As a born as a girl, banana pudding is one of my all-time favorite desserts. That cool, creamy vanilla pudding studded with fresh banana slices and crunchy Nilla wafers? Pure bliss in a bowl.
So when I heard the legendary Blue Bell made a limited edition blue bell banana pudding ice cream, I darn near lost my mind. A mashup of two perfect Southern treats? Yes please!
Sadly, Blue Bell doesn’t distribute up North where I live. After major FOMO from seeing pics online of their banana pudding ice cream, I decided to DIY my own version at home.
And let me tell ya, this homemade banana pudding ice cream 100% satisfied my craving. One bite of that luscious vanilla custard swirling with ripe banana and crunchy wafers, and I was bustin’ out my happy dance. This stuff is addictive, I kid you not!
Table of Contents for this Beauty!
Keep reading and I’ll share my easy method for whipping up the creamiest, dreamiest banana pudding ice cream that beats any store-bought pint. Trust me, you need this decadent Southern-inspired treat in your life!
Creamy Blue Bell Banana Pudding Ice Cream Ingredients
Recreating an iconic Southern ice cream flavor from scratch means quality ingredients are a must.
For ultra-smooth banana pudding ice cream, you’ll need:
- Heavy cream – Only the good stuff for ice cream’s rich, creamy base.
- Whole milk – Adds extra creaminess and that milky flavor.
- Sugar – Plain ol’ granulated sugar is best for sweetening ice cream.
- Egg yolks – This is the key to that super-smooth texture! Use 5-6.
- Vanilla – You gotta use real pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
- Bananas – Ripe, speckled bananas have the most intense flavor.
- Nilla wafers – Duh, these classic cookies are essential for banana pudding vibes.
- Pinch of salt – A little salt balances out all the sweetness. Trust me!
That’s all you need for the richest, creamiest homemade banana pudding ice cream ever. Now let’s get cookin’!
Step 1 – Whip Up the Ice Cream Custard Base
The custard base is key for ultra-creamy ice cream texture because it gives a higher fat and egg content. This means less iciness and more luscious mouthfeel.
Start by whisking together the egg yolks and sugar until nice and smooth. This’ll prevent pesky ice crystals later on.
Next, heat up the cream and milk in a saucepan until steaming, but don’t let it boil. Seriously, no boiling or you’ll mess up the custard.
Slowly pour a bit of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture while whisking constantly. This “tempers” the eggs so they don’t curdle when you add the rest.
Once fully incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until it thickens to a silky consistency that coats the back of the spatula. This takes 6-10 minutes.
Once nice and thick, immediately remove from heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Transfer to a container and let cool completely before chilling overnight. This lets the flavors mingle.
Okay, step one of ice cream magic complete!
Step 2 – Fold in Fresh Banana Pieces
Once the custard’s nice and chilled, pour it into your trusty ice cream maker. Churn according to instructions until frothy and creamy like soft serve, usually 20-30 minutes.
When the ice cream is almost finished, slice up ripe bananas into both big and small pieces for varied texture.
Add those fresh banana pieces and let the churning action swirl them throughout the ice cream. Just churn another minute or two – don’t overmix!
Step 3 – Add Crushed Nilla Wafers for Crunch
What’s banana pudding without the cookies? Not banana pudding!
Crush up Nilla wafers into smaller bits and bigger chunks. I throw them in a plastic bag and go to town with a rolling pin.
Add the crushed cookies and churn 1 more minute max. You still want visible wafer pieces throughout – don’t pulverize them!
Step 4 – Freeze for Perfect Scoopable Ice Cream
Transfer the finished banana pudding ice cream into a freezer-safe airtight container, smoothing the top.
Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface before sealing the lid to prevent freezer burn. Freeze for at least 4 hours before attempting to scoop and serve.
Let the container sit at room temp for 5-10 minutes before scooping if it’s too rock solid straight from the freezer.
Now grab yourself a spoon and dig into the creamiest, dreamiest banana pudding ice cream this side of the Mason-Dixon line!
Mix It Up with Creative Flavor Combos
The best part about DIY ice cream? You can customize flavors to your heart’s content.
Try these tasty additions to put your own spin on banana pudding ice cream:
- Swap Nilla wafers for chocolate Teddy Grahams or Oreo cookie pieces
- Add caramel or fudge swirls once churned for extra decadence
- Mix in crunchy peanut butter or butterscotch chips
- Top with whipped cream, chopped nuts, sprinkles – get creative!
- Make it boozy by adding rum, whiskey, or banana liqueur
- Swirl in jam, nut butters, granola – the options are endless!
Enjoy the Southern Comfort of Homemade Banana Pudding Ice Cream
As a Southern gal, recreating Blue Bell’s legendary banana pudding ice cream felt like my birthright. I’ll gladly enjoy my DIY version all summer rather than drive 12+ hours south for the real deal!
This luscious banana ice cream custard churned with fresh bananas and crunchy Nilla wafers is pure comfort in a bowl. I loved capturing those nostalgic banana pudding flavors in frozen form.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I see a towering banana split sundae calling my name! Y’all go enjoy a heaping scoop (or three) of your own. Just beware – once you whip up this Southern-inspired soft serve, you may never crave plain ol’ vanilla again.
Let me know if you give this banana pudding ice cream a try! I’m always on the hunt for more decadent ice cream ideas. So what should we DIY next – peach cobbler or pecan pie ice cream? The options are endless!