Ube Banana Pudding

Ube banana puddings ready to serve

May 6, 2022

We are celebrating Mother’s Day this year with these lovely Ube Banana Puddings. This recipe takes Magnolia Bakery‘s famous banana pudding and gives it a tropical twist by incorporating ube, adding a gorgeous color and subtle flavor to this iconic dessert.

The original recipe can be found in The Complete Magnolia Bakery Cookbook and is one of the most popular items on the menu. Surprisingly, on my many trips to New York, I never visited one of the bakery’s locations and have only had the homemade version – and it’s delicious!

The idea for this recipe came about when I found ube sweetened condensed milk at a local market. As with other Asian and Southeast Asian cultures, there is a lot of Filipino influence on local Hawaii cuisine. Ube is one of those ingredients that is found in more and more dishes, desserts in particular.

Ube banana puddings ready to serve - overhead

What is ube?

Ube is often confused with purple sweet potato. It is, in fact, a purple yam, not a sweet potato. And unlike sweet potato which grows underground, ube grows on a vine. Many describe the flavor is being very similar to sweet potatoes but with light vanilla overtones.

In Hawaii, it’s rare to find fresh ube. Instead, we find it in the form of an extract that can be added to any number of dishes. At restaurants you can find ube tarts, ube ice cream, ube pancakes, and even ube pasta. It’s popular not only for its flavor but for its brilliant, deeply purple color.

Ube banana pudding - spoon scoop

A simple recipe but plan ahead

This banana pudding recipe couldn’t be easier and requires no cooking at all. However, a significant amount of cooling time is needed – a minimum of 8 hours in the refrigerator – so plan accordingly. My recommendation is to make the pudding the night before and allow it to cool in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, incorporate the whipped cream and assemble the puddings, allowing them to cool throughout the day, serving them in the evening.

Ube banana pudding - spoonful to eat

What if I can’t find ube sweetened condensed milk?

If you can’t find ube sweetened condensed milk, you can use a regular sweetened condensed milk as written in the original recipe. If you want the beautiful purple color, add a few drops of food coloring until you find a shade you like.

Another option is to use coconut sweetened condensed milk for a different tropical take on the classic banana pudding.

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Ube banana puddings ready to serve

Ube Banana Pudding

  • Author: She’s Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 8 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x


This is a tropical twist to Magnolia Bakery’s famous banana pudding. Ube adds a subtle flavor and gives the puddings a deeply purple color.



1 14-ounce can ube sweetened condensed milk (like Sweet Cow)

1 1/2 cups ice-cold water

1 3.4-ounce package instant vanilla pudding mix (preferably Jell-O brand)

3 cups heavy cream

1 11-ounce box mini-Nilla wafers (or regular sized Nilla wafers broken into smaller pieces)

4 to 5 ripe bananas, sliced

Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)


For the pudding

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the ube sweetened condensed milk and water until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the pudding mix and beat until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours or overnight – pudding should be fully set.

In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the pudding into the whipped cream until well blended and there are no visible streaks.

To assemble

Save 16 cookies for garnish.

Take one-third of the cookies and divide amongst the individual serving dishes. It’s okay for the cookies to overlap.

Dividing amongst the individual serving dishes, layer one-third of the sliced bananas over the cookies and then one-third of the pudding.

Repeat the layering twice more. End with a final layer of pudding.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours – or as long as 8 hours, no longer. Cookies should be tender when poked with a knife.

To serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional) and one of the reserved cookies. Alternatively, you may crush the reserved cookies and sprinkle the top of the puddings with cookie crumbs.


Instead of individual puddings you can make one large pudding, using regular Nilla wafers instead and assembling in a 3–4-quart dish (preferably glass).

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Inactive Time: 8 hours
  • Category: dessert
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 374.74
  • Sugar: 29.81 g.
  • Sodium: 161.62 mg.
  • Fat: 21.87 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 12.83 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 42.26 g.
  • Fiber: 1.17 g.
  • Protein: 4.4 g.
  • Cholesterol: 59.33 g.

Keywords: ube, banana pudding, Hawaii

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