Coconut Banana Pudding – Classic banana pudding is taken up a notch by using coconut milk and coconut cream in the recipe. We also finish it off with a topping of toasted coconut!
It’s been a week of isolation for us and it’s going by faster than we thought. Anyone else? I think it helps that we still have unpacking to do from our move last month so that’s kept us busy. We’ve also been cheating hardcore by letting Lucy have way more screen time than typically allowed. But we gotta do what we gotta do to keep sane!!
Today’s recipe was created as great alternative to the classic banana puddings that I’ve talked about tons before. I saw a version of it in a cook book and I thought it was a genius idea. The recipe for banana pudding was almost exactly the same but made with coconut milk in place of whole milk.
The end result was a creamy banana pudding with the perfect touches of coconut. And be cause the main coconut flavor comes from real coconut milk, the flavor doesn’t taste artificial in the slightest.
Without further ago, here is my Coconut Banana Pudding!
How to make this pudding
Like I mentioned before, this pudding recipe is almost exactly the same as a vanilla pudding recipe, except that coconut milk is used instead of whole milk. Oh and there’s coconut extract in the pudding, along with vanilla, to really enhance the coconut flavor but still keep it mellow and subtle.
To make pudding there are a few major steps:
- Heat milk
- Whisk eggs separately with sugar and cornstarch/flour
- Slowly whisk hot milk into egg yolks
- Cook custard mixture until thick as pudding
- Cool pudding completely
Once the pudding is cool, it’s time to assemble the pudding. For this recipe, I am serving the pudding parfait-style, which means it’s in individual glasses with multiple layers. But I also give you a tip in the notes for making a large pudding dish, if you prefer something more classic.
Assembling the parfaits
To assemble the parfaits, you start with vanilla wafers. I used about 4 or 5 for the bottom layer. Then comes the banana slices, also about 4 or 5. Next comes the coconut vanilla pudding.
The layers are repeated once more and then the pudding is topped with homemade coconut whipped cream. The coconut whipped cream is made with coconut cream, which is different than coconut milk. It’s thicker and has more fat, which makes it perfect for whipping into cream.
Finally, the whole parfait is topped with toasted coconut. I bought sweetened coconut flakes and cooked about 1/2 cup in a 350-degree oven until toasted and golden brown.
Tips & Tricks
- When cooking the pudding on the stove, it will seem like the pudding is never going to thicken. 5 minutes will go by and it still feels super runny and thin and nothing like pudding. But then minute 7 or 8 comes and suddenly the mixture is SUPER thick, just like that! So don’t give up and just keep whisking.
- Super ripe bananas are the best for banana pudding (and any banana dessert, really). So make sure to buy some bananas about 3-5 days before you plan to make this pudding so they have enough time to get a few brown freckles on the peel.
- Pudding needs about 2 hours to chill after cooking. Therefore, make sure to give yourself enough time to let the pudding cool before assembling. It’s also best to make these the night before to let the wafers get soft in the pudding overnight.
- This recipe makes 6 large parfaits. I could not finish a parfait by myself so it’s definitely a double portion that’s perfect for sharing. Or you can use smaller cups and make the portions a little smaller, especially if serving at a party.
Coconut Banana Pudding
For the coconut pudding:
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 13.66-ounce cans coconut milk unsweetened
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1⅓ cup sugar
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon coconut extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter sliced into 4 pats
For the coconut whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
For assembly of pudding parfaits:
- 4 large bananas
- 60 vanilla wafers (about 1/3 box)
- ½ cup toasted coconut
Make the pudding:
- In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk, milk, and salt over medium heat until just before boiling. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow, about 1 minute. Add the cornstarch and whisk together. Slowly pour the scalded milk into the egg yolk mixture while whisking.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk constantly until the mixture thickens to a pudding, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and continue to whisk for 2 minutes to cool it down. Whisk the vanilla extract and butter into the pudding until the butter has melted. Cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap so that the plastic touches the top of it to prevent a film from forming on top. Refrigerate until the mixture has completely cooled, about 2 hours
Make the whipped cream:
- When the pudding is cool and ready to be used in the assembly of the parfaits, make the whipped cream. Add the heavy whipping cream, coconut cream, and sugar to a bowl fitted for a stand mixer. Using a whisk attachment, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
Assemble the parfaits:
- Place 5 vanilla wafers in the bottom of a stemless wineglass or old-fashioned glass. Slice a banana and put 4 slices at the bottom. Cover with 1/2 cup of pudding. Repeat the layers once more. Top with 2 tablespoons of whipped cream and toasted coconut shreds. Repeat with 5 other parfaits. See notes below for how to make this pudding in one large dish.
- If you rather make one large banana pudding, simply layer the ingredients in a large casserole dish, making one layer of each instead of two layers. You may need to double the whipped cream recipe, but you’ll have plenty of the other ingredients to make it happen.
- To toast coconut, place sweetened coconut on baking sheet in one even layer and bake in 350-degree oven for 5 minutes or until the coconut turns golden brown. Let it cool completely before using.