My friend’s daughter is in love with Magnolia Bakery’s Famous Banana Pudding. She inspired me to peek at the recipe in their cookbook and to try this unique, upgraded version. The book declared that this is actually the “ultimate version.” 🙂
The recipe was adapted from The Magnolia Bakery Handbook- A Complete Guide for the Home Baker: Baking Made Easy with 150 Foolproof Recipes & Techniques by Bobbie Lloyd. I used red gel food coloring and modified the method. I also layered the dessert in various individual glass serving bowls. Fun. We love red velvet anything so this was very well received! I’m not sure that it even needed the bananas. 😉
This “ultimate version” requires advanced planning. I made the cake a day in advance. I would also recommend making the pudding base a day in advance! Next time. 😉 Once the dessert has been layered, it is refrigerated another 4 hours to overnight prior to serving.
Yield: Serves up to 16 (4 to 5 quarts)
For the Red Velvet Cake:
- 383g/13.5oz (3 1/3 cups) cake flour
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup or 170g/6oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 450g/16oz (2 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 scant tsp red gel food coloring (or 6 T liquid red food coloring)
- 3 T (22.5g/0.75oz) unsweetened dark cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (240g/8.5oz) buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
For the Pudding & Assembly:
- 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 1/2 cups (360g/12.7oz) ice-cold water
- 1 (3.4oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)
- 1 (8oz) package full-fat cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
- 3 cups (720g/25.5oz) heavy cream
- 4 to 5 ripe, firm bananas, sliced
- 160g (1 cup plus 1 T or 5.6oz) mini chocolate chips or chocolate shavings
To Make the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, preferably on convection. Butter a 9×13-inch metal baking pan; line with parchment paper and butter and flour the parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter on medium speed until smooth.
- Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl and the paddle.
- Add the red food coloring and sifted cocoa powder to the mixer bowl.
- With the mixer on low speed, carefully mix until combined. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the vanilla and buttermilk.
- Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl in three additions, alternating with the buttermilk. After each addition, be careful to mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. Do not ovemix. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda.
- With the mixer on low speed, carefully add the cider vinegar and baking soda mixture to the batter and combine well. Scrape down the bowl.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. (I baked mine for 47 minutes.)
- Let the cake cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes, then transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely. (The cake can be made ahead and wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days.)
To Make the Pudding:
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, beat the condensed milk and water on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Add the pudding mix and beat until no lumps remain and the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Put the room temperature cream cheese pieces in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk. Beat until smooth.
- Add the chilled pudding to the to the cream cheese and mix until thoroughly combined and smooth, about 5 minutes. Refrigerate while you prepare the whipped cream. Clean the stand mixer bowl and whisk.
- In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk, whip the heavy cream on medium speed for about 1 minute; until cream starts to thicken, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form. (be careful not to over whip)
- With the mixer running on low speed, add the chilled pudding mixture a spoonful at a a time. Mix until well blended and no streaks of pudding remain.
- Cut the cake into a 4×2-inch grid. (8 rectangular pieces) If preparing the dessert in individual servings, divide the cake into 16 pieces. Set aside.
- Select 16 individual serving bowls (or a trifle bowl or wide glass bowl with 4-5 quart capacity). (I used a variety of glasses and glass dessert dishes.)
- Spread 1/3 of the pudding on the bottom and layer with enough slices of the red velvet cake to cover the layer. (I used about 1/2 (slightly less) of each rationed slice of the cake, reserving crumbs for the top.)
- Add 1/2 of the sliced bananas (enough to cover the cake pieces) and 1/3 cup of the chocolate chips. (I used 1 tsp of chocolate chips per layer in each serving.)
- Repeat twice more. The second layer will be identical; the final layer will be pudding topped with a cake crumbs instead of pieces, and chocolate chips without (or with, if desired) banana slices.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.