Coastal Camping, Wisconsin Autumn, Blue Angels and Magnolia Bakery Banana Pudding Recipe

Life has been busy and I’ve missed out on writing about adventures including camping on the California coast, spending a lovely fall weekend in Wisconsin, and watching the Blue Devils fly over San Francisco from a rooftop in North Beach.


Blue Angels flying over San Francisco with Alcatraz peeking out from the fot


The only autumn I’m going to get!


Camping on the Sonoma Coast


Goodnight moon

As an apology for not updating more regularly, I will post this recipe of Magnolia Bakery’s Banana Pudding with Salted Caramel! It is so easy, and so good that the kids I served it to were literally licking the bowls clean as they begged for seconds. One of the adults stopped mid-bite to proclaim “It’s everything! Salty but sweet and the bananas…” (interrupted with another bite). It was a huge success!

(Recipe taken from Ring Finger Tan Line with minor modifications)

For the pudding
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups cold water
1 (3.4-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (I used organic pudding that you need to cook and it didn’t set but lent enough flavor to the whipped cream that it was still delicious. This recipe is so resilient!)
3 cups heavy cream*
1 (12-ounce) box Nabisco Nilla Wafers (I used organic Vanilla snaps and they worked out fine)
4 cups sliced ripe bananas (about 4 bananas)
For the caramel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
1 1/4 cups heavy cream*
3 tsp fleur de sel (I used Maldon and it was heavenly)
For the pudding
  1. In the bowl of a mixer, beat sweetened condensed milk and water for about a minute. Add the pudding mix and beat for about two more minutes.
  2. Transfer to a smaller bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. In a large bowl on medium speed, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the pudding mixture until combined.
  4. In a large bowl, layer wafers, bananas, and pudding. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 8 hours before serving.
For the caramel
  1. Combine the sugar and 1/3 cup water in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. This is the only time you can stir the sugar. Place the saucepan over medium to low heat until the sugars start to dissolve, 5 to 10 minutes. Then turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the sugar starts to caramelize, 5 to 7 minutes. You can place dots of the sugar mixture on a white plate to see if it is starting to caramelize but do not stir while this is happening. You’ve got to watch the pot, because it goes from caramel to burnt really quickly. And be careful, the mixture is extremely hot!
  2. Turn off the heat and stand back to avoid splattering. Slowly add the cream. Don’t panic – the cream will bubble violently, and the caramel will solidify. Just give it more time to liquefy again-trust me!
  3. Simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until the caramel dissolves and the sauce is smooth, about 2 minutes. Allow the sauce to cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. It will thicken as it sits. Stir in salt. Recipe will make more caramel than needed for the pudding, but I’m sure you can find something to do with the leftovers!
  1. PLAN AHEAD when you’re going to make this! Make the caramel and first part of the pudding recipe at the same time, wait 4 hrs, finish the pudding, and refrigerate overnight. The caramel does not need to be refrigerated – it thickens at room temperature.
  2. This caramel recipe will make much more than you need for the pudding.
  3. I served the caramel with individual servings so that people could titrate sweetness. It lost its presentation and seemed to “slip” off the top of the pudding when placed on the entire batch.
By Magnolia Bakery NYC (Pudding) & Ann Thornton (Caramel)
*I got a quart of heavy cream (yes, this is why it tastes so good!) and used the correct ratio for the caramel and the remainder for the pudding. I had enough pudding/whipped cream mixture to make two trifles worth.