Dolly Parton’s Famous Banana Pudding Recipe

Beloved for its creamy texture and delectable flavor, Banana pudding is just one of those classic Southern recipes that never get old. Banana pudding typically consists of fluffy layers of vanilla pudding, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafer cookies. This tasty dessert is usually made from scratch with ingredients like eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract. However, instant pudding mixtures are easily found in stores and still taste just as delicious. Dolly Parton’s banana pudding dish is a staple in her household as well as in many homes around the world.

Though this banana pudding recipe did not originate from Dolly herself, but rather from Dolly’s mother, she still carries on her recipe making it for her family and all who visit the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge. Back in 2006, Dolly even included her mother’s famous recipe in her cookbook, Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s. Unfortunately, you can no longer purchase Dolly’s cookbook, but you can still find a few of her favorite dishes online from interviews and TV appearances. Dolly shared her mother’s banana pudding recipe with us in 2016 while appearing on the Hallmark Channel at her theme park, Dollywood.

How to make Dolly’s Banana Pudding


• 5-6 bananas, sliced
• 3 eggs, separated
• 2 cups of milk
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
• 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
• Dash of salt
• 1 (12-ounce) box of vanilla wafers


Preheat the oven to 350ºF

Gently whisk the egg yolks. In a medium pot, mix 3/4 cup of sugar and flour. Gradually add the 2 cups of milk, followed by the whisked egg yolks, and salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and add your butter plus 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Let the mixture cool slightly.

Start with a layer of wafers at the bottom of a 2-quart baking dish. Then arrange half of the banana slices on top. Spoon half of the pudding mixture over the bananas and repeat with the remaining vanilla wafers, bananas, and pudding mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until stiff peaks form. Spread this mixture over the pudding and ensure the edges are sealed. Bake until the topping turns a light golden color, about 15 to 20 minutes. This dish is best served cooled.

Banana Pudding Fun Facts

– Did you know that banana pudding didn’t exist in America before the Civil War in 1861?  This was because bananas were not a common crop in the states at the time. During the 1800s, any bananas that made it into America were considered exotic and rare fruit only served to the rich.

– Laura Kerley was the first to invent banana pudding in 1921. Kerley was a home cook and offered her vanilla custard and banana invention to Pantagraph in Bloomington, Illinois.

– Since 2010, the city of Centerville, Tennessee, has hosted an annual National Banana Pudding Festival, celebrating the delicious dessert.

Indulge, enjoy, and create new memories with every delicious spoonful of this iconic dessert. We hope Dolly’s banana pudding recipe makes it into your home and puts smiles on every face around the table. If you would rather head over to Dollywood and try it there, then check out when is the best time to visit and get the most out of your trip to Pigeon Forge.