sugar until it begins to melt and darken in color, about 10 minutes. (If chunks form, continue stirring until they dissolve.) Stop stirring and let the sugar cook, undisturbed, until it turns amber in color, about 5 minutes.

Remove the melted sugar from the heat and whisk in the butter until combined, then slowly and carefully whisk in the heavy cream. (It will bubble vigorously.) Stir in the sea salt then transfer the caramel to a glass container to cool while you prepare the pudding.

Make the banana pudding:

In a large bowl, whisk together the milk with the instant vanilla and banana pudding mixes.

In a separate medium bowl, stir together the cream cheese and condensed milk.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the cold heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form.

Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Stir the cream cheese mixture into the pudding until well combined. Refrigerate the pudding until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, place a layer of Nilla Wafers on the bottom of your serving dish, and then top the wafers with a layer of the pudding, followed by a layer of sliced bananas and a drizzle of the salted caramel sauce. Repeat the layers as needed. (See Kelly's Notes.)

Kelly's Notes:

The amount of Nilla Wafers you will need depends on how you serve the pudding. You can serve the pudding in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, or make individual banana puddings in your desired serving dishes, such as mason jars, tall glasses or ramekins.

When making caramel, it's really important to use a heavy-bottomed saucepan and to never turn your back on the sugar. It can change from amber to black in a second!

This recipe will yield about 1 cup of caramel. Use a portion of it with the pudding and save the rest, stored in an airtight container in the fridge, for sundaes ... or for eating by the spoonful.

Pudding recipe adapted from Food Network.


  1. 1


    Hi Kelly! How fabulous! (The banana puddings AND the visit to Oman). My husband has been begging for banana pudding, so this is just in time. And enjoy Oman. My aunt did the expat thing and was in Oman for several years; she loved it, the food, the country’s beauty. Can’t wait to see how it inspires you.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 27th, 2013 @ 2:44 am

      Thanks, Liren! The country is absolutely breathtaking. I’m soaking up every minute I can!

  2. 2


    Kelly, the recipe is right up my alley. I have been wanting to make butterscotch or banana pudding for awhile and you just made a big case for banana.

    And vacationing in the Gulf of Oman…now that’s not a place you hear about people going to very often! I hope you post more about your trip!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 27th, 2013 @ 2:44 am

      Thanks so much, Averie!

  3. 3


    This looks like the perfect treat after a long day…such a comforting, make-you-feel-good type of dish that can be enjoyed while kicking back.
    Yep, culinary explorations are some of the main highlights of traveling. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts about the trip and all the yummy food you will enjoy. I’m going to want “just a taste” of every dish you post lol (or maybe more).

  4. 7


    Have so much fun!!! I’m so happy for you but sad for me, I’m on a plane right now headed to your city! :( & :) Sooo when I saw this drop into my inbox, I about died. This looks amazing and I can NEVER say no to anything banana-related. So gorgeous, Kelly!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 27th, 2013 @ 11:43 pm

      I’m so sad to miss you in NYC, Julie! Have an absolute blast!

  5. 16


    Love the cream cheese in the pudding and the salted caramel sauce.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 28th, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

      Thanks, Colette! I love making pudding with cream cheese because I think it adds the perfect tangy element to offset the sweetness. Enjoy!

  6. 31

    Jane Marcus says

    I loved salted caramel, but sometimes fail when making it. Do you think it would be possible to substitute a really good salted caramel sauce from the jar?

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 3rd, 2013 @ 6:28 pm

      Absolutely, Jane! Feel free to swap in the jarred version for a quick alternative. Enjoy!

  7. 34

    Dale says

    I made the banana pudding with salted caramel sauce last night for friends who were over for dinner. To say that I now rank as their favorite cook would be an understatement. There’s just something about the extra creamy goodness of banana pudding that brings us back to childhood and the kick of the salted caramel takes us back to today…that’s quite a trip for a bowl of pudding. Thanks, Kelly, for a truly yumbola treat that puts a great twist on an old favorite.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 26th, 2014 @ 10:48 am

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Dale!

  8. 39


    This is simply calling my name. I wish I had one for breakfast right now. Oh, wait! It has banana in it, it’s totally acceptable to eat for breakfast!
    Thanks for sharing and thank you for the lovely comment left on my guest post (Meyer Lemon Tart) left on Sommer’s (A Spicy Perspective) blog

  9. 40

    Jackie says

    I am over 60 years old and have lived in the South all my life. I’ve never eaten banana pudding with instant pudding, condensed milk, and Cool Whip. We use old-fashioned “boiled custard”, bananas, and Nabisco Nilla Wafers, period,. I love banana pudding and my children love it, Oh, I forgot! Once a (much younger) friend generously brought a version of banana pudding to my home after a death in the family. It had the Cool Whip/instant pudding thing in itl We appreciated the gesture, but none of us ate it. It just can’t compare to the version on the Naisco box.

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — April 11th, 2013 @ 8:56 am

      Thanks for your note, Jackie. I’m all for the old fashioned banana pudding, and this recipe is just a quick-fix alternative paired with homemade salted caramel.

  10. 46

    Lisa says

    Just finished making this for Christmas dinner. Can’t wait to eat it! Put a little bourbon in the caramel sauce-I’m from Kentucky, couldn’t resist. I’m going to use pepperidge farms bourdeaux cookies instead of vanilla wafers. May just skip dinner. Yum:)

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — December 25th, 2013 @ 4:01 pm

      Love the addition of the bourbon, Lisa! Merry Christmas!

  11. 48


    Hi Leslie – I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the recipes. I’ve made both many times and never experienced that flavor or the burning. Did you use a heavy-bottomed saucepan?

  12. 49

    2walkersas1 says

    Made this tonight…the pudding is delicious and went together a lot quicker than I had imagined. The caramel wasn’t difficult…or so I thought. It looks great, perfect consistency, but has quite a bitter after taste. Any ideas as to why or troubleshooting suggestions? Thanks in advance!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — March 27th, 2014 @ 10:55 pm

      Hello! There’s a chance the sugar may have cooked a bit long if it’s tasting bitter, as it may be slightly burned (which is causing that aftertaste).

  13. 50

    Ashley R. says

    Hi Kelly! I had a hard time with the caramel, along with the others above. Perhaps a 6 on my electric stove was too hot? It looks a bit lighter in color than yours, but has a bitter taste. Out of butter so will serve without caramel. No problem! My question is, do you have any tips for cleaning my saucepan? Thanks!!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — May 26th, 2014 @ 10:44 am

      Hi Ashley! I’m sorry you had an issue with the caramel. Yes, there’s a chance the electric burner was a bit hot, but in terms of cleaning the pan, you can add very hot water to the sugar and boil it slightly until it melts then carefully discard it. Hope that helps!

  14. 51

    Sarah says

    my son loves banana cream pie and I begrudgingly make it for him on Thanksgiving but I don’t care for it and sadly most of it gets thrown out, but this actually sounds delish! Will try, thanks!


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